Title: Off Limits
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Series: Off #2
Big Dog Books
Rating: 3.5 / 5
“There is a vulnerability there, hovering just below the surface. And I want to pick at it until I expose it. Then I want to kiss it.”
Two years ago, Emily Burnham had an epiphany about the shallowness of her life. And she made it her mission to become a different person…a better woman. Out from under the controlling thumb of her mother, Emily is tasting the real world for the first time. And she likes it.
Nixon Caldwell has served his time in the Marine Corps, surviving two brutal tours in Afghanistan. He is back home, surrounded by what he likes best…isolation. It’s certainly the best way to avoid confrontation of the consuming guilt that is weighing him down.
When an accident brings Emily and Nix together, he soon learns he is not the master of his own fate. Struggling with his own pain, Nix tries to guard himself against Emily’s charms. He wants her in his bed, but he doesn’t want her in his heart.
Having grabbed life by the horns, Emily wants it all. But is she willing to accept just the small part of himself that Nix is offering? Can she reach the part of his soul that he has deemed to be Off Limits? (goodreads.com)
A cute, fluffy read.
I didn’t realize what number this book is in the series until after I’d started reading. Fortunately, it reads like a stand-alone novel, so I’m assuming that each book deals with the same characters but each one can be read by itself, with or without reading the others, and it will make perfect sense. At least, that’s how this one worked out for me.
The chapters in this book alternate between Emily and Nix. It’s a slightly different pace than what I’m used to reading, and at first it takes a little getting used to. Fortunately, each chapter is labeled with the narrator’s name, so it takes the guess-work out, and makes reading a little easier.
Going into the book, I wasn’t expecting much. I haven’t actually had much luck in the new adult category of books, so it was with some trepidation that I picked up Off Limits and started to read. Truth be told, I picked the book up when it was free on Amazon for Kindle, and it sat on my cloud reader, because I was a little hesitant to read a book that may or may not give me what I really want out of contemporary, which is a fun, light read with only some heavy topics.
Speaking of heavy topics, Off Limits deals with PTSD, as well as other traumas, both physical and mental, that soldiers of war are coming home with. The book deals with both issues in a somewhat tightly-bound package, but it definitely isn’t handled with levity, which I appreciated.
While Nix’s story is interesting and fulfilling, Emily’s story sometimes comes off as a bit contrite, especially in comparison with Nix. She deals with a stalker-that-isn’t, her parents, and normal teen-to-adult issues that most kids face, although probably not on the same level as Emily (considering her father is a politician, her mother is overbearing, and her ex-boyfriend just wants to talk to her, damnit).
Emily’s story seemed like more drama than anything, and there were times when I just really wished she’d put her foot down and get over herself and deal with her problems instead of whining about them all the time. Because at times, that’s what it felt like–whining.
But overall, I really enjoyed the book. It’s a quick, fluffy read with just a little bit of heaviness to weigh it down and give it some substance. It was just what I needed to read.