Book Review – Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

by Maryse on June 24, 2013 · 43 comments

in My Book Reviews

Surviving Raine
<— One of my new “best book ever” books. OMG I am OBSESSED with this story, and those who recommended it to me were SO right. Absolutely engrossing. I LOVED IT!

Hannah: You must read Surviving Raine by Shay Savage. Period. Seriously, it is that good. I was having major issues with finding a book (I have become super picky) and the fifty-shades wannabes books and predictable romantic dramas simply weren’t doing it for me. I think I have read to many of these books, because I see, to be able to predict the events coming on, thus the read feels pointless and I cannot become engaged in it. Surviving Raine is dark and twisted and everything I secretly craved.

Hannah, you hit the nail on the head when you said “everything I craved”. YES. EVERYTHING. Exactly this. One of my top 2013′s easily and I MEAN TOP. Amazing. Every time my husband would get an update from me (he was also very interested in this story) he’d ask… “how many stars?” and each time I would respond, “five”. No “hrmmm… I dunno yet”. No “sometimes this many, sometimes that many”. Nope. Five stars would jump out of my mouth each and every time.

Yep. This is one of thoooose. It had everything I look for in an unputtdownable read. An unfathomable life or death event, and every scary detail to have me living it with them. Two characters that would likely have never gotten together in the first place due to her gentle nature and his volatile demeanor. Her need to comfort and be comforted and his need (or impulse) to keep, no… scare, everyone away. But this was perfect for me, as I imagined getting to know him through her eyes and trying to approach such an angry and sarcastic person. But better yet was that the author allowed us to live it, through him.

I thought I preferred reading books from the heroine’s perspective so that I could pine with her, worry with her and wonder what he is really thinking and feeling. Fall for him… with her. But I connected to this one and fell hard for him anyway.  This one dug it’s claws deep in my heart because I got to be in his head and in his heart (and coming from a guy like Bastian, this was sorely needed). Let me tell you… he tore my heart apart. Rocked my world (in both good and bad ways) and really twisted me up in that angsty but not too over-the-top way. I fell for him even harder than most heroes I’ve enjoyed (no matter who’s POV), and I credit the author’s amazing writing for my incredible connection to her story. Her writing is clever and her characters, credible.  The scenes and the character reactions were seamless, and didn’t once distract me from my reading (other than to gasp in glee or horror).

So what’s it about?

A cruise ship capsizes and the drunken captain finds himself alone and scrambling for safety, all the while saving a drowning female passenger and securing them into a life-raft. Heroic, isn’t he? Hrmmmm… you’ll be questioning that a few times, soon enough.

“I haven’t saved you yet,” I told her. “You might hate me for not letting you drown. At least it would be over then. Drowning is quick at least. Dying of dehydration while you’re starving, too? That sucks.”

Where’d everyone else go? He has no clue, as they drift at sea hoping to survive in time to find land. Limited water and food, just the two of them forced into close proximity.

How the f&*k was I going to survive with this annoying, smoking hot b!tch that I simultaneously wanted to f%&k and kill?

I really, really needed to relax.

Did I mention the alcoholic part? It gets ugly as he finds himself without the ability to self-medicate. Nightmares, and memories come back to haunt him…

I could see tears running across her cheeks. I tried to comprehend why she would be crying and could only come up with one answer – she was crying for me.

… and hope dwindles as they spend days with no land in sight. Supplies dwindling. Dehydration and heat exhaustion threatening. Salt chafing… minds clashing. They suffered and I suffered with them. But it’s not all suffering. ;) I’ll end that thought there because the rest is yours to discover and you will LOVE it. Of that, I am certain.

Just… a “perfect read”. Descriptive (but not distractingly so). So emotional (and I mean whoa! emotional – all emotions). Some of his overt reactions were excessive. Obnoxious. And yet, I believed his internal dialogue and his rationalizations. Understood his thoughts and fears. Is it because I have felt this way, myself? Had that kind of reaction in my life? Seen it in my past from someone else? *shrug* All I can say is that I KNEW. I didn’t necessarily agree with his irrational thoughts, but I knew them. I knew where they were coming from.

So all that to say… if I could only bring one thing with me to a deserted island, it would be Bastian. He’d figure out the rest. Resourceful, amazing survival instincts and the ultimate protector (you’ll see why… nobody stands a chance). *sigh*

And even if he couldn’t “figure out the rest”, I fell SO hard for him in this book that it wouldn’t matter. I’d live on love alone. ;) Despite his tormented soul, his caustic attitude and his horrific past (we can certainly consider him a “bad guy” of sorts), I fell for him. Despite his morbid outlook on life, his heart would glow too brightly to hide, at times, and would easily outshine his darkness. But the darkness lurks… oh does it ever.

It’s official. Bastien is my new favorite book-guy of all the world for 2013. Other than Dex and Travis and well… you know… a few of my other #1′s. What I’m trying to say is that Bastian just made my forever favorite list. He turned me into a swooney-gooey mess (and half the time he was trying to do the opposite). So cocky and yet I LOVE that!

“You are incredible,” Raine said. She fixed her shining eyes at me, and I couldn’t help but feel it. I gave a crooked smile back and tilted my head to the side.

“It’s true,” I told her. “I am. You should try my out sometime.”

In fact I’m going to venture to say that he was the perfect mix of Dex and Travis (but not a “copy” of them). He was 100% his own. Bastian was so real, genuine and the perfect mix of tough-guy angry, and yet so heart-wrenchingly sad deep down inside. Fearless and yet so fearful.

“Please stop shutting me out.”

“I never let you in, baby,” I sneered.

Ohhh grrrrr!! That MAN!!!!

But I so obviously have a “type”, (or a book-type) and you put these three guys at the top of my hero list and you’ll have a good idea.

Everyone told me what an a$$ he was, but I misunderstood them all. Before I read this, I was imagining something else… I don’t know exactly what, but it wasn’t this deep. I needed to experience him myself. But now I get it. YES. YES!!! He was certainly an a$$. OMG the things that he’d let fly out of his mouth, his mood swings and temper tantrums could be so volatile and yet, his internal musings, and his heart kept me right there with him.

Everything. EVERYTHING made sense. Almost every question I had was answered except for one, and I can’t help but wonder if this is for a “future” reason, and I am so good with that. Cliffhanger you ask? Hrmmm… well, sort of, but nothing I can’t deal with. There is a full story here. Start to end. But… there is just another one to come. Again, you’ll see. ;)

5 stars!!!

Thank you to the author for sending me a review copy, but…. ummmmm….. *chagrinned* … I actually didn’t realize you had already sent it my way and so I bought it. And it was worth EVERY single penny. If it was a paper book, I would sleep with it under my pillow in hopes that I would dream of it. Of him. ;)

P.S. I thought I’d share all of our enthusiasm for this book, here (it appears so many of us went nuts for it):

Maryse’s Book Blog: On another note, I’m thoroughly addicted to “Surviving Raine” as is my husband (’cause I’ve been telling him the story – he’s so stressed about their “situation”). It’s soooo good! And Bastian gives me a bit of that wonderful “Dex” feel… Just… Meaner. Hehe. You know I must be loving this to finish it, when the latest Dex has just been released. ;)

Debbie: I loved this book and am torn about its ending. When is the second book going to be published?

Anita: I like the word you used “Thoroughly” because that is exactly how I felt when I read it. Very good book

Ray: It’s really good – can’t wait for the next one. Reading Killing Sarai just now – victor reminds me of Bastian

Kathryn: Is there sex in this? I heard it was a cliffhanger.

Jenn: I loved this book!!

Elizabeth: I LOVED this book!! Can’t wait for the next one in the series!! I need more Bastian.

Dawn: So good! So is her Occupied series. Just finished that. I love that they are in his perspective. She really knows how to get in their heads!

Ashley: Have you tried the Otherwise series by Shay Savage? Also her Fanfiction is deliciously good.

Tracie: I loved this book!!! Yes to the sex Kathryn, and there is more to the story at the end. Not so much a cliffy.

Lori: so glad you’re reading this, isn’t Bastian an A$$! Really liked this book! And the author has a new series coming out-posted the free novella a while ago with sequel to come shortly!!! It was from the H POV too, which I love, and it looks good too

Cindy: I loved that book!! I could live on an island with him!

Maddie: Read and loved it.

Claudia: I loved it!!!!! You should read Otherwise Occupied and Otherwise Alone, soooo good!! Shay Savage is my new fav. writer!!!

Nancy: Oh I loved this one, too, & reminded me of On the Island, but reversed rolls.

Tiffany: Loved Surviving Raine! Shay Savage is A gifted StoryTeller!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: So far… Easily going to be in my top 2013. I am reeeeaally feeling these two.

Kelley: Thanks for this one. I just downloaded it!

Dawn: it’s Captive in the Dark meets On the Island. Soooo good!

Maria: its for sure on my top 2013.

Catherine: Its so easy to love and hate him….but sooooo GOOD!!!

Kathy: Loved this book! Definitely in my favorites for this year!

Sue: I loved this book too! Have my daughter-in-law reading it now.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I absolutely will. This author is AMAZING judging by this book alone.

Jennifer: Loved this book!

Kandace: I am so glad you read this one. It is my favorite book of 2013. I’ve been pimping Surviving Raine out for the past month. Too bad book 2 isn’t scheduled to be released until 2014. I want it now!!

Michele: I finished it yesterday & loved it!!!

Janet: This is one I won’t have to reread when the sequel comes out. It stuck like glue. Loved it.

Agreed, Janet. I’ll remember every single detail. But I’ve been without Bastian for hours now and I’m really missing him. Maybe a re-read is in order… just because. ;)

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia B June 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Great review Maryse! I also loved this book! It was so nice to read something different for a change. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!

Jean June 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

YAY Maryse! I’ve been waiting for you to review this one! I am SOOO glad you loved this one as much as I did! I am telling everyone I know to read it! DITTO to every single bit of your review! Such a great read, and just the change we all needed from the “Fifty” scenarios!

Sadie June 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

YES!! I love it when you LOVE a book this much, it makes me want to start reading immediately. But wait – I was just about to start Come Alive! :)

michele P June 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I really love your blog. But sometimes I hate you because when you rave about a book I know I will love it too, which then leads me to spend more money on another book you loved. Omg, my book budget is taking a hit.
Thanks again, I love your blog.

Maryse June 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Oh yes… I know the feeling. It happens to me all the time. Even with this one. The recommendations that I received were so adamant that I didn’t even check to see if I already had a review copy. I bought it.

Then when I was backtracking through my recommendation emails for this post, I saw it. *whoops* ;)

day June 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

not even surprised you loved it maryse. I enjoyed it as well. I love sebastien. *swoon*

Ruth June 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Loved your review! Downloading……

Isadora June 24, 2013 at 5:43 PM

It sounds amazing!! anything 5 star from you I will read right away! Thank you for another recommendation!

Linda June 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Loved Surviving Raine!!!!!!! Loved Bastian and Raine. So beautifully written. OMG 5 stars no question!!! Cannot wait for sequel. 2014???? UUUGH:(

Nancy Parken June 24, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Great Review & I loved, loved, loved this book!

JJ Losier June 25, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Looks like I know my next next read… Uh-oh – I’m starting a TBR List! haha :D

Becky June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Just to let you know if you have amazon prime its one of the free books!

Kristina June 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Holy shipwreck! I downloaded this book last night and cannot stop reading it. So good! Thanks for the recommendation!

Maryse June 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I’m feeling lonely now that I finished it. Still, even though it’s been a few days. Luckily I have Dex to pull me through. ;)

julie o June 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Maryse, downloaded this as soon as I saw your review and am now mad at you. I am 10% in and I don’t think I am going to get any work done today. oh well ! BTY I read “tall, tatted and tempting” and enjoyed and it is a series about brothers. This one has a little different spin on it. Keep sending up the good ones Maryse. Just want you to know that I did buy the 1st EIT book and expect to start it soon.

Georgia June 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Ok…reading all these great comments has gotten my curiosity going…plus, I have NEVER been disappointed by Maryse’s 5 star ratings. Looks like I will be spending time with Bastain until the wee hours like most of you did, it sounds like…thanks for sharing.

Kate June 25, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Gah! I just finished this book tonight and I loved loved loved it! It reminded me of On The Island but way different!

Biate June 26, 2013 at 5:36 AM

Getting this book now.

kim June 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Really enjoyed this book, can’t wait for the next one!

Rachel June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

“Reason to Breath” by Rebecca Donovan
I looked through your blog and didn’t see this book, I am not surprised, I am not even sure how did I get to find it, I think I was just reading the short review version and I got ‘caught’. The BEST book I read in a very long time!! No steamy, detailed pornographic details, no 50 Shades wannabe, just a good story that will addict you to keep turning these pages. It might take you more than two chapters to comprehend the ‘addiction’ but it is definitely there. The second book is “Barely Breathing and the third one is “out of breath” to be release on July 2nd. Just finished the second one and cannot read anything until the third one will come out.

julie o June 26, 2013 at 1:54 PM

OMG just finished Surviving Raine this morning at 3 am. Its funny how
I hated Bastion for the first third of the book then just fell in love with him.
Maryse, call up some markers and find out when the sequel is coming out. She can’t write fast enough for me. Now I’m going to see what this
“Dex” is all about.

Maryse June 26, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Hi Rachel!

Yep I’ve reviewed them both (you can find them in my “Book Reviews” section). :) Awesome books!

Jean June 26, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Wow Maryse, I couldn’t find them on your blog either, but I will look for them now! Rachel, I just finished Reason to Breathe and I could not put it down for a second. Starting Baring Breathing tonight and looking forward to the release next week. I will be ready!

Victoria Paige Books June 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM

This was bar-none, my best read this year. Everything about surviving raine worked for me.

Avery June 26, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Just bought it… Maybe next!

Jenniffer June 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Thank you for the recomendation! I got your Twitter message and inmediately read ur review and bougth the book! I am only reading books that you found to be 5 stars. I totally agree with Mrs. Hannah, Couldnt express it better than that, for this reason please, keep sending those Twitter.. BTW, your review was awesome, i hope i enjoyed it as well. Thank you!

cac220 June 27, 2013 at 8:34 PM

There is a sequel, right? RIGHT?! I’m finding it hard to breathe…

Rebecca Rastley June 27, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Loved it! One of my favorite books of all time! Thank you for always finding the best reads.

cindy June 27, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Just finished and am so glad you recommended this book. It was a nice change and can’t wait to read something else with these characters

Melissa June 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Thanks for the recommendation. I loved it! i thought it was slow at first. They drifted at sea forever and were stranded forever it seemd but looking back it needed to be that way to let the characters really get to know each other and let the reader ” feel” their emotions better. I hate having to wait for a second book. Can’t wait to see where the story goes. Just as long as Bastian & Raine have a HEA.

Michelle M June 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Whoa…seriously…at a loss for words descriptive enough to expess how much I LOVED this book. Soooooo much more than I expected. Do we have any more details on the next one???

Shirley June 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Just finished Surviving Raine. Wow! Excellent read.

Helen June 30, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Wow!!! This book is just amazing. And definitely 5 star worthy! I loved Bastian & his potty mouth hehehe. As always Maryse your recommendations are always spot on!!

Biate July 2, 2013 at 2:46 AM

I liked this book. It was something different. At first it was strange reading it from his point of view, but it was great. Thanks Maryse!

Lauren July 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Loved this book, thx u for the recommendation!

Angela August 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Loved, loved, LOVED this book! I have a book list a mile long thanks to you and I have not been disappointed ONE time!! :) Thank you for the recommendation! Five stars given!

sara August 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Hi! I’m curious; who is Dex?

LucyM August 26, 2013 at 5:31 AM

Maryse I can’t believe how long I have had this on my TBR in my kindle. I read your review and thought I’ll get to it….well I did and I am so mad I didn’t get to Sebastian earlier. He is delicious! I just wish I hadn’t read the epilogue because its killing me that I know have to wait for book 2. Thanks for the recommendation or I never would have got to it!

Chelsea November 23, 2013 at 2:39 AM

I can’t thank you enough for highly recommending this book.. because honestly I wouldn’t have noticed this if I didn’t read your review, and it turns out really really good!! can’t wait for the next book! =)

Lindsay January 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM

CONFESSION, I’ve had this book in my TBR for a while, but I just didn’t seem in the mood to read it. After your 2013 favorite book list I gave it a go. Boy, do I want to kick my lady parts something fierce. This book was simply amazing! I’m so mad for not reading it sooner and discovering some Bastian. I just love it when the men are total A-holes. Makes them more real.. Hehe.

Becky February 10, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Does anyone know if there is a sequel to this book? And when it is coming out?

Maryse February 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

The author is writing it as we speak! :) She just posted this yesterday on her Facebook page:

“I have spent the better part of the day working on the Surviving Raine sequel. I *think* I have settled on a title, but I don’t want to say for sure yet. It is flowing pretty well for now, and if I can say so myself, it’s going to blow your minds.”

Susan March 15, 2014 at 7:01 PM

I LOVED, LOVED this book – thanks for the recommendation — spot on as usual!

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