~Book Review~ “Sticks & Stones” by Rachael Brownell

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Reese Kennedy has a dilemma.  Her ten-year high school reunion is coming up.  While her high school years were some of the worst times of her life, she made the decision to completely change her life and rise above the bullying she faced to run a successful real estate business.  The dilemma lies in the fact that Reese wasn’t invited to the reunion, Jane Sharp was . . . and Reese hasn’t been Jane in a very long time.

Needing to prove her successful, Reese needs s plan.  When her best friend Ireland suggests hiring a fake fiancé to escort her to the reunion, Jane reluctantly goes along with the scheme.  When Hunter Drake walks in, sparks fly, and Reese knows she has bitten off more than she can chew.

Hunter Drake needs a job after a scandal in the corporate world causes him to lose his.  When a friend offers him a position as an escort, Hunter agrees.  When he meets the client he is supposed to be working with, he realizes his past has just caught up with him.  While she doesn’t recognize him, he certainly recognizes her and instantly realizes why her ten-year reunion is such a big deal for her.  How?  Why Hunter, whose real name is Tyler Small, happened to date the girl who made his date’s life a living nightmare all through their high school years.  And now, he finds himself wanting a relationship with the one person that both his past and present identities will keep him from having.

Rachael Brownell did an amazing job creating a unique cast of characters.  While high school reunions plague all of us, for Reese it is a way to truly put her painful past behind her.  She is an amazingly strong character with true depth.  The author did a fantastic job of having the readers truly feel and experience the pain she felt and had to overcome from being bullied throughout school.

Hunter is a true enigma.  While in high school he was popular, but fought against the norms of his set by standing up for what he believed in.  I enjoyed his struggles in the book of trying to be the man he wants to be and not the one society dictates.  He knows coming clean with Reese about his identity is a must to have any chance at a real relationship with her, but also knows that the support his escort identity can give to her at the reunion will help her face and deal with her past.

This book was well written and much deeper than I expected.  The plot has some truly interesting twists that kept me involved in the story and wanting to keep moving on to the next chapter!

4.5 stars

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About the Book:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XX7F8DX
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XX7F8DX
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XX7F8DX
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XX7F8DX

Synopsis:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but my past does not define me.

High School—one of the worst times in my life. I was “that” girl, the one everyone made fun of. The outcast. Band geek. Nerd. That’s all changed, and so have I. Jane Sharp vanished into thin air years ago; I go by Reese Kennedy now. But Reese isn’t the one invited to the Meadow High School Class of 2005 reunion next month. I am. So I need a plan.

Step one: Hire a fake fiance.
Step two: Attend my reunion and rub my success in their faces.
Step three: Resume my normal life.

Falling for Hunter Drake is not on my agenda.

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About the Author:

Rachael Brownell is an award-winning author of both YA and NA Romance. She is also the founder of Great Lakes Book Bash and Classic Interior Designs.

Rachael is a midwest girl (yes, they say she has an accent but no, she doesn’t hear it) who loves to create amazing stories that tug at your heart strings with book boyfriends that you wish were real. She keeps her storylines realistic – either she’s heard about it happening to someone or feels that it could happen in real life. She also likes her characters to be relatable so she tries to give them at least one characteristic that is similar to someone she knows.

When she’s not writing her next novel, you can find her hanging out with her husband and son. She enjoy’s golfing but is still learning, so if you see her on the course… stand back.

http://authorrachaelbrownell.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachaelBrownell

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