Title: Love Me For Me (Safe Haven #1)
Author: Kate Laurens
Source: Received through blog tour in exchange for an honest review
A fresh start...
It’s been three years since Serena King learned to say no—no to the boys that were a desperate cry for help, no to the extra weight she put on in self defense, and most of all no to the abuse that has haunted her since she was fifteen. Now a sophomore in college, all she wants is to be normal. The last thing she expects is a guy who can make her want... make her want everything.
A new guy...
Alex Blackthorn is a bundle of contradictions, a sexy dark haired badness who goes slow... deliciously slow. And despite the iron will that has gotten her through the last few years, Serena finds herself unable to ignore the heat that sizzles between them whenever they’re together.
A dark past...
Serena never thought she could be involved in a relationship, but Alex makes her long for things she thought were out of her reach forever. When he finds out her secret... when he finds out what she did to keep herself sane... will he still want her, or he will treat her just like everyone else?
And Alex has a secret of his own.
Recommended for mature readers aged 17+ due to language and sexual content.
Love Me For Me is the first book in the Safe Haven series by Kate Laurens. It's a New Adult romance about a college girl named Serena. She has moved away from home to get away from the painful memories of her past. She's trying to make a fresh start and become the kind of person she wants to be. The abuse she endured as a teenager caused her to act out and do things she normally wouldn't do.
Serena is scared to get emotionally involved with men. She's afraid that they won't want her after finding out about her past. She meets a new guy though that she can't resist. Alex comes loaded with baggage like her. Serena has horrible self esteem, and just doesn't understand why Alex would be interested in her. There's a great connection between them though, and slowly they become close.
Both of these characters have gone through heart breaking scenarios, so there's a lot of emotion in this book. I will say now, if you can't handle reading about sexual abuse – then don't read this book. I liked how this wasn't just a light-hearted book. Not only do the characters deal with abuse, but Alex has diabetes that is an important issue in his life. It's not often that characters in books have illnesses that they have to deal with. It makes them seem more real to me.
The romance was good. Alex looks like a bad boy since he is covered in tattoos, but he's the complete opposite. He has such a kind heart and is so perfect for Serena. They have some great chemistry with some steamy moments.
Even though you find out about Alex's secrets, you still almost feel like you don't know him that well. The author didn't really give any other information about him. I think that having part of this book in his point of view would have helped this situation.
My only real gripe about this book is the ending. I'm trying not to give away any major spoilers, but it didn't make any sense to me that Serena would push Alex away. At that point, he knew everything there was to know and he was there for her. She finally felt whole with him in her life. Their reconciliation at the very end was very abrupt. I mean, it was a happily-ever-after but I was left wanting more. It seemed too rushed.
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