Complicate Me is book One of the Hawthorn Duet. It was my first read of author Claire Raye. I honestly had this book pegged as a typical Best friend’s sister but really it was an enemy to lovers. And Sienna pushes back and holds a grudge like a boss! It took a lot for her to move past her dislike of Reid and see him. Reid actually really cares about Sienna but had a hard time showing it in a healthy manner.
I am not usually a fan of New Adult sub genre. I feel like the characters lack wisdom and thought in their action. Complicate Me is an awesome example of a New Adult Romance. I really liked Reid. He is so torn over his attraction to Sienna and his loyalty to Caleb, Sienna’s twin brother. He is very careful in his interactions with Sienna once they start their road trip. In the beginning of the book I don’t think he really sees beyond himself but as the road trip goes, he just wants to care and comfort Sienna.
He is crazy protective of her while they are still on campus. He seems to do a lot to ruin any relationship she might have with a guy. Justin is a total Dbag but we needed him in order to appreciate how much Reid really cares. All the friends in Reid’s life know that he has a great affection for Sienna but refuses to act on it. Instead he is very much the man whore on campus. One-night stands and interactions that have little meaning to him.
A Family emergency at home leads to Sienna needing to go back to Rhode Island even though it is the last place on Earth she wants to go. Sienna doesn’t really have the money to go home and refuses to take money from Reid. Reid decides to take charge and decides to drive her home to be with her brother Caleb. Their Road trip is anything but easy. No one wants to drive from California to Rhode Island. You get some great insight as to who Reid is and how he cares by the little things he does for Sienna on the Road Trip. He knows she loves Ding Dongs. He makes extra stops to bring her some joy she desperately needs on this trek home.
The last half of the book deals with Sienna not sure how to come clean with her brother on the change of their relationship status. I was not prepared for what would meet them once they were back in Rhode Island. The twist at the end that ultimately pushes them apart is huge and I am not sure how they will overcome it to be together.
This was a 4/5 read for me. I really liked it overall. I am intrigued to see how Sienna and Reid can move past the divide and be together. If you like friends to enemies or New Adult I highly recommend this duet. It is a really great example of both.
We will be talking about these books with the Authors on an upcoming Drinks with the Bees Podcast.