In this intense and exhilarating New Adult series debut, a hotshot snowboarder and a vulnerable rebel with a cause try to let go of the past—and find a future in each other.
Twenty-one-year-old professional snowboarder Z Michaels is the bad boy of Park City, Utah. He’s always had his pick of any girl in town—and on the competition circuit. But underneath his cool exterior is a young man in turmoil, trying to take the edge off tragedy by overindulging in sex and shredding the slopes. In fact, Z’s reckless behavior is a thinly veiled attempt to blunt his emotional suffering with physical pain.
Ophelia Richardson isn’t like any girl Z has ever met. Though she’s from New Orleans high society, she’s no Southern belle—and she’s not shy about being miserable in frozen, godforsaken Park City. But laying low is her only option after her ex, a rich boy who couldn’t take no for an answer, nearly killed her in a jealous rage. Following that terrifying encounter, the last thing Ophelia needs is a boyfriend—especially one as rich and arrogant as Z. But Ophelia soon discovers that he isn’t what he seems. If anything, Z may be even more damaged than she is.
Tormented by their pasts and feeling alone in the world, Z and Ophelia find a connection unlike any they’ve ever known. But with Ophelia hiding the details of her life in Louisiana and Z’s death wish reaching terrifying new heights, their relationship seems to be going downhill before it even begins—unless they can find the strength in each other to trust, grow, and love again.
I really liked that SHREDDED by Tracy Wolff felt like a fresh story. It was my first foray into professional snowboarding, their slang, terminology and lifestyle and I found it all very interesting.
This story is primarily about Z Michaels who is on top of his sport in skill and daring and the group of friends that have been loyal to him since grade school when something beyond tragic happened to his family that left him emotionally shredded. Z, Ash, Luc and Cam are all professional snowboarders who grew up together and have kept their home base in Park City, Utah. His friends have stood by him when his family was gone, but it is still not enough to keep his demons completely away. Some say he does so well in his sport because he is not only willing to risk it all for the ride, but that he has a death wish. Survivor’s guilt. Aside from pushing himself harder than anyone else on his rides down the mountain, he uses sex and alcohol to give him the mindlessness he sometimes can’t function without. He is infamous for his man-whoring ways of one-night stands, while never promising any girl more. Yet they still fall at his feet and practically beg for a night in his bed.
Then he meets Ophelia Richardson. A mysterious new girl from New Orleans, who doesn’t fall at his feet. Doesn’t fall for any of his charm as a matter of fact, which only serves to draw him to her even more. It’s about the challenge at first, but then as Z spends more time with Ophelia he realizes she really is different than any other girl he’s met. The problem is although Ophelia is just as attracted to Z as every other girl who meets him, she has a real reason for avoiding him. She has her own demons to contend with and another thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie is the last thing she needs when she is still trying to get over the loss of the boy she believed was The One. She still has the scars, visible and invisible, to remind her of how dangerous falling for a guy like Z can be. Yet even knowing this, and the advice of all the people who warn her off him, he keeps showing up just in time to rescue her. In time to be that sweet guy that really sees her and goes out of his way to make sure she’s safe and cared for. The guy who draws her out and helps her begin to heal.
This was a sweet story of two people who had already suffered too much in their young lives. Who to protect themselves from more pain have decided to never let anyone else close enough to hurt them again. But their tortured souls seem to recognize each other, the chemistry between them was irresistible, and being together brings them each a sense of safety and peace they’ve never found with anyone else. It is a story of the healing power of love our hearts recognize we need even when our minds tell us to run.
IMHO the first part of this book didn’t flow as well as the last part, but once it hit it’s stride this was a tremendous story and I really liked Z and Ophelia, their friends, and was completely caught up in their story. The ending was well worth the journey. I rate this book with 4 stars.
~I received this eBook free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.