Friday, December 8, 2023

Series Review: "Pacific Prep" by R.A. Smyth

Series: Pacific Prep
Author: R.A. Smyth
Genre: RH/Why Choose? Romance / Organized Crime
Reading Order & Individual Ratings:
  1. Broken Trust - 4 // 5 stars
  2. Brutal Lies - 4.25 // 5 stars
  3. Beyond Vengeance - 4.25 // 5 stars
  4. Break Free - 4 // 5 stars
Overall Rating: 4 // 5 stars

If you've been around this blog for any amount of time then you'll know that I'm a huge fan of why choose romance series. I've been reading the genre since it was just a tiny lil corner of the book community and it's been wonderful to see it blossom into such a big genre. That being said, I've read a lot of them over the years which means I've become rather particular about the why choose books I read. 

This series is addicting as hell. I went into it because people said you'd like it if you love Hannaford Prep series by J. Bree, which I absolutely am obsessed with. I read the entire series in four days and couldn't put them down. But my overall thoughts for this series are the following: enjoyable and addicting but nothing special or remarkable. 

This series starts out as your classic bully romance. We're set at a boarding school with the characters in their final year. The new girl is one of the scholarship students whereas most of the school is for rich kids. However, we quickly get the feeling that there's something a bit darker going on with all the characters than just school politics. 

I was having a lot of fun in the beginning. The tension between the characters was so good and the pacing was great. The secrecy regarding their histories and motivations was thrilling and I kept reading because I just wanted to know more about the characters and how it was going to impact the plot. 

As the romances progressed, though, the characters started falling into a classic trap I've noticed in why choose romances where the love interests all start to meld together. What I mean by that is they stop feeling like their own characters with their own motivations and start feeling very "same-y." In some why choose series, the love interests never feel differentiated at all. 

In this series, the love interests initially started as very unique characters. I loved getting to know more about them. However, as the series went on and once they started dating the main character, it just felt more like they were only there for the smut or to fill a body in a scene. It was rather disappointing as it could have been amazing. Additionally, I loved the side characters more than the love interests which indicates to me that they weren't very memorable by the end. 

My other main gripe with the series is that it felt like it wrapped up way too easily. We're told for three books how dangerous the antagonists are, how difficult getting out of this situation would be, etc. However, the solutions for all of these obstacles felt too simple. To me, the solutions just negated the tension of the entire series. 

Overall though, I enjoyed the story and it was rather addicting. I am also incredibly interested in one of the spin-off series that follows my favorite side characters from this series and have high hopes for that one. Unfortunately, the small issues I had made it so that this series wasn't worth five stars to me.

Thanks for reading!

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