*I received a free copy of In Her Eyes from Chasing Pace Publishing via Enchantress Design and Promo. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *In Her Eyes by Wesley Banks
Published by Chasing Pace Publishing on 14 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
When Ben Wilder is given a second chance he focuses on the one thing he's always been good at: running. After walking on to the University of Florida Track and Field team he begins to quickly move up the national rankings, paving a path towards the NCAA Championships. Everything is going the way he planned, until the day he bumps into Casey Taylor.
New to Gainesville, and focused on her first year out of medical school, Casey is initially hesitant to let Ben into her life. But the truth is she's worried about letting a guy near the one thing she loves most: her daughter, Emma. After one fun and fateful night Casey can no longer bury her feelings behind these excuses, and takes a chance on a guy she is slowly falling for.
Casey's relationship with Ben starts to gradually build into a love that she has never felt before. But more importantly, Emma has taken a particular liking to Ben. As they all spend more time together Ben is forced to confront painful memories when he starts to notice something hauntingly familiar in Emma's eyes.
After a local journalist uncovers the secret of Ben's past their lives begin to converge on a single promise that Ben Wilder has long since made: to never give up...no matter what.
Beautifully written, In Her Eyes is a different kind of NA story, with quite mature characters, a tender romance, and a lot of tender sadness.
It was so refreshing to read In Her Eyes because of the mature and very likeable characters! There was no unnecessary drama, and the story felt very realistic to me from start to finish. Ben was so focused, both when it came to his classes and his running, and when he noticed Casey for the first time, he became focused on her as well. His doubts weren’t crippling, rather they were ordinary doubts that people have from time to time, but Ben had to deal with his past and what he wanted other people to know about him.
Casey was amazing, too, a single mom in her first year of residency, she had to be resilient. She also thought she had no time for dating or romance, but Ben was doing his best to prove her wrong. Another thing I really loved about In Her Eyes was that Ben was an athlete, he worked hard to be a good runner, but he was not trying to take advantage of his position as a star on campus. Very down to earth and earnest, he won me over immediately, and I wanted Casey to give him a chance much sooner than she did. Having said that, I could completely understand Casey’s hesitation, with her daughter she just didn’t want to introduce a man into her life just for him to disappear again.
The secondary characters are really well done, too, and I love Parker both for his strong friendship to Ben, and his comic relief. That guy sounded like a lot of guys I knew when I was younger. Casey’s best friend, Nikki, was fleshed out, too, and even some other characters that only showed up a few times really made the story stronger, and needed to be a part of it.
Heart-warming is a good word to explain the story. I felt all the feels when learning more about Ben, but also from what I learned about Casey. In Her Eyes was a gem of a story, and has earned a place on my 2016 favorites shelf! If you want to read a slow, sweet, tender romance without any drama, you should hurry and get your hands on this!
“Holy shit man, you sound like Nicholas Sparks.” “Who?” Ben asked. “Nicholas Sparks. You know, The Notebook, The Last Song, The Longest Ride..” Parker stopped talking when he saw Ben laughing. “Do you like to get in your jammies with a bowl of ice cream and cuddle with your cat while you read love stories?”
“I don’t know, man, but I think my eyeballs are going to actually fall out of my head. This whole school thing makes zero sense. Think about it, if a single teacher can’t teach us every subject, then how can they expect us to learn them all?”
Excerpt from In Her Eyes
Ben walked by several rooms that looked exactly how he remembered them. Eggshell colored hospital beds were covered with crisp white sheets, tucked neatly at every side. Teddy bears and other stuffed animals lined the beds, and colorful animal balloons floated in front of the health monitors. Most of them also had a navy couch with wood trim that folded into a bed just below the prison like windows. He hated those rooms.
Turning the corner he found the same tiled mural of butterflies, and birds, and dolphins on the wall. And then he heard a familiar voice. A voice he really didn’t want to hear.
“Benson?” Dr. Sanchez called out.
The voice stopped Ben cold where he stood. For a moment he thought about just breaking into a run. That seemed to be the only solution he had lately. But something held him standing still where he was.
Dr. Sanchez walked up beside Ben. He had shaved his thick black mustache, and there were large bags under his eyes. He looked tired, Ben thought, possibly even sad.
“How are you?” Dr. Sanchez said, touching Ben’s shoulder lightly. “What brings you here?”
Ben didn’t answer.
“I’ve been reading about your races in the paper. That’s really great,” he said with a smile.
Ben’s eyes burned into the orange and green coral shaped designs on the floor, but he didn’t say a word.
“Well,” Dr. Sanchez said lightly, “I…I better get back to work. It was…good to see you.”
Ben wanted to nod, or at least acknowledge the man in some way, but what do you say to the man that killed your daughter?
About the author:
Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.
Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he loves so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.
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