Monday, February 23, 2015

ARC Review: Acting Brave by Helena Newbury

Acting Brave (Fenbrook Academy #3 - New Adult Romance)From the blurb:
She's spent her whole life acting. But can she make him believe she doesn't love him?
Three years ago, a terrified girl named Emma fled a world of crime and abuse in Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to New York. She reinvented herself as an actress, enrolled at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy and buried her pain beneath a vivacious new persona. Her new name was Jasmine.

Now she has to pull off the performance of her career.
Landing her dream part in a police show, she finds herself falling for her co-star, Ryan, a real-life cop. If she lets him get too close, he'll awaken memories she doesn't want to face and uncover secrets that could endanger them both. But how can she keep a guy at arm's length when she has to kiss him on camera?

The last place Ryan imagined himself was on a TV show.
Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he's on a downward spiral of rage and guilt. The show is his last chance...but how can he keep it professional when his co-star is a woman he's crazy about?

As their on-screen and off-screen relationships merge, things go from hot to blistering. But when Jasmine's old life catches up with her, will a cop be the one person she can't be around...or the only person who can save her?

Heather's rating:

Another really great book in the Fenbrook Academy series! If you are into angst, performing arts, and/or new adult books, you need to be adding this series to your to-read list.

I honestly think that this series is very underrated. The M/F new adult genre is full of poorly written books with recycled plots, and this series really stands out in the crowd. I've enjoyed each book in the Fenbrook Academy series, and this one was no different.

The latest installment focuses on Jasmine, who we've seen from the previous books. However, now we get to see Jasmine in a whoooole new light. She has a dark past, and we get to see all the lengths she is willing to go to in order to keep it hidden.

I loved the sexual tension between Jasmine and Ryan. They had excellent chemistry, so much so that the book practically vibrated with it. This story also had a good amount of heat in it, enough that it felt sexual but not too much that it would turn off some readers that shy away from uber-erotic romances. I also liked the characters. Ryan was perfect as a heated cop, suffering from his own personal demons, and I liked him paired up with Jasmine. Overall, the writing and the plot were very engaging, and I stayed up late to read this book two nights in a row.

However, this one isn't flawless. It is LONG, clocking in at nearly 600 pages, which is about 100 pages longer than it needed to be. I also didn't love the flashbacks, which are prevalent throughout the story. I think this could have used another round with an editor to clean it up and make it less weighty feeling. In addition, the friend circle began to feel a little cartoonish at the end, and less grounded in reality.

I think fans of this author will be extremely pleased with Jasmine's story. Though I've heard variations of parts of this story before, Helena Newbury managed to keep the story feeling new and exciting.

**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

Buy this book:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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