Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Until It Fades, by K.A. Tucker

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

4.5 out of 5 stars

There is a Miranda Lambert song that says “everybody dies famous in a small town.”  Catherine Wright knows the truth of those words all too well.   When she was 17 she fell in love with her high school art teacher.  As you can imagine things spun totally out of control.  The teacher and adults who should have protected her didn't and instead she was ostracized from everyone except a couple of true friends; Lou, the owner of Diamonds, the truck stop where she waits tables is wonderful.  I also love Keith, her best friend who is also totally in love with Cath - he loves her so much he selflessly encourages Catherine to follow her heart even though the path probably won't lead her back to him.  (Side Note:  I need to see him get a happy ending so please, please write a book for him!)  And Misty, a fellow waitress who has stuck with Cath through everything and who always manages to bring exciting drama to any circumstance!

One evening, 5-6 years post teacher scandal, following a horrible blind date, Catherine comes upon a terrible car crash and does the unthinkable.  She single-handedly pulls the passenger out of a burning car and saves his life.  Little does she know the life she saved is none other than the rich, famous and hot, Brett Madden, NHL player extraordinaire.  Catherine knows once news reporters break this story keeping her anonymity is going to be difficult, but terrified to be in the spotlight again, to be on the receiving end of judgmental eyes she vows to do whatever it takes to keep her identity unknown. I cannot say I blame her for wanting to stay out of the limelight, her first experience left her all alone with absolutely no self-esteem - all undeserved especially considering she was the victim!  Nevertheless, at her core Catherine is a genuinely honest, hard-working woman who wants nothing more than to get through her life standing on her own two feet.  This girl is in no way looking for a hand-out nor does she expect life to be easy or sadly even for her own dreams to come true. So, it's really no surprise she would run from any attention or money saving a star's life would surely bring.

When Brett eventually learns his hero's name and finally gets to show his appreciation in person and these two meet, the sparks are undeniable for them both.  As a reader, I loved Brett's character - talk about the ultimate "book boyfriend"!  He is famous but doesn’t act like it.  He's the guy next door only so much better.  He may have fame and fortune but at the end of the day he just wants someone to share his life with and for that life to be as "normal" as possible.  His heart is HUGE, and I promise you I'm not embellishing how wonderful this man is.  But, will Catherine ever allow her heart to love again?  She uses absolutely every excuse imaginable to push him away.  And I understand the reasons behind it, but I was desperate for her to have the courage to at least let herself try!  At her core is the worry Brett will only be around until his feelings fade.  The question is can she trust herself?  Can she trust Brett?  Is she willing to risk it all for a chance at love and true happiness?

The feels in this book are off the chart!  I opened my kindle one night because I couldn't find anything I wanted to watch on TV and didn't turn my kindle off until 3 am because I couldn't even think about sleeping without seeing how the story ended.  It's been two weeks since I read the ARC and I'm still swooning!  I love a good fairy-tale, perfect happily ever-after and this book gave me all that and more wrapped up in a beautifully well written, heart-melting story.  

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