Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
NOTE: May contain spoilers. Please read Book #1 “Good” in the Too Good series.
I’ve been so excited to read this book since I finished reading Good. I mean SO SUPER FREAKING EXCITED! I’ve really missed this couple, I think they are just absofreakinglutely perfect! And I’ll say it again just like how I said it in my review of Good, I don’t know what it is about forbidden romances; maybe it’s because they’re taboo that makes them so romantic and SO HOT!
Good was about Cadence and the beginning of their ‘unethical’ romance. Better is about Mark; learning how to forgive and trust the person you love most in the world with some of your deepest secrets.
Living together isn’t easy. Especially when you’re an eighteen year old girl who’s trying to be grown up for her boyfriend ten years her senior. Life has changed drastically for Cadence and Mark. She’s going to school, he’s gone back to teaching, and in the midst of trying to be mature she’s still a young woman who needs to have fun every now and then. When Cadence uncovers a dark secret from Mark’s past that he neglected to share, will she forgive him? How can she forgive him? And will she be able to look at him the same way again?
First off, I think I’ve actually figured out why I love romance novels so much. It’s not just the fantasy of having a book boyfriend, but KNOWING how much our boyfriend/spouse/lover appreciates us. Men in romance novels have no problem vocalizing how they feel about the woman they care about and they don’t care about being too mushy, or too soft as long as it’s the truth. Take a note guys…WOMEN WANT TO HEAR THEY’RE LOVED AND APPRECIATED!
Mark laughed. “I really like her. And I know it’s unwise, okay? I know all this. But you don’t understand. She’s just there, all the time, shining.” …
“How old is she?”
“How do you know?”
“Well, I don’t know. I think she’s eighteen.”
“Dude. Step AWAY from the shiny object.”
Mark laughed. “I don’t think so, Dylan. I don’t think I can.”
I really have to admire Mark for everything he does for Cadence. I mean really, he’s like a god-send. Figuratively and literally. He sacrifices SO MUCH for her, and gives her so much in terms of financial and emotional comfort I can’t help but be jealous. See, that’s a man; a man who can take care of his girl. What a woman wouldn’t give to have a man like that in her life. I’m pretty sure I’d do almost anything! (And when I say almost I mean nothing…illegal or self-mutilating…) Cadence has every right to refuse and be stubborn about being dependant on him, considering how much he is doing for her. I hope she realizes how lucky she is to be so loved, and TAKES THIS MAN BY THE ASS and never let’s him go!
“Do you even understand the definition of a gift?”
“No.” Cadence folded her arms over her chest defensively.
How could she? Everything given to her by her parents was condition. Except her laptop.
Mark walked to the couch and squatted beside her.
“It’s given freely. No strings. No expectations. No payback.”
“Why?” she whispered.
“Because I love you. Madly. You’ve infiltrated my brain. Driven me crazy.”
While I was in the middle of reading Better a thought dawned on me. This book is EXCEPTIONALLY thoughtful. There are a lot of ups and downs, a lot of doubt and feelings both good and bad, and a lot of growing up and confessing that gets done. I absolutely love the flow of the story and just how well it’s told. DISAPPOINTED is NOT a word I’d used to describe this follow-up and conclusion to the series.
“I let you punish me because I deserved it. And now you need to be published for the way you acted,” Mark said.
“I had a right to act that way,” Cadence argued. She took a step back.
“Maybe, but if there are no consequences for how you treated me, how do I know you won’t do it again and again?”
Cadence’s eyes went wide, “I wouldn’t.”
“Oh, I know you won’t,” Mark said. “Come here.”
“Cadence, don’t make it worse.”
In all the books I’ve read and reviewed this year, so far I think Better is the only one to get a real emotional response from me (not saying that I’m heartless). I definitely TEARED up during a certain chapter and had to hide my tears on the train coming into work. I just LOVE books that are so POWERFUL and HEAVY that can get an emotional response out of readers.
Walden definitely has this talent for making women gush right at her feet. Many authors know what women want to hear, but I don’t know that many can put it on paper and have those words effect the readers so much. The Too Good series is something special. I turned every page wishing it would last longer. Both Walden’s books Good and Better are definitely up there on the ‘Best Books I’ve Ever Read’ list, and Mark is definitely up there on my book boyfriend list! The ending couldn’t have been more perfect, no, THE SERIES couldn’t have been more perfect.
6/5 Hearts of Love