Series: Off the Subject #2
Publisher: Createspace on June 9, 2013
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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.
Check out my review of After Math (Off the Subject #1)
“‘Are you calling me the Antichrist?’ I laugh again. ‘I wouldn’t go that far.’ ‘Then maybe you could have a chat with some of my Algebra 101 students and convince them otherwise.’ He laughs. ‘But then again, maybe it’s better if they have the fear of God in them.’ ‘Or in this case, I think you mean the fear of Satan.’”
“He leans over, and his lips hover over mine. ‘Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.’ I laugh. ‘That is not how that platitude goes.’”
“His lips press in mock annoyance. ‘I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m a nerdy math guy. We’re not hip to the lingo.’”
“I push damp hair off my forehead, irritated with the heat.”
My Musings: I was recently a part of this release day launch, along with previously having participated in the release day launch of this book’s companion novel, After Math (review here). I was ecstatic when Inkslinger Pr granted me a review copy of this novel. Seeing as I loved After Math so much, I was excited to see what else Swank could cook up. And let me say; this novel was a perfect literary feast for me.
Redesigned follows Caroline, the best friend of After Math s protagonist, Scarlett. Like Scarlett, Caroline did not have the best childhood, and she’s learned to project it through the people that she dates; she only dates those with old family money and a promising major. But that all changes when she meets Reed Pendergraft. Reed is a grad student with a degree in math; he wants to become a professor, which isn’t good enough for Caroline. But after some time, Caroline comes to realize that money isn’t everything.
I enjoyed being able to see more into Caroline’s life. After reading After Math I wouldn’t have imagined Caroline’s life to be like it is. Caroline was a very complex character, held back by her past. With a longing for financial security, Caroline could come off as a very shallow character. But the more you get to read about her past, the more you come to realize that she is not as bad as she seems. She really grows over the course of this novel, and she learns to accept things as they are. She learns to lower her expectations, and best of all, she experiences love. Although I really couldn’t relate to Caroline’s past, I could definitely relate to who she became over the course of the novel. She finally found a purpose in life, and she found the direction that she had been missing.
“I’ve seen a playful, appealing side to him and now I don’t just want him, I want him. The whole package. Every part of him.”
“Reed sits in one chair, and his legs are stretched out on another. His laptop rests on his thighs. A pair of dark rimmed glasses perch on his nose. Whatever he’s been working n for the last hour has captured his attention. I’ve been stealing glimpses of him, and he’s hardly moved from his position.”
Reed Pendergraft was definitely one of a kind. He was what I would call a sexy, stubborn nerd. A math major, he was nothing like I expected. What I expected was a timid, geeky guy. What I got was a stubborn, bossy, and protective guy who is loyal to fault.
“‘ You’ll like it when I boss you around in bed.’ Electricity runs straight through my body to my pelvis. He pulls my mouth to his. ‘Say yes, Caroline. One word. Yes.’”
Although he and Caroline didn’t get along in the beginning, it was easy to see the attraction. Their relationship was nothing short of explosive. Although some of the things that transpired between the two didn’t tickle my fancy, I loved them together all the same. Reed helped Caroline let go of the past, and he didn’t judge her over her beginnings. Reed was sweet and thoughtful when the two of them were together, and it was the cutest thing to read. But let me tell you a secret: Reed is a dirty, dirty boy—er, man.
Another character that I absolutely loved was Lexi. She was adorable and friendly, and she was really rooting for Reed and Caroline. Although we didn’t see her too much, I fell in love with her character instantly. I am so glad that Swank’s third novel, Business As Usual, will follow her experiences; I just know that I will love it. And hopefully we’ll see more Caroline and Reed!
“‘Caroline.’ He waits for me to look up at him. ‘I’m here for you. Consider me the big brother you never had. If some guy messes with you, you tell me, and I’ll take care of it. Okay?’”
“Her eyes harden. ‘I love you, Caroline, and it’s because I love you that I’m saying this, but if you talk about yourself like that again, I will slap you. Got it?’”
I really enjoyed seeing more Scarlett and Tucker. I got my fill. I was happy. That is all.
I really enjoyed the flow of things in this novel. I loved the mystery that was built regarding the secrets that Reed was hiding. Although I was able to guess about 75% of the way through the novel, I loved putting hints and foreshadowing together. It ended up being fantastically handled, with just the right amount of drama.
Like After Math, Redesigned was an incredible novel; filled with self discovery, letting go, and loving freely, Redesigned is a novel you don’t want to miss.