Published by Atria Books on June 27, 2017
Source: the publisher
Buy from Amazon|Buy from Barnes & Noble|Buy from Book Depository
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Why I Read It:
I’ve been highly anticipating Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker since I first saw that she had a new book coming out. I’ve been a huge fan of K.A.’s stories since I stumbled upon Ten Tiny Breaths back in 2012 – every one of her books has left me grabby-handed for anything she teases or publishes next. I’m so excited that I got the chance to read this book and share my thoughts on my blog.
Cath Wright happens upon an awful accident one night and, against all odds, she is able to rescue a man from the burning vehicle and save his life. She doesn’t realize until later that the guy she saves is Brett Madden, an internationally-known hockey athlete. As soon as the media hears of Brett’s accident, they rush into the tiny town of Balsam, PA, hoping for a chance to talk to the person that saved his life. Cath would do anything for her damaging and painful past to remain buried, but it seems that she can’t control how far the media will go to dig up information on Brett’s “Good Samaritan.”
The author promises in her Acknowledgements that she “needed to write this story” and that it is “very different” from other stories that she’s written. I agree with this. Until It Fades is a departure from her other books, offering a very slowly-developing relationship between the male and female lead. It also offers us a glimpse at two people from very different walks of life crossing paths and how they handle that. There is also a theme of truth and trust weaving through this story.
This story alternates between the present-day aftermath of Brett’s accident and a major event in Cath’s past that left her with the life that she’s lived up to this point. The story was easy to follow and felt less gritty and dark than some of this author’s other stories. But it is much more slow to develop in terms of the relationship between Cath and Brett, from the unusual way the meet until they begin a relationship. I wonder if this slow-burn will be a problem for some readers, considering this book is being labeled as “new adult” in places like Goodreads and given that some readers tend to like authors to stick to one particular type of book. What we have here is a slightly more subdued small-town romance with a slow build, plus a little bit of hockey thrown in. I think many readers will like that.
I always look first for characterization, and I loved Cath here. It’s easy to see why she has had the life she has had, why she was willing to endure the shame of living in small-town Balsam, PA for so long, and why what happened years ago actually happened. It’s also easy to see how all of this has shaped her into who she is today and why this makes her reluctant to accept the fairy-tale, whirlwind type of lifestyle that Brett brings to the table, because it really just doesn’t exist for most people – particularly people like Cath that have barely scraped by for their entire adult life. I also loved Cath’s boss, Lou, and her brother, Jack, and I adored five-year-old Brenna. Brett’s father is also really wonderful.
Brett is a great male lead. I love that he was so honest with his feelings about always telling the truth. I love that he was up-front about what he wanted out of a relationship with Cath. Watching their relationship build slowly may have felt a little bit torturous while I was reading it, but after I finished the book and began reflecting:I’m not sure I would have believed this relationship if it had been birthed any other way.
Also: I am so here for the message that WE ARE MORE THAN THE MISTAKES OF OUR PAST. Cath has a hard time with this, but most of the characters in this book try to help her work through her guilt and shame as the story progresses. I believe that she’s come to terms with this as the book ends, but before then, her existence has been spent beating herself up over the big-major-thing-that-happened-when-she-was-younger. There is good resolution for this by the end of the book, but like the Cath-Brett relationship-building, this aspect of the story also develops slowly over time and requires patience.
Ultimately I think Until It Fades is a win for Ms. Tucker. It’s a sweet story and definitely more slow in pace, but the ending is worth the wait.
Enter the Giveaway:
ABOUT K.A. TUCKER:
K.A. Tucker is the author of He Will Be My Ruin and the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.
FIND UNTIL IT FADES: