Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: "You Before Anyone Else" by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her "good girl" persona, so she'll try Eddie on for size. New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the "good girl" stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom. Enter Eddie Wells. He's shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie's bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 
It's been awhile since I read the first book in this series, but I remember really liking it and that's why I requested "You Before Anyone Else". This installment did not disappoint - the strong  chemistry between the two main characters, the pacing that flows seamlessly throughout the book, and the glimpses we get into the world of modeling are some of the things I loved about the first book, and they were all present here as well.

Cross and Perini have given us two fabulous main characters here. Finley and Eddie are both working through some pretty serious stuff, so neither of them are looking for a long term relationship. In fact, when they first hook up, it's with the understanding that it will be a "one night stand". But, surprise surprise! They actually end up really liking each other, and a strong friendship develops. The more time they spend together, the more they come to rely and trust in each other, and I think that's probably what I enjoyed the most - the building of a beautiful friendship.

I also really liked how both Finley and Eddie realize modeling is not a long term career for them. Finley is modeling to save money so she can reopen her mom's dance studio, and Eddie sees modeling as a very short term solution to his homeless status.  He has a goal in mind that I won't divulge for fear of spoiling anything, but modeling seems like the best source of income to keep him in Manhattan, which is where he needs to be for the moment. I found Eddie's attitude towards modeling quite humorous!  He really didn't like getting made up to have his photo taken, but he was just so good at it! Finley and her roommates couldn't get over how he could become so accomplished without even really trying.

I looooved Finley's family! Her dad was just awesome, and her little brothers were super cute! I thought every moment involving these three characters was a great one, with nothing over the top or extraneous. So many books in this genre get family dynamics so wrong, with either tons of cheesy moments that make me roll my eyes, or a villainous family member who has no redeeming qualities. I suppose Eddie's parents could fall into that latter category, but even though they were terrible, I think they were realistically portrayed.

The ending was, again, realistic. I'm happy with the way things turned out, 'nuff said. I really hope to see updates on these characters in future books of the series, the same way Eve and Alex appeared in this book. Finley and Alex are a wonderful couple, and I'd love to see more of them!

My rating: 3.5 stars

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