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NA Contemporary Romance Review: Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Trade me by Courtney Milan (Cyclone #1)

Egalley thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK


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You know this blog, you know that the number of NA books I've read and enjoyed in recent years I can count on the fingers of one hand. Well, this is one of them.

When I saw that Courtney Milan, one of the goddesses of historical romance wrote a contemporary romance, and new adult at that? I was intrigued and scared. Intrigued to see what her talented fingers can do with a genre I don't like that much, scared that she'll miss her audience. That the fans of HR won't go for Trade Me, and that the fans of NA won't get her peculiar style.

I think she'll do just fine *smirks* 

True to herself Milan created a spellbinding story out of the cliched, done to death elements. And damn... just damn! This was sooo good, down-to-earth, honest and heartwarming, I choked back tears when I finished Trade Me.

Tina Chen is a poor as a church mouse student who struggles to keep up with her increasingly complex studies and make enough money to help her activist mother pay the bills. So when a golden boy, son of a very rich CEO, Blake Reynolds gives his take on food stamps and poverty issues at one of their mutual lectures, she can't hold back her fury anymore. She tells him that he doesn't know sh*t and that he won't last in her life two weeks.

Blake is running. From his dad and the huge responsibilities hoisted on him, from his own problems and from the feeling of being suffocated by Cyclone Industries. So he takes a sabbatical and goes to the university and avoids his increasingly insistent dad until a furious Chinese girl whom he's been secretly admiring tells him he is full of crap and gives him an idea of a further escape.

They will trade places, apartments and responsibilities, and maybe he'll be able to breathe more freely after all this is finished. However, the more Tina and Blake get to know each other the more they realise that their worries and their families are not that different. And while there is a wild spark between them which slowly turns into a genuine affection and warmth, both are terrified of taking it further until they vanquish their deep-rooted fears.

There is so much yummy goodness here, peeps. Rich characters (Tina simply kicks ass with her "I take no nonsense" attitude), wonderful, supporting, colourful families, the dialogues to die for no matter who talks to whom... and the social and personal growth issues touched upon by the author are huge. I was feeling like a pig in a mud wallow, I wanted to just fall into it and roll all over. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

Please, read it! This will be one of the best reads of the year for me, and I can't wait to read the next book in this series. Highly recommended.

"Love is never safe," [...] "It's weird, it's magical. It's the moment when you break through the dark shell that protects your heart and say, this, this person. I'm going to let this person in, let him come so close that he can hurt me more than I can possibly imagine. I am going to let him hurt me." [...] inhales. "Love is never safe."

* * *

Читала я эту книгу с огромным удовольствием несмотря на первоначальные сомнения, когда я услышала, что Мисс Милан - богиня исторического романа собралась писать нью удалт современный роман.

Нечего мне было сомневаться. Куртни Милан, как обычно, убила меня наповал своей шикарной характеризацией, обманчивой просторой сюжета(здесь вариант Принца и Нищего) и прекрасно обыгранными ситуациями, которые у менее сильного писателя казались бы убийственными клише.

Тина Чен бедна как церковная мышь и пытается не только выжить свой курс в университете, но и умудриться оплатить счета своей активистки матери, которая заботится обо всех, кроме самой себя. Так что когда на лекции золотой мальчик Блэйк Рейнольдс высказывает своё уничижительное мнение о бедности и купонах на еду она взрывается и яростно высказывает ему, что он ни хрена не знает о жизни и что на её месте он не продержится и двух недель.

Блэйк, работающий на своего гениального отца в том или ином качестве с двухлетнего возраста, пытается сбежать от своих обязанностей, потому что папочка хочет переложить компанию на него, а парень не может выдержать ни физического ни морального напряжения. И когда разъярённая китаянка мисс Чен высказывает ему своё возмущение, в его голове зарождается мысль о том, как ему разрешить свои мимолётные проблемы.

Тина и Блэйк меняются местами на 2 месяца. Однако чем больше они узнают друг друга, тем больше понимают, что между их проблемами не такая уж большая разница, и несмотря на искорки притяжения между ними обоим понадобится много времени, чтобы преодолеть тяготеющие над ними внутренние страхи.

Тина морально гораздо сильнее Блэйка и смело высказывает его отцу всё, что она о нём думает. В то же время, родители обоих прекрасно выписаны - обе стороны очень любят своих детей и готовы ради них на всё. Кроме персонажей, Милан затрагивает глубокие социальные проблемы, которыми заражено наше общество.

В общем, эта не книга, а поэзия. Читается на одном духу, и под конец трудно не заплакать. Для меня Поменяйся со Мной оказалась одной из лучших книг этого года, и я очень вам её советую!
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