This book is probably my favorite in this series. Well, I guess it is a tie between Tempting Rowan and Saving Tatum (look out for the next review). If you haven’t read the two previous books in this series yet, don’t worry. Tempting Rowan is a total standalone and follows different characters.
Rowan and Trent know each other since high school but then all of a sudden Rowan stopped talking to Trent. Although living in the same town, she managed to avoid him for years – until now. Trent is done being ignored by Rowan. He wants to find out what happened all those years ago but more importantly he wants to win her back. He is determined to make the pain in her eyes disappear and to give her the love she deserves. But Rowan does not want to get caught up in Trent again. He means distraction and she can’t be distracted under no circumstances. Her priority are her younger siblings she has to look after since her alcoholic mother and sleazy step-dad don’t take on responsibility for them. On top of that she has a job to go to and classes to attend. Will Trent be convincing enough to change Rowan’s mind?
If you’ve read Finding Olivia and Chasing Olivia prior to this novel, be prepared that Tempting Rowan is totally different. The plot has a lot of angst and it deals with a sensitive subject matter. I don’t know why that is but I prefer Micalea‘s angsty and more serious novels. Although her lighter and fun books are enjoyable too, there’s something about the seriousness of them. Micalea has the power to draw the reader into the story and one constantly wants to know what’s going to happen next.
I finished this novel in two sittings when I read it the first time. Because life (and an awesome vacation in Scotland) got in the way, it took me a little longer to finish it for a second time. Nevertheless it was as great as the first time. There were only minor things I noticed, e.g. the repetition of certain sentences throughout the book.
A few of you will say that second-chance novels are nothing new and you may be right with that, because the initial idea is always the same. But what makes a second-chance novel stand out is what the author makes of it. And Micalea created a fantastic and unique story that had me captivated from page one.
I also loved the characters. Although Rowan lives in a shitty home, she tries to make it better for her and especially for her younger siblings. I don’t think other young people in their early twenties would take over that responsibility. I love stories with a strong and tough female heroine.
Trent is a determined, self-confident but also sensitive young man. I prefer him and his character to Trace, his older brother and male hero in book 1 and 2.
You’re not the one that got away. You are the one.
I don’t want to get into too much detail here but this novel has a huge plot twist I didn’t see coming at all while reading it for the first time. OK, let’s be honest: 90% of the time I never see plot twists coming. I don’t know why that is but I am always shocked and I always can’t believe I didn’t catch up on the obvious things leading to that plot twist.
And the ending of the story. Oh boy… I can still see myself sitting on my bed and bawling my eyes out. It was terrible. Guys, please make sure you have enough tissues, it will get seriously emotional.
UPDATE: Tempting Rowan and the rest of the “Trace + Olivia” series underwent a complete make-over. The stories are newly edited and each book were given a new set of covers. As of September 22nd, 2017 the following cover is not available anymore: