Tuesday 16 August 2016

Release Day Review ~ Ripped by Lisa Edward

Book Description:

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of dance [da:ns] is “to move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps.” Technically, that’s true, but dance is so much more. What the dictionary doesn’t mention is that the movement comes from within you, from the very depths of your soul, that place that holds all your hopes and fears, all your loves and losses. Dance is a form of expression, of all the emotions that make us who we are.

Jasmine Wilkinson
I’ve finally made it … only six years later than expected.
New York promises to be the experience of a lifetime, and if I’m lucky enough, a chance to dance on Broadway and fulfil a lifelong desire.
After graduating from Boston Conservatory, I’d intended to meet the love of my life, Baxter Sampson, in the city that never sleeps, and share the rest of my life with him. But sometimes dreams don’t go as planned, and we have to make new ones. I know Bax would have made it big; he was such a phenomenal dancer. I wish I could have been there to see it happen, but I can’t wait to catch a Broadway show and see his name in lights.
Maybe he’ll still remember me.

Baxter Sampson
Eight years in New York have all but stolen my dreams from me.
After years of auditioning for every contemporary ballet production in New York, I had to admit defeat. I wasn’t good enough to make it on Broadway. I wasn’t good enough for Jasmine, the only girl I’ve ever loved, to keep her promise and meet me here after she graduated six years ago. So my plans changed—they had to. But when there’s an inexplicable force driving you to perform, you have to catch the spotlight wherever you can, even if it’s in the last place you expected to find it. My life had always revolved around Jaz and dance, my two true passions. I’ve already lost one—I can’t lose the other.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Being with you. Dancing with you. It was the happiest time of my life.”

I am a sucker for second chance romances and Lisa Edward delivers a great one with Ripped. As always with a Lisa Edward read you get great character connection, lots of emotion and real, relatable characters that you cannot help but champion along.

Jasmine and Baxter had one thing in common as children, dance. Both were child prodigy’s and together they made magic. Their dreams were to live in New York together and follow a certain path to greatness. Baxter graduated two years before Jasmine and he was going to New York to get everything set up for when Jasmine graduated and followed him. However, sometimes, unforeseen things happen and Jasmine never made it.

“New York was a melting pot of culture and indulgence, mixed with poverty and desperation, it really was the city that never sleeps or at least never stayed the same for any length of time.”

Six years later and Jasmine has finally made it to New York, hustling to an audition she bumps into Bax, six years is a long time to be apart, but not long enough for feelings and emotions to die. As soon as their eyes meet, everything is reignited, but can past feelings stay in the past or will they hinder their future.

“Can we pretend the last six years never happened and you’ve come to meet me in New York like you promised?”

I will say, this is a huge case of miscommunication and misunderstandings. Bax truly believes that Jasmine abandoned him and just didn’t come without giving her a chance to explain. Bax felt rejected by Jasmine and the dance world as a whole. New York is tough, tough to get recognised, tough auditions, everyone wants to be a star but very few make it. Bax’s path didn’t go the way he wanted, but he made the best out of a bad situation, but with it comes another dose of truths.

“They say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but in my experience the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is truer.”

Jasmine was a born dancer but she was extremely loyal to her family first and foremost. It pained her to put her dreams on hold, but now is her chance to shine and meeting Baxter once again is just the icing on the proverbial cake.

These two had that all-consuming love, they were both young, but their relationship was mature beyond their years. Lisa Edward broke my heart many times throughout this book, so many emotions, conflicts, secrets, a little mystery all give way to a page turner. While in some places the pace slowed it soon picks up as these two fight for themselves and to right a lot of wrongs.

“I had dreams just like you did. The spotlight, the applause, the hours of relentless dance until my body ached with fatigue. To me that was the best feeling in the world, to be so exhausted that you were asleep a second after your head hit the pillow.” He raised his gaze to look at me. “That’s what you have. You sleep so soundly, Jaz, but I lay awake for hours staring at the ceiling.”

This is not just a second chance romance but has a great plot too. I love the dance scene and such was the vivid imagery contained within the pages I felt like I was on stage too, there was one dance in particular that made me bawl, as the emotions pouring through their dance were perfectly portrayed through the authors voice. Each step resonated dep within with emotional impact, you feel everything and that was an amazing achievement for the author. I have never felt that before and have certainly never cried over a dance. But this is what Lisa Edward does best, characters. Characters that you cannot help but love, when they hurt, you hurt, when their happy, you smile from ear to ear.

“There’s no rush, Jaz…We have a lifetime.”

Once again, another great read from Lisa Edward.

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