But it did.
This wasn’t supposed to be my life.
But it was.I was just a typical girl, living a typical life. Nothing was out of the ordinary until tragedy threw me into a turnstile I couldn’t see my way out of. That was, until him.I never could’ve imagined my heart falling the way it did. Hard, fast, and with unbounding beauty. The only problem? He was off limits. Forbidden. But he became my everything, and I became his, so we risked it all. It was only a matter of time until I realized that our risk came with unimaginable consequences. My name is Camellia Hale and his is David Andrews, and this is our love story…
Romance | Contemporary | New Adult
I received an Advanced Readers Copy for an honest review. Thank you Give Me Books Promotions for providing the ARC.
After seeing the synopsis being advertised for this book, I knew in that moment I had to try for the ARC. I love the idea of anything forbidden emotional premise when it comes to romance genre especially one of this spectrum, teacher vs student is just … whoah. One of my favorite types of tropes. They are always so exciting leaving the reader to be conflicted throughout, edge of the seat adrenaline or melting off your seat from the steam of the romantic tension – it is just phenomenal.
Before I get really deep into the forbidden relationship aspect and their chemistry that makes me swoon so much for this book, I suppose I should actually discuss the characters…
Cam is nothing but amazing in my eyes. I love her character. At the beginning she is portrayed in just a short snippet (which is ultimately thrown back in her face later on) as the one for the party. She is sweet, popular in her high school, straight A student with a killer stroke leading her to a better future in college with swimming – all signs point to this one having everything and anything. She had the perfect wonderful life until she didn’t. Cam’s world comes crashing down, she is completely torn – both mentally, physically, emotionally… Cam is spiraling in a crippling atmosphere, finding it hard to go on living.
Something that really hit me hard on my personal, more emotional level with Cam is how relatable she is, I truly connected with her. I felt ready to support her, defend her in any means possible. She is in such a vulnerable state throughout and as teenagers once we have been there. Understanding the loss at that age, accepting life, how to deal – it is an unspoken thing we deal with in high school as teenagers. We all hear the comments ‘teenagers think they are unbreakable’ or ‘teenagers don’t understand the real world’ to which perhaps maybe at that age we don’t fully understand everything, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have hardships. I struggled extremely hard as a teenager, on a different spectrum than Cam yet so very similar in a lot of ways; depression, anxiety, self loathing is crippling. Cam is such an amazing character, reading her story really gripped me on a multitude of aspects, words cannot describe the earth shattering tears I had during this read.
Because of Cam’s situation, she is ultimately seeking solace in the first person she can connect to, which isn’t her best friend nor her mother and definitely not her high school sweetheart but her new swim coach named David Andrews. David was the right kind of man at the right moment for Cam. He was supportive, kind, understanding and didn’t judge the situation, he aided her, he wanted to take the pain and make her grow. That is what is so powerful with their chemistry. I will also admit that their age difference did not come across in anyway but understandable and beautiful – most definitely was not something I had an issue with reading. I personally think that because of their age difference it really set the atmosphere for their romance, and honestly the growth for Cam that she needed. Here you have a thirty one year old man who has lived, who has struggled and seen the world for what it is while Cam is a seventeen year old girl who is struggling to get a grip on anything, she is slipping and David is there to catch her from falling. I will also admit that with their underage romance gap, not only did I understand the situation between the two characters, but I also felt an unyielding sense of: How could an adult cross that boundary in the most fragile of moments? Cam is a student who is breaking, she is very vulnerable, yet that line was crossed. This really plays a huge factor in their connection as well, again just the emotions were beyond epic.
I am still reeling from this book. The emotions that I felt while reading this novel was both touching and hard to stomach for me; I connected completely with Cam on such a personal level. This novel was beautifully written, it was a masterpiece with words that captivated me from the start. From the laughs, the choked up tears, the swooning over the chemistry to the very end, I was completely enamored by everything. Being my first E.K. Blair book, she really set the bar for me, I cannot wait to see what else I can get my greedy little eyes on.
I highly recommend Secret Lucidity. It is beautiful, read worthy with such an amazingly powerful message. Whether you are a fan of the trope or have issues with the romance age gap, I think this is a novel that can be appreciated nonetheless. It really shines a light on a multitude of topics that sometimes are overlooked. Really, just emotionally gripping novel with such powerful messages. I loved it, couldn’t recommend this more!
Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her books. Blair
tends to drift towards love stories that are deeply layered with emotional
angst. Give her a character and she will dig into their core to find what lies
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks
in peace and spending time with her friends and family. She’s a thinker, an artist,
a wife, a mom, and everything in between.