December 1, 2015

Title: Vertical Lines
Author: Kristen Kehoe
Series: The Vert Series
Publisher: self-published
Published: December 11, 2015
Genre: new adult contemporary romance

Synopsis: An artist and a smart girl. A staid family and a broken one.

She’s adorably literal; he’s big and quietly emotional.

Jordana Richards was determined to make the best of her post high school life, despite the fact that nothing about her current college experience was of her choosing: not the school or the major, and definitely not the place. But it wasn’t home, so that’s something. Yet, the harder she tried to fit in, the less she felt like she did.

Until the night she said screw it.

Until the night she walked out on her parents and bought her very own piece of cake.

The same night she met Brooklyn Novak: brooding artist, huge man, overall scary human being who took a keen interest in her.

Brooklyn was out of ideas. He had no art, because really, his subjects had no soul. When the girl at the convenience store clicked her way into his life on five hundred dollar shoes and the fumes of a tantrum, this changed. Jordana Richards: the rich girl with a mission who gave Brooklyn the spark he needed to create again.

Uncomfortable with their attraction, Brooks and Jordan strike a deal: he’ll help her have fun, she’ll be his muse for as long as he needs. Simple.

Yeah right.

The more time they spend together, the more both of them realize that what started out as a convenient relationship is now transitioning to vital, and neither knows how to deal with it.

When a truth comes to light that has the potential to break both of their worlds, Jordan and Brooks have to decide how deep their feelings really go, and just how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to be together.

**I received an advance copy,
but that did not influence the review**

4.5 emotionally glorious stars You guys. You guys. I am in love with this new author. I get what she writes. This is the 2nd book I’ve read by Kristen Kehoe and her words just speak to me. Let me tell you why.

#1. I love the cover. It’s *almost* a problem. Who am I kidding? It’s not a problem! *looks at it some more* I am picturing Matt Ramsey, lead singer of Old Dominion as Brooks (go ahead, google him, I’ll be here when you get back) I’m right, right?

#2. Brooks.

He is silently gorgeous and emotional and big and just…. SO UNFFFFFF. With a beard. Mama likey.

#3. Jordana.

That’s right. I almost love the heroine as much as the hero. How awesome is that?!? She was a great heroine and I found myself feeling as if I were her. I loved her soul searching journey.

#4. The romance.

Slow. Burning. Sparks. So deep and heart wrenching and perfect and I could not get enough.

#5. The best friends.

So often the secondary cast don’t serve a purpose other than to annoy the reader, but here, they were a huge part of the story and I cannot wait for their stories.

Do you need to know more? Well that works for me because I have so much to say. I’ll keep it spoiler free so don’t worry. Vertical Lines is my 2nd book by Ms. Kehoe and I have learned that she writes brilliantly about self discovery…and falling in love at the same time. I seriously can’t get enough of her words.

Those words also include Brooks. Sweet lord I love him. He is definitely gruff, yet so soft and gentle. The combination had me swooning. Even though he could be bold, he also knew when to relent. His statements were beautifully, refreshingly honest thoughts. He was brooding, but not tortured. Yes, he had struggles, but he wasn’t stuck in his own head. He was stronger than that…most of the time. I could still getl how helpless he felt at times, and the pain because of his sister Ashton. But really in the end, for as strong as he was, he was human and could only take so much. Yes, this made for some serious heart squeezing moments.

I also loved the way Brooks flattered Jordan. I loved the way he was so himself. I loved the way he reached her in a way that made a difference:

I had a frustrating day, and it seemed easier to cancel. Except – I need to work, Red. Really work. Your face…it makes me see again.

~Brooks

That had me swooning like nobody’s business. So honest that my heart flipped.

Let’s talk about the kisses next. Oh my, the kisses were so good. So intense. The angst and UST…it was killing me. The pull, the chemistry…I’m feeling all giddy just thinking about it. Brooks and Jordan took it slowly, but my friends, the burn was worth it. A certain moment of hand holding nearly put me over the edge at one point too.

What did I need more of? I think the fact that Brooks was physically big, I needed it mentioned more somehow. It seemed to be a vital part of who he was; he was silent but a large presence. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a focus, maybe I’m just greedy and want everything…

So now that you know I loved the MCs, the secondary characters, the romance and the writing, let’s get to the ending. Oh man, I did not like Brooks’ choice at the end. I wished there had been some kind of heart wrenching conversation so I could have justified his actions more, I would have liked that better. It all just happened so fast, and I really was kind of upset with him. But then we skipped ahead 5 months and I don’t think I suffered as much as I probably should have. (Yes, I love to have my heart ripped out). The ending was too rushed compared to the rest of the book. Even with an epilogue I needed the pacing to be different for the last part. We worked so hard to get there, and then it was over. I never got to roll around in it and suffer and feel whole again. However, I did not read the very final version so things might very well be different. Don’t let that deter you though, that is just me nit-picking so I can give you a nice full rounded review.

Rec this? YES YES YES. If you love a swoony romance that takes time and shows you the journey of learning who you are, this is a must for your TBR!

Happy reading!

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