Title: The Edge of Happiness
Series: Edge #1
Author: Kristin Turnage
Genre: Slow Burn Small Town Romance
Release Date: February 5, 2021
Cassie Davis is the girl you’d look over in a crowd. She isn’t the life of the party, she’s the DD. The responsible one, the reliable one, the one you can count on. That’s who she is.
When her best friend dies a tragic death on her watch, her life starts to fall apart. The guilt and shame take their toll. Therapists aren’t helping and her dad’s out of options. That’s until her estranged Uncle calls out of the blue, giving her dad the idea of sending her to his small NC hometown for the summer.
Her goal is to fix herself, to find her happiness somewhere amidst the chaos. But, she’s not ready for the smooth talking, gorgeous guy that gets injected into her life. Staying away from him would be best, but when he speaks to her, she feels her hope inside come alive. When he touches her, her world that’s full of chaos and confusion, freezes.
Ryan’s someone that’s never struggled in the looks department. His wounds are deep and he’s not looking for someone to mend them. After his long-time girlfriend cheated on him and ended up pregnant, Ryan doesn’t want to get tied down ever again. He wants to live out his life, working on his family’s farm, and that’s it.
Parties and unattached sex are his new norm, trying to find happiness wherever he can. That’s until her eyes make him feel stupid things in his chest. Ryan doesn’t want to give himself to anyone again, but when she smiles, his world lights up.
When they’re both on the edge of happiness, will they risk it all for each other?
Welcome to my stop on the release blitz tour for Kristin Turnage’s The Edge of Happiness! This start of the Edge Series is about Cassie and Ryan. Ryan has grown-up in the small town he lives in working on a farm, being with family, and spending time with friends. Cassie grew up a few hours away in with just her and her Dad, but will be visiting her family for the summer while trying to heal from a trauma. Each have their own heartbreaks and issues, but immediately click with one another. Their fast friendship quickly starts to become more, but will all of their past issues keep them apart?
I loved the quick connection between Cassie and Ryan and how easily they just got one another. I also loved the strong representation of friendship and family as seen in Ryan’s tightknit group. The story was romantic without being over the top sexual, and was certainly filled with enough conflict to keep the plot twisting and turning along the way. I can easily say that I enjoyed this novel and am interested in continuing with the series as they are published.
But of course, there are some things that drove me completely crazy while reading. One, I never had a clear picture of where they were. North Carolina is mentioned early on and then much later it’s mentioned that Cassie and her Dad live in Charlotte, but where was the farm in North Carolina? I don’t care if it’s a made up town, for some reason I want to know the name of the town I’m reading about. Pick a name, any name, just give me some details. Second, I struggled with Ryan’s trauma and heartbreak stemming from his ex-girlfriend. It just felt overdone to me and honestly, very unrealistic. If it was so painful, why keep being around her? I get that he needed some bad experiences and internal conflict to go along with the main plot points, but I think this could’ve been developed a little differently to make his story more believable. Lastly, is there something in the water in this small farming town making everyone have so many issues? Every single character has some sort of past trauma, fear, neuroses, something that they struggled with getting over and/or working through. The only person that didn’t openly seem to be struggling with something was Mac. But everyone else was either depressed, lying, keeping secrets, and so forth. It was kind of exhausting and honestly, it made it hard for me to keep going in the book because there would be a small snippet of something happy but then it would go back to being depressing.
With all of that being said, I still found The Edge of Happiness to be a good book and is especially impressive considering this is the author’s debut novel. There were some editing issues and as I said earlier, I felt there were details left out regarding setting. But Turnage also tackles some very sensitive issues in a perfectly appropriate way while also highlighting the beauty of imperfection. This looks to be an interesting series and I am looking forward to seeing who will be the focus of the next book in the series.
*Thanks to GMB for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56447206-the-edge-of-happiness
Apple Books: http://apple.co/2Yto1UM
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YBXG6Z
I let them fade away into the background as my eyes travel around, shamelessly looking around for him. I breathe a sigh of relief when my eyes find him sitting at another table talking to his friends. I wasn’t expecting to meet a guy like him on my first day here. I wasn’t expecting anyone like him at all.
My body goes from ice cold to super-hot in a split second, like a rollercoaster. He is relaxing and having an in-depth conversation with whoever is sitting in front of him. His eyes look around in a break in the conversation, taking in his surroundings. He looks over my way and then back. Then he stops and his eyes slide back to mine. I can’t breathe. His stare is holding me in my place. I can’t even think. I just stare back at him like a dazed animal. Slowly his mouth begins to move again, carrying on the conversation like he wasn’t trapped in a staring contest with me. Never taking his eyes off of me, never blinking. His stare is controlled and also purposeful. My body heat rises so high, I know my cheeks are flaming red at this point.
I watch as the person across from him speaks, but he still hasn’t taken his eyes off me. I need to look away, but I can’t. Wait… Am I flirting? Yes. No. Maybe? I try to swallow the rock in my throat.
Then his lips pull up into a grin that brings a shiver over my body. It’s not a flirty smile, it’s pleasant, welcoming, and it has my head spinning.
Kristin Turnage is an indie author that lives close to the beach in Florida with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. She has been writing for eight years and has been chasing her dream of becoming a published author for a long time. The Edge of Happiness from The Edge Series is her first published work and has turned her dream into a reality. She is excited that you are all taking this journey alongside of her.
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