I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I am so torn in my rating of this book. Enjoyment vs. Technical aspects. So let me start this outI received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I am so torn in my rating of this book. Enjoyment vs. Technical aspects. So let me start this out by stating I am not a fan of "reality" TV, but I've read a few books set in that world and managed to enjoy them, and many many moons ago there was a show called Temptaion Island that I did watch (which was similar to Last Fling) so despite my general aversion I decided to read this since Hannah is a book editor (and in my head that would be a dream job) and Vlad is a stripper. I liked the idea of the nerdy girl and the hot Russian stripper. Although somehow I missed this was a Carina Press title until I had finished it, I was impressed by the flow of the story and that I didn't catch any glaring mistakes. Now for my issues. For most of the book I hated everyone but Vlad. I'm guessing this is why it took me 3 days to finish a book that should have been finished in an afternoon. I can handle a lot in my heroines but being a doormat is not one of them. Unfortunately Hannah is the definition of a DM. What led her to this you ask? No real idea. Outside of "loving" Jack since she was a kid and the fact that she was teased in school for being very chesty there's no apparent reason why a college educated, well employed woman who was raised by a single Mom should have so little self-worth. It's bad enough when she lets Jack use her as a DM, but then comes her "friend" Eric, then everybody working on the show. It was endlessly frustrating. It took Vlad telling her to stand up straight and buy new underwear ( which I find ridiculous but just roll with it) for her to even begin showing any sign of a backbone. Then there's Jack. A weak-willed cheating douchebag. I know he's the villain but he was so skeevy it was hard to believe anyone would love him, let alone with Hannah's single minded devotion. I understand parental pressure can be horrid, but grow up and be a man about it. Don't take your frustrations out on the innocent. Eric...I LOATHED Eric. Here is a guy who has been friends with both Jack and Hannah since they were kids, he knows what kind of man Jack is and still he helps convince Hannah to go on this show with blatant lies about filming around her having to work while on the island. Lie after lie comes out of this guys mouth throughout the whole book and not once was he called on it. The worst part was having to endure his love story with Alison. Years of friendship with Hannah didn't stop him from throwing her under the bus in hopes of getting his "real" show in development, but give him a crack at his high school fantasy girl and he's suddenly seeing the light to redemption. Not buying it. Then there's Vlad. The hot Russian stripper longing to move beyond his horrid past and build a new future as an author. I liked him from the beginning and he stayed true to his character throughout the book. The only real issue I had was that although we eventually learn the stuff he had lived through we were only told bits and pieces, so we may know the facts, we don't ever feel the pain of what he went through. Hannah and Vlad were good in the scenes they had together, but considering they were on the island for 10 weeks they were few and far between so it was hard to believe they were really in love, no matter how many times they claimed it, until they had gotten back to "real life". I think the story would have been better served by shortening the story while they were on the island and spending more time with them once they got back. There are a lot of characters due to the show, which was hard to get and keep straight, and it felt like we lived the entire 10 weeks on the show with all these people. I didn't need all the added info of every character when what I wanted to read about was Hannah and Vlad. What I did find fascinating was all the behind the scenes machinations to put out a reality tv show. The sex for those who are curious.... One scene. One brief scene that would have been better served fading to black since our yummy Vlad came across as a two pump chump. If an author is not comfortable writing sex they should skip it. A lot of people don't like reading explicit sex, so it's ok to just have it happen off page. I'd rather have to use my imagination than end a sex scene thinking our hero was a bust in bed. So in conclusion, did I love the book? No. I'd give it two stars if I rated strictly on my enjoyment. Would I read this author again? Maybe. I'd have to read reviews first though just in case the heroine is another doormat. I won't knowingly subject myself to that again. I just can't ignore the fact that although I may not have loved the book, that it was well done and that I believe that maybe someone who truly enjoys Reality TV would find much more satisfaction with this story. ...more