Review: Phase, Phobic, and Beastly by Michelle Irwin (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story #1-3)

Note: These ebooks and ARC were provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle Irwin is a new author to me and because the book I chose to introduce me to her writing is the third in an ongoing series AND can't be read out of order PLUS the fact that I prefer to read books in order, I had to go ahead an read the first two novels as well. Then color me surprised because I didn't know that Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story was actually a spin-off. I delved deeper into Goodreads the day after I signed up for the release blitz for Beastly, book three in Phoebe's series, and didn't realize the whole spin-off deal till then. But that first series, Declan Reede: The Untold Story, which is about Phoebe's parents, is composed of a prequel novella and four-length novels, and well, I just didn't get to allot the time for them. In short, I went into this spin-off series without having read the original one. Fortunately, Phoebe's story can be read separately from that of her father Declan's, although I confess that I found myself with lots of questions regarding Declan and Alyssa, Phoebe's mother, so on my TBR list they go. This review is a consolidated one, covering all three books. There's a novella out as well entitled Decay, with events in book three told from the point of view of Declan, but this review doesn't include that. There's a fourth book, Physis, set for release later in the year, but I digress. This review is only for Phase, Phobic, and Beastly.

Phoebe Reede is a nearly eighteen-year-old trying to find her place in Phase. She may love her parents, but being having to live up to everything her father Declan has achieved isn't all it's cracked up to be. That kind of expectation--that kind of pressure--is daunting, so a trip from her native Australia to the United States could be key to helping her get better perspective. What she ends up finding, however, is a guy who decides to join her on her journey around the US--cowboy Beau Miller. But Phoebe is only in the country temporarily. Can she really afford to start anything with Beau knowing full well she has a life to return to in Australia? Can she risk giving him her heart?

Two broken hearts later, Phoebe finds herself trying to acclimate to life back at home, but she also needs to return to the U.S. to join the stock car racing circuit. The last thing she expects is to have Beau as her teammate. The welcome mat hasn't exactly been set out for her, not with Beau nursing his own heartbreak after the way things ended between him and Phoebe. Making matters more strained, Beau has clearly moved on, with a fiancee and a baby on the way. As much as she still feels for her ex, Phoebe needs to keep her focus solely on her racing career, but she meets someone who could end up becoming the distraction that she needs. Is it time for her to love again?

Told from the point of view of Beau, Beastly has him wondering if Phoebe has once again broken his heart. But when Declan Reede barges his way into Beau's life, it's clear that there's more going on than meets the eye. Phoebe is missing, having been abducted. Who could have taken her from Beau and her family? Was it a complete stranger hoping to make a ransom demand? Or could it have been someone she knew--someone both she and Beau knew and someone that they trusted who went on to take advantage of that trust? Whoever has Phoebe will have to contend with both Beau and Declan, but will the men in Phoebe's life be too late to rescue their princess?

Fair warning: all three novels end in cliffhangers, some more hair-pullingly frustrating than others, depending on your tolerance level and lack of patience. Phoebe Reede's journey isn't an easy one, as is how it should be since real life doesn't give you any guarantees nor does it follow a particular script. She's also a fascinating main character, flawed yet trying to be her own person. She owns up to her mistakes but continues to push forward. You don't have to be a teen on the brink of adulthood to empathize with her because it's easy enough to recognize the struggles that she faces since we've all been there and experienced it in one form or another. Phoebe is relatable, which is just one of the pluses of the series. Her love story with Beau is also one that you can't help but fall in love with, becoming engrossed and invested, hoping that the final outcome for these two will be a rewarding one, especially with the kind of ending we get in Beastly. There were tears and quietly uttered reactions as I read Phoebe's story. None of the books are quick reads, but because you need to read them in order, I'm going to strongly suggest that you pace yourself. Trust me, though, that the time you put into them will be worth it. Michelle Irwin's storytelling is addictive and my craving hasn't waned yet. Five stars for Phase, Phobic, and Beastly. ♥

Release Dates:
Phase - 30 August 2016
Phobic - 30 November 2016
Beastly - 28 February 2017

Dates Read:
Phase - 26 February 2017
Phobic - 27 February 2017
Beastly - 28 February 2017

Learn more about Michelle Irwin.

Purchase Phase on Amazon.
Purchase Phobic on Amazon.
Purchase Beastly on Amazon.