Like the first, I was enthralled by this book. Excellent story, great development of Lucky's character and of his and Bo's relationship. I liked how t...more Like the first, I was enthralled by this book. Excellent story, great development of Lucky's character and of his and Bo's relationship. I liked how they were both finding their place in the world and having to juggle identities, both their undercover ones and the false face Lucky tries to present to the world. And Walter is just a great, understated gem of a character. Good balance of humor and drama, hot sex, characters that absolutely complement one another.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Lucky was just a great, great voice to tell a story with. I have a total love of the 'pretend a relationship' and unde...more I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Lucky was just a great, great voice to tell a story with. I have a total love of the 'pretend a relationship' and undercover work, and having it with somebody who is so vulnerable AND a commitmentphobe was *delightful*
And I loved his hard, assholey exterior, his secret love of Walter and the job, and the way he just oogled Bo *all the time*. The suspense/drama was well-handled, and the very slow-build of the relationship part worked well with the 'let's lie to ourselves that this is just sex' attitude. I just reread the book as of this review and it reminds me why the second I finished it, I bought the second.(less)
I really don't know what to say about this book except that I thoroughly enjoyed EVERY MINUTE.
It seriously had me tearing up and then laughing over an...moreI really don't know what to say about this book except that I thoroughly enjoyed EVERY MINUTE.
It seriously had me tearing up and then laughing over and over. It was a rollercoaster but exactly right for one.
Even better, it was a story with just some seriously fabulous female friendships all over the place. The main character was wonderful and it was a great job at having her go through entire ranges of emotion but always with a subtle touch. I bought it, I bought her grief, her fear, her despair, her resolution, her courage, her real and solid FRIENDSHIPS with people.
This book made my heart swell 3 sizes that day. (less)
I approach most shifter!novels with a grain of salt. There *are* some great ones out there, but a lot of them seemed churned out of some werepuppy mil...moreI approach most shifter!novels with a grain of salt. There *are* some great ones out there, but a lot of them seemed churned out of some werepuppy mill.
This is NOT one of them! And not only because it's refreshingly about shifter!birds.
First of all, the world/society building is fantastic. It *shouldn't* succeed, because it doesn't make sense on most levels, except that the writing really does manage to evoke a fairy tale quality - so everything about the setting works.
And there was just such a - a sweetness about it that it took my breath away. I love that although it was a BDSM novel, it didn't just trot out a few tired cliches or develop the relationship by rote or try to pretend all relationships are the same (not that all BDSM novels do that, just that when they do it annoys me SO MUCH) ... it said THIS couple has THIS relationship and THIS is how it works for them. And I love the fact that it focused on service-oriented submission, which is really rare in m/m novels.
Plus, it was a true re-interpretation of a story, which made it both original and nostalgia inducing.
This book was just *fun* - I laughed and was just completely charmed from beginning to end. I don't have a lot to SAY about this book, because it was...moreThis book was just *fun* - I laughed and was just completely charmed from beginning to end. I don't have a lot to SAY about this book, because it was short and slight, it wasn't trying to tell a complex story, it was just a sweet and funny relationship development novella.(less)
This is a bit of a guilty pleasure book - the kind where the author stacks the deck every possible way against the characters and it's all raw emotion...moreThis is a bit of a guilty pleasure book - the kind where the author stacks the deck every possible way against the characters and it's all raw emotion and pain.
I am a sucker for from-two-different-worlds stories, and when you add in 'forced to interact' and 'can't stand each other,' you've pretty much hit a perfect storm. And Perfect Chemistry delivers 100%.
The alternating viewpoints are really well done, it makes the misconceptions/illusions and then their later demolition really believable. (Nothing is worse than one somebody secretly-has-a-heart-of-gold and you just are like yeah, right.)
Definitely not a fun/funny book, but cathartic. It's really just the sort where you read it to get caught up in emotional drama of the highest caliber (and I'm not sure how 'believable' the characters are, but I don't really care, because I am enjoying the angst. I mean, it's all well and good that Brittany is the perfect sister to her sister Shelley, but I am not quite sure I believe that she's basically a secret from her friends ... maybe if they hadn't lived in the town their whole life but ...) Fair amount of action, and not completely unbelievable [Unlike, spoiler, the later ones in the series]
Great way to pass a couple of hours when you feel like being overwrought :)
This is one of those books that's tries to punch you in the emotions - vulnerable, wounded characters with hard lives, everything against them. It's e...moreThis is one of those books that's tries to punch you in the emotions - vulnerable, wounded characters with hard lives, everything against them. It's emotionally manipulative - but well written so that it's thoroughly enjoyable to have your emotions manipulated.
Melodramatic, a setup that you can ONLY imagine happening in a romance novel, well-drawn characters and a solid, slow-development storyline. A good read for when you want to wallow in emotion drama and hurt for the characters for a bit. (less)
First of all, this absolutely hit one of my fic kinks (dub con where the instigator doesn't *realize* that consent isn't present, and the correspondin...moreFirst of all, this absolutely hit one of my fic kinks (dub con where the instigator doesn't *realize* that consent isn't present, and the corresponding guilt when they find out the truth, plus faux-utopian societies with a dark underbelly illicit slavery) so two thumbs up off the bat. And for the most part it was excellently done, with the right degree of unpleasantness and humiliation, combined with dawning horror and ... It worked for me.
Until the end, and that was my only problem. I love a HEA but this one wasn't earned, because the authors put ZERO time into building a relationship between the MCs in an unaltered state. Rory's feelings are particularly problematic, because the guy he fell in love with DOESN'T exist ... There is even a mention of how weird it was for him to see Tate angry, and how different he is, and then it's just glossed over and we skip to an epilogue. So frustrating because just a little more on their working through those changes would have made this a five date read, easy.(less)
I wanted to love this more than I did, because I liked the other two SO MUCH. And I DID like this book, it deserves the 4 stars I gave it. But while t...moreI wanted to love this more than I did, because I liked the other two SO MUCH. And I DID like this book, it deserves the 4 stars I gave it. But while the other two stood on their own as well as in a series, this one doesn't. It's too clearly a middle book, not just in the semi-cliffhanger ending, but because it felt like almost no time was spent on Bo and Lucky's relationship. And while I love the fact that the series has good, solid story lines and it's not purely relationship-fic, I do want the relationship to have a part. And this one didn't.
Relationship issues: The sex almost felt perfunctory. While I appreciated the schism in the relationship, and how it made Lucky question what he wanted out of the future (so soon after denying he wanted a relationship at all, aww, Lucky, you are one of my favorite fictional heroes ever) Except than we had that last chapter just smacked on that makes it seem like things are almost resolved and we didn't get to see the work. I have the feeling we WILL see the work in the 4th book and maybe that will make up for it, but that last chapter, blargh. It read like 'because they were undercover and separated, we didn't get the required number of sex scenes, so let's slap one on at the very end and who cares about the actual relationship aspect."
Plus the Bo/Cy issue is a really cool one, except that seeing it second hand through Lucky's eyes made it ineffective.
I'm still giving this 4 stars under the assumption that book 4 will sort of fix and round this out. If not, this might drop to 3, which is a bit how it stands in my head right now. (less)
The second in the trilogy (each centering around one of 3 brothers) this is actually my favorite in some ways. While the first book was pretty much th...more
The second in the trilogy (each centering around one of 3 brothers) this is actually my favorite in some ways. While the first book was pretty much the main characters being all pain and suffering, all the time, this was more balanced. While Carlos was angry and bitter (very angry and bitter) and had a lot of issues, they made sense. I believed his feelings of double-betrayal and how that anger made him lash out at everybody around him. The author went really light on Kiara's angst-issues, which made a nice counterbalance. And she had spark and personality and really, she was the reason I enjoyed the book so much. I like a strong female character who is determined to rescue herself.
The addition of her younger brother as a foil for behavior was great, and her parents were singularly awesome.
The 'action/drama/gang' subplot was pretty awful, though. It really wasn't believable on any front *and* it didn't add anything to the story.
PS. In the first book, the epilogue was cute, in an embarrassingly cheesy way. In this one, the epilogue is just terrible and embarrassing.(less)
Emotionally, this hit some great notes. Some really solid contrast between pre- and post-accident characters, how that changed things up. Very believa...moreEmotionally, this hit some great notes. Some really solid contrast between pre- and post-accident characters, how that changed things up. Very believable anger and frustration. I loved the fall-out and I loved Mrs. Reynolds and their working through thigns.
I thought the whole relationship part was ... pretty dumb. It would have been a better story if it had been a friendship, because the romance didn't feel real and it was the least interesting part of the story.
Also, this would have gotten a lot higher stars from me if the Real Cause of the accident didn't completely jump the shark and really come out of left field (with the alternating characters, it could have been something known all along and would have added depth or, better yet, it could have been *exactly what was originally claimed* and still had the characters work through their emotions/reactions/life)
Instead, the end is just BLAM, a cop-out so there can be a sequel, with a big Reveal and no resolution.
And it means that the secondary relationships ... the friendship with Leah that could have been about guilt/loss/conflicted emotions never got a chance to develop. So that was sad, because female!friendships are awesome and we were robbed of all of that.
So, Premise-before-reveal: 4-5 stars. After-reveal: 1 star
I loved the first 80% of this book. I liked the characters of Jeremy and Noah, and in particular Jeremy turning the laundromat ar...more Ok, full disclaimer:
I loved the first 80% of this book. I liked the characters of Jeremy and Noah, and in particular Jeremy turning the laundromat around and how he did it was a great gem. That, Jeremy learning to trust Noah, Noah dealing with his guilt over being attracted to someone he feels is too young/may feel indebted to ... THAT was a good story, even the bones to be a great story.
Except instead it veered off into this giant mess of a situation with Trent and (view spoiler)[ the whole stupid shooting/charges/blahblahblah. I'm sorry but NOTHING ABOUT THAT WAS HANDLED REALISTICALLY. Noah being taken in for questioning, sure. But they have 1) testimony of the guard as to what really happened 2) recordings sent as to the real culprit *at the time of the actual murder* and 3) SECURITY FOOTAGE. So why would he even be charged? A short term suspect sure, but it wouldn't move past that. So frustrating and annoying, I wanted to throw the book across the room, except it was on my Kindle.
Oh and that doesn't even take into account how stupid Noah was for being all "I don't want the boys I saved lives to be ruined, so I am going to let them think I'm a serial killer" because yeah, that made sense. Hey, guess what Noah? The documentation is *already* of the boys you rescued being prostitutes. That was their whole point, that you were suspected of exploiting vulnerable sex workers and killing them. So you know, giving the police the information to just quietly contact them and confirm that yeah, you know, they're not DEAD isn't going to suddenly broadcast their past to the world. Unlike, you know, NOT telling the police that so that their pictures of 'MISSING YOUTH, SERIAL KILLER SUSPECTED' are blasted across the world ... that makes so much more sense. Even if you didn't realize that would happen, there's still no logical reason to not tell the police what you did.
So dumb. As is the whole assembly of people to the judge to be like, hey, we're not dead. And with the senator. All I wanted to do was roll my eyes and the problem is ... (hide spoiler)]
I liked the book SO MUCH until then. *sigh* It went from probably a 4 star read to a 2 star read and now I don't know if I want to risk the sequel. It was just pointless and unrealistic drama added to a book that *didn't need it* The only reason I'm considering it is because I love a few of the author's other books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book wasn't about Jock and Toby's relationship. This book was about the frat boys and their 'funny' antics (I'm sorry, THEY are too stupid to liv...moreThis book wasn't about Jock and Toby's relationship. This book was about the frat boys and their 'funny' antics (I'm sorry, THEY are too stupid to live!)
I liked them in small doses in the first books and thought they were clueless but not necessarily stupid. In this book, they were just unrealistically DUMB. Which would have been ok, except that this book was 90% about their adventures abroad and only 10% about pretending to develop a relationship between Jock and Toby.
So disappointed, because I loved all the earlier books in the series. But this one was a drag - I kept having to force myself to pick it up and bull through a few more pages in the hopes that we'd *finally* get to something Toby&Jock-related and I'd get tidbits and then *smash*.
Hell, there was more about the relationships between one of the boys and his 'old enough to be his grandmother' girlfriend and what looks like the setup of a bi/gayforyou sequel than there was about the relationship this book was ostensibly about. Very disappointing read.(less)
Not surprising, because the first book was really good until the ending and this picks up 8-9 months later. Unfortunately, it's...moreThis was pretty 'meh'.
Not surprising, because the first book was really good until the ending and this picks up 8-9 months later. Unfortunately, it's no longer interesting - and it should be because it's basically Road Trip Story with Cast of Quirky Characters!
Unfortunately, most of the Quirky Characters aren't developed (Lennie becomes interesting at the very end, when the book is almost over and the rest of them are just there to fill out the pages) and the romance is still boring and I don't really care and Caleb still makes stupid choices and Maggie still encourages him to do so.
I was really hoping that this book would be from Leah's perspective, because at the end of the previous book that's what I was interested in and hers is the only story left that has actual emotion and conflicted emotions. But instead we get a rehash of Maggie and Caleb - without even the lingering feelings of betrayal/hurt and instead only some lukewarm 'fight for the truth/if you really cared you'd' anger.
And then a quick snowball/resolution ending with more random people showing up and doing a complete character shift. (Seriously, Julio and Leah talking ... all 'off-screen' as it were, so we don't actually get to read what would probably be pretty interesting ... Maggie's father wanting to come back and try again and her mom not BITCHING HIM OUT, what is WITH that ... The fact that Trish spends weeks and weeks with them with zero presence/interaction and then once they're not on a road trip together, she's there to help everything tie together, because heaven forbid there's a single person who isn't getting paired off)
I honestly don't understand the multitude of 4-5 star reviews. This book was awful, awful, awful.
Neither of the characters had any personality -...moreUgh.
I honestly don't understand the multitude of 4-5 star reviews. This book was awful, awful, awful.
Neither of the characters had any personality - there was an attempt at giving Luis one in the first chapter (and after the anger and bitterness of his brothers, it started off great, it was really refreshing to have him in such a good place) but after that it went downhill and the things he actually did in the book made no sense.
He's supposed to be really smart (and kind and caring and with goals) so why was he so stupid? And why in the world would the mom supposedly move from this great life they'd made in Colorado to a place where she has no job AND she knows that her family has a multitude of ties to the gang-life she doesn't want her son involved in? WHY? It doesn't even make sense. The stated reason is so she can be close to her grandchildren. Well, BS.
And WHY would Luis think 'oh, I should join the gang to find out ANSWERS, because nothing could go wrong there, I mean, it's only had my brothers nearly die from their involvement, and hey, an accidentaly felony convinction wouldn't at any point derail my STATED DREAMS AND GOALS, right?"
UGH. It's just ridiculously dumb. But ok, the previous book had a pretty dumb premise on the whole action/gang drama life and I still enjoyed it thoroughly despite that.
But this one didn't have anything else!
Maria has no personality, zero, zilch. Her entire personality is defined as 'has a barrier and doesn't trust anybody and so won't get close' And that's it.
There's some sections on their physical attraction to each other, but absolutely no reason to believe they have anything else ... and after her having been burned, it just doesn't make any sense.
Together they are BORING. Boring, boring, boring and dull, dull, dull. And even the previously interesting characters from the earlier books became dull, dull, dull.
I had to force myself to finish it and then I was sorry I did because the epilogue, holy crap, it was long and even stupider than the rest of the book. It didn't even read like an epilogue, it read like the author'd written a summary of an epilogue she wanted to flesh out, realized how long it would be if she did that, and then just plopped it on to the end of the book. Seriously, where are the standards?(less)