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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Release Day Review: Once Perfect by Cecy Robson

Title: Once Perfect
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Shattered Past, book 1
Genre: NA
Publisher: Loveswept
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
His life was never easy. Hers wasn’t supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson’s raw, steamy New Adult debut—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.

Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid.

As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.
Once Perfect is the first book in the Shattered Past series by Cecy Robson.

Evelyn Preston’s life changed in a day. After her father’s embezzlement scandal and suicide she went from being a society princess to be shunned by all her friends, including the man she was supposed to marry. Evelyn found support in the most unexpected place, with her ex-housekeeper’s family.
Some years have passed; Evelyn is in nursing school and works as a waitress at a nightclub to help pay the bills. Despite working there for months she keeps her distance from all of her coworkers, especially the attractive ex-con and MMA fighter head of security, Mateo Tres Santos.
Mateo takes his job very seriously, his Army background helps and he is good at what he does, including the illegal fights that account for most of his income, but with a mother and two sisters dependent of him he does what he must to help them, even if some days the risk is too high.
Since her first day at work Mateo has been attracted to Evelyn, but knowing she’s different from him he has kept his distance, until a day when Evelyn needed his help and everything changed between them.

On the beginning I wasn’t sure about Evelyn, she said and did things that I didn’t understand, but after some secrets were revealed I couldn’t help but like her and understand her. I wanted to get into the book and give that girl a big hug.
I liked her because she was strong, her life changed completely and instead of wallowing in despair she picked her pieces together and move forward. It was easy to admire her and wish for her well deserving HEA. I also loved that she was willing to admit when she was wrong.

Mateo, OMG he’s dreamy, but he broke my heart. What a tough life he has had. I loved that despite his background he’s still a caring and loving man. I love the way he was with his sisters, but didn’t care how he let his father do whatever he wanted just because he was the man of the family. I had a serious problem with that. Why? Because the way it portrait Latino families it’s completely different from the norm, at least from my norm and I’m Latina. I really hate for people who don’t know much about the Latino culture to think that all families are like Mateo’s family.

Mateo and Evelyn’s chemistry is off the charts, but before they can be together they have to deal with the personal demons that lurk around them and won’t let them be happy and honest with each other.

The secondary characters are great. From Mateo’s sisters to Mateo and Evelyn’s coworkers, they all made of Once Perfect an even more enjoyable read. They were so great I can’t help but want to know more about them. Luckily for me us, we will see more of them in books to come.

Once Perfect is not your normal NA book, it’s a lot more. It’s a very emotional book that touches very difficult topics like abuse. It’s also a book with a lot of messages; the most important is never judge others by mere appearances.

I’m looking forward to second book in this series, Once Loved. Once Loved will Lety Tres Santos’ story and it’ll be released on January 20th, 2015.

My verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Once Perfect
Once Loved (January 20th, 2015)


  1. YEAH!!!!!!!! I am so glad that you liked it. I am gifting this book to a friend for her birthday :)

  2. The New Adult genre has been rather hit-or-miss with me, so I like that the author succeeded in incorporating valuable messages into the story line, and the relationships + characters really shined. I really need to jump on the Cecy Robson bandwagon already!

    1. It also has been hit-or-miss with me. I think I have read more disappointing NA than good ones. This is one of the good ones, but it also has a very young NA feeling to it.

  3. This genre has become my new addiction, I'm glad you liked it :) I'll be adding it to my list.

  4. I am nervous to read this, I saw one review that said this is very NA... I don't do VERY NA.

    1. Yes, it's very NA, almost as a young NA. If you are not into the genre you might not like it.

  5. Hey, Marcela! Thank you for your review of Once Perfect, the feature, and your thoughts. I also appreciate your honesty about how you felt the Latino community was portrayed. And you're right, of course Mateo's story is not the norm. My intent was to tell a story where there are secrets and how extreme beliefs in tradition keep victims of violence from getting help, fighting back, and keeps them silent. Being Latina and having grown up among Latinos who did experience similar issues as Mateo, I understood why victims acted and believed as they did. It didn't mean I excused it or that it didn't frustrate me. When I worked as a legal advocate for domestic violence victims, these beliefs were hard to change when they were so ingrained. Often times, I didn't succeed. When you read Lety's story, you'll see how Lety's views clash and conflict with what her mother believes. That said, I hope others will also see the kinder side of the culture. Lourdes's family came to Evelyn's aid when she was abandoned because that's what Latinos do. She would have perished without them. There is also the beauty of Teo's relationship with his sisters, and Sol's quinceanera and her relationship with her parents. You'll see more of Sol in the future with Finn in Once Damaged. ;)

    1. Cecy, thank you for your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain better. I agree with you completely and now seeing it through your eyes I can see clearly what you wanted to do with Mateo's family.
      I can't wait to read Lety's story. I'm sure it's going to be great... and Sol's and... all of them.
      P.S. I loved the quinceaƱera scene (before Mateo's father showed up) that was so very "us"... :)

    2. Thank you, Marcela. I enjoy reading your reviews. You put a lot of time and thought into them and you're always very professional. Thank you, again, for the feature. It means a great deal to me.

  6. I need to read the book I got by her first ;)

  7. I'm so curious to read more, I also really enjoyed this one!

    1. Me too! I can't wait to read Lety's story.


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