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Finding Emma

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For the last year, Emma Owens has been quietly detached from everything and everyone. Desperate to escape the demons that chased her out of her hometown, she’s learned that life here in Milwaukee is just less complicated and less tragic when it’s a one-woman show.

In the span of one week, everything about her carefully orchestrated solitude comes crashing down. Then again, she can’t really ignore the scratching coming from her patio door or the hungry, pleading grey eyes reflecting in the moonlight. Those four little white paws and that tiger-striped fur thaws some of the ice keeping her heart on lockdown and she’s attached before she knows what hits her.

Emma doesn’t have any better luck ignoring another pair of eyes, and her new neighbor, Finn Matthews, with his shy persistence and a painful past of his own, slowly chips away at the rest of the ice trapping Emma in her insecurities and her loneliness.

Taking a chance on her new roommate and her next-door neighbor opens a door she’d previously slammed shut: the door to a new lease on life and the right to forgive, to fight back, and to heal.

And the craziest part about it?

It all started with a stray cat.

She was lost...and he found her.

**Finding Emma is a full-length, standalone contemporary romance. Due to language and some sexual situations, this book is not intended for readers under 18**


First published October 20, 2015

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About the author

K. Ryan

4 books201 followers

K. Ryan lives in the Green Bay area with her crazy-supportive boyfriend and the best decision of her adult life, a not-so-stray cat named Oliver. When not writing, she’s either binge-watching something on Netflix, running, reading, or cheering on the Packers.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@authorkryan) and Facebook or visit her website, for updates and news.

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Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
November 1, 2015
This review was first posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds as part of the Blog Tour hosted by Indie Sage PR.

Disclaimer: I don’t usually post spoilerish reviews, but I am making an exception for this beauty of a book.


That’s the exact reaction I had, when I finished this book. Exact same one, verbatim, at my workplace, where I was sneaking in some reading time (because I couldn’t complete this book the night before!) when I should have been completing my paperwork. Didn’t really endear me to my supervisor, but really who cares? I just freaking had my life changed by iPad!!

(Ma’am: If you are reading this, I love my job and I need my job. Please don’t fire me!)

There are some books that when you read a blurb, you feel that this will be just one of those reads that I will like, but it will never be one of those reads that you will love coming back to. And that’s the exact same feeling I had when I read the blurb of this book. I thought, there is a cute animal, two protagonists, a feel good romance with the pet playing a central role that just might tug at my heartstrings but not make it bleed.

I need to sue my instincts ‘cause I am really ashamed that I pegged this book really wrong! When I was done with the book, all I could keep thinking was
“How could I have been so wrong? How could I have even thought that this would be a mediocre book? I think I might have been temporarily insane to think that THIS book could in any way be just a romance!”

Finding Emma starts off slow, that I have to agree. It also starts off giving the impression that it will be a mediocre book with the exact same plotline like almost every other romance story out there, but it isn’t! I swear to Lucifer, it really isn’t!

“I think I would’ve done anything he asked in that moment. I would’ve given him anything, told him anything he wanted to know, if only he’d just keep looking at me with this acceptance.”

Emma is a recluse who works in the corner café and runs a blog on beauty tips – but it wasn’t always so. She was a History Teacher and she absolutely loved her job, and yet a traumatic incident, a scandal rocked her world, and she left everything behind.

Emma is real. She is you. She is me. She is every single female who has ever found herself in a situation where she had to defend her honor, her integrity and her character, and find herself to be lacking, through no fault at all of her own. She is the female in us, who fights to be independent, to have her own identity yet has to temper down herself to be accepted or even to be considered an upstanding member of a hypocritical society.

Finn Mathew is a man who has been broken in his young life, for heartbreak leaves its brand of scars. He isn’t looking for anything, he isn’t looking for love but most of all, he isn’t looking for Emma. Yet he finds her, and the good guy that he is, treasures her.

Finn Mathew is your father. He is your brother. He is an epitome of every single man who spits in the face of misogyny. He is that man who loves every single part of you, even the bad ones. He is the man who fell for your scars first and your smile later. He is the man who has accepted your baggage and thinks it’s his privilege to carry it with you. He is the man you turn to at night, with full belief that you will never ever be turned away. Finn Mathews is the love of your life.

“I could do and say anything in front of him, embarrass or lay myself bare, and he wouldn’t care. It was as if the past didn’t exist and with him, there was only now. It was as he’d judged me from the moment we met, but hadn’t found me wanting…. Hadn’t tried to push me into anything I wasn’t ready for. He’d given me space, followed my lead, but somehow shown me a different path at the same time.
A new possibility. A new chance. There was safety in Finn Mathew’s presence I never thought I’d ever feel again.”

It is very hard to understand where this story takes a turn to reality, where it stops just being an adorable relationship you coo over to the one where it becomes a part of you. It isn’t just the writing that’s the best part of this book (though the writing is flawless), it is the fact that the characters, the plot, every single part of this book gets under your skin before you even realise it had happened, and now there is a itch, the kind that makes you think about reality, when all you want to do is bury your head in sand.
K. Ryan is a new author to me, an author that now I can’t help but respect and adore, because it takes special kind of talent to make readers face a harsh reality under the guise of something as inconspicuous as romance.

Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,843 reviews294 followers
October 27, 2015
As a voracious reader, you do find yourself clicking better with some books than others as some you fall in love from the first page, whereas others can take a wee while to get into and for me Finding Emma was one of those reads where I struggled with the book. We first met Emma when she gets home and she is reading a text from her brother Noah, whom we can guess from the interaction she tries to avoid. From this part, we can guess that Emma has had an awful experience from her growing up with the family and it has caused her to run away and start a new life without them. Somewhere where she can just be left alone to her own devices and no-one knows about her past, so it can stay hidden. Of course, as readers know and in reality too - the past never stays hidden and often more so in books - the past comes back in tenfold and can knock us flying and make us feel like we are losing control and this is what happens to Emma. The other thing we know by reading books is that there is normally an event or a person of the opposite sex - mostly the latter that will be the cause of our unravelling and eventually with a whole lot of up's and downs will help us confront that past and if we are lucky - the main character will end up with this person and the book will finish with an HEA ending. In Finding Emma - that guy is Finn - her new neighbour , the catalyst and changing point though is a lost stray cat which was a different twist, which I did like.

If you are in the mood for an Edgy New Adult Novel with a Self-Discovery Journey storyline , then check out Finding Emma by K.Ryan today.

5 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2015
I received an ARC of "Finding Emma" in exchange for an honest review.
The beginning starts out with a girl having an internal battle with helping a stray cat. She seems terrified to open her screen door and let a stray cat in her home, or more essentially, into her life. The girl is in a self-inflicted exile from her co-workers, hometown, even her family.
Eventually we learn that the lonely girl is Emma, running from her humiliating past.
Then we meet her new neighbor Finn. Finn is recovering from his own humiliating past resulting in his anti-social behaviour similar to Emma's. Together they will wade through their troubled pasts and exorcise demons.
Finn's wingman is Slinger, whom I just LOVED. You know that quirky friend you have that had no filter but is fiercely protective? That's Slinger.
Emma and Finn connect through their loved of music. Once they get over the awkwardness they both feel, they're magnetic. Finn is kind, warm, generous, funny, and ready to overcome his emotional hurtle to be with Emma.
Emma evolves in her story, she starts out shy, skittish, and had this wall up around her entire life. Which, she has good reason. When someone you care about has betrayed your trust (not Finn. Don't get your panties in a twist) it's hard to rebuild that trust you have IN YOURSELF. It's hard to give yourself over to someone new. Imagine handing someone the shattered pieces of your heart because that's literally the only thing you have left to give. Ms. Ryan gets to the core of insecurity and helps both her characters put their faith in another human being.
Emma, in the end, picked up the metaphorical sledgehammer and knocked down her own walls. She decided enough running, enough pity, enough apologizing! She got angry and decided to do something about her unfair treatment. Emma became a modern day hero, a hero like in her history books, she decided enough was enough! I loved meeting her and getting to know her. "Watching" her grow was a privilege.
The best thing about Ms. Ryan is the time she takes to allow her characters to develop. She also did this in her debut novel "Carry your heart" (which is aaamazing, you should check it out). So when you're finished with her book, you feel like you've made life-long friends. Friends you miss and reminisce about long after the story is over.
Kings of Leon- "use somebody"
Alessia Cara- "here"
Profile Image for Mignon Mykel.
Author 95 books654 followers
October 27, 2015
Received a copy of the title in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 / 5 stars
full review can be found at mignon mykel : reviews on 10/27

I absolutely loved Emma and Finn. I loved her fear of cats, and Oliver's insistence on loving on her. I loved her caring brother who tried to keep tabs on her -- in the "big city" (which, I suppose next to her small town you could sneeze in and miss, Milwaukee is big, but I wouldn't necessarily go 'big city'). I loved Emma's need to find a way for herself after a fairly big scandal -- and then Finn's protective instincts to help her.

I loved Finn and his quiet sides. I loved his guitar side and his quirky side and his altogether great personality -- and I totally agree with the Rodgers number on a Matthews jersey, friend. I even loved Slinger and his crazy redhead self.

For most of the beginning of the book, as a reader you really see in Emma's head. It kind of makes the story take a slow start; it's not until she meets her new neighbors that the story started to pick up. The beginning is riddled with inner monologue but the girl also talks to herself...and to the cat she doesn't want, but I totally relate to that (as I recently had a full conversation with one of my two cats earlier this afternoon). I loved how real Emma was.

If there were ever a quiet male lead that really pulled me in, it may just be Finn. I loved watching him fight for Emma -- even when she pushes him away. These two have some personal demons they need to work through, and the journey they together was lovely to read.

The full message in this story is so real, so true -- and while the author states she, herself, hasn't experienced it, she has colleagues who have so she was able to draw on what she felt as well as what she learned from them.

Kudos, Ms. Ryan -- this may only be your second book, but I've loved them both and look forward to so much more.
Profile Image for Heather / Obsessed With Myshelf.
483 reviews77 followers
October 28, 2015
The message this book sends is so fucking on point. SO FREAKING GOOD. I can’t talk about it without being spoilery but Emma’s journey is hard, challenging, and life-altering. Her world has literally been destroyed and her ability to trust has been demolished. She’s timid, aloof, skittish and skirting on the outside edges of life – for a damn good reason. When a stray cat climbs his way into her life, she feels hope for the first time in over a year. Which terrifies the ever living fuck out of her. But it feels so good and so innocent that she can’t stop herself from wanting just a little bit more of that feeling.

The analogies that could be made between Emma and the cat were not lost on me. The cat is just the beginning of Emma’s journey that includes finding a way to trust, hope and love again. Emma spends a good portion of this book hiding and closing her eyes and wishing that the shitstorm would disappear…but it doesn’t.

AND FINN. my god. He is the perfect book boyfriend in every single possible way that phrase could turn for you. He.is.everything. *hugs kindle a little*

Finn hasn’t exactly had his own perfect set of circumstances, but who has? Which is completely the point. Finn’s strength, resolve and love is everything Emma doesn’t think she deserves, but everything she needs. I absolutely wanted to shake Emma at times, but I could also understand why she was terrified to do anything but hide. Finn’s just a really fucking good guy. You’ll love him – promise.

The greatest part about this book is that it feels so real. The characters are believable, as is the plot. This story has the feels, the romance and the every day moments that are bound to make you swoon. FINDING EMMA should be finding its way into your hands immediately. 4.5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]
This review looks prettier on my blog: http://obsessedwithmyshelf.com/2015/1...
Profile Image for Breanna Eichhorn.
1,026 reviews11 followers
October 21, 2015
4.5 stars
Emma left her home town because of the demons. She is know in Milwaukee working at a diner. Emma gets home and gets a text right away from Noah, she regrets giving him her schedule. She finds out from her neighbor that they are going to be getting new neighbors. Emma comes home from work to find a big truck blocking the way to the building. Later she is sitting by her screen door talking to her cat, there was a knock at her door and it was her neighbor inviting her over to the tailgate and house warming party. She doesn't like to go out, she would much rather be home and listening to music, watching TV and talking to her cat. Finn and Slinger's party was very loud and she wasn't happy about that because all the noise got her cat to run off, what she didn't expect was that Finn would catch him and bring him back.
Emma runs her own blog, she hasn't been back to where she grew up in a long time, doesn't have a good relationship with her mother, she is very quiet.She lost her father when she was 10 years old. Finn is Emma's neighbor, he works as the accountant and marketer at Matthews Brewery Co. His family owns this business. Marshall's roommate. Marshall aka Slinger is Finn's roommate he is the bartender/manager of the tap at Matthews Brewery Co. Noah is Emma's older brother, will do anything to protect Emma, he is married to Cristina and he is going to be a father. Cristina is Emma's sister in law, she is Puerto Rican. She is also very nice person and she doesn't want to see Emma hurt. Max is Finn's dad, he runs the Matthews Brewery Co. with his brother. Mara is Emma's friend, works with Emma. Always invites her places when she knows that she is going to be turned down.
This is my first book by K Ryan and I can honestly say that this book will not be my last. I loved this story it's very well written and the characters are very well developed.
Profile Image for MJ.
635 reviews15 followers
October 28, 2015
Those eyes... they were thieves. Stealing my breath, stealing my resolve to keep my distance, stealing the axis my world rested on and tipping it sideways.

I absolutely love the idea of this book. To be honest, I have not read anything like this (at least the last time I checked). I'm amazed in how K. Ryan managed to write this piece of awesomeness. Anyway, this book focuses on Emma Owens; she's desperately running away from the demons that chased her out of her hometown. For the past year, has been detached from everyone and everything... that is before a stray cat decided to reside in her patio and before a new neighbor, Finn Matthews, came into the picture.

Over all, I had a great time reading this. This is a vanilla porter gem in a sea of 90-minute double IPA (if you get what I mean *wink*).

Full review + interview at the bookdragon
59 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2016
Got a rec for this book from the KA forum and am SO GLAD I did! I'm not sure if it was all the references to the Packers (the Lambeau scene was spot-on!) and Water Street (where I've spent an evening or ten), or if it was the depth of emotion that was practically bleeding off the pages, or if it was that adorable cat....aw hell, it was all three. And it made this former Milwaukee girl's heart so happy, I would give it 12 big stars (for "you-know-who"). I'm missing home, but I'm happy. A definite re-read!
Profile Image for Renay.
347 reviews
December 23, 2015
This book was very interesting and I love the theme of ethics of cyber civil rights along with cyber-bullying which explain the moral, social, political, moral and educational; which can start debates. The heroine created a bond with the readers on her journey of growth, maturity, and learning to accept herself. The reader will have a lot of emotions with laughing, crying, cheering, and cursing.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
13 reviews
January 2, 2016
I have been a fan of K. Ryan's for some time now and Finding Emma met and surpassed my expectations. I find all of the author's characters to be relatable and complex. Love the story!
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,600 reviews
August 31, 2017
This book was something else. I struggled reading it. I liked the main characters Emma and Finn.
The book started out so slow. The detailing of Emma's adopting the stray cat and getting to know Finn was for me slow. You know that something bad happened to Emma and that's why she is the way she is. Same with Finn. I kept reading and was over whelmed by the emotional end of the book.
It was such a shock and when I read the last word I was in tears. This author did an amazing job dealing with some intense issues. You will enjoy this book and author.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,395 reviews167 followers
October 22, 2015
It has been a long time since I've read a book that, when I finished it, I want to drop everything and post a review. I literally finished this book less than 30 minutes ago. It's also rare for a book to be on my mind this much. There is just so much I want to say about Finding Emma.

While Finding Emma is a romance at its core, the book goes way beyond that. This is more the just a fluffy romance. As I read the book, I went through a lot of emotions - happy, sad, angry (and not necessarily for the reasons you might think). I laughed. I cried. I cheered and I cursed. This book kind of put me through the wringer.

There is a real depth to the main characters, Emma and Finn, that goes beyond the usual hero and heroine of a love story. Finn has a tortured romantic past involving betrayal that has left him a lonely shell of his former happy self. Ryan develops his character into a strong leading man that is mature and reasonable and realistic. Emma is a broken young woman. She made a choice that later came back to haunt her and sent her into a self-imposed prison of shame, distrust and loneliness. It takes cat named Oliver to finally let Emma see herself a little differently and to bring her and Finn together.

I won't spoil on all the details, but the real star of this book is social issue that is at the core of Emma's issues. The issue is real and it is devastating and life-altering and absolutely unforgivable (this is my opinion and my opinion alone). I won't spoil the specific details, but I will say it involves cyber-bullying and cyber-bullying is never okay. I also recommend you read the Author's Note at the end of the book. I also wanted to comment on the author's suggestion that this is not necessarily appropriate for readers under 18. There are sexual situations in the book, but only a few and they are very tastefully written with only implication and not description. I say this because I feel the subject matter is important enough and written honestly enough that I would allow my teenager to read it to fully understand the implications of the issue.

I try to give honest reviews and no book is perfect. My only real criticism with Finding Emma was the length. There were a few sections of the book I found incessantly wordy, important to the story, but could have been pared down a bit. Otherwise, that's all I've got.

Finding Emma is an emotional ride that takes you on a journey to redemption, acceptance and love.
Profile Image for N Iqbal.
2 reviews
October 25, 2015
This piece of literature was very interesting and contained excellent social, educational, political and moral debates around the ethics of cyber civil rights. The writer creates characters who are well drawn out and with a three dimensional consciousnesses of the central protagonists. Unlike many contemporary twenty first century writers, Ryan suitably uses the first person to create a provocative and emotive appreciation of the heroine. For me, as a female reader, I certainly appreciate and respect the protagonist's growth, maturity and journey toward self acceptance. This is definitely a worthy read for readers interested in discovering a defining piece of fiction in our 'Netizen' era; as a former teacher myself, I would certainly deem this syllabus worthy for a high school group of 15 and above.

Finding Emma is a pertinent piece of fiction, which engages the reader from the very start of the first chapter, I will be honest: I found the prologue somewhat underwhelming and not particularly engaging. Elements of the prologue do weave in well with themes from the book as a whole but do not display the beauty of the book as a whole and does not create an appropriate entrance for such a thought provoking read.

I would definitely recommend this book: to a book club for discussion, to young readers who like to be challenged, female readers who enjoy emotional exploration, romance readers and people who enjoy reading about relationships. If you enjoy music as a theme in literature, then you should certainly explore this work. Moreover, you will love the book if you appreciate Taylor Swift's Shake it off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlo...

Leave a positive review for this new author, on good reads and other sites if you find Finding Emma enjoyable.

Themes: 'Netizens', cyber civil rights, harrassment, loss of self identity/worth, relationships, love and romance.
Profile Image for Kaylin Beach.
161 reviews13 followers
May 17, 2016
Finding Emma by K. Ryan is a story about a woman named Emma who moves from her home town to be alone. Emma enjoys being under the radar, especially after her horrible past. Emma soon meets a cat who changes Emma's lives. Who knew so much love could come from a cat, and I am talking about way more than just the cat's love. Emma meets a young man named Finn. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Emma and she is actually happy again! But can he handle her past?

Finding Emma is not your normal love story. This book is the most relatable love story I've ever read. It's full of love, happiness, sadness, harassment, life and friendship. We all have our own past/baggage that we run from. Not all of us are as lucky as Emma, and can face it.

When I first started this book I was a little unsure about it, because it started off a bit slow. But shortly after, the book grabbed my attention and there was drama all over the place. I got to a point where I couldn't stop reading. I had no idea what was going to happen next or who was going to end up with who. Finding Emma is no where near predictable and that's what I loved so much! The love in this book is so strong.

K. Ryan's writing is very unique and extremely relatable, as I stated before. I've never read a love story like Emma's, Finn's, & Oliver's. I really recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more of K. Ryan's work! #TeamFinn #Finnsmybookboyfriend
Profile Image for Megan.
549 reviews22 followers
October 26, 2015
This was an excellent contemporary romance. I had a hard time putting it down and ended up flying through it in just an afternoon. There’s so much emotion that pours off the pages of this book. It’s a wonderful story and it pulled at my heartstrings. The way the characters respond to each other and open up with one another was really beautiful.

Finn and Emma first meet when Finn and his roommate move into the apartment across the hall from Emma. Emma is pretty much a recluse and is hesitant to have any contact with Finn at first. Finn is pretty much enthralled with Emma when he first sees her but also scarred by his past, he’s almost as shy as she is. I also loved Oliver (the stray cat that showed up on Emma’s porch) even though I’m not a fan of cats in my personal life. He had a personality of his own and it cracked me up. Finn’s roommate, Slinger, was a hoot too. Overall, the characters were fantastic and pulled me into their world from the very beginning.

The whole story was well written and scenes transitioned smoothly. I absolutely loved the book. It pulled me and had me feeling all the emotions right along with the characters. It is definitely one of those books that had me thinking about it after I finished it. And that is the sign of a great book in my opinion. 5 out of 5 stars!!
Profile Image for Kailey .
22 reviews1 follower
August 25, 2016
Okay this is one of my favourite books of the year! This is a book about life. In life they're some things that are hard and some that are easy. Emma's life has been harder than most but easier than others. I really liked that the story is technically a true story ( well Oliver is and I love that ), even though the story is quite similar to the authors, I like that Emma's past didn't happen to the author but it happened to a celebrity and that's how she got the inspiration to write this story.

Finding Emma is a funny, heartbreaking, beautiful story, my favourite part of the book was probably Oliver, even though I loved Finn, Oliver will always have a special place in my heart. I probably cried for three full chapters of this book and in one of the chapters I was crying about a cat. A cat I tell you! What has my life become?

Btw the book is mostly in Emma's POV but there were 2 or 3 chapters in Finn's POV too.
Profile Image for Libby Chastain.
2 reviews11 followers
February 23, 2016
A real problem in USA

I won't tell you what the story is about but it is about a real issue happening in our world today. I really liked that at the beginning you are kind of guessing what happened to the character and when you find out it wasn't what I thought happened. I like that the character learn on her own to be strong in herself.
April 14, 2016
Nice, easy contemporary read with a great message. Not a lot of Romance, drama or angst, the message that this book tries to tell (and succeeds at doing so) is definitely the authors priority here.
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