Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Finding Olivia by Micalea Smeltzer


How far would you go to find yourself?

That’s the question that’s been haunting Olivia Owens for years.

All Olivia has ever wanted to do is live and make mistakes, but her preacher father has made that impossible. She believes that her years at college will be her ticket into the real world and her chance to be wild and spontaneous.

But she’s never been able to do it on her own.

At the start of her sophomore year, she only has four things crossed off her Live List, but that’s all about to change thanks to a chance encounter with Trace Wentworth. She’s about to learn that there’s more to this reformed bad boy than just his looks and panty dropping smile.

Trace can’t explain what it is that draws him to Olivia.

All he knows is that he wants to get to know the girl with the sad smile but sparkle in her eyes.

When she tells him about her list, he knows that this is his chance to get to know Olivia Owens. Trace is determined to show Olivia that she can do all the things she’s ever wanted to do. So, he begins to help her cross things off her list, even the more outlandish requests.

What happens along the way is more than what Olivia or Trace ever expected.

Love, laughs, and a list.

That’s the name of the game when you’re Finding Olivia.

4 star review by Jen Skewes

Going to the beach, or a concert, or even having a pet; these are the simple things in life that most people experience time and time again.  But for Olivia Owens these things were all foreign to her.  Olivia lived a sheltered life due to her father who is a Preacher.  She lived by his rules.  Saying he was strict was an understatement.  She had to dress a certain way, do what he told her to do, was never allowed out or allowed to experience all the things a child should be able to experience.  So when it was time to choose a college she chose to move way and break free from her father's rules.  Just before she left for college she made a list that she titled her "Live List".  This list had all the things on it that most girls her age have already experienced on more than one occasion.  To most people the things on her list would seem silly, but not to Olivia.  This list was her way to break free and live, to find herself.

It is now her Sophmore year in college and she has managed to cross off three things on her list.  No one knows about this list she made, not even her best friend and roommate Avery.  But that soon changes.  Olivia gets a flat tire and pulls over to the side of the road and that is where she meets Trace Wentworth.  The boy that will forever change her life.  There is one word to describe Trace and that is perfect.  On the outside he looks like your typical bad boy; sexy, and cocky with tattoos.  But there is so much more to Trace then his appearance.  When Trace sees Olivia for the first time he sees the sadness in her smile and wants to know more about her, wants to spend time with her.  He feels a connection with her, but he isn't the only one that feels it.  Olivia can't stop thinking of Trace and when she sees him the next day she finds herself opening up to him and sharing her list with him.  There is just something about him that she trusts.

Trace offers to help her cross the items off her list one by one and Olivia accepts his help.  What starts out as a wonderful friendship turns into so much more.  Feelings start to come into play and neither one of them can deny the attraction.  They understand each other.  Olivia trusted Trace with her secret list and he never judged her.  She opened up to him about her childhood and her father.  But Trace has his own issues that he has been dealing with as well.  Trace has dealt with a tragedy in his past that caused him to turn to drinking and women as a way to cope.  But he has turned his life around and meeting Olivia just gives him more reason to want to stay on the right path.  I think in a way they are both trying to find themselves and in some way they help each other along the way. 

I loved this book!  Trace is everything that every girl wants.  He is sexy, charming, sweet, romantic and totally swoon worthy.  Olivia was a great heroine who was simply trying to live life to the fullest.  She has her insecurities that most woman can relate to which at times caused some issues in her relationship. But they never gave up on each other. 

Micalea Smeltzer did a fantastic job with Trace and Olivia's story.  She created two characters who I completely fell in love with.  Trace and Olivia came from two completely different worlds and yet they were absolutely perfect together.  I loved how genuine both characters were.  I can't go into detail without giving much away but Trace was amazing and genuine and real despite the way he grew up.  And as sheltered as Olivia was growing up, when she went out on her own she embraced life.  She put aside her fears and was determined to cross every item off that list.  Trace and Olivia's journey wasn't an easy one, there were certainly bumps along the way, some of them being bigger than others. 

Finding Olivia is beautifully written story about a young girl who is trying to find herself.  Along the way she meets this amazing person who is also broken in his own way.  Together they forge a friendship and end up finding love when least expected. Wonderful job by Ms. Smeltzer!

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