Review: “Crashing East” by Aly Stiles

Series: Save Me, #4

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: January 22nd, 2021

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He’s the bane of her existence.
She’s the latest thorn in his side.
Until angry sparks hint at a passionate blaze.

Personal Assistant Hadley Crawford was already against her boss and best friend’s decision to front a new band with a former member of disgraced rockers Eastern Crush. Imagine her surprise when Viv’s new bandleader is also the arrogant jerk from upstairs. So what if he’s talented, hot, and driven?

What’s the step below rock bottom? That’s where Julian Campbell lives after the collapse of his former band and the death of his sister. A year later, fortune laughed harder when his deadbeat brother-in-law dropped off his preteen niece for the weekend and never came back. Of course his nightmare would inexplicably show to thwart his one chance to get back up.

But things get complicated when the fixer encounters a mess she never saw coming. They’re a dangerous combination, rule-follower and breaker… fixer and mess. Polarized in a risky attraction that’s getting harder and harder to resist.

 

“Please stay. I need you for the better days.”

Aly Stiles continues to slay this series and there wasn’t a single dry eye as this book was being devoured. I just want everyone to know that I haven’t cried this hard while reading a book in a really long time. All my heartstrings, Aly Stiles tugged on it.

The fourth in the Save Me series has us following Julian Campbell as he works with Viv Hastings (formerly Genevieve Fox from Breaking South) to set up their band, record a whole bunch of new music and leave the mess of Eastern Crush in their rearview. But getting in Julian’s way is Hadley Crawford, who happens to be Viv’s assistant and best friend. The rich girl has been pissing him off since they crossed paths outside his apartment when she came to yell at him about lowering the volume.

But as you can imagine, enemies become friends and then lovers and everything else just fits together beautifully. Hadley and Julian have so much great chemistry, it’s impossible to ignore any of it. Even when they’re sniping at each other and being rude and impulsive, the chemistry is simmering. It definitely doesn’t help that they come from different worlds – Hadley comes from Hollywood fame and money while Julian comes from a rough life. Other than Viv and the music, the one thing that does bring them together is Naomi Hayes, Julian’s niece.

“Well, you’re exactly what I thought,” he says smugly. “I just didn’t know I liked it so much.”

After being saddled with the 11 year old by her deadbeat dad, Julian’s been trying to make space for her in his life. But he knows nothing about her or kids in general. All he knows is that Naomi’s mother (his late sister) was his favourite person in the world and keeping his niece around is for his sister and nobody else. But Julian needs help since he can’t seem to get through to Naomi and Hadley steps in smoothly to assist him and assist the little girl. And a friendship is formed.

They go from growling under their breath at each other during rehearsals to Julian accompanying Hadley to a family dinner as her fake boyfriend and so much more soon after that. The relationship progresses so smoothly, you almost forget that they hated each other’s guts at one point. And once they start connecting and putting their differences aside, Hadley and Julian are on fire.

“You’re fire and I’m water, but tonight I want to burn like you do.”

But the star of the show is Naomi. She’s 11, she’s struggling and she’s having a seriously tough go of it. I love how she doesn’t pretend to be fine for anybody and lashes out every single chance she gets. Watching Naomi go through her struggles was painful, but beautifully so. I think every time I cried, it was because Naomi and Julian were sharing a moment that was absolutely stunning that you couldn’t help but cry.

Crashing East is a love story between Hadley and Julian, but it’s also a love story about Julian and Naomi and their coming together to be better for each other and to become a family. Julian is also such an incredible character, because he puts all of his chips on the table and makes the necessary sacrifices to keep Naomi in his life and connected to him as much as possible.

As always, Aly Stiles crafted a stunning book with a really powerful message. She created three beautiful characters to tell a story that is so strong in every way. And I cannot recommend this series enough. Read all of it, meet all the characters that we get to experience in this magical piece of writing.

Thanks to Aly Stiles and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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