The Fundamental Theory of Us

Alyse Raines
The Fundamental Theory of Us
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Evernight Publishing
Release Date
June 2016
Contemporary Romance, Medical Romance

Andrew Warren's future was with the Marines, until an IED took his leg and derailed his career. Now he's flunking Fundamentals, and he enlists the help of his fellow App State freshman and off-campus neighbor, Sawyer Layne. It's not just the beautiful blonde's looks that intrigue him, but the hurt in her eyes.

Sawyer spends her days surrounded by numbers and nights with a bottle of vodka to numb the darkness of her past. Guys like sexy, tattooed Andrew are exactly what Sawyer needs to avoid. Look but don't touch—that's the rule. If only his eyes weren't so blue, and his abs not so chiseled….

When Sawyer resists his brand of charm, Andrew uses every devious tactic he knows to pull her from her shell. Falling in love was never part of the plan.

Book Review by Elizabeth Ramsay (reviewer)
Jul 23, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
102 people found the following review helpful
A gripping analysis of the effects of PTSD and the healing power of love.

Andrew Warren thought he had his life all sorted out. He was a Marine. He had a house that he was fixing up during his leave, and a beautiful fiancée: Miranda. All that changed in an instant when an IED hit the truck he was in. His buddies died and Andrew lost his leg. He was given a medical discharge from the Marines and had to learn how to be a civilian. Miranda ditched him because she didn't want to marry someone missing a leg. Without a backup plan, Andrew decides to go back to school and take a math degree. He meets Sawyer Layne in his Fundamentals of Probability class and immediately recognizes her as a kindred soul.

Sawyer is running from her family in New York. When she went to her mother and sister about the sexual assault her sister's boyfriend Chase inflicted on her, the women in her family believed Chase over her. They called her a lying whore and to deal with the fact that her sister Alannah was marrying Chase. Sawyer tried to deal by avoiding Chase, but when he told her she had to let him cut and touch her or never see her niece Courtney again, she fled.

Appalachian State University is located in North Carolina. It attracted Sawyer because it was far from New York and they offered her a scholarship. The university attracted Andrew because it was close enough to his family to drive home if he needed to but far enough away that he could heal without them smothering him. Andrew and Sawyer both bear mental and physical scars from their past. As they get closer together, Andrew finds his nightmares disappearing and Sawyer learns that sex can feel good. Sawyer finds in Andrew a supportive boyfriend who believes in her and is willing to help her deal with her past. Unfortunately, Sawyer's past doesn't want to stay in the past. What will happen when Chase tries to re-insert himself into Sawyer's life? Will she be hurt again or can Andrew protect her?

THE FUNDAMENTAL THEORY OF US looks at how love can heal even the deepest psychological wounds. Yet, it is not a fantasy. Andrew, whose best friend died in his arms when an IED exploded, is seeing a therapist and has a support dog. Sawyer confronts her attacker, confesses her story to her father, and ends up destroying her parents' marriage when her father takes her side. The novel is based in reality and reality is messy. The reader is left with the idea that Andrew and Sawyer will be happy together but it is not a Disney ending. Yet, both Andrew and Sawyer heal as they grow together throughout the novel. They learn that scars are okay and that life goes on.

Alyse Raines delivers a thought-provoking novel about how to pick up the pieces after a personal tragedy. This is not a fluffy book, but it is well worth a read. If you're looking for a novel with something to say this summer, check out THE FUNDAMENTAL THEORY OF US.
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