Driven (Ariel’s Review)

Title: Driven
Author: M.B. Mulhall
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 210
Reviewed by: Ariel
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.

Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.

Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.


The Boy Next Door 

Do you come from a troubled past? Did your teenage years and High School make you wish they never were? Then you might connect with this book.

The story is told from Oliver’s point of view. He is the main character in the story. He comes from a very troubled and traumatic past. I won’t go into detail because it would be a big spoiler. A wrong decision lands him in prison and when he comes out he has nowhere to go. Helping an older lady home gives him a place to stay with her and her sister for help around the house and doing some errands. Meeting the boy next door starts a relationship that is rocky for most of the book, but ends with an HEA.

We also get to meet his parole officer and his family as well as some questionable past friends of his that leads to some police drama.

I thought being a contemporary romance that the plot and story with be about Oliver & Simon, but surprisingly, that’s only part of it. There is police drama as well as action in this book which was a surprising delight. So, this story is like a capsule with different genres and storylines in it. Very entertaining.

My only criticisms is that the majority of the book has Oliver talking about his past and expressing how sad and guilty he feels. He puts himself down a lot. I think this was a bit overkill. Also, his relationship with Simon could have been better. They were off more than on and I wish they would have expressed their love for each other much earlier on.

The ending was so so. I like how it ended with Simon, but I wish it would have been happier and better.

Overall, it was a good book and I do recommend it. If you like some angst and drama and sadness and you don’t want one that is very happy and mushy, then this would be the book for you.

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Galley copy of Driven provided by Harmony Ink Press in exchange of an honest review.

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