Ripped by Katy Evans

The Real Series by Katy Evans keeps me sane, it is my constant companion, one of those sets of books that no matter what will never leave my kindle and always make me more than that I can just feel, even on a down day. And now I can say that I have a new addition to the family because Pandora and MacKenna’s story Ripped is my welcome addition to the fold.

Pandora has never been the easiest character to get a handle on but in this she is eventually laid bare and we get to see all her secrets, painful as they are for her.

She opens herself up a little at a time but the onslaught commences right off the bat, you barely have time to draw breathe before she is right up in your face with her attitude but be thankful that MacKenna is the focus for her vitriol because I know I wouldn’t want to be the one on the receiving end. But what has caused this, what happened between them and more to the point what the hell can she do to get over it.

So I settled in to hold on tight and enjoy the ride, all the highs and the various lows that I knew were coming as they were not only thrust back together but also forced to unlock the secrets that they both had hidden so deep about what really happened all those years ago and why neither of them had been able to move on.

Pandora had the youthful image of her happy ever after torn from her at the tender age of just 17 and it all but destroyed her, but she kept her secrets and locked them away refusing to be the shattered woman that others may have expected. She was stronger than that, she could move on, but what she couldn’t do was forgive or forget because MacKenna Jones took her heart with him the night he left and she has nothing left to give to anyone else, including herself.

Pandora is a shadow, there is no normality in her, nothing she does is real, and it’s all just for show, all just to get by and all just to allow her to forget the one man that she has never been able to get out of her head – MacKenna.

Hate is a powerful force but when it replaces your ability to love, the only power it holds is that of destruction. And Pandora’s hate is killing her slowly from the inside out.

Six years later and the walls she has so carefully constructed start to crumble and all because MacKenna Jones is back in town and she has to see him!

MacKenna is the front man with hugely successful “Crack Bikini” not the best name in the world but I am sure we are all aware of real bands that have names that we read and think – “Really??”

Determined to exact her revenge, have her moment and finally lay the past to rest, Pandora ropes in her friend, lays the truth on the line and sets out to inflict ultimate humiliation on MacKenna at his homecoming concert, I mean who wouldn’t?

She clearly was delusional if she ever thought she could get away with her plan and moreover if she ever thought that she would ever be over him.

But when it all goes wrong, MacKenna is the one who can stop her butt ending up in jail and his management team are the ones that sense the perfect publicity opportunity. What is not to love about the ad men, finish the bands film, get the inside gossip on the muse for the bands biggest hit and who knows get some prime footage in the process.

Ground work laid and contracts signed. Pandora is obliged to spend 3 weeks on the road with MacKenna, whether they both survive is debatable?

There was no love lost between the two of them, there was almost every other emotion known to man but love... it was still there but it was buried so deep that it would take a mighty huge shift in emotion to let even a slither of it free again.

They both had resentment and anger on the situation that they were both in but they were both masters in the art of denying just  how much the events of that night 6 years ago had hurt them. Pandora’s mother had left MacKenna with little choice but to walk away but Pandora knew nothing of the guilt that MacKenna carried because of his actions but he had his reasons, ones that had the shoe been on the other foot she too would have taken.

Fate is a bitch and in this case it was given a helping hand by extended families but fate also has the ability to give you a second bite at the cherry. The question was had too much time passed and were they even willing to try.

I liked and empathised with Pandora, she was a strong woman who had a grudge that she felt entitled to bare but one that I felt weighed her down. She was just a mixed up kid looking to find the same love as her friend Brooke has found with Remy, she wanted to feel like she mattered and that she was important enough to have her man stop the world from spinning if that is what it took to make her happy. Someone that loved her more than his last breath and she saw that disappear when her reason for breathing, MacKenna left her when she needed him most.

MacKenna was easy to fall for, I got that he had it all and was not afraid to share but he didn’t share the one thing that they all wanted; his heart because that belonged to Pandora and he knew it always would. When he had her back in his life, despite the circumstances, he knew he had the only opportunity he was ever going to get to rectify the biggest mistake of his life, so he goes balls out to get back the only girl that he has ever given his heart to and boy, he doesn’t hold back. He may have been an ass, with a crude foul mouth and was equally bad tempered at times but he made me sigh when I realised just what he was prepared to do to give Pandora what she wanted, him!

The relationship between them is full on from start to finish and evolves completely from love to hate and back to love again but there is a secret that Pandora has locked away and that when it was unveiled I had my heart in my mouth because I honestly couldn’t see that there was a way back for either of them and definitely not together but they had been through worse and come out the other side, this was just a page in their history that they would have to continue to relive and to try and rewrite.

I loved this book, I know it may not be to everyone taste but for me it was a superb composition and one that gave me hope in the fact that sometimes, just sometimes love is enough!