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Release Day Launch: Redesigned by Denise Grover Swank {Review+Giveaway}

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Redesigned (Off the Subject #2)
           by: Denise Grover Swank

Publication Date: June 10, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received thanks to KP @InkSlingerPR and Denise in exchange for a fair and honest review
Page Count: 294 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars

While fashion design major Caroline Hunter may have been born economically unlucky, in college, she’s been lucky in love. Until her senior year at Southern University. She’s gone from a serious long term boyfriend to a string of crappy dates.

Then she meets mathematics grad student Reed Pendergraft.

Reed is everything she’s not looking for. Serious. Headed for a low paying university job. Boring. Caroline spent the first eighteen years of her life wondering where her next meal was coming from. She sure wasn’t getting trapped in that life again with a man living on a professor’s salary.

An encounter with Reed in a club proves she might have pegged him wrong. He brings out a lusty side she never knew she had. But just when she’s about to give in to her hormones, Reed makes a fool out of her.

When she shows up for the first committee meeting for Southern University’s Fall fashion show, a fundraiser for underprivileged kids, Caroline’s horrified to discover the insufferable Reed is the committee chairman. While she refuses to tolerate his totalitarian rule of the committee, she’s not sure she’ll survive the month with her heart—and her pride—intact. Just when she thinks she has everything figured out, she finds that her entire life has been redesigned, thanks to Reed Pendergraft.

My Review:

I really enjoyed Denise's first book in the Off the Subject series After Math (see my review here), so when I saw there was a second, I knew I had to read it! And WOW. This book was amazing for me. I read it in no time flat, and even teared up at parts- and I don't often cry in books. The pacing was awesome, I really loved the characters, and wow the steam factor in this book! Off the charts!

For those of you that have read After Math, you've already been introduced to Caroline as Scarlett's roommate and best friend from home. Both girls had a pretty rough upbringing, having to deal with poverty, hunger, and broken home lives. So when we first meet Caroline in Redesigned, she comes across as shallow and petty, only interested in dating guys who come from or have money. She also appears to be one of those college girls who is only interested in pursuing her MRS. degree.

"Time is short, Scarlett. I'm a senior and have less than a year to find the future Mr. Caroline Hunter."

She meets Reed very early on in the book and while she thinks he's cute, after he tells her his future plan of becoming a university Math professor, Caroline knows that's not what she's in the market for.

"I strike him off as potential date material. For one he's in the math department so we would have nothing in common, but most importantly, I can't imagine a college professor makes much money. I've seen the cars parked in the faculty parking lot."

Reed ends up asking her to dinner only to be declined, by her telling him she has to work on her fashion show. In the next instant, she is being introduced to another guy, Dylan, who she was checking out earlier and who does have money. Their mutual friend suggests they see a band together and Caroline agrees.... in front of Reed, after shooting him down. Needless to say, my respect level for this girl plummeted.

Even though Reed is a graduate student in Math, and does have the cute geeky thing going on, he doesn't hold back in telling Caroline what he really thinks of her. The two trade hurtful insults, and Caroline hates that he brings out the old version of herself that she's tried so hard to get rid of: The tough talking, spitfire girl from the trailer park.

Needless to say, the two have not established a very good relationship with each other and watching them fight and sling insults back and forth at each other is what really makes them an interesting pair. They end up having to collaborate on a project together and they know exactly how to push the other's buttons. You can feel the attraction and sexual tension mounting between those two- and when they finally give in to their passion, it's freaking explosive.

We do learn more about Caroline's past and I understood where she's coming from, even though she's going about it the wrong way. However, having been poor, hungry, and never knowing stability, Caroline swore to herself that she would make a better life and would never be without again. She doesn't want charity, she doesn't want her future kids to be without, like she was. Falling in love with someone like Reed is not in her plans, and I really liked seeing Caroline's character develop throughout the novel, as she realizes what is truly important to her.

Reed's character is not without flaws, however. He is practical to a fault, and there were some instances where he certainly didn't think before he spoke. He does truly like Caroline though, and will do anything to be with her, even sacrificing his pride and making an arrangement with her. (I won't say what it is, but it did break my heart a little) He and Lexi also avoid talking about their pasts, which implies they harbor a pretty big secret about why they transferred from Boston to a small university in Tennessee. Once the secret comes out, Caroline of course is furious, as she feels slighted that she shared her past with him and yet he didn't trust her enough to reciprocate.

Denise writes such emotional characters and there are so many tender moments in this book that like I said, brought tears to my eyes. Caroline starts off as a very one dimensional character who you aren't sure if you're going to like, but once you get to know her and see past the layers and the front she's created, she really does leave you rooting for her happiness.

**Stop back by on June 18th for 20 Questions with Reed as part of the Redesigned blog tour!**

About Denise Grover Swank:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period.  Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.)  Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks.  She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at: www.denisegroverswank.com.
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  1. Great Review! Sounds like a book I will definitely be checking out.

    1. Thanks Chelsea! They're really good NA reads!

  2. I would love to read this book! Sounds everything that I love

  3. Great review! *marks calendar* I will be coming back next week! 20 questions with Reed? YES PLEASE! ;)

    1. :D Thanks girl! I was so excited to be able to pick Reed apart! LOL! LOVE that boy!

  4. Great review. I love a NA that mixes emotional with tender with lusty!


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