by Jeannine Allison
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
It was just sex…
Naomi’s life had been steady, in order, planned out… just the way she liked it. But when her boyfriend of five years leaves her for another woman and her mother makes a surprise reappearance in her life, she watches her controlled life fall into chaos. Then she meets, and has a one night stand with, Damien. The last thing on her mind is getting a new boyfriend, yet she can’t deny the attraction she feels, so when he offers no strings sex, it seems like the perfection solution. But the more she gets to know Damien, the more she learns all they have in common, and the line between casual and something more starts to blur. For all her planning, she realizes… you can’t plan love.
It was never just sex…
Damien’s life is busy and hardly ever in order. Between working two jobs, taking care of his sister, and saving up for his own tattoo studio, there are always surprises. When he meets Naomi, the last thing on his mind is getting a girlfriend, but he can’t deny the connection he feels. It’s clear she’s not ready for a relationship, though that won’t stop him from pursuing one… even if he has to lie to her about his intentions. But when one of the things that brought them together, slowly tears her apart, Damien has to make her see… the beauty in chaos.
Unveiling Chaos is the second novel in the Unveiling series, but can be read as a standalone. It is a honest and realistic look at the life of a group of friends, particularly that of Naomi and her friends with benefits relationship she starts with Damien. The POV alternated between Naomi and Damien, allowing us to revisit Naomi and her life she shares with friends we met previously in Unveiling the Sky and her growth as she comes to accept her emotions for Damien as he shows her a different outlook on life. Naomi is the polar opposite of her best friend Alara, she holds her emotions in, she has control of every aspect of life, and moving on from her ex and into a FWB situation is easy. Except that control starts to crumble and her emotions move from lust to love; everything she's pushed aside starts to eat at her and she's forced to face the chaos.
"I can give you time." I paused as her eyes flashed with temporary relief. "But I won't give you much."
Jeannine Allison's writing brings this story to life, the emotions flowing from the pages and into your heart. I felt the heartbreak, the hope, the lust, and the love just as Damien and Naomi did. What I love most though is that it wasn't a light, fluffy romance, it's got far more to the story than just the romance between the main characters. With topics related to addiction, motherhood, money, and friendship, Unveiling Chaos really reads true to how real life works. I loved every character; Naomi has a bit of a frozen heart, Damien is an alpha that's more sweetheart than controlling, and the secondary characters only make the story more well rounded. The characters lean on one another and push the others to be better, they aren't just flat characters put there to move along the two main character's story. Plus, there's the dialogue. Every character has a moment that they share with Naomi or Damien, or both, that really brings to perspective the events they are dealing with. I highlighted a lot, loved the entire story, and really felt for the characters from start to finish.
"You feel, Naomi, and then you hold onto that for as long as you can."
If you're looking for a romance that's realistic and got just the right amount of angst, plus incredibly well-developed characters, Unveiling Chaos by Jeannine Allison is definitely one I suggest. The story was engaging and the topic of love and acceptance that is weaved through out the story was profound.
Once again, And all at once, I fell. I soared. It was chaos. It was perfect.