Thursday, May 9, 2013

After Math Blog Tour: review & giveaway

It's getting close to the weekend. We are one of today's stops on the After Math Blog Tour hosted by AToMR Tours. Find the complete tour listing here.
After Math (Off the Subject, #1) by Denise Grover Swank
New Adult contemporary romance*Paperback, 250 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Createspace
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath? 

About the Author
Denise Grover Swank

Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She’s a gypsy who can’t live in one place too long or stay in one genre. She writes contemporary romance, urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves, young adult science fiction, and romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading, or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning. 

I've read some terrific New Adult titles and others not so great. In fact, some seem formulaic while others seem to concentrate more on the physical intimacy of relationships than on story or plot. Along comes Denise Grover Swank with her first foray into NA, After Math.  I've read some of her Chosen and Rose Gardner Mysteries series for adults and On the Otherside series for Young Adults. I'm a Swank fan and jumped on the tour for her latest book. I'm glad I did. She helped restore some of my faith in the NA market.

Scarlett is not the typical young woman found in NA. She's highly intelligent, extremely motivated, has a career plan mapped out, and is closed off to relationships and guys. A junior majoring in math at Southern University, she lives with her closest friend, Caroline. They both grew up in the same trailer park in Shelbyville and vowed to leave that life behind. Scarlett had an impoverished upbringing, living with an alcoholic mother and witnessing a parade of different men her mother brought home. Because of the emotional scars she received, Scarlett suffers from severe panic attacks and has closed herself off from anything which puts her out in public. She is satisfied living in her self-induced bubble, attending classes, working at the math lab, staying home on the weekends. Until Tucker.

Tucker is a soccer star, gorgeous, party boy, campus celebrity. He is everything Scarlett isn't. But his partying ways have impacted his studies and his scholarship. Enter Scarlett as his tutor. Opposites attract as the saying goes and at first, she is hesitant to help him. He's cocky, a player, and he's late for his first tutoring lesson. He begs for another chance, telling her she is the first person to not take what he dishes and he needs someone like that in his life. Agreeing, Scarlett soon sees as she digs deeper that Tucker isn't that different from her-he's also broken. Can she help him or will he just make things worse?

I really liked the fact that Scarlett isn't attracted to Tucker immediately. Their mutual attraction is gradual even though they've been thrown together for a week or so. Tucker was an enigma and I wished we had his point-of-view in the story besides Scarlett's pov. Both were angsty and intense with a quietness I found endearing. Scarlett was a strong character until later on when she falls for Tucker and becomes this needy, easily drawn to tears, math geek in love. Yet, she herself knew this would happen and let it which made her even more realistic. Sometimes the heart wins out over the mind. 

I understood who the characters were and where they were coming from. I wasn't totally convinced Tucker was so bad and his secret isn't revealed until much later. These concerns didn't impact my reading--I was fully engrossed in this book, hanging on to every word. Tucker and Scarlett's relationship is intense and moving as we witness both characters grow and learn to deal with their own problems while fighting to remain together. How he can see the real woman beneath her anxieties and carefully crafted facade made Tucker a truly nice guy. And I loved how he says a certain three words first. Seeing Scarlett think out what she really wants out of life like she's dealing with a mathematical problem was excellent. I was so in her corner. Having a friend like Caroline was also a great addition.

I love the way Denise Grover Swank writes. She captures the heart of her characters and the  essence of their problems and conveys them through words. After Math is a can't put this book down type of story. Scarlett and Tucker have quickly become one of my favorite romantic couples of 2013. Since this is the first book in the Off the Subject series, who gets to star in the second book? Hopefully Caroline and then Tina. See, I am already hooked on this series!

Rating: 4
Cover comment:
As much as I find this cover appealing visually, I'm also confused by it. I remember a scene with Tucker standing in the rain with his head turned up, but he was alone. Unless the pose is symbolic, I would have preferred a couple on the cover or the guy in the background.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review.

Tour Giveaway:
(10) $5 Amazon Gift Cards – Open internationally to countries that can use Amazon Gift Cards.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. thanks for the great giveaway and review


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I saw this book on the daily deals listed on Dear Author and it looked intriguing with the heroine being a math major.