Title: Finding Serenity
Series: Seeking Serenity #2
Author: Eden Butler
Published: April 7th 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Mollie Malone's mom skipped out on her. Her biker dad, always loose and easy with the law, still was able to make her feel loved, and to keep her safe. But thirteen years ago, when his luck finally ran out and he landed in prison, Mollie found herself a new family - a group of friends in the sleepy little college town of Cavanagh, Tennessee, where now they all attend the local university. These girls know about the rotten roots of her family tree but accept her anyway, and the bond between them is so strong and supportive that Mollie is finally able to see past graduation to a future that is bright and secure.
But sometimes the past doesn't stay buried.
Suddenly, inexplicably, there's a shadow behind every step Mollie takes. Someone is lurking in that shadow, threatening not only Mollie, but also the new family she has claimed for herself.
And it isn’t just the past that has Mollie’s life in upheaval. Hunky former Marine Vaughn Winchester - who Mollie really would like to get to know much better - thinks Mollie is just a kid; he's made it clear she wouldn't ever be able to understand the demons haunting him. But if that's what he believes, then why does he keep sticking his nose in her business? And if he thinks she’s such a kid, why does he keep trying to kiss her?
Vaughn’s mind games are frustrating, especially since Mollie knows enough about secrets to be convinced that there's something he isn’t telling her, something he's so far been able to keep hidden. But when that secret is revealed, Mollie is forced into a situation that tests her loyalty and threatens even her closest friendships - just when the shadow of her past returns, and she's going to need them the most.
'Finding Serenity' is book two in the Seeking Serenity series.
Mollie had a rough start in life, losing her father to prison and being placed with a mother who resented her. She has her small group of friends now though, who have become her family. When Mollie meets Vaughn, she decides that maybe adding one more person to her inner circle wouldn't be so bad. Vaughn more than likes Mollie but fights to maintain a professional distance. His sister is a lawyer working with Mollie's father on a case and has been assigned to watch over Mollie in a protective capacity. However, when things heat up on the action side of protecting Mollie the temperature in the bedroom does, too. This broken Marine and biker's daughter have a rough and dangerous road ahead of them but if they can make it through to the other side they just might gain more than they ever thought possible.
This is second in the Seeking Serenity series and except for developing a crush on Declan, the hero from the first book, and wanting to go and read it and having a mad desire to read Donovan's story, the future hero in the next book, I never felt lost or confused. Mollie and her circle of friends definitely have a back story that was developed in the first book but I was still able to feel their connection through their thoughts and actions here. What did throw me off in the beginning and took some getting used to was the writing style of the author. The story is written in third person point of view from the characters which was hard for me to gel with at first and caused the past and present times to seem mixed up. Once I got a ways into the story, it flowed better.
Vaughn was a sexy protective hero who at times got a bit wearing with his "I want to sleep with you but No! I have to keep my hands off you", a lot of flip flopping with this guy. Towards the end his past also got a tad overdramatic but his calm, soothing, and strong presence ultimately make him a hero you want to be invested in. Mollie was a strong character in her own right but there were times she came off spoiled and immature in wanting Vaughn to disregard safety and everything to want her but as she is only twenty-two and it is discussed throughout how she is younger than Vaughn, I found this refreshingly realistic. These two do not have an easy road to travel and spend a lot of the time circling and testing each other out. They have an instant physical attraction and spend the majority of the book trying to fight it while their emotional closeness side develops, it makes for a measured joining but again, more realistic. I believed they found each other sexy but more importantly I believed they could spend a random Wednesday night at home in front of the t.v.
The action side of the story kept our leads together and kept the pace moving but I do wish one or two "death defying" moments had been edited out. Our couple has quite a few close calls and towards the end I started to become numb to feeling scared or anxious for them and was just ready for everything concerning Mollie's father to wrap up. Secondary characters play a prominent supporting role and are fantastic in it. I mentioned Declan, his protective gruffness is a treat, and Donovan, his prank war with Mollie's friend Layla was crazy fun, who add brevity and levity to the story and alleviate the load off Mollie and Vaughn's shoulders from carrying the whole story and making it seem too slow with their relationship meandering.
Finding Serenity had a broodingly good hero and firecracker heroine who find their way to each other despite the bumps in the road they must endure. The writing style took some getting used to but once I was able to get into the flow of the story it was a steady ride. I can't wait to read Donovan and Layla's story to see what fireworks those two produce.