5 Hearts

Right Where You Are (Second Chances #1)             by L.E. Bross

Synopsis
Provided by Goodreads.com 

Avery Melrose is used to having it all. So when her boyfriend cheats on her, she reacts like any spoiled rich girl-she freaks out and vandalizes his new truck, Carrie Underwood style. Now she’s stuck with 300 hours of community service doing road-side garbage duty.

Seth Hunter just got out of prison, and after a few hundred hours picking up litter on the side of the highway, he can finally put his mistakes behind him. If he can string together some kind of existence, maybe it’ll be enough to get his sister away from their stepfather, the man who sent Seth to prison in the first place.

A romance between these two is doomed from the start. Girls like Avery want castles and white horses, and Seth is no prince charming.

But sometimes, being around Avery makes Seth think he could make something of himself. Maybe even be worthy of a girl like her. It’s just too bad real life gets in the way first, tearing these two apart before they have any chance of getting to Happily Ever After.

Personal Thoughts 

Received a ARC from Netgalley for an Honest Review 

Have you read or seen the Nicholas Sparks story “The Best of Me? or everyone’s favorite “The Notebook?” Well this is kind of like that.

We have our rich snobby girl with strict-controlling parents that are determined to dictate every part of her life. Then we have our screw-up that came from the trailer park and just got out of prison. They seem like oil and vinegar, but really they are more like Peanut butter and bananas. Go with me here on this analogy. 

One is a fruit that many people like to eat in different forms instead of just as a banana. Banana Bread, Banana pudding, in smoothies, etc. No one thinks just eat the banana as it is and enjoy it. 

Then you have Peanut Butter. Good stuff, but can be SUPER FATTENING. Many people are allergic to peanuts also, so there is a large percentage that stay away from the nut. 
Many people like peanut butter with other things in different forms. BUT Peanut Butter and Banana together may sound weird and even look weird, but once you taste it, it is absolutely delicious. 
Peanut Butter doesn’t need to do anything to the banana to make it taste better. The banana can stay in its banana form. If any of you were able to follow that crazy analogy bravo to you. I based it off our two main characters, Seth and Avery.
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Seth Hunter
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Avery Melrose
Avery can’t just be herself. Her parents want her to be a certain way. They dictate her: attire, friends, major, career, social activities, and dating. They have a specific image that they want to maintain and are determined that Avery falls in line. Avery feels that she has to hide who she truly is. She doesn’t become alive and her own person; that is until she meets Seth.

Seth, has one goal – get his younger sister, Sara, away from their drug dealing, pimp stepdad, Davis. Seth went to prison for assaulting his stepdad while trying to defend Sara.  Problem, their stepdad has complete control over Sara, and she is so tweaked out from the drugs, she just goes along with Davis. Seth wants to get her away from him, but he needs to finish his Community Services hours, get a job, and pray that a lawyer can help him. 

Both Avery and Seth are in a struggle to obtain control of their lives. Avery feels trapped and suffocated by her parents who are determined to control ever accept of who she is. Seth feels like that he is barely keeping his head above water.  His guilt over Sara eats at him.
This story is very well done. It is dual POV from Seth and Avery. We get a sense of their internal struggles, while seeing the external influences beating down at them.

This story is the perfect blend of power vs love. By discovering their own lack of self confidence in their own abilities, they find the strength with each other to stand up to the world.  

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