*I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review*
Bo was the poster child for every disaster that female singers warbled about. He’d break your heart and do it smiling. Worse, he’d make you think you were better off for having your heart broken because it was done in by him.
Unspoken is the ridiculously delicious story of Beauregard (Bo) and AnnMarie (AM). We first met Bo as the best friend of Noah in Undeclared. Bo and Noah grew up together in Texas, and have always supported each other without question or fail. Bo needs adrenaline like a drug, and channels it through fighting or sex.
AM is one of the bravest, headstrong, prideful characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. She is the type of woman you would want to be friends with, one whom you know would always have your back without a moment’s fail. AM was wronged very early into college, and has been hounded and bullied ever since. She’s become the campus pariah, through no fault of her own.
By the end of class, I felt like I was drunk on Bo Randolph.
Through a twist of fate, Bo and AM are in the same Biology class together. She shuns his advances at every turn, no matter how subtle they are. You will find yourself aching for the loneliness and disparity she feels. Though AM tries to hide her emotions, unless she is lashing out at Bo, he sees right through to the core of her. He sees in her a kindred spirit, an equal, quite possibly the one to save his soul.
I didn’t want to save everyone. I wanted to save AnnMarie. I wanted to save myself.
You see, what we figure out very early on is that for all his strength, bravado, and yet the gentle façade that he puts on, Bo is just as broken as AM. AM has learned the hard way that disappoint come at you from every turn. She closes herself out to the chance for someone to see inside her. To let someone in, well that would mean giving them the opportunity to let her down, the chance to break her walls, the possibility of shattering her fragile heart even more.
For all the huff and puff that Bo exudes, his wall is almost as high, if not higher, than AM’s is. There is a reason why his first instinct is to screw something or beat something. We find out these reasons eventually, but first we have to do a little growth with our main characters.
AM deserved a guy who could act like a grown-up, and I wasn’t sure that was me.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “I am my own worst enemy”? If I could dream up one possible line to explain Bo, this would be near the top of the list. He goes through women like socks, because he believes that is what he deserves. Don’t let anyone get to close to you. If they don’t get too close to you, you can’t hurt them. He believes he is destined to become like his father, but does everything in his power to change this outcome. Bo truly is a genuine person. He is a friend, loyal soldier, confidant, protector. He will give you the shirt off his back in a heartbeat, never for a second thinking of his own well being. This is simply who Bo is. He is the person you want by your side when it all goes to hell in a hand basket.
I’m a bad bet, Sunshine, but if you’re willing to give me a whirl around the ring, I’m yours. Because you’ve got me so twisted up inside that I barely know if up is down. I’m so inside my head that I’m coming out of my asshole. Have mercy on me.
Not only do Bo and AM fight attraction towards each other, they fight FOR each other. Where one falters, the other compensates. She understands, without him speaking a word, that something is amiss. Not only does she see it, but she doesn’t let him hide. She gets him in a way that no other has before. And lest we think any less of him, those feelings are definitely reciprocated. Sometimes you have to truly work and fight for love, only making the end result that much sweeter. Bo and AM have one heck of a journey, and you feel privileged to have been along for the ride. Their relationship is a true testament that there is nothing too broken that can’t be made whole again.
You have no idea. Whenever I see something even halfway interesting, I turn to tell you, share it with you. Nothing makes sense unless you’ve see it, too. That’s how far you’ve crawled into me. I’m sorry for running away. I’m sorry for being afraid…