Finding Eva (Highland Creek #1) by Marie Garner
Finding Eva (Highland Creek Series Book 1)
Eva Matthews hates chaos. She worked hard as a high school teacher and prided herself on the life she had made. After a secret from her past sent her well-ordered existence spiraling out of control, all she wanted was answers. Her search led her to Highland Creek and into the arms of the elusive Aaron Sawyer.
Aaron was born a fixer. Every injured person or animal from miles around was treated to his personal attention, and he thrived on putting out fires as the local lawyer at Highland Creek. He never found a problem he couldn’t solve until Eva and although misconceptions led to instant dislike, he couldn’t stop himself from trying to heal her battered soul.
Although Eva is more than willing to engage in a summer fling, she isn’t interested in seeking Aaron’s help or complicating her life with anything long-term. How can the man who lives to fix things stay away? Could Aaron and Eva turn a summer fling into a serious relationship?
Finding Eva was recommended to me, but man I don't know why. This book was kind of a train wreck for me. The writing, the pace, the story all were just not good. The storyline moved at lightning speed. Even for insta love this was quick. And never really felt like love. I mean it just would not have worked out, not with Eva not trusting Aaron at all, but I will get to that in a minute. The storyline was just bam bam bam with no development or time to really process/react to anything that happened. One page someone is super angry, the next they are fine and it is fixed. One page there is an issue, the next paragraph it is fixed. It just didn't work. I never was really engaged with the story as there wasn't time to be. Everything was instantaneous and just...not good. Because of the lightning pace I also didn't feel like the characters and story was really developed. I never cared for anyone or anything that happened, except I would get annoyed with Eva cause she is an idiot/has anger issues. That and the physical contact scenes (kissing, making out, sex) felt very awkward to me. The word choices for me were not right. It did not work for me, so I didn't even have that. I quickly started skimming those sections as just did not like the way they were written.
So besides the writing what else? Well Eva. I didn't get her. She would be happy fine, then instantly super angry over nothing. Or overhear something and instantly assume it was about her and bad and be instantly super angry! Then two seconds later she would find out she was wrong and oops...sorry! No worries everything is fine. It was just...I didn't get it. One scene in particular that comes to mind - When Aaron takes Eva to dinner for the first time. They get there and the waitress takes their drink order and says she will be right back with the food. Cue Eva instantly being super pissed at Aaron because she didn't order any food! This is a place that is family style and just brings out the food, no menu to order from, and man is Eva pissed. It was just such an over the top instant reaction I didn't get it. Why would she be sooooo angry that she didn't get to order food? I can see maybe slightly annoyed, but to be nuclear pissed off? Okay...why exactly? She didn't make any sense. Then pretty quick once the food got there and she tasted how amazing it was everything was fine. *bangs head against desk* Really I didn't get her. Or one of my favorite lines:
"What the fuck was his brother talking about him trying to help?"
Yes, because having someone try to help you should make you instantly pissed off. How dare he try and help!! Really Aaron's attempts at helping didn't really seem like helping most of the time, but still that is the way it was supposed to be perceived so...how dare he! Aaron's supposed need to help people (which I never really saw in this book) was a bit strange. There is one scene where crazy stalker Marcia who just doesn't get that Aaron doesn't want to be with her anymore starts crying in Aaron's office. What does Aaron do? Let's her cry on his shoulder literally. Why? I have no idea. He couldn't just leave her sitting there crying and not comfort her...okay. I don't know. It was just strange to me especially after reading about him trying to get away from her. Neither of them make any sense.
The whole ending...not very good either. **slight spoilers ahead** Eva still doesn't trust Aaron, and I am not sure why. How in the world will this relationship work when every two seconds Eva overhears something Aaron says to one of his sisters and thinks it is about her and something terrible? How will that work? He keeps telling her he loves her and wants to be with her forever, and yet she doesn't trust him or know if he would want her around after the summer. Yeah, cause you always make plans to be in a long distance relationship with people you don't really like that much. That and when Aaron finds her packing up why would he be sooo pissed that she is trying to turn their relationship into a summer fling if that is what he wanted?! He even asks her to move there to be with him, so yeah hold on to the 'he doesn't want me this was nothing more than a summer fling for him' idea cause he sure keeps acting like that. Man she was sooooo stupid at the end! I was just like give up Aaron, find someone else. Who would want to be with this quick to anger over nothing, not trusting, just mess of a lady? Annoying.
The one part I did like in the book was when Eva's bff Gwen went off on Eva about how she was being all poor me whiny complaining when she, Gwen, had real issues she is trying to deal with and Eva hasn't really been there for her. I was just like yes! Way to go Gwen! Maybe now something will change! But no, Gwen apologizes and Eva kept being her same stupid whiny self. I mean she keeps going on about how she wants to know why her biological mom left her, poor her, but she has the freaking letter that explains it, she just doesn't read it. So stop going on about this when you can easily find out! Stop complaining poor you! Ugh. Yes, if you couldn't tell Eva annoyed me.
So overall this book was just not good. The story moved way too quickly, never letting you really connect with the characters. The characters weren't in love, they had a physical attraction. It was just kind of a mess for me. I honestly don't understand how there are so many amazing reviews for this book. I like supporting indie authors, but only if they are good. This unfortunately was not. I will not be reading any more from this author.