The Reckless Series Complete Collection
by Gina Robinson, Amazon Digital Services, March 2014 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Shannon’s Space
In these three New Adult college romances, nineteen-year-old Ellie Martin meets Logan Walker, who is everything that she didn’t know she wanted. Ellie has recently transferred across Washington State to a new college, one that bears a striking resemblance to W.S.U. or perhaps that’s just me remembering my days and years there. The setting is terrific from the cliff-diving days of summer to the all campus snowball fights to the fabulous cheeses and ice-cream created at the university to Mom’s Weekend in the spring before graduation.
Ellie has issues. She left home when her mother betrayed her in what Ellie considers the worst way. Tie in a break-up with her boyfriend and the reader knows that Logan will not find it easy to win her. She chose this university because she thinks her biological father works there, a man she has never met because of her mother’s machinations. No spoiler here – Mom is a piece of work and it takes the entire series to find out why. Ms. Robinson could have opted for the clichéd heroine, a young woman abandoned by her parents, but chose a more difficult path instead. All of the characters, regardless of whether they’re likeable or not, have reasons for what they do even if it takes a while to learn those motivations. Dex, Ellie’s study partner in Chem, is brilliant and it would be amazing to see what happens when he has a series of his own – hint, hint, hint! When he convinces Ellie that she needs to bake cookies for the graduate student who teaches their Chem Lab, it becomes an integral part of the plot and leads to so many complications.
Of course, Logan has baggage too. He not only keeps secrets from Ellie; he has problems controlling his temper and frequently runs from the trouble he creates. If these two manage to create a successful relationship, it will take time, patience and some serious growing up. As the series progresses, it seems like the dance is one step forward and two steps back, but none of the situations are contrived or simplistic. Each stage of the conflict between Ellie and Logan is well plotted and makes complete sense.
This is a New Adult series set on a college campus in a small town. Fast paced, it could have used more description of the town so the reader can see the university in all its glory. The same goes for the town centered around the college, a town where the population multiplies during the school year, but fades in the off season, i.e. the summer. Then, the reader will feel more of a connection to the ensemble cast. In addition, it would have been wonderful to know more about the academics. Whoops and there was that tiny glitch in Mom’s past about her high school boyfriend – he had one name in Reckless Secrets and another in Reckless Together. This is a minor point – but one that should have been caught in editing mode.
The reader is told that Ellie is going to class, but other than her sophomore Chemistry class, we never see the professors or what she undergoes in the lecture halls. It would have been wonderful to have the juxtaposition of professional instructors versus the wicked Witch of the 9AM Chem class. Okay, one more thing. We heard that this was an early class and it was majorly hard for Ellie to get there on time which was a bit of a stretch. However, in days gone by when I was in college, it was the 8AM classes that were a hardship. By 9AM, most people are usually coherent and Ellie was fairly responsible. She didn’t party on school nights.
These characters are nice kids for the most part, but this is not your typical sweet college story of young love. There is a lot going on in the dorm halls and on this campus. This includes drinking, partying, necking, sizzling sex – it’s safe sex – and consensual for the most part. This forwards the plot. It isn’t gratuitous or unnecessary. However, it could be too steamy for younger readers. There is also plenty of drama which can be expected when young adults are away from home for the first time. The series reads like a slice of life and despite the few glitches, these are people who can be trusted to change the world for the better. And we can trust them to take care of their adversaries.