Samantha Young’s latest, Fight or Flight, is all about second chances as Ava and Caleb fight to accept that maybe love isn’t finished with them yet.
It’s time for another wonderful book from the brilliant mind that has brought us some of the most incredible and emotionally driven stories in the contemporary romance world. That’s right, Samantha Young has done it again with Fight or Flight.
It’s a second chance romance, but not the way that trope is usually used. Ava and Caleb don’t have a tortured history together to overcome. They each have pasts that are trying to drag them down, but Ava and Caleb each have to decide if their second chance at love is worth the fight.
Fight or Flight tells the story of an arrogant bastard, Caleb Scott, and the polite, charming woman, Ava Breevort, who just wants him to use his ‘please and thank yous.’ Their first meeting is not so cute, as he accidentally whaps her with his laptop bag while cutting in line for a first class upgrade at the airline ticket counter. Zero apologies later, he and Ava find themselves being stuck with each other again and again. It seems that fate has more planned for Ava and Caleb than either of them could possibly understand.
I adore Samantha Young’s books. Whether it’s an On Dublin Street book full of Scottish accents, a Hart’s Boardwalk book filled with southern flair, a YA masterpiece filled with love and acceptance, or, apparently, a stand alone overflowing with snark, sex, and seriously emotional backstories, I always fall head over heels for her characters. That is no different with Ava and Caleb, even if I did have some trouble warming to the bastard Scot at first.
That’s right. Just like Ava, I was thoroughly flabbergasted by his coldness to customer service people, general disregard for common decorum (like NOT cutting in line at the airport), and the insults he hurled her way despite her determinedness to not stoop to his level. Or to at least try to rise above. It wasn’t until he stepped in to save her from a flock of cocksure sheep who were insistent on ruining her dinner that I started to thaw toward the arrogant Scot.
But thaw I did, and once my heart was open to Caleb, I started to understand what had turned him into the surly, burly male that he has become. I saw what Ava saw. I saw that he had more to him than just a hot body and a challenging personality. There was depth there, despite his efforts to hide, and that depth is what kept me absolutely riveted for the rest of the book.
Ava is not to be overlooked, however. She is the shining star of this story. Her spirit is so important. She has fought tooth and nail since childhood to keep her circumstances from beating her down. She has a persevering spirit, and never quits even when it feels like the easiest way out. I am so grateful for Ava Breevort. I may not have her blonde hair or cover-ready glamor, but I felt more connected to her than I have to a heroine in a long time.
While some people may read romance specifically for the sexy scenes, or for the female empowerment, or for the happy-ever-afters, I was reminded while reading this story that I am an absolute glutton for the emotional confession. When Ava lets Caleb in on the hardest times in her life, I was more invested in this story than ever before. I am a sucker for a good battle-of-wills, and Caleb and Ava gave me some of the best I’ve ever read.
Fight or Flight is one of the most frustrating love stories I’ve ever read, but that’s what makes it so incredibly delectable. Ava and Caleb each have their issues, and it isn’t until each has traversed their own mountain of emotional baggage that they can even begin to begin the climb to the summit of their happily-ever-after. Ava and Caleb did the work though, and it made the ending that much sweeter.
All of that said, I certainly hope that Ms. Young considers developing this world even more. She populated it with such wonderful people that I certainly hope we may see another book or two from her version of the city of Boston. Maybe starring a similar Scot and the best friend healing from a life of scars? I’ll definitely be over here, hoping and dreaming of happily-ever-afters and waiting anxiously for more.