ARC Review: The Map to You by Rachel Stockbridge

Cover Design: Rachel Stockbridge

Sasha Deforest always seems to fall hardest for girls she can’t have. And she’s never fallen harder than she has for her tough, stubborn best friend Kinsey. Sasha can’t help all the outrageously flirty things that come out of her mouth when they’re together, even if Kinsey always plays it off as a running joke. Sasha doesn’t really mind, though. She likes that they’re just friends. It’s easy. Uncomplicated. And it means she has an excuse not to open up about her troubled family life back home.

Kinsey Han has been nursing one hell of a crush on sweet, sarcastic Sasha for the better part of the last year. Not that she’d ever let Sasha know it. Kinsey tends to express herself by frowning and ordering her loved ones around. Even if she thought Sasha meant all the flirty nonsense she’s always coming up with, Kinsey could never be the kind of cheerful, outgoing woman Sasha deserves to be with. It’s better for everyone if Kinsey keeps her true feelings to herself.

But when Sasha drops everything to drive Kinsey 600 miles to deal with a family emergency, things get complicated. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for Kinsey to keep her feelings for Sasha buried—and the harder it is for Sasha to remember why it’s so important to keep Kinsey at arm’s length. If they continue to conceal the depths of their feelings for each other, they’d be missing out on falling in love with the one person who could truly get them. But taking that chance also means opening themselves up to heartbreak. And neither is sure they’re willing to risk losing the other forever.

My thoughts

What do I want to say about this story….

First, Rachel Stockbridge does a fabulous job designing the cover. It is so Sasha and Kinsey. I love it.

Okay so I am going to kind of give a spoiler here, but I want readers to be prepared. There is some family drama in this romance that deals with addiction and the effects it has on everyone in the addict’s circle. It can be painful to read at times, especially if you come from a home similar to this one. 

Rachel Stockbridge writes pain and angst beautifully in The Map To You. This is a really good new adult romance which adeptly deals with the pain of new love, unrequited love, and the loss of self to a person you love. 

We get to meet two women who present as one image and who are somewhat different than they appear. (Sounds so mysterious doesn’t it? (Evil chuckle)) Stockbridge addresses what many students at college journey through as they grow into who they are becoming. Who do you want to be? Do you want to let down your barriers that you built up in your teenage years to deal with whatever obstacles you have had or do you want to keep them up? Do you want to take chances? Do you really want to take a chance to feel pain again? Do you want to be the charmer that no one really gets close to? Do you want to be a prickly cactus that no one really gets close to? Who do you want to be?

The struggle is real. Stockbridge does not shy away from the issues of learning how to communicate when you can’t even really identify what is going on inside your own mind. I personally really love Sasha. I would have given a long time before Kins does. I love that back-and-forth dialogue. There is something so sexy when words are spoken in a tone or spin. Witty sarcasm is my kryptonite and Stockbridge gives us plenty of it.

The Map To You is a clean and sweet romance. There is angst, but what romance doesn’t have some drama? There is a road trip. There is family drama. Romance is also included and some really deep soulful kisses. Rachel Stockbridge gives us a college romance that makes me want to grab some popcorn and re-read some of my favorite scenes. 

I received an ARC of this book, and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Further Details:

Publisher: 9781735249438, January 25th 2022

Series: Next Stop Love #2; Settings: New York, U.S.

Pages: 330

SC: Non-white

Credits:

Promo photo: Photo by lilartsy on <a href=”https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-using-magnifying-glass-on-a-map-3050833/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>Pexels.com</a>

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