The Preservation series by Rachael Wade
(Preservation, Reservation, Declaration)
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Series Rating: ★★★★
Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can’t afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else’s complicated baggage.
When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell’s creative writing class, he is only “Mr. Campbell” to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor.
But underneath Ryan’s abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can’t stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they’re willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That’s if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don’t pummel their efforts first.
Old Habits Die Hard.
Ryan Campbell is not only leaving his title of Professor behind to move on to bigger and better things at Simon and Warden Publishing, he’s also become Seattle’s rising literary star. Sitting on the overwhelming cusp of newfound fame, he learns soon enough that being popular has its downside.
Attracted to the buzz surrounding his new career, former lovers begin to creep back into his life, and potential ones emerge with enticing advances. While he works to juggle reserved, yet stressful, wedding plans with Kate and his new public image, he has enough to manage without worrying about Carter and Dean—Kate’s loveable albeit eccentric friends—and their latest shenanigans.
Surrounded by a lifestyle that includes temptation at every turn, Ryan finds himself immersed in a world full of scandal and lies, where his oldest weaknesses thrive and his ghosts return to haunt him. Questioning whether his life with Kate is his best path, he must discover if he’s still capable of being the man he aspired to be when she first became his, or if happily ever after is only an illusion.
Carter Montgomery spent most of his life blending in, and he liked it that way. It was always better to be seen, not heard. And while a theatric streak and friendly demeanor might have fooled most people, he knew the truth—he was the shy one. The quiet kid most people forgot about. Some might have considered that a bad thing, but those people all wanted to be in the spotlight.
The only place Carter didn’t mind attention was on stage, with The Hellions. Once content in his comfort zone in Seattle, Washington, he only knew three things: confrontation was to be avoided, keeping the peace was priority, and the moment he lost Kate Parker to Professor Ryan Campbell, he had no clue what to do with his life. Playing gigs, working at Pike Place Market, and watching BBC after the love of his life sailed off into the sunset just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
Desperate to escape his rut, he takes a cue from Kate and chooses a random place to relocate—a small island across the country, where no one knows his name and memories of unrequited love aren’t found at every turn. Just when he thinks he’s found the perfect place to unwind and sink back into the shadows, in bursts Whitney Sinclair, a saucy firecracker who loves life and refuses to settle for second best. Full of contagious energy, she dares him to be brave, convincing him that it might finally be time to tell the world what he wants.
It might be time to make a declaration.
Darn Good Contemporary
Before I get started, though, here's a super-short summary of the series:
Kate meets Ryan. Ryan and Kate fall hard and fast for each other. They've barely minted their new relationship status when BAM! Life turns nasty and starts throwing them curve balls. Mistakes are made, hearts are nearly broken, and after much trial and tribulation, they finally get their true Happily Ever After. Meanwhile, Kate's friend Carter - who was hopelessly head over heels for her - has been left out in the cold. Deciding enough is enough, he says goodbye to Seattle and travels across the country to the land of sunshine, where love, new friends, and a fresh set of possibilities await.
I really liked Kate. She was a refreshingly honest, no-frills sort of heroine with just the right amount of attitude. While I didn't agree with every decision she made, I always understood exactly where she was coming from and that helped me stay connected to her character. As cool as Kate was, though, for me it was all about the boys. I am a complete sucker for the male POV, so it was hardly a surprise that I loved Ryan and Carter's books the most. Ryan with his checkered past that kept coming back to haunt him, and good-boy musician Carter with his love of all things British and all-around adoreableness....*sigh*. They were fantastic and I devoured both their stories in a single sitting.
The romance in all three books was great as well. Each couple - Kate and Ryan, and Carter and Whitney - had their own unique dynamic and chemistry that just didn't quit. There were a ton of swoony moments, as well as plenty of tense and sexually-charged scenes that will send you running for the nearest ice bath. More than that, though, each couple worked on a fundamental level. They fit together like pieces of a puzzle, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind that they were indeed matches made in heaven.
A note about Carter's book. If you haven't read Love and Relativity, I strongly encourage you to do so. It's not required, by any means, but I found it really heightened my Declaration reading experience. Plus, the book is just awesome.
The Preservation series is darn good contemporary romance with strong and snappy dialogue, steamy romance, and characters I didn't want to say goodbye to. But then, I would expect no less from a series penned by Rachael Wade. She has a knack for sucking me straight into her stories. The more of her books I read, the more addicted to her writing I become.
If you are a fan of contemporary romances, or just romance in general, you really ought to give the Preservation books a try. In fact, just do what I did. Put Rachael Wade on your author auto-buy list and add ALL of her books to your list. Like, pronto.
4 Stars ★★★★
A copy of the series was provided by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.
**Check out the rest of the DECLARATION blog tour by clicking HERE**
RachaelWade.com and LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.
Open to US and Canada:
a Declaration guitar pick necklace
e-book copy of Declaration