Freeing Asia (Breaking Free, #1) - E.M. Abel I truly felt like I was on the road to self discovery along with Asia. Stirring, hilarious, and unbelievably hot, I couldn't put it down. In the beginning of the novel, Asia is contemplating her life and why she feels so out of place in her own skin. She resolves to do something about it and when her gay best friend Nick offers, not for the first time, to give her a makeover, she agrees. Dressed to the nines and coiffed beyond belief she meets Jay while she's out clubbing with Nick and her best friend Hailey are out clubbing.Jay is like no one she's ever been with, he's refined, comes from money, and has resolved to change his bad boy ways. Asia has always been a tomboy, a surfer, a skater, a runner. After her mom died her father raised her to the best of his abilities and her brothers formed a protective circle around her.Living with only men hadn’t been the environment for sharing feelings and crying over a bucket of ice cream. I’d been raised to suck it up and keep moving, so that was what I did.While she and Jay begin to date she realizes just how different they are. She tries to mold herself to fit his life and be the person that she thinks he wants her to be. She fights her natural inclinations to be with him.Jay made me nervous, and I wasn’t used to feeling like that. I was usually laid-back and easygoing, but when I was around him, I found myself holding back. I was afraid of revealing too much, afraid of showing him something he wouldn’t like.Then Marcus, her brother Shaun's best friend and the first love of her life, reenters the picture Asia is torn between the two. She and Marcus have an undeniable spark and she was broken by his callousness after they slept together. She's determined to show how unaffected she is and flaunt her new look and hot boyfriend.When it comes down to it Asia needs to find the person that lets her be herself, lets her be free. In order to do that she has to discover who she is.I'll admit the beginning of the book had me worried. The prose was a little stilted and there was a lot of telling instead of letting me actually experience the story. It felt awkward and I was beginning to get discouraged. Then this shift happens around the 50/60% mark and then all of the sudden everything felt smooth, more fluid and I'm wondering if that's because Asia was beginning to feel more like herself or the author was really excited about what she was writing and it showed. Either way, I love, love, love the second half.Aside from the bits of awkward writing I really enjoyed following Asia as she learns and makes mistakes. There wasn't a love triangle for me, it was one guy and then the other, so don't worry about that. There's a clear difference.Marcus, Marcus, Marcus. Oh yes. I have a serious thing for bad boys. The moment he was mentioned I knew who I would be rooting for. Good guys are wonderful, but there's something about the bad ones that just drives me crazy. He was also so sweet.“Hey.” Marcus cupped my cheek with his rough hand and lifted my face, so I would look at him. “If you wanna be free, Asia, all you have to do is see yourself through my eyes. If you could see how beautiful you are, what an amazing artist you’ve become, how you light up a room just by walking into it, you would realize that you have no reason to keep yourself locked up. You should be proud of who you are, babe. ’Cause you are amazing.”I don't want to go into too much detail about the specifics because it's a wonderful experience to watch it unfold. Suffice it to say that it was so good, even with it's flaws, that I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. I cannot wait for Shaun's story and I'm eager to see how the writer progresses, as well.Let me also shout out to the fabulous cover. It's a testament to the fact that eye-catching covers help sell books, because the moment I saw it I knew I would read this one.CastingMarcus Jay *-*-*-*Visit my blog for more reviews and recommendations!Join the Miss Construed Review's Facebook community!