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Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O'Roark
Published by Elizabeth O'Roark on March 14, 2016
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"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.
Waking Olivia is a romance novel written by author Elizabeth O’Rourke. The story follows Olivia Finnegan, a college track star who transfers to a new school and joins a team led by a handsome, enigmatic coach- Will Langstrom. While Olivia struggles with past trauma, nightly runs she can’t remember, and her burgeoning and unwanted feelings towards Will, Will battles his own interest in Olivia all while trying to juggle his familial responsibilities and future. Olivia, despite all the lengths she goes to keep people at arm’s length, finds herself the recipient of Will’s determination to push her, challenge her, and help her reach past her demons to grasp her own potential. This turbulent, heated, and forbidden tale follows these two characters down a passionate, dark, and compelling story that you won’t soon forget.
I have always been a character-driven, as opposed to plot-driven, reader (that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a compelling plot). If a story manages to capture both aspects, however, I find myself plowing through the story into the wee hours of the morning. This is what I found myself doing with Waking Olivia. Olivia’s character was intriguing- her past was so horrific and heart-breaking- her desire to keep others at an emotional distance was definitely understandable. As Will began to see past her sharp tongue and cold indifference, he began to champion her. His support, while still maintaining his cocky and endearing attitude, made him the ideal romantic hero. He was literally perfect for Olivia. Their chemistry was spot on and keenly felt with every scene.
The added bonus to this story? The spine-tingling plot twists and revelations that are unexpectedly, though strategically, strewn throughout the story. I found myself eager to piece together the clues from Olivia’s past, and felt nearly as heart-broken when things were discovered that made you want to weep. This is the first novel by Elizabeth O’Rourke I have read, and already I can’t wait to read her next one! If you’re looking for a dark, beautiful, and passionate forbidden love story that is tinged with mystery and spine-tingling plot twists, then Waking Olivia is just right for you!