Release Date: February 15, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtotheTerminus
In Present Perfect, Brad Johnson was sexy, cocky, rich and a complete Smurff**ker. He could afford anything he wanted and could charm any girl he set his eyes on. Everything was laid out in front of him. all for the taking except the one thing he craved and needed. A tragic event forces him to reevaluate his life. When he tries to change, will the people in his life let him move on from his past or will they constantly hold him to the life altering mistakes he's made?
Mabry Darnell is intelligent, ambitious, beautiful, and sassy. Secrets from her past haunt the present causing her to question her actions in order to shield her heart and protect her life.
From the moment Brad and Mabry met, their connection was strong, intense, and electrifying. Both knew they had found the one person who could satisfy what the other ached for. When their pasts collide with their present, will it prevent them from having a future together or will love be strong enough to conquer their demons?
I met Brad in Present Perfect and while he did appear smarmy and I understood Noah's dislike of him, I always felt there was more than met the eye with him. Past Imperfect illustrated all that "more" and I ended up believing my feelings about him were validated. And Mabry - she was just the woman to bring out the best in Brad.
Can a person truly change and leave the past behind them? Can a person prevent the past having undesired effects on their present? I think these are the two main questions addressed in Brad and Mabry's story. Brad, for all his terrible treatment of girls in his past, truly has changed. It took a tragedy to get him to pull his head out but his childhood didn't lend itself to having empathy. Fortunately for him, the tragic event pulled his inner goodness to the surface. But he had a hard time getting people to forgive him his past.
Mabry experienced a different sort of tragedy and didn't have the support network she needed to cope with it. Luckily she did have a really good friend but it wasn't enough. This tragedy not only brought about an unhealthy coping mechanism in Mabry, it also served to breed a fear in her - one that's prevented any sort of close relationship or real intimacy with anyone but especially men. And although she felt a connection with Brad from the get-go, she fought it tooth and nail.
The relationship between these two could be something so special. They're both willing to accept the other's past and look beyond it. They bring out the best in each other - they want to be better for the other. But Mabry isn't being totally honest. And when the truth is revealed, it'll take a lot of work on both their parts to shore up the foundation of what's developed between them.
ABailey did so well in conveying the ramifications of Brad's past as well as Mabry's. I loved how the common denominator between them came about and how ABailey used it. And I appreciated how respectfully she dealt with the topics of self-harm, depression, and suicide. These are all tough topics and ABailey gave us characters to root for as well as crafting a heartwarming story around the topics and characters.
ABailey delivered a poignant story and now that I've finished the Perfect series, I'm going to go see what else she's written. =)