Katie Hallman is done with douchebags. Done with guys who treat her like crap and leave her broken. But then Stryker Grant is there anyway. With his numerous piercings and bleached hair, he’s the polar opposite of all of her past relationships, which makes him the perfect candidate.
At first, Katie just sees him as a physical escape from her previous rocky relationship, and Stryker doesn’t seem to mind just being a distraction from Katie’s problems. But soon he’s getting under her skin, peeling back layers she’d rather keep covered. She tries to make it clear that she doesn’t want a relationship, but keeps breaking her own rules.
Then a tragedy sends Katie into the only arms who are there to catch her, and she’ll realize that she needs him more than she ever thought possible. But is she ready to let herself trust another guy with her already-battered heart? Or will she push him away to protect herself from getting hurt again?
*Thanks to Chelsea M Cameron for the ARC in return for an honest review*
“You and Me. No Space. Always”
Katie doesn’t want another relationship. Shes done with guys who treat her like crap and shes done with going back to them all the time. No, she is sticking to her guns this time. But then Stryker Grant appears and although she’s not usually attracted to someone like him, he’s the perfect candidate to make her forget all about Zack. She purely wants a physical relationship, where she has sex whenever she wants without all the lovey-dovey and feelings involved and Stryker is more than happy to comply with that demand.
But the more time they spend together, feelings about what their situation is, is becoming blurred for both of them and when a tragedy in Katie’s life happens, Stryker is there every step of the way and she realizes she needs him more than ever now. But can she trust herself to be with Stryker and not get her heart battered again? Or will she push him away to protect herself?
I love Chelsea’s novels and I snapped up the opportunity to review Faster We Burn because I simply LOVED LOVED LOVED Deeper We Fall. Faster We Burn did not disappoint at all and I was completely sucked into the story of Katie and Stryker, liking both of them in DWF and the start of their ‘relationship’ also began in that book too. Chelsea knows how to keep you captivated with her books, her writing drawing you in until you realize you are at the end and wishing there was more after the last page. She certainly made all the characters have their own personality and made them come to life and act like college teenagers, not teenagers who act older than they seem. That is part of the reason I loved reading this book.
We first meet Katie in Deeper We Fall. She is Lottie’s roommate and quickly, one of her best friends, becoming a part of their small, close group. In Deeper We Fall, we see a side story of Katie, where she is going out with Zan’s brother Zack but after he beats her, for sleeping with Stryker, she changes. And now that Faster We Burn is her and Stryker’s (Zan’s friend) story, we get to see what happened the first time they slept together, the meeting with Zack which left her hospitalized and the continuation of both their stories where we get to know more about them.
As I’ve mentioned and as you’ve read in DWF, Katie was in a torturous relationship with Zack, who decided to beat her up, leaving her on the street for Will to find. After that moment, she decided that Zack was history and that she never wanted to have her heart broken again so she decides that instead of having a relationship with a guy, she will just have a physical one, no strings sex and when Stryker comes knocking to get his cape after the Halloween party, she decides that hes the perfect candidate for this ‘relationship’.
Katie goes through a lot in this book. She is a strong girl, but after everything that has happened, shes built her walls so high, so no other guy can hurt her. You really do see her go through a journey. She was drowning and struggling through everything in her life, not knowing what to do, and Stryker was not only there for her throughout everything, he was her best friend. He taught her to find herself, to live her life but also to love again and trust again. I loved watching her grow every day, finding herself, trusting again and of course, loving again. Katie is a mess throughout the book, but she really learns who she is and you see a strong woman come out in the end, even if at times shes still vulnerable, she always has Stryker to fall back on and help her out.
Stryker is really not the typical tattooed, pierced guy that most of us have preconceptions of. He is the sweetest, kindest and lovely guy you could read about. His tattoos define who he is, as does his music. He plays all kinds of instruments from guitar to violin, he sings and he draws and he really is a vulnerable soul. He knew from the first time he saw Katie that there was something there for him, so when she wants a physical relationship, he doesn’t say no.
I loved his POV’s throughout the book, as you really got to know him and know what he was thinking. You got to go through his journey with him in slowly realizing his feelings for Katie and not wanting to admit them out loud but you could see how much this situation was tearing him up and he just wanted more with Katie, whereas she was scared to go any further, even though she was feeling the same. He’s not perfect, there are a few things that he does throughout the book, one mistake he makes but it was only because he was completely in love with Katie and he had no idea what to do about his feelings. No excuse but the feeling overwhelmed him…
I loved how it started out physical and over time the lines were truly blurred for both of them. They supported one another, became best friends and then fell in love. They do go through a lot, and have done but they get through it at the other end and become stronger together, having tackled everything together. They really are best friends in love.
There are two tragedies in this book. One for Katie and another for Trish and Stryker. I found it so great how both of them were there for one another throughout these tragedies and it made them both realize that they truly were there for each other, to help them through everything that was going on and just being there was a massive deal while they grieved. Both the tragedies were pivotal points in their relationship and you could really see how special they both were to one another.
I loved that the group were involved throughout the book too. It was nice to see them beyond DWF and see their friendships and relationships blossom. Maybe a story involving Will and Audrey will be next? Hint, hint!
If you have yet to read Deeper We Fall, please get on the bandwagon and get it in your life. Love Lottie and Zan and then read Faster We Burn and love Katie and Styrker. It truly is a great book. The journey they take leads them to being together and being happy together, despite all the stuff that had happened in both their lives. But together, they are completely the right fit.
I’m excited to see what book three of the Rise and Fall series will be about. Fingers crossed we get to see Will and Audrey’s story, because those two are just so sweet together.
You can find my review of Deeper We Fall HERE.