Title: Called Up
Author: Jen Doyle
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Calling It #2
Main Characters: Deke and Fitz
Release Date: August 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Fitz knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she'd rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.
But with Deke, Fitz feels dangerously close to falling in love. She can't risk another broken heart—especially if it means losing one of her best friends for good. Now it's up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.
I was worried going into this second book from this author because the first book was so good, but I should have had more faith. This book was fabulous, too...and that was in no small part to the character that is Fitz. Gah...everything about her story broke my heart. She has been through so much and still holds her head high. She's such a strong person.
And even better...this is a friends to lovers story...which I adore. Fitz and Deke have been best friends for years, but suddenly things seem to be changing between them. There's a new awareness that neither of them know what to do about. The thing is...Fitz is hiding things from Deke that he's never known about and suddenly all that stuff that's been buried for years is coming out, too.
This story was so good. I love angst and this book is filled with it. Sixteen years ago, Fitz was on her way to Inspiration with her parents when a tornado struck...killing them and throwing her life into a tailspin. Because what she never knew is that her father had a whole other family in Inspiration...which includes three half-siblings that she never knew anything about. In a bizarre turn of events Fitz finds herself having to make a new life here in this small town where everyone loves her siblings...so she's the enemy. As if her life wasn't already tragic and devastating enough, but now she was the target for scorn and rampant bullying. How she ever survived that is astounding...and heartbreaking. I could have just read her story and loved the book because of so much that she overcame.
But then there's Deke. Deke's story is very different from Fitz's. He's grown up in the center of town. He's a happy-go-lucky, friendly guy that everyone likes. He's always happy. And he likes everyone...including most every woman in town. Since his family owns the local bar where he works every night, he has LOTS of opportunity. He's a bit of a man-slut...Fitz's word for him. And his partner of choice for years just happens to be her biggest tormenter....but Deke never knew.
I love how this relationship between them changes them both. It's a great character arc for both the hero and the heroine. And even better, I just really liked both of them, too. It was so fun to read how they work through their friendship as it becomes more. It felt very real, but kept those levels of romantic moments that melted my heart. I loved this story so much and then the story on the backdrop of baseball and the charity foundations that Fitz works with....it was all just phenomenal.
I loved the book and highly recommend it. You can easily read both books in the series as a stand-alone, but they are both excellent books so I suggest you pick them both up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.