Review: With Every Heartbeat

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With Every Heartbeat
With Every Heartbeat by Linda Kage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friends to lover’s story packed with drama and angst as well as amazingly sweet tender moments.

“With every beat of my heart, I am yours Zoey.”

Since meeting the gang at Forbidden, Quinn has been slowly coming out of his shy, introverted shell. He’s dating Cora, the first girl he’s ever been with. To whom he’s attentive, thoughtful and sweet, wanting to always please his girl. He thinks he loves her and she’s it for him. His the perfect boyfriend.

Zoey met Cora in high school. She’s also very shy. She’s so shy Cora was her only friend. So when Zoey finds out her friend needs her, she packs up and moves to be there for her.

Quinn and Zoey shared a similar abusive past and wanting to please his girlfriend, Quinn seeks to befriend Zoey. They didn’t expect the incredible attraction and connection they experienced when they met. They were meant to be together. They were perfect for one another.

“This was no mere attraction. What I suffered from was total, debilitating awareness. Every freaking inch of me tuned in to her.

Both being loyal to the core they tried not to think about it, didn’t acknowledge it, much less voice it or act on it.

“I was developing feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. This was worse than awful. It was devastating.”

They do however end up spending a lot of platonic time together, opening up and sharing parts of themselves that no one else knows.

Zoey might just know more about me than any other living person on the planet. She was my confidante and a friend.

But the new college version of Cora has drastically changed. And when the truth surfaces, Quinn and Zoe burn up the pages with the intensity of a relationship that was already beautiful because of its friendship and is now made more so because they evolved from friends to lovers. Friend to Lovers ►♫

I loved Quinn’s alpha in progress, nerdy biology sexiness. It was so touching that he always tried to do the right thing for everyone. Always putting others above his wants and needs. It was obvious how good a person he was.

“You’re quiet. You’re introverted. You’re too nice to be rude to anyone. You open yourself up and are willing to trust more than just about anyone I know. Being as sensitive as you are means you have a bigger heart. And if I ever see you try to change and harden that heart of yours, I’m going to throat punch you. Don’t be ashamed of being a big, soft teddy bear, Ham. The world needs more people like you, otherwise it’d just go to shit.” ~ Ten to Quinn

Zoey is such a sweet, nice person. Perfect for Quinn. I also loved that when push came to shove, she definitely was not pushover.

This is such a difficult book to rate for me. At its core, it’s incredibly sweet. And it made me laugh, smile, go “awwww” and blush repeatedly. All the good feels were there and it gave me a nice book hangover.

“I want to teach you about flowers. Flower anatomy… First, you see the petals that cover the reproductive organs.” His gaze lifted to mine as one of his fingers stroked my petals. “That’s the prettiest part, I think. So pink and delicate, hiding the best things inside it.”

But there were also so many parts that were difficult for me to read and made me heart sick. I really don’t like triangles. It was truly wonderful when Quinn and Zoey were together in any and all capacities. It was awful when Quinn was with Cora and Zoey and I had to witness it. I hated the parts where they had to fight their feelings especially knowing they were so perfect for one another.

I keep vacillating between 3 and 4 stars, because I also felt the ending came to an abrupt stop even with its epilogue. After so much angst and the beginning, I really wanted to more Quinn and Zoey. I ultimately DID enjoy the story because there was so much gooey sweetness.

“Some flowers react to sunlight and open their petals during the day, exposing all their carpels to the world… Am I your sunlight, Zoey? Is that why you opened your petals?”

I really enjoy Linda’s writing style. She has this way of pulling you into the story, even when there were moments I wasn’t that happy about. She’s also created a great group a friends that help alleviate the hard parts the characters have to go through.

I especially love Ten’s inappropriate loving heart. Oh boy did I love every single time Ten showed up with his unfiltered mouth and the beautiful heart he tries so hard not to show. He stepped up to help everyone, he developed a wonderful relationship with Zoey. The goofball totally stole the show.

With Every Heartbeat is book 4 in the Forbidden Men series that can be read as a standalone. It’s written from both points of view. Actually there’s some Ten awesomely crass perspectives too. It has interconnecting characters from past books. I usually say that I can’t wait to read Ten’s book who is up next, but I already have. Yes I read the series a bit out of order.

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