Disneygal's Reviews > Naked

Naked by Megan Hart
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Jun 18, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012-read, contemporary, erotic-romance, kindle-book, m-m, series
Read in June, 2012

3.5 stars, maybe... see the end of my review

I didn't realize that this is the 3rd story in what's titled an Alex Kennedy series by Megan Hart. I started this book before I realized that "Tempted" and "Everything Changes" were prequels. So I had to go back and read them. I'm glad that I did, because it gave me a much better understanding of Alex; it helped me to trust him.

Which is why I got so aggravated at Olivia. I get that her screwed up relationship with Patrick has screwed with her mind and her trust; in fact, I couldn't understand why she didn't dump Patrick out of her life the minute he started in on her about Alex - how he wasn't for her, how Alex doesn't like girls. All lies. Patrick is supposed to be her BFF, and he's still telling lies. Just like he did when he was afraid to come out of the closet; he played straight, had a relationship with Olivia, and even got engaged to her. Patrick claimed that he wanted to wait to have sex until they were married, using their shared Catholic backgrounds as the reason. Olivia agreed. Until she found the box of condoms and realized that Patrick was sleeping his way through the gay population.

So WHY is it that Olivia allows Patrick to get into her head the way that she does? If it weren't for Patrick's jealousy over Alex, Olivia might have trusted Alex. I get that she's afraid that Alex will leave her for a man, like Patrick did. I get that she's concerned that she's "not enough" for him. But she never really talks about it with him - just in fits and spurts. Alex tells her he won't lie to her, and based on what we know is truth from the previous 2 stories, it seems as if he's telling Olivia the truth here. Sure, Alex might not do a complete brain dump; he might not share everything about his past and relationships, but he doesn't lie to her.

I wondered if the James-Anne thing would ever come up. And it did - at the end of the book. Olivia, despite her better judgement, has accepted Alex's proposal, because she *wants* to believe him, she wants to love him and live with him. His greatest sin is not telling her about James and Anne before introducing them. IMO, he expected to talk with the about it later, but it wasn't the smartest way to go about it. And Olivia's ready to throw it all away because of that?

Olivia is waaaay too insecure. She's got a lot of baggage herself. She never completely shares with Alex her religious dilemma. She sure doesn't tell him she's leaning towards becoming a practicing Jew - maybe not Orthodox, but something. She never invites him to participate in her Jewish holidays or services - not even when she's invited to a Seder (Passover); Olivia considers asking Alex along, but she doesn't. WHY?

I don't find Olivia very trustworthy. Her insecurities and her fears are understandable. It's even realistic that she's got doubts about Alex. But all she has to do is ASK him. It's up to her to decide if she trusts him or not.

I really liked when, at the end, Alex said that it wasn't fair for him to pay for someone else's sins, meaning Patrick's sins. Really good point. Because as I've said, Patrick's "friendship" was more like emotional bondage. Patrick wanted all of Olivia's love and attention. He couldn't get past that Alex might want and love Olivia, when he (Patrick) couldn't seduce Alex. (OK, Alex allowed him to give him one BJ. But that was long before anything happened with Olivia.) For Olivia to put more credence in what Patrick said and thought, even when they were supposed to be over as friends, than Alex was harsh.

Even Anne would have told Olivia the full truth at the party. But Olivia cut her off - she didn't want to hear it. Why not? It might hurt, yes; it might not be what she wanted to hear, no. But it would have stopped all those suspicions and fears from causing her to melt-down. But Olivia can't be out in the open about Alex and his past; she's too afraid that he'll pick someone else.

Which is why I can't give this book any more than 3 stars. The ending is too ambiguous. Are we to believe that Olivia is going to put it all behind her? Trust Alex now? Go thru with their wedding and marriage?

I'm not sure that I trust Olivia. And I'm not sure that Alex should hold so tightly to her. It doesn't seem as if she's all that good for him. This was a strange book... a strange ending...

Based on this Alex Kennedy series, I'm not sure that I want to read more by this author. While I like her characters and her stories (for the most part), she leaves me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. She leaves too much hanging. I respect that life isn't all about the HEA; but I confess, that as a reader, I want a bit more reassurance that everyone's life won't suck. That there is such a thing as love - that trust can overcome the past and past mistakes. That people can be broken and still be complete when they find someone who wants to be an intimate part of the future with them.
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