The Not-Outcast and all-new emotional slow burn romance from New York Times bestselling author Tijan is available now!
Cutler Ryder was everything I wasn’t. He was the hockey star. I was an outcast. He was best friends with my stepbrother, that same stepbrother who hated me. His two parents loved him. My mom was a junkie. My dad barely knew me.
Years passed. I got my life together. Cut went onto NHL stardom.
Then there was a text. I was drinking. There was a party. Cut was there…
I loved Cutler Ryder since the first moment I saw him. The only problem? He never knew I existed.
« This book was just so different from my normal, so I really and truly hoped that the reader loved it as well. “ Well it seems that I do love Tijan’s books that are different from her “normal” as this one gave me some vibe of Ryan’s Bed, another one that I loved!
I don’t mean the stories of characters are alike, far from it. What I mean is that there is a deep, moving and serious tone in this story.
The female character is mentally struggling and the male character is what I would call “perfect boyfriend material” and frankly is so supportive I’d introduce my daughter to him in a heartbeat!
For me to love a book I need to connect with the characters, to be interested by the story arc and to have just the right pacing. If you add great sidekicks and struggling characters that’s even better. You have all that in The Not-Outcast plus a topic that made me reconsider my opinion on people.
We open with Cheyenne being in high school, living with her dad for a period of time with her step family. What we discover is a really spaced out girl, with wandering thoughts and who has been raised by a junkie for a mom. She has known neglect, she has known hunger and has already been homeless for days or weeks. Fast forward and the plot will focus on the “now”, ten years later when Cheyenne is in her late twenties.
Cheyenne is one of the strongest characters I have read these last months. She had been misdiagnosed appearing “crazy” to many and had to overcome incredibly tragic circumstances all her life.
For her to function properly, she has to take her meds religiously, avoid alcohol, do meditation, yoga and cardio. If she skips that regimen, her brain will be overflowed by any stimulus and she will spiral down, spacing out, having anxiety etc.
Basically, Cheyenne’s brain was her enemy.
Can you imagine living every single day of your life knowing that your brain can turn on you?
There was an excerpt that had me in tears because Cheyenne had so much love to give but knowing her “condition”, she wanted to spare others the burden she could be.
““With my stuff, a person goes through a situation where they really question things at a deeper level. Like, would it be fair to bring someone else in on the struggle you endure every day? If you did, was it fair to bring a child into the world who had a mother with the struggles I had? On the surface, she would seem to be just a mom who’s distracted or disorganized. But follow down the line, and it’s a mom who’s not listening to you. It’s a mom who forgets to pick you up. It’s a mom who forgot to pay your meal plan for a year, for the second year, for a third year. It’s a mom who forgets to pick you up not once, but twice, three, four, five… The intent is there. The love is always there, but the struggles are there, and they are often greater than the whole, and they can chip away at a person, at a child, at a husband, at a wife. If something gets chipped away at enough, holes get created and those holes get bigger and bigger over the years.”
THAT! That excerpt really broke me.
It really hammered the idea in my brain about what Cheyenne had to go through. And I wanted to SCREAM at the unfairness!
Not only did Cheyenne suffer from that but her brain “malfunctioned” because she was the daughter of an addict. We don’t often speak of babies born from addict parents but they suffer sever consequences. And if he mother’s neglect wasn’t enough, Cheyenne also had been treated abjectly by her father , her step mother and her step brother.
They really treated her like a criminal. Like a disease. Something dirty.
And Cheyenne, you would think she resented and hated them but no! No, Cheyenne was just so loving, so caring, choosing not to dwell on the past but focus on bright moment that I just was in awe.
Sorry I know that I take a long time talking or rather writing about her but that’s because she deserves it.
Now this is Tijan so there is a love story somewhere.
Enter our hero: Cut or Cutler.
NHL superstar, hot, smart and so kind. Some hate the all alpha protective and insta love/lust stories but I DIG THESE!
And frankly, Cut exceeded all my expectations. I loved how he cared for Cheyenne. How he protected her. How he tried to really “get it”, get what it was to be her and live with that brain. From the first moment, he staked his claim on her and that’s my favorite stories.
That won’t be smooth sailing of course and I was truly riveted to my Kindle as I wanted to know what would happen.
Add to the mix an amazing friendship with Cheyenne’s two besties Sacha and Melody and you should have an idea why I loved that book so much.
Recommend it? Absolutely!
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“Stars. You made me meet them.” I was still seeing them. His eyes. So smoldering. He continued to stare at me, as if seeing me for the first time. I tensed. Maybe he was regretting this? Was my one-night stand a one-night finger bang instead? I tried to stem the disappointment, but… Okay. A girl had coping mechanisms. I could pull mine up, if I needed to. I was hoping I didn’t need to. I didn’t know how I’d handle that either. Then he must’ve made his decision. He readjusted his hold on me, standing back from the door and his mouth twitched. “One rule.” “Yeah?” I was about to see stars again. “Don’t call me dude again.”
About Tijan Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.
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