Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: Pieces of Olivia (Charleston Haven #1) by Melissa West

Pieces of Olivia
Charleston Haven #1
By: Melissa West
Published:July 15, 2014
Publisher: Penguin/InterMix
Source: Publisher
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GR's Summary:

Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. 

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal... that is, until she meets Preston. 

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. 

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for… 

My Thoughts:

I was very excited when I heard that Melissa West would be writing a New Adult, Contemporary Romance.  I have read her Young Adult Paranormal story, Gravity, and really enjoyed it!  Therefore, I came in to reading, Pieces of Olivia, with high hopes.

In this story, we get Olivia and Preston's love story told from Olivia's viewpoint.  Olivia comes from a wealthy, prominent, and highly educated family.  Her two older sisters went to college at Harvard and Yale.  Olivia was expected to attend Columbia University when she graduated from high school.  However, after experiencing a horrific tragedy, she decides to attend The College of Charleston, much to her parents dismay.  Olivia instantly hits it off with her friendly and outgoing room mate, Kara, and finds herself being attracted to Kara's best friend, Preston.  From the beginning of the story, we learn that Olivia is dealing with a tremendous amount of guilt and pain.  

As Pieces of Olivia unfolds, so does the story of what happened to cause the scars that Olivia hides with her long sleeved shirts, the reason behind her therapy sessions with Rose, and the pain she carries with her on a daily basis.  Eventually, Olivia and Kara's friendship grows.  She also starts to have feelings for Preston, and he also develops feelings towards her.  However, Preston is hiding a secret from Olivia, and has trouble  trusting women.  Olivia struggles with letting her walls down, and letting herself be happy.  As these two struggle to find happiness with one another, you will be sure to be cheering them on every step of the way.  I know I was!

Pieces of Olivia was a very emotional story.  It was beautiful to read, and at times it hurt my heart.  I could feel the depth of Olivia's pain and guilt. I didn't know how she would be able to find her way out of it, but I desperately needed her to heal.  Preston was such a wonderful character.  He was very patient towards Olivia, and was always there for her.  I enjoyed how these two developed a strong foundation of friendship, before they became romantically involved.  Rose, Olivia's therapist, was a very entertaining and wonderful character as well.  She was unconventional in her approach, but I could tell she really cared about Olivia, and was great at what she did.

I liked the fact that the tragedy that took place wasn't something that has been used over and over again in books.  As a matter of fact, it was unique to this story.  I appreciated the authenticity of Pieces of Olivia.  It felt very genuine and it really played on my emotions.  I enjoyed the various twists and turns, and have decided that Ms. West can write both paranormal and contemporary, young adult, and new adult.  I am looking forward to reading book two in this series, which will be Kara's story.  If you enjoy New Adult, Contemporary Romance, but are looking for a fresh new story that hasn't been overdone, look no further!  I give, Pieces of Olivia, by Melissa West, 4 Emotionally Charged, Authentic, Unique, and the "Healing Power of Love," Filled Stars!!!  

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About Melissa West:

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange. Connect with Melissa at or on Twitter @MB_West.


  1. I really enjoyed this one as well! While Preston's story was obvious to me, Olivia's story really surprised me. In a good way though :)

    Eileen @ BookCatPin

    1. I totally agree! This was such a beautiful story :)

  2. I loved this book and Preston Riggs is so good.


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