Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 22, 2018
Format: eARC, 250 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.
I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should've left...
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.
I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.
The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could've stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.
Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It’s been ages since I read one of Tijan’s books, so when I was given the option to read and review Ryan’s Bed, I jumped at the chance. I’d forgotten just how much I enjoy her writing and the edge her characters possess. Clearly I need to tackle her backlist and catch up soon. But, I digress. I’m not supposed to be talking about my inability to keep up with all the books I want to read. I’m supposed to be talking about Ryan’s Bed. The problem is, I’m just not quite sure what to say, so bear with me.
I expected Ryan’s Bed to be an emotional read and it was, at times. How could it not be with the subject matter? It was heavy and took a toll on my feels. If I’m being totally honest, there were times I kinda checked out of the book. The majority of it was very engaging and held my attention, but there were some scenes I thought dragged and maybe didn’t even feel like they belonged. Some of it felt like drama for the sake of drama. I also struggled a bit with some of the scenes with Mackenzie and Willow. They were just a little odd to me. Don’t get me wrong, I understood what the author was doing and the significance of them, but my often skeptical brain had a bit of a difficult time reading them.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can talk about the things I loved about the book — and there were plenty! First of all, the writing was beautiful and I loved the characters. My heart ached for both Ryan and Mackenzie and the loss they’d both experienced. On the surface they might’ve seemed like an odd pairing, but it just worked. They understood each other and what they were going through and I loved the bond that formed as a result of that. It gave me all kinds of feels. There was a certain amount of escapism, too, as Mackenzie used Ryan to dull her pain, but something beautiful grew as a result of it. It was really interesting to watch Mackenzie develop throughout this book as she dealt with the loss of her sister. She gutted me at times – her pain was so visceral, so real.
Ryan was a pretty special character, too. I’ve become accustomed to a certain type of guy in Tijan’s books and I’d already assumed he would be like them. (Not that I’d have complained hard because I did love the guys in her Fallen Crest series.) He was not that. He was popular and had a certain amount of power, but he was sweet and thoughtful and absolutely all in for Mackenzie. That’s the kind of hero I can get behind so easily. He was absolutely crush-worthy. I wouldn’t call him perfect, because who is really, but he was darn close. He protected and cared for Mackenzie in a way she needed, a way he understood because he’d lost someone close to him, too.
I’ve gone on long enough, so I’m going to wrap this up by saying you should give this book a try. Expect angst and pain and more than a few feels, but know you’ll also find something beautiful amongst all that heavier stuff. At the risk of saying too much, you should also expect a jaw-dropping ending. I DID NOT see that coming. Just to be clear, it’s not a cliffhanger and this is a standalone book, but W O W. It was kinda perfect, but I still couldn’t help but trying to flip further to find more story. I’ll be adding this one to my “must reread at some point” list so I can get the full experience again, knowing the ending.
He shielded me, protected me. My head was above water with him. Without him, I would sink.
“You make me feel things I thought were gone.”
Have you read any of Tijan’s books?
Have a favorite?