Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Review: A Rose By Any Other Name... by Helen Bell

When insecure sophomore Emma gets a part-time job, she’s thrilled. The job is a six-week long project where she’ll be coding a website for a martial arts studio. For Emma, a computer science major, it’s perfect—a great way to gain some real world experience. But her excitement quickly evaporates when she finds out that her boss is Ryan Damon, the mean, arrogant guy she has slammed into, twice.

Ryan Damon, the son of the famous, late movie star Bruce Damon, suffered a great tragedy at the age of seventeen. When he was vacationing in Europe, a schizophrenic man, who had been hearing voices in his head telling him to kill Bruce Damon, broke into the Damons’ residency in Manhattan, New York, and murdered Ryan’s father, his mother, and his ten-year-old sister. Now, with his heart cold as ice, Ryan doesn’t let anyone in. But when Emma enters his life, everything changes—for both of them.


Sometimes the book gods are smiling on me when I'm introduced to a new author. To think that this is the first book by Helen Bell is just ... astonishing. This is one of the best books I've read this year! 

I absolutely adored the main character, Emma. She's this shy and closed-off college girl that has a super sharp tongue and she will flay you with a simple sentence. Well, she would if she weren't terrified. You get to go on this journey of self-awareness and discovery with Emma as she learns to trust others and more importantly, herself. And her boss ... Ryan ... this dude is a tad bit infuriating with all of his crass comments and crude behavior but he just doesn't care what others think. He's going to do what he's going to do and if you don't like it, you can just go somewhere else. I didn't really like him at first until he started going caveman and saying "you're mine" and then I forgot that he irritated me and I just wanted her to be his. For some reason that possessiveness is sexy as hell. This isn't like boiling bunny kind of possessiveness ... it's the sexy kind that makes you wish YOU were part of the story. 

I could go on and on about Ryan and Emma but more important than the characters is the story. Going into a book by a new author, you just really don't know what to expect. This is going to sound horrible but I really didn't expect the story to have so many facets to it. I really thought that this was going to be a straight romance novel but it's so much more than that. The story takes you through the past of both Ryan and Emma and the horrors that are lurking in the distance. I didn't expect the small doses of suspense at all. That was a nice surprise! There were quite a few massive twists that came out of no where and really threw me for a loop. Because of that, I read this book in one day. I just couldn't put it down. I'm already ready to read it again. 

There was one extremely tiny issue I had with the book and the only reason I bring it up is because I took the time to jot a note down when I was reading and that means it bothered me to some extent. Emma is in college, she lives in a dorm and all of the girls that she knows have names that end in the sound 'ah' ... Kayla, Hannah, Jenna, Mia and then Emma and I think there were some more but anyway ... for some reason, that rubbed me the wrong way. Why? Who freaking knows. Maybe it was because they sounded the same or maybe it's because I have a screw loose ... there's no telling. It is what it is.

So. Great book, AMAZING new author and just an overall awesome reading experience. I can't wait to see what Bell has in store for her next novel ... there better be a next novel and I have no doubt that I'll be a big fan when it comes out. You just really need to read this one. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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