As I mentioned in my previous review, Tempting Rowan and Saving Tatum are my favorite books in the “Trace + Olivia” series by Micalea Smeltzer. Although completely different regarding the plot, they still have some similarities. As the other books in this series, I read Saving Tatum about 2 years ago but I didn’t know how much I missed both Jude and Tatum until I picked up the book again.
Tatum and Jude have a past – but not the one you’re thinking of. Jude is the reason for Tatum’s sadness and her reservation toward people. He is also the reason her parents don’t care for her anymore. So why would she give him the time of day when he clearly ruined her life? She is determined to stay away from Jude and his advances at all costs. But Jude has other plans. He wants to get to the bottom of her hatred toward him and wants to make her like him and see the real Jude.
Jude and Tatum make their first appearance in Tempting Rowan as Rowan’s best friends. Tatum can’t stand Jude; she hates him with every fiber of her being and hates him even more for being friends with Rowan. In the first few chapters the reader learns what makes Tatum so closed off and why she hates Judes so much. I like the fact that Micalea didn’t drag this topic out until the very end of the book as a plot twist. She was upfront with it and the fact that I knew what was going on from the beginning made me root for Jude and Tatum even more – because Tatum, you’re wrong! But I see where she is coming from and I can’t be upset with her way of thinking. Tatum had a rough seven years behind her and although she was and still is deeply hurt, she is still a tough young woman and I love that about her. Have I ever mentioned that I love tough girls in books who don’t take shit from anyone?
When I first read about Jude in Tempting Rowan I couldn’t believe what a player he is. But the more I got to know him in this book, the more I started to like and love him. It’s safe to say that Jude is one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends.
“My heart skipped a beat. ‘I’m scared’, I admitted, needing to tell him. ‘I’m scared to death of what I feel for you, of how you affect me. I feel like I’m falling.’ ‘Ah,’ he breathed, ‘don’t you know, falling is the best part of flying.'”
Micalea has the gift to create wonderful characters and great stories. Although it was the second time reading this book, it never got boring. Of course I knew how the story ended but there were also so many parts I forgot about. It often felt as if I read the book for the very first time. And isn’t this what we all want? Reading our favorite books for the very first time again?
Although this book is the longest in the series, the story doesn’t drag at all. Everything works out just fine and is at the right pace.
Saving Tatum is the perfect conclusion to this four book series. I’m really sad it’s over once more but another re-read will definitely be on my agenda again one day.
Lots of bookish love,
UPDATE: Saving Tatum 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: