Erin McCarthy

New Adult
Heat Level: Hot

A New Adult novel from Erin McCarthy, the USA Today bestselling author of Sweet.

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…


The latest installment in McCarthy’s NA series raises questions about drinking and the poor decisions that may come from excess. 

I won’t rehash the blurb, but our heroine is on the search to find herself, like most college students are. This is really a journey of self-discovery, and connecting. Robin and Phoenix find the connection with each other. Both of them are artists searching for a way to evade their past mistakes. I loved the blurb because of the last line

Though neither of them is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Lines like those tend to be overplayed. In the case of Believe, it was spot on. Robin and Phoenix can comfort each other, run from the past, and pretend they live in a magic bubble, but the last quarter of the book all that crazy catches up with them forcing them to face some of their greatest fears. The last quarter of the story was my favorite because the level of conflict, the problems rooted so close to reality, and the romance way of making it all come together fit. Perfectly.

Yes, I enjoyed the rest of the story, though I times I felt like I was just walking through the characters days rather than being engaged in conflict or growth. Those moments had me skimming for the next big thing.

There is some hot tension and action between Robin and Phoenix. While Phoenix was in jail, for a felony, the reason he went was something I could accept. So if you’re avoiding this story because of that fact, I would suggest you still give it a chance. He’s not gang member or anything. Robin is easy to relate to because we’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all went on the self-searching journey before. The steps she takes to find herself again and to move forward are brave, and I wanted her to see her succeed. Together these two make a great couple and I wondered if the obstacles in their path would prevent an HEA. If you want to find out you’ll have to read the story yourself.

Overall, this was my McCarthy New Adult book. If you like books that deal a little closer to reality and less fantasy this one may be the one for you.

Reviewed by Landra