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Once Perfect (Shattered Past, #1)

by Cecy Robson

Series: Shattered Past (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
499420,823 (3.97)None
Evelyn Preston's future once looked perfect--until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientèle than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they've led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Not a perfect book but still a truly enjoyable one nevertheless. I think in great part due to Mateo I quite enjoyed this story. There were flaws but he was such a real and caring character that I was able to overlook any slight misses in this novel. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
*ARC courtesy of Netgalley and Random House Publishing*

Regardless all the difficult themes the book covers and the tough times both characters had to overcame, this was a very sweet story!

Evie and Mateo at first couldn't be more different:
Evie grew up rich and spoiled and part of the 'in' clique but when her family lost all the money and her father killed himself she had to learn to survive on her own while struggling with ghosts she still doesn't see clearly;
Mateo grew up poor and with a father who often beat him and his sisters up, he ended in prison to vindicate the rape of his sister Sophia and he still struggling trying to maintain his family and himself while controlling his simmering anger.
As often happens in this cases, they aren't so different after all...both are struggling with their past and its repercussions on their present and both need someone able to love them in spite of everything, someone who bring out the best in them. That's exactly what Evie and Mateo are for each other!

As I said at the start this was a sweet story and Mateo is quite the knight in shining armor at times (I got the biggest crush on him reading this book) and I enjoyed the slow development of their intimate relationship, mostly the care Mateo showed to Evie, but I admit there was less chemistry and steaminess than what most NA romance get us used to...so probably if you're in the mood for an hot and steamy novel this isn't the book for you!
I still recommend it for those times you feel more romantic and soft!

In the end [b:Once Perfect|20699759|Once Perfect (Shattered Past, #1)|Cecy Robson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400540714s/20699759.jpg|40019380] was a solid 3.5 stars read for me.
I'd like to thank again the staff of Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept from NetGalley for the chance to read&review an arc of this book and hope they appreciate my honest (and humble) opinion about it.

( )
  Lara-IT | Feb 3, 2021 |
Summary
Evelyn Preston once had the picture perfect life that anyone would have envied, but then her life was destroyed when her father commited scandal and suicide and she was left on her own. Now she is doing everything she can to work and pay for her college tuition as a waitress at a high end nightclub. But there is one man, that draws her attention, a man she knows is way out of her league. Handsome, sexy, built like a MMA fighter, and could have any woman. But when her past comes to haunt her and causes her to have panic attacks, Mateo is the one she leans on. Mateo and Evelyn have led very different lives from each other, but when they fall in love they learn and grow together and must fight for their love...
The Hero
Mateo grew up with a abusive father and has had to watch while he terrorized his mother and his sisters. Now Mateo works as hard as he can to provide for his sisters safety and security. Mateo doesn't consider himself worthy of Evelyn, but ends up falling for her anyway. Mateo was a hero you just gravitate towards. He is responsible, hard working, devoted to his family and is willing to sacrifice everything for them. I loved his close bond he has to his sisters. How protective he is of women especially of his family and Evelyn. Definitely a hero you can swoon over. He has all the characteristics that make the best hero. He is kind, charming and sweet with a tough exterior. What's not to love about him?
The Heroine
Evelyn is a strong and courageous heroine you can get behind. I love how easily she adjusts to her situation. She goes from having money and security to having to work hard and study hard and she fits Mateo so well. She does have some horrors from her past that are causing her panic attacks. I liked seeing the PTSD effects here, where she doesn't know why she is having them at first. But I like that she doesn't back away, she just keeps going forward. And I really admired the way she handles the truth when she realizes what is causing her attacks. I did like how loyal and committed she is to Mateo, she stays true to him and what they feel for each other, and fights for him. Gotta admire that.
Plot and Story Line
Once Perfect is a soul shattering romance that instantly pulled me in quite quickly. I want to thank Sophia @ Delighted Reader for recommending this to me on her site. When I learned that this was on sale for $.99 (still is for a limited time) I grabbed it up very very quickly. I have learned to trust in her recommendations and I was NOT disappointed. In fact, I can't wait to read book two of this series. On the surface this appears to be a "bad boy" type of romance but whew...this author really pulls out all the stops on this one and I couldn't resist. I read this in one sitting and what a fun romance it was to read. And I liked that this was the first new adult romance that wasn't angsty. The flow was so well done, the switch from plot line to character development of the romance was done so flawlessly. The romance between these two was superb and what made a difference was the way it grows.

Life hadn’t initially been good to either of us. But we were good to each other. And regardless of the demons of our pasts, nothing would change that.

I love seeing these two "opposites" be so attracted to each other and act on their feelings. I loved the realistic feel to this story, the emotions and vibes you feel are vividly portrayed and so well conveyed to the reader. A romance you can't put down and not one you want to overlook picking up.
The Cover
What a sexy cover....I love his pose, the muscles and the grey tones add a nice effect.
Overall View
Once Perfect is a shattering love story with characters that win your heart over instantly. A compelling new adult romance you can look forward to reading. MOUTHWATERING DELICIOUS
Books N Tunes Pick #3: Cowboys and Angels by Dustin Lynch

Why: I LOVE and adore this song, and it fits Mateo and Evelyn so well!! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 23, 2019 |
In my search for free books from my online Overdrive Library I came across this (new to me) author and great book. You couldn't get more likable H or h. Both were from messed up childhoods but didn't let that stop them from being great people.

Off to search for the next book. ( )
  tiffsaddictiontobook | Jul 18, 2017 |
Once Perfect is a story of a very ex-damaged rich girl and an equally damaged poor boy. Both have been dealt rough lives and are still struggling to come to terms with it.
Eve's Past lives with her every day and even though she is very attracted to Mateo, she is scare of him, because of his prison past. But once Ant shares why Teo went to jail, Eve pushes aside he fear and extends the olive branch and from that moment, Eve and Teo embark on a relationship. But when the past rears its ugly head, will they be able to stay together.
To say that I loved this book is a true understatement, the only thing I would change, would be to have the Author expand on the ending. Despite its disturbing and painful subject, the story flowed beautifully and was well informed. The characters of Mateo and Evelyn were wonderfully described and brought to life. The Author also did an amazing job on all of the support characters and I am hoping that each of them have their own books.
I give Once Perfect a 9 1/2 out of 10, but I recommend that you have your tissues ready and maybe drink with a glass of wine to get though some of the tougher issues.
( )
  Cara_Ross | Aug 16, 2016 |
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Evelyn Preston's future once looked perfect--until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientèle than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they've led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

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