Saturday, 2 September 2017

REVIEW; Pushing The Limits, by Brooke Cumberland

Rating: 

Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary 

Recommend: Yes

Standalone

NO SPOILERS!!! 

Summary:

Aspen's life changed when her twin committed suicide. Surviving with immense guilt, she turns to art classes as a form of therapy. Morgan moved state to escape heartbreak, and teaches art in the college. Both hurting, the two form a sensitive bond involving a mutual appreciation of art. 
Neither want to cross the lines of student and teacher, but when Aspen has to pose naked, Morgan wonders where the boundaries truly are of their relationship.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, this is a lot more than just a student/teacher romance. 

Aspen is of age and an adult, taking art classes as a form of therapy in dealing with her sister's death, which her parents have forever blamed her for. At a young age, she has suffered and lived well beyond her years, and has now built walls around her heart and emotions to prevent anyone getting close to her again. Through her art, she expresses her grief over Ariel. Most of the time, Aspen is a bright and happy girl, able to joke with her friends and have fun. But in seconds, she can be triggered and have panic attacks.

Morgan has returned to California after he left a few years ago following a heartbreak and a family bereavement. He finds himself as guardian for his 12 year-old niece. Seeing Aspen's portfolio, he is instantly drawn to her work and how evocative her pieces are. He can't imagine how much more Aspen will affect his life in person, far beyond the powers of her art. Throw in his feisty, zestful niece, Morgan realises he has a lot to learn about women.

Immediately Morgan had inappropriate thoughts about Aspen, and I guess this could be taken two ways. Either he was unprofessional from the get go and only had one thing on his mind, or it just portrays how much Aspen affected him from day one. He remained respectful for a considerable length of time, and his compassion and care for Aspen was alluring. 

Forced to acknowledge their limits, they can't help but fall for each other as they spend more time together; bonding over grief and art. Both have their insecurities and concern about allowing anything to develop and their pain about that is palpable. Both have heartbreaking pasts, and they're each other's salvation.  Morgan forces Aspen to acknowledge her pain and trauma, properly mourn her sister's death and let go of her guilt. While Aspen shows Morgan that he can love again. 

We get an insight into their story from both POV's and I really enjoyed that. We got to learn a little about Morgan's past and his struggles following the heart-wrenching start of Ariel's funeral from Aspen's POV. Reading their love unfold from both sides built a complete picture of forgiveness and love.

Overall:

This is an amazing story, pushing far beyond the limits of student & teacher, as two broken souls fight all odds to save each other and give the hope of life again.