Emerge (Evolve Series #1) by S.E. Hall
Laney Walker is a quick witted, athletic, southern tomboy who lets few get too close, using her sarcastic zingers to deflect. She also has no idea how others view her, Evan having protected and coveted her since they were children. But college puts a gap between Laney and Evan that neither of them were prepared for- old relationships are tested, new ones are formed and nothing will ever be the same.
Especially when in walks one Dane Kendrick, not at all the familiar, southern charmer of home, but an animal all his own.
A story of growing up, friendship, loyalty, first love, primal love...and life.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emerge-se-hall-se-hall/1116560096?ean=2940148743347
I thought this was a great coming of age novel from S.E. Hall. You think you know how all books about high school sweethearts having to go away to college are going to end. You start reading them thinking its going to be the same song and dance about young love but I was so pleasantly surprised that this was not your normal YA romance book. I loved the characters and enjoyed their story and thought I had everything figured out only to be proven wrong! And I loved it!
We start out with Laney and Evan meeting when they were 10 years old when Evan moved down the street from Laney and when a bully brings the two together, they will forever be best friends. Fast forward until their senior high in high school. Finally Lanely and Evan have decided to move their relationship from the friend zone to something more. Evan was accepted to the University of Georgia on a football scholarship but Laney was not, she is forced to accept a scholarship offer from Southern, which is a couple hours away from UGA. Laney is raised by only her Father and cannot afford not to be scholarship. They decide that they should stay friends during their college time apart. "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back it's yours".
Laney starts her freshman year at Southern and Evan and Lanely's best friend Kaitlyn are at UGA. Laney is heartbroken that she cannot be at UGA but with the help of her new roommate Bennett she decides to make the most of it. While on a dorm crawl, they are able to meet others in their co-ed dorm. They have instant connections to some of the guys and quickly become friends and quickly form their "crew". They all hang out regularly in each other dorms. It’s a welcome distraction for Laney as she has not heard from Evan in a while. When she receives a text from Kaitlyn showing him doing a body shot from a busty female, she figures he has moved on and is living the college experience. Since she sees that Evan has moved on she decides she should have fun as well. I loved the chemistry between their circle of friends and made me wish I could go back to college and experience it all over again!
Enter the handsome Dane... he does not go to Southern but his brother is part of the crew so he is around a lot. He has an instant connection with Laney and she agrees to go on a date with him. What she feels with Dane is something she has never felt before, not even with Evan who she thought was the love of her life. She is torn about her feelings. She knows she loves Evan but he is not here and she thinks he doesn’t feel the same for her. That he is enjoying his college life. While on a visit home, she and Evan reconnect. They discover not all is perfect and others are working against them. Secrets are exposed. Things neither of them could know.
Can her and Evan work things out and be the happily ever after they both dreamed of. What about Dane? The feelings she has for him are so different than what she feels for Evan. Who will get the happy ending? I so did not see the ending coming as it did! I cannot wait to read Embrace, the 2nd book in the series!
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