BOOK REVIEW ~ UNCONDITIONAL BY MELODY GRACE
February 7, 2019
“I’ve spent my whole life chasing perfection: perfect looks, perfect man, perfect home. But in one brutal moment, I realized it was all just a beautiful lie…”
Carina MacKenzie is fleeing from her past. Picking up the wreckage of her shattered dreams, she seeks comfort in the only place she’s ever felt safe: Beachwood Bay.
Garrett Sawyer isn’t looking to be anyone’s savior. Scarred by old betrayals, he’s sworn never to put his heart on the line again — especially not for a damaged, high-maintenance girl like Carina. But passion knows no logic, and soon, their reckless chemistry is making him forget his bitter vows.
Two damaged hearts. The hope of true love. As their passion blazes out of control, Carina and Garrett struggle to escape their legacies of hurt. But can you ever outrun the past? And when everything is on the line, can they trust enough to build a love that’s unconditional?
Overall I really enjoyed this book! I loved how the author revisited the entire gang and how well she portrayed the closeness and friendship dynamic the characters have. Beachwood Bay is high on my “If I could, where I’d like to go for a vacation” list and I’m always excited to read anything that revolves around this town! Unconditional may be my least favorite of the series, but then again, it definitely isn’t easy to write about two characters falling in love who are both broken and scarred by their past.
This book focuses on Carina, Juliet’s sister, and Garrett, Brit’s best friend. Both characters were previously introduced in books 1 and 2, and I was really interested in seeing how the author could concoct a relationship between a seemingly cold ice queen and an outspoken fun guy like Garrett.
Carina is Juliet’s estranged sister and I have to say at first, I did not like her. From the first few books, my impression of her was quite low as she was a terrible sister to Juliet and always took her father’s side on everything, but as a I read on I could tell she felt remorse and wanted to make amends with Juliet. She’s engaged to Alexander, a outwardly handsome, kind, all around perfect guy but she secretly suffers from his physical and verbal abuse, but accepts it all in the name of being perfect on the surface.
“Every relationship is just a transaction, we all have to pay a price. And I was willing to pay to keep this life afloat.”
Besides being perfect though, she also believes she deserves the harsh treatment. Carina harbors some serious guilt over ditching her mom and Juliet in favor of her father, and she thinks she doesn’t deserve true love so she settles for Alexander, who treats her like crap.
After realizing that she truly has nothing worth of value, she finds escape in Beachwood Bay, and there is where she comes face to face with Garrett, local bar owner and Brit’s best friend.
On the outside Garrett is a charming guy who’s know for his one night stands and blasé attitude towards life. He doesn’t want it, but he quickly realizes that Carina gets under his skin like no other; her vulnerability, her feisty, resilient attitude, and her smokin’ hot looks all intrigue him and he can’t help but feel for her, protect her, want her. Carina feels the same way and is the only one to see through him andknow that he’s been through something horrific that deeply wounded him in the past.
“And somehow, without even thinking, I know.”“This man knows loss.”
What really made this story work for me (unlike many others) is that I could tell there was more than lust driving their relationship. Sure, good looks and attraction are always the first factors to play a role, but I always want that extra tidbit, the part that convinces me of the realistic and believable aspect of their relationship that gives it meaning and the author did just that. Because so, I could connect with them individually and as a couple, and their sizzling chemistry is a bonus.
So why not a higher rating then? Despite all the positive attributes of the book, the events at and after 79% really ticked me off and I had the urge to rip Garrett’s balls off and wring Carina’s neck. To me, Garrett became more and more of a quitter as the story progressed and when I really wanted him to man-up to his feelings and take responsibility I was pretty angry at the decision he made for him and Carina. On the other hand, Carina took charge but I was pretty surprised at how quickly she forgave him.
Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read, and if you’re a romantic at heart I think you’ll be really pleased with the ending. I’m personally very interested in the next book in the series, which focuses on the elusive and mysterious Alicia. I have a few hunches about her
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and may be subject to change in the final edition.SERIES READING ORDER
Untouched – prequel to Unbroken and FREE Unbroken – book 1 Untamed Hearts – prequel to Unafraid and FREE Unafraid – book 2 Unwrapped – book 2.5
Unconditional to be released on March 18!