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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • love this series/ great writing

    "Just Like This" by Cole McCade is the second book in the Albin Academy series. This series is so well-written that it's an absolute joy to read. I find myself hoping that the author is going to continue this series for a while! In this second installment, Rian Falwell is an art instructor at Albin Academy. He is minding his own business one day when Damon Louis, the school coach comes to find him. It turns out that Rian and Damon have a student in common and that student  - Christopher Northcote - has been lying to both of them. Rather than just ignoring the issue, Rian and Damon try to work together to figure out what is going on for Chris. He seems on the surface to be a good guy, a good student... he has friends and a roommate who likes him. But he's lying about where he is going and looking exhausted. As Rian and Damon attempt to work together to solve the mystery of their mutual student, they begin to realize that they have a distinct push and pull with one another. These two are like magnets... get the right poles aligned and things spark to life but if the wrong poles are aligned they seem to be able to hurt one another without even trying. The battle that these two instructors are going through to try and redeem their student mirrors the battles they are having within themselves. Damon is "looking for home". McCade touches on the issues that can come with being an adopted child and does so with an empathetic hand. Damon is indigenous but knows nothing about his parents or the nation that he descends from. This leaves him in a strange world of "not knowing" and feeling disconnected from his heritage. It's clear that McCade's own experience is woven into that of Damon's as it's very heartfelt. On the other hand, Rian is from a wealthy family. His art has been promoted and shown in galleries and he has never wanted for anything. Well, he has wanted for a feeling of "worth" that doesn't come from simply having a well-padded bank account. When Rian took his job teaching art he basically cut himself off from his family and is attempting to create a life that he is able to support simply by working. The fact that his family name and wealth eased his path into the art world has left him wondering if he is even talented at all. I don't think I've read anything before that manages so succinctly to capture the way that two people can be drawn together yet still have friction between them. McCade is such a poetic writer that his prose is the most descriptive. There are times when I re-read descriptions just because they "feel" beautiful. McCade's Albin Academy is a school filled with diverse characters and I feel as though I'm going to enjoy every novel that is set in this world. I loved the fact that there were some subtle updates in this second installment about Fox and Summer who headed up the cast of the first novel. Looking forward to more!

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  • I loved this; the audiobook was fantastic!

    Just Like This was a wonderful story. I'm not normally a huge fan of enemies-to-lovers stories but I loved this one. It also has an opposites attract vibe going on which I liked. While I enjoyed reading this book, I have to say that the audiobook made it even better. Unless he narrates under another name, I've never listened to an audiobook performed by Tim Todd until Just Like This. There was something very compelling about his voice and it really made an impact on me. The story itself was very engaging. I was impressed with the depth of caring that Rian and Damon showed for one of their students and the lengths they went to, to help him. Cole McCade did a great job of keeping us guessing about what was going on by using breadcrumbs and not revealing, until the end, what was going on with Chris. I did not see it coming at all! The epilogue, set a few years in the future, was perfect. Epilogues are often my favorite part of a book and that was the case with this one. Not that I didn't love the main story, because I did, but the epilogue just made me feel all kinds of wonderful and made my eyes leak happy tears. I don't know if there will be more books in this series but if there are, I will be reading them. A review copy of the ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and a review copy of the audiobook direct from the publisher, but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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  • Simply Stunning

    Stunning! The characters in Cole McCade’s Albin Academy series are intricate and thoroughly developed; and these are some of the most interesting relationships I’ve ever read. Hurt/Comfort on an entirely different level, the romances are heartbreakingly beautiful and completely satisfying. This is only the second book I’ve read by Cole McCade, and I’ve got to say this author writes some smoking hot romantic scenes! Like literally, almost too hot to read. Plus, I did the audio version, and Tim Todd gives an absolutely scintillating performance. There’s an interesting mystery in Just Like This and we get to know even more of the staff and students of Albin Academy. Cole McCade has created a fascinating community and I’m anxiously awaiting the next episode!

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