Title – Waking Up
Author – Renee Dyer
Series – Healing Hearts #1
Publication Date – March 22, 2014
For Adriana Monroe life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, her photography business is booming and she married Alex, her childhood best friend. Life is perfect. It’s a fairy tale really.
But one night changes everything for her.
Suddenly she’s alone. She’s afraid to trust and afraid to love. Most of all she’s afraid she’s broken beyond repair. Nightmares torment and haunt her every time she closes her eyes.
Will she ever be the same?
For Tucker Stavros it looks to the outside world like things come easy for him. He’s gorgeous, rich, famous, has a hot girlfriend. Hell, he’s a movie star. If women aren’t trying to get with him then men are wishing they are him. What they don’t see is the broken child hiding behind the smiles he fakes for the cameras. They don’t see the man who wakes up drenched in sweat from his nightmares from a past he can’t escape.
Betrayal sends him running.
A chance encounter throws Tucker and Adriana together. They try to fight their attraction for each other. They feel they’re too broken for the other.
Will they continue to suffer in the hell of dreamland separately or will they find that Waking Up to real life together can be so much sweeter?
I was so incredibly anxious to get my hands on Waking Up by Renee Dyer. I was immediately hooked as soon as I read the synopsis. I just knew that this wouldn’t be your average love story – it was going to be a journey, and who doesn’t love and appreciate a good trek to the destination? Needless to say, I was definitely not disappointed and even a little impressed at what this story did for me!
I instantly fell in love with both Adri and Tucker. Adri was such a beautiful woman who had the weight of the world on her shoulders. Tucker was a burned, wandering soul. They both were so broken, but were starting to heal only through their interactions with each other. Something felt so genuine and honest about these two characters. There didn’t seem to be fluff and romance (which I do appreciate when appropriate). Instead, it was about them finding themselves and facing their own obstacles and demons. I would have been really upset if the situation wasn’t dealt with delicately, but both Tucker’s thoughts and actions as well as Adri’s responses seemed to be so accurately portrayed with how I’d expect those emotions to play out in a real life relationship. I read somewhere that you don’t look for the person that completes you, but instead for the one that complements you. While reading this story, I thought it so elegantly put how I felt about both these characters and the relationship dynamic between them.
I also loved the secondary characters. It was so difficult to see them sometimes because through them, you truly realized how broken Adriana is. I loved that they were all such a close knit family who loved and protected one another. That’s what true friends should be!
The story is told from several different viewpoints, but mainly through Tucker and Adriana’s. There are a couple scenes which are retold so that you read through it once, then again receiving new information from the other’s viewpoint. At first, this made me really nervous and skeptical. I didn’t want to feel like I was reading the same chapter twice throughout the whole book. Thankfully, it didn’t feel that way and actually helped to further the story. You got a better understanding of how these characters maybe misinterpreted signals or where exactly their head was, giving the reader a more rounded perspective of the scene.
Overall, I absolutely loved this story. It felt so raw, powerful, and emotional. It was just a heartbreaking tale that had your heart hurting one minute and laughing the next. There were things I absolutely didn’t see coming, and things I couldn’t stop rooting for. Oh, and that cover?! So incredibly appropriate given several of the moments in this book…I was so taken aback by it! I definitely can’t wait to see what Renee has in store for the second book!
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
Eyes Wide Open (Healing Hearts #2)
Beneath His Darkness (Healing Hearts #3)