Review: Found (by Nadia Simonenko)

Title: Found
Series: Lost & Found #2
Author: Nadia Simonenko
Published: July 15th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 5/5

We’ll find each other somehow. We’re not lost anymore...

All it took was one phone call to tear Owen's life apart. His father is dead and his mother is in critical condition. Even though he feared his abusive father and despised his family, losing them hurts in a way he never expected. Just weeks ago, Owen was terrified that he'd have to go home. Now, there is no home.

All it took was one phone call to shatter Maria's happily-ever-after and bring her nightmares back to life. Maria's estranged brother is coming up to see her graduation and he isn't coming alone. He's bringing Maria's parents, as she expected, but he's also bringing along an old friend from college—someone who's haunted Maria's nightmares for seven years. Now, she's about to come face to face with the man who ruined her life.

Will the love and happiness Maria and Owen found be enough to hold them together as their lives fall apart around them, or will their relationship slip away and be lost forever?

The story:
We pick up Maria & Owen's story where we left off in Lost. They have both made huge progress in their lives, however they still have a long way to go. As Maria's graduations nears, she faces the realisation that she will have to confront her family, most importantly her brother Micah. Her relationship with him has been strained ever since his college roommate raped her when she was 15 and she never told him. Every time she sees him she is only reminded of what happened that day, when all she want to do is forget. To add more pressure to the situation, Micah is bringing his old roommate to the graduation as his own sister is graduating from a near by college the same week.

As for Owen he is facing his own family issues that resurrect the demons from his childhood. He struggles to deal with them at first, drinking and hiding away from his friends. He pushes Maria away in fear of dragging her down with him just as she's beginning to find happiness. But Maria never gives up on him and together they continue to break free from their pasts.

The characters:
I love watching characters grow throughout a series, and we get to see that happen with Owen & Maria. They both have so many things to deal with, but I could see the changes in how they dealt with them by the end of the book. You don't realise how far they've come until you look back at where they started in Lost. Maria was so timid & scared, while Owen was withdrawn, but they are so much stronger now and confront their issues rather than hiding from them.

Tina & Craig are always fun, Tina made me laugh with her attitude and pink fluffy slippers. I also really liked Maria's brother Micah. He was only in a couple of scenes, but I really liked him and am kind of hoping he might get his own book - I think there could be a really interesting story there.

The romance:
What I love about the relationship between Owen & Maria is that it's never suggested that being together magically resolves all their problems. Together they support each other is overcoming their pasts, which for me made their romance so much more believable. They are are the sweetest couple and respect each other so much - their scenes together are always so sweet and tender.

The Writing:
Nadia has a way of evoking emotions in almost every scene. I felt so connected with Maria & Owen that everything they went through hit me so hard. 

I also absolutely applaud Nadia for having both Owen & Maria seek help to talk about their issues. There is no shame in asking for help and with so many books out there with characters that are dealing with similar issues, very few even mention therapy. Owen & Maria are nervous about it but realise that this can help them move forward in their lives.

This was the perfect ending to Maria & Owen's story. While I feel sad to say goodbye to these characters I feel happy to leave them in a place in their lives where they are finally able to just be happy. For a story that addresses such serious and heavy issues, Nadia has written a story with an uplifting message - to never give up, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Sexuality: medium-strong / sex scenes
Violence: strong / graphic descriptions of domestic violence & sexual assault
Language: medium / regular use of sh*t, f*ck
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / some minor substance abuse
Other: suicide is addressed throughout the story

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