Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.
For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
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This is my first K. A Tucker novel and it will not be my last. I heard about her before, but never considered reading her work before, but when Until It Fades came on my radar, and I read the blurb I was intrigued.
What the story is about.
Until It Fades tells the story of Catherine Wright, a 24-year-old single mom to a spunky 5-year-old girl. She works as a waitress at truck stop in a small town. Her past was not pretty, and she wished for it to remain hidden. However, her selfless decision to rescue a stranger from a burning car, would lead to the events from her past becoming a fodder for the media.
The man she saved was none other than Brett Madden, famous hockey player and son of a movie star. So it was no surprise that the accident became the talk of every media house. Her attempts to keep her identity hidden proved futile, which became worse when Brett Madden turned upon her doorstep. What followed was an intense and immediate attraction, a friendship and a slow burn romance.
What I enjoyed about this story is glimpses I got into Catherine’s past, which allowed me to understand what happened to her and why she felt she had to keep it all hidden. This aspect of the story was detailed making it easy for me to relate to her struggles.
The story moved at a pace, which I believed was fitting for the events that were taking place. The shifts between the past and the present were flawless.
I enjoyed the romance, which I considered a slow burning one. Their instant, which I do not consider abnormal, given the circumstances. She saved his life so he will feel something for her, but is it love or just a sense of gratitude? I loved how the author explored this aspect of their relationship. I was glad to see they did not immediately act on their attraction for each other. They took getting to know each other to ensure that their feelings were genuine. In Brett’s case, he needed to ensure that his feelings were not borne out of sheer gratitude and for Catherine she needed assurance that her feelings did not stem from the fact that he was famous.
He grins sheepishly. “When I went home that night, I told my parents that I was madly in love with this brave and beautiful woman who saved my life.”
Oh my God. My heart’s beating in my throat.
“Of course they convinced me that I was completely overwhelmed and that I needed to get some rest.”
“I’m sure they were right,” I mumble.
“I thought so too, honestly.” He swallows hard. “But then you had to go and be not just brave and beautiful but also humble, and funny, and honest. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what it’d be like to be with you… So I need you to tell me what I need to do for you to give me that chance.” His jaw tenses as he locks eyes with me. “Please.”
The emotions were heartfelt and intense.
The story was not unique by far, but it was still an enjoyable one. It was not hard figuring how it would end, but what intrigued me was watching it all unfold.
I thought the character development was well done. They were believable and relatable. There was some that had me scratching my head, and then those who placed a smile on my face.
I enjoyed Brett’s interaction with both Catherine and her daughter. He always includes her whenever he invited Catherine to go anywhere. He knew they were a package deal and he was willing to accept it all.
Catherine struggled with being in the spotlight. She prefers to be in the background, to which I can totally relate. She is different from the women that move in Brett’s circles. She is independent and not looking for handouts. When he looked at her, he saw her for who she was, a woman of strength, a caring mother and a woman who conquered her past.
My biggest issue with the story was my inability to connect with Brett the way I did with Catherine. It would have helped if I got the story through his eyes as well.
Until it Fades is a beautifully written story, which touches on thought provoking issues. It demonstrated how quickly persons are to judge another for their mistakes and how victims are harshly treated.
Overall, this was a wonderful, swoon worthy romance. I am not going to lie, there were moments I pictured myself in Catherine’s shoes minus the humiliating past of course. If you enjoy romances that have a Cinderella vibe then you will enjoy this story.
“I wake up every morning thinking about you. I go to bed at night thinking about you. Please tell me it’s not just me.”
“It’s good to have dreams. Without dreams, we wouldn’t have goals. And without goals…what’s the point of living?”
About K.A. Tucker
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women. K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.