Series: Alley Kitten, Book 1
Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Xpresso Book Tours
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Twenty-three year old startup founder Thomas York has no time for dating. And even less time to to deal with the litter of (adorable) stray kittens who’ve claimed his patio as their new home. But when Tessa — a passionate animal rescue volunteer — shows up to help, even Thomas can’t deny the mad attraction between them.
A born nurturer, Tessa Cantalupe’s used to caring for everyone but herself. Time and again she falls for guys who shred her soul. Will Thomas be yet another scar on Tessa’s heart, or is there a good guy underneath all the bluster and ambition? And will she dare to let him rescue her?
So... This was an interesting story.
The cats were cute. Tessa reminded me of myself. Thomas reminded me of friends who are driven. Thomas and Tessa's relationship was amusing to watch. The sex was dynamic between them. Their friendship, as it developed, was the highlight of it all.
Under all his drive and need to succeed, Thomas was considerate and compassionate. Where Tessa's past relationships bombed because she gave too much and received nothing in return, her relationship with Thomas was the opposite. He didn't take advantage of her kindness. He didn't play the "we can only be friends" card because someone "better" came along. He appreciated her nurturing heart and her giving spirit. That right there made him better than any other man she'd dated.
And while Tessa cares so willingly and unconditionally, she has no discipline whatsoever. This is where Thomas comes in because he's got that in spades. He just lacks heart, lol. Odd since he appreciated her heart, but it was what it was. Together they learned to be better than just a giver and an overachiever. Together, they learned to balance the two. And they learned how much they balanced each other.
I like that this wasn't just self-discovery for one character but both. They each had so much to learn about themselves. They each needed to see and deal with the weaknesses hiding behind their strengths. They did, finding friendship and love in the process too. The dual-POV really helps with this. I loved being able to see inside their heads as they came to terms with what they lack, what they need, and what they want from life and each other.
I can honestly say I don't think this will be for everyone who likes contemporary or the new adult genres. It isn't angsty by any stretch of the imagination, no drugs or recovering addicts, or anything like that. It's fairly light and heartwarming with moments of emotional upheaval that wasn't for the reader's benefit but for the characters' benefits. This was, for me, definitely an "along for the ride" kind of book where observing and not being immersed in it made it enjoyable for me. I hope you do give it a try. You might like it in the end. I know I did.
Phoebe Kitanidis is a Seattle-based author and publisher. After four years as Contributing Author for the award-winning Discovery Girls magazine, she wrote WHISPER and GLIMMER, teen urban fantasies published by Harper Collins. Her current projects include penning a new adult romance and a teen paranormal series. In her spare time she herds feral cats, travels, pretends to be a farmer, and serves as Editing & Publishing track lead for Norwescon. She’s a member of RWA and SFWA.