Title: Life's What You Make It (Love’s Great Adventure Series #1)
Author: Theresa Troutman
Genre: Mature Young Adult Romance +16
Publication Date: April 12, 2014
Publisher: Indie Published
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
~ Synopsis ~“She’s everything I’m not and everything I want to be.” Sebastian Iron’s life is spiraling out of control. Over the course of one week: Sebastian witnesses death, runs away with his best friend’s girl, gets kicked out of his English prep school, and is banished to America by his domineering mother to repeat his senior year of high school. In America, Sebastian struggles to find self-discipline and a purpose to turn his life around. He meets Tess Hamilton, the only person to show him any kindness in his new school. Little does he know, she is the savior tutor hired by his mother to help him improve his grades. The two slowly begin to build a friendship. As their friendship blossoms, Sebastian begins to have romantic feelings for Tess. She claims to only wants a plutonic relationship, but Sebastian feels the undeniable spark that sizzles between them every time they are together. Forces beyond their control will either bring Sebastian and Tess closer together or tear them apart. Will Sebastian return to his old habits or find the strength to be the person worthy of Tess’ love
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Sebastian comes from English wealth and privilege and by the time he turns 18, his life has spiraled out of control. The past year has consisted of sex, drugs, and alcohol. A tragedy occurs that shakes up Sebastian and brings about the end of a year in school that he will need to repeat. His mother ships him off to a school in America to repeat his senior year in an attempt to keep his chances of getting into a good college. He is assigned to work with a tutor Tess, who seems to be immune to his charms. They develop a good working relationship and strong friendship that Sebastian would very much like to turn into something more.
Sebastian is very charismatic and charming, and has gotten everything he wants fairly easily up until now. It is touching to see him really work to turn his life around and despite having a hard time giving up all of his vices, he is able to try hard for the sake of the woman who raised him. Despite his best efforts, Sebastian isn't perfect. He struggles to give up all of his old vices, and he gets a little pushy at times when he wants something that isn't easily gotten. Tess is a great character. She is honest, smart, and really tries to work hard to get herself where she wants to be. I loved the friendship that developed between the two of them, and the sexual tension that arose despite Tess's best efforts to keep them on a platonic level. The chemistry between them was pretty spectacular and it was great when they finally started expressing their affection for one another.
There were times when the dialogue felt a little choppy, and at times the pacing felt a little fast. Overall, I enjoyed this story and these characters and would read more by this author in the future.
* An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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Theresa Troutman is a Young Adult/New Adult Romance author who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their crazy dog, Niko. She loves reading, theatre, traveling and is an active member of the SCBWI. My Secret Summer is her first published work. Her latest release is A Special Connection and her first full length novel, Life's What You Make It will be available in April 2014.