Published by Indie on 13th March 2016
Source: Netgalley, Author
Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Ca
"That girl isn't just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She's trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety.
She's the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more. And the last thing I need right now is more trouble."
A failing farm. His father’s debt. And a struggling college track team. Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.
A smart mouth. A strong right hook. And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please. Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her. And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.
I don’t read a lot of New Adult these days, so when I do, I’ve already set my standards quite high in what I suspect. Luckily, I seemed to have found a gem in Waking Olivia, and while it wasn’t perfect, I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I have other NA books.
Olivia has no-one, and seemingly nothing, left to keep her going in the world. After an incident at her old university leaves her barely maintaining a scholarship at a new college, with a track team that hasn’t placed in ages. It’s there that she butts heads with Will Langstrom, the Girl’s track coach.
While Waking Olivia plays into the usual trope of tortured girl/boy needs saving, but I liked the way that Will wasn’t pushy. He was determined to help Olivia, but in a way so that she helped herself more than anything. If anything, that strengthened Olivia as a character. The sexual tension was perfect – just the right amount that should be in a new adult novel, and wasn’t over the top at all.
Sadly I think the pacing seemed to lag a lot in the novel, and the dual POV contributed to this. There wasn’t enough time spent between Will and Olivia, so the choppy nature was a bit off putting. The epilogue at the end seemed unnecessary as well for the HEA we do get regardless. Olivia’s family issues only seemed to be a part of the last quarter of the novel, and could have been worked more into the plot from the beginning.
That being said, O’Roark is definitely now on my radar, I’m keen to read more, if they were just as good as Waking Olivia – a fresh New Adult contemporary for those who are getting tired of reading ‘the same old story’.