Once Perfect (Shattered Past #1) by Cecy Robson
His life was never easy. Hers wasn’t supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson’s raw, steamy New Adult debut—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.
Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.
Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid.
As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.
4 out of 5 stars
This was such a great read! Darker content than I realized it would be but I couldn't put it down.
Evelyn and Mateo both come from hard pasts so I felt this undercurrent of emotion throughout while we learned all the details of what they went through. There's a nice amount of foreshadowing too that creates a really great build. It was intense, sad at times, and heart wrenching but I enjoyed how everything came together. There wasn't any major drama until the second half but all those details learned really helped with the build up to it too give it a really big impact.
I liked both Evelyn and Mateo so much, they were great characters. They had such a intense attraction and on more than one occasion Mateo gave me butterflies. They were just so sweet to one another while there was a slow build to their growing relationship and heat.
I liked the additional characters and the sub stories that were happening. I really liked Mateo’s sisters, Lety and Sofia, there was a nice intro to both of them and I will definitely read the next two books that feature each one of them.
Evelyn and Mateo had to go through all this horribleness to find each other and to get to their version of a happily ever after and I liked that they fought for it and how they were there for one another, being strong when they needed to be. This was just a really great intense read and I would definitely recommend it.
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