Review: ★With Every Heartbeat★ by Linda Kage

With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4)
Author: Linda Kage
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 408 pages
Release Date: March 2, 2015

I used to think everything was black and white, truth or lie, easy or hard, that if I could just escape my strict, overbearing, abusive father, my life would be perfect. But since I’ve found a reason to risk his wrath and leave, to help a friend in need, I’ve come to realize everything I thought I knew is wrong.Friends have their own agenda, honesty comes with a dosage of lie, easy doesn’t even exist, keeping secrets sucks, and love…love is the most painful thing of all.Maybe if Quinn Hamilton hadn’t asked me to skip classes for the day and help him pick out an engagement ring for my best friend, I wouldn’t have fallen for him so completely on that sunny Tuesday afternoon and I wouldn’t feel so conflicted. But I did, and I can’t take it back, no matter how hard I try. So I have to deal with the fact that even I’m not as good, or honest, or caring as I’d always thought I was, and no matter what I do next, someone’s going to get hurt. Probably me.

-Zoey Blakeland

*Don’t worry! The hero and heroine are not cheaters.*

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3 stars

We came together, and it was the biggest biology lesson of my life.

Have you ever read a book where you absolutely adored the hero, found the heroine incredibly endearing, loved the story, and yet…you hated a side character so much that it completely overshadowed most of the enjoyment you got from the book? That is exactly what happened to me here. I’ve been impatiently waiting for shy Quinn to get his book especially after his heroic actions in Be My Hero. I’ve adored him for 2 books straight as a side character and couldn’t wait for him to get his HEA and just hoped that the heroine would be deserving of everything that he is. Was Zoey that? Oh absolutely!

Usually sheltered, super shy, and introverted heroines are not my thing. But in the case of Zoey, you couldn’t help but not like her. Scratch that, I absolutely loved her character. This is a young girl that didn’t have an easy life. She had a domineering, extremely abusive and controlling father that she was finally able to escape when she started college. While she may have been shy and naive, she was so sweet and the way she cared for others around her endeared you to her so completely. You also couldn’t help but draw the parallels between her and Quinn and think how perfect they would be together. Unfortunately here my friends, is where the book took a very rapid decline for me; Cora.

To say that I hated her would be a gross understatement. I have never in my life wanted a side character to be killed off more than this vapid and sociopathic person. She drove me up the wall crazy. And just as I’d think she couldn’t be any worse, she’d go and do or say something that would leave me ripping my hair out and screaming at the ceiling.

I was curious to see how Linda Kage would make the relationship between Zoey and Quinn play out considering that Quinn is dating Cora for a large part of the book. Luckily, I was very satisfied with how this was handled. Well…aside from one particular part where Quinn decided that (Highlight to view spoiler)[it would be a good idea to ask Zoey to go ring shopping considering the feelings that he knows are brewing between them](end spoiler) . But I suppose he played ignorant or was just too naive to know better? I’m not sure.

My heart went out for Quinn in this book and everything that he’s been through. I never questioned what he would see in someone like Cora because given his inexperience and age you can see how he would get attached and turn a blind eye to all her faults. And oh dear gawd were there faults! SO MANY FAULTS!!!

But I digress.

My one big saving grace and comedic relief in all of this was Ten. Thank goodness for Ten and everything that he is. If I loved him in all the previous books, I absolutely fell head over heels for him in this one. There was one shower scene in particular that had me in tears from laughing so hard. Sigh. I just loved him so much.

But unfortunately, I found the parts with Cora to just last too long. Sadly, that also made the book feel dragged out for me and caused me to get frustrated even more. But really Cora,

There was also just a little too much drama packed into the end for me too. Between Cora, and then a continuation of Noel’s drama, and Zoey’s revelation I found myself finding it way too much. While I can’t say it was OTT, I think that the extremity of Cora would have been more than enough.
The love story was wonderful, and I loved the additional bits of Coraline and Ten’s story. I cannot freaking wait to read their book. Sadly, when something begins to bother me as much as Cora did, I tend to zero in on that and it will take away from everything else. However, if you’re a reader that can overlook something like that, perhaps you wouldn’t feel quite as extreme as I did.

I still adore Linda Kage’s writing, and I love this series, so I’m really looking forward to reading Ten’s book next and getting a little bit more of Quinn and Zoey hopefully.

With every beat of my heart, I am yours, Zoey Alaina Blakeland.

Don’t miss the rest of the FORBIDDEN MEN

Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1)
To Professor, with Love (Forbidden Men #2)

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