ROGUE WAVE (Cake #5) by J. Bengtsson
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
J. Bengtsson gives her fans another great look inside the McKallister family in the 5th book of the Cake Series. Rogue Wave is the emotional rollercoaster of a love affair between Keith and Sam, the nerdy girl who captures his heart and changes his life.
The story unfolds over several years, starting when Keith and Sam are in high school, their breakup and what they each go through during those five years, their eventual reunion and subsequent breakup #2 five years after that. I felt like I’d been through the wringer by the time I got to the end of this marvelous book!
My heart ached for Keith. The poor guy struggles with so much: feeling like a misfit in a family of overachievers, drug and alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, feeling like he’s can’t measure up to oldest brother Mitch. His struggles with his demons are so well-described in this story. I felt his pain, felt his hope, felt his despair. And Sam’s life wasn’t much easier. JB does a fantastic job of describing the abuse Sam deals with at home, as well as what the McKallister family goes through when Jake is kidnapped. Seeing that family tragedy from Keith’s POV adds another layer to the complicated mess, and how that day affected both his and Sam’s lives was astounding.
Bengtsson is a master storyteller. I fell in love with Jake and Casey when I first read Cake, and each follow-up story has endeared this family to me even more.
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Add to Goodreads
A love story that survives the test of time.
Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path.
Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine.
Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.
*Although a part of the Cake Series, this book can be read as a standalone.
In hindsight, I should’ve been less friendly. I mean, I knew nothing about the nerdy crew or where their triggers might lie, so who was to say a wave in the Star Trek crowd didn’t mean something entirely different? Smart girls were tricky like that. From what I’d gathered through trial and error, the higher the SAT score, the less impressed a female was with my overall being. Not that I had a ton of experience with them to begin with.
Typically, the honors kids refrained from interacting with me. Maybe they feared my stupidity would rub off on them, I don’t know. But what I did know was this girl, with her divided, color-coded binder and back as straight as an arrow – she was definitely part of that extra credit crowd.
“Hey there, partner.” Hair tumbled over my forehead as I tipped my head in her direction. After the day I’d had, I wasn’t feeling particularly charming, but I needed to win this girl over, and quickly. Normally I wouldn’t give two shits about someone I had zero interest in, but given the promise I’d made to my father, my priorities would need to change. People who’d been merely background players before were about to take center stage in my life. If I had any hope of passing chemistry, this little ball of tension sitting before me needed to be unraveled.
“Hey,” she answered in a voice that sounded both hesitant and hardened. There were none of those embarrassed giggles from a few days ago. It was as if the dopey conversation I’d had with her the other day hadn’t registered at all, and now I was back to square one.
Okay, first things first: establish a connection. “Sorry, I forgot your name.”
“Oh, right – Sam.”
“My name is Samantha,” she said, all business-like. “No one calls me Sam.”
I fought the urge to smile. Samantha Anderson was trying so hard to be badass, but she just didn’t have the street cred to pull it off. And even though I needed to tread lightly with this girl, I couldn’t help a little subtle teasing.
“Uh-huh. So, Sam, what did I miss?” I asked, taking my seat.
“Samantha,” she corrected once more. “And… you missed three days.”
That was not the response I’d been expecting from my straight-laced partner.
Damn, she was a ballsy little brainiac. I was impressed. Yet still, I had to call bullshit on her timeline. I knew for a fact I’d only missed two days of chemistry. “Your tally is off.”
She shook her head, the tiniest of smiles finding its way to her lips. “I counted the nap.”
About the Author
A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.
And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.
When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands… and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book baby came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.
Jill is now a full-time writer.
Connect w/J. Bengtsson
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebananabinder/