Monday, September 2, 2013

review - Redesigned

Redesigned Cover Image

Three Stars
by: Denise Grover Swank | Website | Twitter

Publication Date: June 10, 2013
Publisher: Createspace
Series: Off the Subject #2
Format: eBook
Page Count: 294
Genre: NA, Contemporary, Romance
Get your copy: Amazon | B&N

Add to Goodreads

Summary: 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.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Redesigned Header Image
My Review
Redesigned is the second book in the Off the Subject series and follows Caroline, Scarlet's friend and former roommate from Aftermath (my review). Caroline grew up with Scarlet in their small, impoverished Tennessee town; their move to college provided them both with the opportunity to recast themselves without the stigma of their pasts. Caroline's backstory is fully fleshed out in Redesigned; there is so much more depth to her, including her motivations and insecurities. But I just did not connect with her as much as I did with Scarlet. It might be that her story revolved around more social issues (versus Scarlet's socially awkward personality), giving Redesigned a bit of a preachy feel (Change a life today, Volunteer! The more you know! and all that). I can see how Caroline was affected by the fundraiser, I just wasn't expecting the poverty message.

Reed was hard to wrap my head around. He had all the required traits for a swoon-worthy hero, but just fell a little flat. I really liked that he was the socially awkward one of the relationship, but not having his POV it just came across as jerky (unlike with Scarlet). He was lacking in the grand-gestures and apparent adoration of Caroline. I wanted to like him more but couldn't.

Lexi is one secondary character with a little umph! I wanted to read more of her story. How she brought out Reed's protective-brother side, which was one of the few dimensions we did see of Reed.

Scarlet and Tucker return and have some great scenes. Tucker was completely swoony in his protection of Caroline. He treats her like a sister and is there when she needed a little back-up.

While Redesigned didn't completely own me like Aftermath, I am still very into this series and Denise Swank's writing. Interested in how the series began, my review of After Math. Looking forward to book #3, Business as Usual, out later this year.

Have you read any of the Off the Subject series? What did you think?

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