Nine years after a tragic accident, Hannah “Brennley” Evans has returned home to the snowy mountains of Whistler, Canada. This is the very place that destroyed her, where her whole world ended, and the reason she now goes by Hannah Jennings.
Struggling with his own tragic past, Rhys Axton, an infamous sexy snowboarding champion, wants nothing more than to be the next Olympic hopeful. Sex, snowboarding, and working out are all he cares about, which helps shut off the demons that haunt him and the family who rejected him.
The moment Hannah walks into his room, he knows something is different about her. Drawn to her, he can’t seem to stay away from the mysterious, guarded girl. They are two heartbroken souls who both understand the darkness.
Little does he know she lives in lies and carries secrets that will bring his universe to its knees and secrets that will bury them both alive.
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Title: Buried Alive
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: new adult, romance
Themes: return to hometown; sports
Although Stacey Marie Brown is a new-to-me author, she’s been on my watchlist for some time now. I have several of her releases on my Kindle, but haven’t got around to reading them as of yet; I’m pleased to say that, after this, they will be booted up my priority list.
It’s pretty enough, but didn’t ‘wow’ me. It wouldn’t have grabbed me when browsing the Kindle store. I certainly appreciate the snowflakes and the darkness, and the man candy (who perhaps doesn’t resemble the hero I pictured whilst reading).
In some ways, I feel like I’m over basic contemporary romance. There’s very little originality left and I now find myself bored more often than not. Fortunately, there was a little more depth to Buried Alive. Dealing with the aftermath of an unspecified accident, two people affected find their way to one another after Hannah returns to her hometown to face her demons. The slow reveal of the events from that fateful night is wonderful, enough hints dripped down to sustain the reader’s attention. Yet, it was also a little predictable, marring the final, anguished reveal.
I also found the beginning a little confusing, unsure as to whether Rhys really recognised her or not, which became more clear as I continued reading. In some respects, I felt this was perhaps the least believable part, him knowing but not knowing her, and then this confusion on his end being forgotten.
I certainly appreciated the depth and flaws of both Hannah and Rhys, and never found myself too frustrated with their actions, despite the back and forth. I found it more believable than most due to the events of the past, shaping these characters and their anxieties. I also enjoyed how developed and lovely their ‘sidekicks’ (Shaun and Siena) were; again, flawed yet believable, and certainly likeable.
It was just a shame how the antagonists seemed to be lacking in development, more shells used to create pressure and drama than fully fleshed out characters which would hold their own. I found them more irritating than believable.
I very much enjoyed the overall story, which fortunately managed to distinguish itself from the usual contemporary romance, despite having some aspects I felt didn’t quite grip me as much as I hoped, particularly needing a little more development in some areas.
I look forward to reading more from Stacey Marie Brown.