Ocean by Jo Raven

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I thought I was a normal kid once. Do normal kids have to beg from door to door for food? Not sure. It wasn’t always that bad, I guess – and then it was. Really f***ing bad.
I tried to protect my younger brother from the fallout. Lied to him about how bad things were.
But it wasn’t enough. And when the accident happened, he blamed me, like everyone else.
I’m guilty of many things. He’s right about that, at least. So d**n guilty I’m sure everyone knows and will call me out on it.
Except they don’t. Nobody does, except my brother.
Not even Kayla, sexy and sweet and coolest girl ever, who keeps buying me coffee and trying to read my future. But my future isn’t in the g*****n cards, or even in my hands. I don’t see a future. I deny fate, but fate has me pinned like a moth and won’t let me walk away.
Won’t let me escape.
And yeah… you know you’re losing grip when the girl you want reads your palm and you’re scared to hell of what she’ll see and of the pain you can tell is coming.
**WARNING** This book is NOT for the faint of heart. If you have issues reading about abuse (physical or mental), then please DO NOT read this book. 18+ for sexual content, language and violence.

(Photo and description from the GoodReads page)
I’m a huge fan of Jo Raven’s. She is one of those authors I one-click immediately, even before reading the premise of the book, just because I can almost guarantee I’ll like it since she’s the one who wrote it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in this book. I’ve been following the lives of the Inked Brotherhood and Damage Boyz for quite some time now and feel pretty invested in these characters, and Ocean has always been a mystery. There was always something beneath the surface that had me scratching my head in wonderment. Thankfully, we get some answers in Ocean that explain more than I expected.
Per the very apt title of Damage Boyz, Ocean is very notably damaged like the rest of his “brothers” in his workplace. Thinking he is someone unworthy of love, Ocean spends his time wallowing in guilt and self-hatred. He works hard to help his undeserving mother get through her sickness, and he is desperately trying to piece his relationship with his brother, Raine, back together.
Kayla is a unique soul following the sound of a drum only she can hear. She loves fashion and colors, and is very into tarot cards and the answers she hopes to find in them. Kayla doesn’t believe love exists. She’s spent all her life watching her parents go through a loveless marriage and she doesn’t want to end up like them, so rather than take a chance and try, she has stayed away from relationships altogether. That is, until she meets Ocean. There’s just something about him that makes her want to delve beneath the surface and get to know who he is underneath his fun-loving and tattooed exterior.
The two watch each other from afar for some time before one night when Ocean takes Kayla home after having too much to drink and sparks start to fly. Next comes a tumultuous relationship with more ups and downs than a roller coaster. When they realize they’re falling in love with each other, they have a choice to make: stay where it’s safe, but live a sad and lonely life, or risk having their hearts broken, but possibly have the love they’ve always desired.
Ocean is a beautifully flawed love story that will tear at your heart and leave you breathless and rooting for these two people who you can’t help but love. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the romance/new adult genre with a bit of edge. And if you do read it, be sure to tell me what you think 🙂
Get your copy here!

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