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Day to Night #2

What We Do in the Light

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Just one month ago, Valentine O'Dell got her heart ripped out – yet another problem to add to her rapidly growing list. Between fighting to bring her sick grandmother home, searching for a new apartment after being evicted, and trying to figure out how exactly she's going to pay for everything, she doesn't have time to cry over a broken heart.

Then Ari Sharapov walks back in and tries to solve everything.

Ari may have gained a little more control in his life, but there's still one area he doesn't have a grip on – Valentine refuses to believe anything he says. Gone is the girl who wanted someone to take care of her, and in her place is a woman who's willing to take everything he has to offer, but without giving anything of herself in return. He's used to fighting battles in a courtroom, but convincing her of his feelings will be his biggest struggle yet.

Maybe it's time for this relationship to be brought to light.

First published October 14, 2019

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About the author

Stylo Fantome

27 books4,648 followers
Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since ... forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball - I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair - both a curse and a blessing - and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.


I also write contemporary romance under the name Penny Sixsmith

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5 stars
390 (28%)
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520 (38%)
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359 (26%)
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76 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 200 reviews
December 1, 2019
Edit: Hey guys, I just want to encourage anybody interested to give this series a try. I seriously enjoyed What We Do in the Night - and there's always a chance this book may work out for you. Plus, it's in KU. So don't let my review dissuade you from giving this series a chance.


I'm giving up @ 20% :(

I gotta give Stylo credit for starting this book with a great opening line:

God, those hands.

Attention grabbing! This hooked me, but unfortunately the book quickly went. . .down hill? It didn't even go downhill really...more like went very slowly on a straight path. I became bored.

I'm saddened to write this because I truly like Stylo Fantome. She's an author I want to hang out with in real life, grab a drink with and shoot the shit.

When the release date for this book was pushed back, I noticed Stylo herself mentioned she wasn't perfectly satisfied with her manuscript - Unfortunately I can see why.

Granted, I didn't read all the book, so maybe it took a turn for the better but the writing is lacking so far and I'm moving on. Someone in a different review said Ari wasn't redeemed. I love it when the H isn't redeemed and stays an asshole so I might skim forward to see what Stylo did with Ari. Although at 20%


Anyway, I'm not expecting great literature when I read a Stylo Fantome book. Just some mindless entertainment. What I wanted from this book was a hot romance with some angst.

It lost my attention and compared to the last book the characters felt flat. What We Do In The Night was a great angsty read - so much fun - but I feel like the second book lost its way.

There was lots of 'telling' in this book vs showing. I could tell the author was using Val's inner monologue to remind readers what happened in the last book. This sort of telling was still occurring at 20%. I remember what happened in the last book, and I was ready for the show to get on the road. I understand this is a nitpicky complaint, and that some readers like these types of reminders.

I felt like the author was using Ari's inner monologue to tell me how obsessed he was with Val. I'd rather see that through his actions - I don't need to be constantly reminded by his inner thoughts that he's so obsessed with her.

The dialogue seemed a bit unnatural and cringe worthy at moments. I understand with these types of romances I have to put up with some OTT dialogue - but the dialogue was really very meh. An example:

“Trust you? Did you honestly just say those words? Are you high? I've got a half a mind to just get out of the car and walk away right now,” she threatened as he parked.

“Assistant, Valentine,” Ari reminded her while he shut off the car. “That means I'm your boss, and you have to do what I say for the next four hours, or those poor sick kids don't get any of my money.”

Valentine's jaw dropped. “You are literally the worst.” Ari smirked right back at her. “Whatever made you think I wasn't?


I can tell this was suppose to be a catchy, cool dialogue but I don't know, at this moment I felt bored and just rolled my eyes.

The dialogue from the last book didn't bother me at all. I didn't mind Jameson's dialogue in Degradation. So I can tolerate some OTT dialogue. I'm using this phrase from a different 3 star review, but it 'missed the mark' here. There are more examples of sub par dialogue like this that I'm not going to take the time to post. Oh, here's one more example:

“What happened to the ego-mobile?” Valentine asked, referring to his Porsche

“You finally realized Porsches are for men with small penises, I suppose,” she continued on with her car rambling. It felt neutral, safe. Ari heaved a sigh and finally glanced at her. “I didn't get another Porsche,” he started, holding her gaze when they stopped at a red light. “Because someone once told me she didn't like my car.” Noooope, not neutral. Not safe.


Val being sassy didn't work for me. I didn't find it funny or cute. Just meh. I'm not interested in reading this. I like banter between couples in romances but the banter between Val and Ari was lacking.

Val's grandmother situation didn't feel real to me.

I was sooo disappointed when Ari . I wanted to see chemistry between them in that moment! More glamour from Caché!! I was looking forward to Ari maybe disguising himself and having a sexy moment with Val before she realized it was him in Caché. . .Something fun and exciting. So when he

I've seen from reviews that Val's roommate plays a larger role in this book, so I'm kinda sad I didn't get to see more of her because I'm not finishing...but at 20% this is starting to drag and I have other books I need to read.

There were also grammar and spelling errors. Repeated words in the same sentence. I'm not a stickler for these types of mistakes, but when the story is lacking they stick out to me.

I'm looking forward to rereading Degradation.

Ok, I just read ahead a little bit more and Ari's inner thoughts don't sound like a dude. His inner thoughts also rehash 'characterization' details about Val (Val being a chameleon- different at night & during the day) ...this was established in the last book. Characterization overall feels a bit shallow in this book. The inner thoughts of the characters don't feel authentic which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

I'm putting this under a spoiler tag because I have some un-pc thoughts
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,261 reviews2,269 followers
October 18, 2019
description
description 3.5 Stars

I'm behind in writing reviews, so this will be short and to the point...I enjoyed this one a lot. Not as much as book one though. I think overall it fell a little flat. I just didn't feel the same chemistry or angst that the first book provided. However,  Ari was a much more likable character in this one, and I felt he did enough for me to feel he was redeemed. Valentine got on my nerves a little in this one, she acted childish and overreacted over the smallish things. I liked the Gam Gam storyline though. Last, the ending was rushed, and I wanted more closure especially concerning Ari's father. So ya, not perfect, but overall I enjoyed it. 

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Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
813 reviews829 followers
October 21, 2019
I love the writing of Stylo Fantôme. She is truly one of my favorite authors. While I LOVED the first book, the second book was okay. I enjoyed the first part of the story but the second part felt a little rushed in my opinion and lacked the depth and passion that was so front and center in book one. It was more romantic than sassy fiery banter. I will say that Ari and Valentine are a great couple and while they had to work for their HEA, they each helped change the other for the better. So while this book didn’t blow me away like book one, I still enjoyed the duet and would still recommend.

*advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Mimiorphee.
481 reviews22 followers
October 25, 2019
Stylo Fantôme is one of my favorite authors, but I am a tad conflicted about her newest release, What We Do In The Light (Day To Night #2) ...Ahhh... Although, sparkles ignited  fire and sensuality within the walls of Caché, I didn't enjoy Val and Ari's second book as much as I thought I would.


As Valentine and Ari try to sort out their problems, they struggle to understand each other. Communicating is difficult, and the fear to get hurt once again adds new trust issues. 

Though not perfect (and thinking of it, certainly because they are hot perfect),  both Val and Ari touched me. Their doubts and their pain felt real.


However, the fact that Valentine kept giving lessons to Ari, and made reproaches upon reproaches,  created a suffocating and negative atmosphere that made appear their relationship more toxic than uplifting. On the other hand, I found Ari very sweet, and charming. His determination to get Val back felt heart-warming.


The storyline, based on that bittersweet pull and push game, somehow lacked the thrill I would have loved to read, and unfortunately the conclusion to this series felt anticlimactic. 


I VOLUNTARILY REVIEWED AN ARC COPY OF THIS BOOK. THANK YOU!!!
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,372 reviews204 followers
October 25, 2019
This is the continuation of Ari & Valentine’s tumultuous love story. Things did not end well in the last book and, quite rightly, Valentine was completely blind sided by Ari’s awful behaviour.

One thing that Valentine has learned in her young life so far is that she can’t count on anyone. She can only rely on herself to get through any problems she has because relying on other people only ends in disappointment. Her sole focus in life at the moment is taking care of her beloved ailing grandmother. Being with Ari disrupted things for a while but she needs to put that behind her and carry on without him now.

Ari is devastated when Valentine blocks him from her life. He knew that he would eventually stuff things up between them but her unwillingness to even talk to him means he needs to get creative about getting her alone. More than that though, he sets out to prove to her that she can count on him, that she has someone she can lean on when things are going wrong.

When Ari’s ex gets downright nasty and personal, causing all sorts of issues for Val, it’s the final nail in the coffin. Ari seems to grow some balls and draws a line in the sand with his father. Is it enough for Val though? He is determined to show her that they belong together but she knows that unless he addresses what truly makes him unhappy, there will be no future for them. She doesn’t want to be his dirty little secret anymore. Unless he is willing to bring them into the light, should Val even bother trying anymore?.

This second part of this duet is really a story about the awakening of Ari Sharapov. A man whose destiny was paved out by his father but now finds himself being challenged by this beautiful stubborn woman who flipped his life on its axis.
Profile Image for Meredith Wilson.
383 reviews35 followers
October 20, 2019
I have been anxiously awaiting the conclusion to Ari and Val's story, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the first book in this duet. Their relationship in that one was playful, exciting, steamy and fun. At least until the end, when Val overheard a conversation about her between Ari and his dad. Deeply upset by what she had heard, she took off and ran for the hills.

Their breakup was full of heartache and pain that I wasn't sure either could come back from. But Ari was a mess without her and went to great lengths in order to win her back. To show her that he hadn't meant a word of what he said to his dad. That yes he may be an ass, but that deep down he was a great guy and cared for her deeply. And we know that she loves him too, but she fights him tooth and nail in his attempts to get her back. Although I understood her reasoning, she frustrated me to no end. So while I was happy to see them finally get their HEA, it was a very frustrating journey in getting to that point. There were a lot of fights, stubbornness, insecurity, miscommunication and heartache on both ends.

All in all, I thought this was an enjoyable read, but What We Do in the Night set the bar high, and this one didn't quite live up to that. In this one, Val and Ari spent most of their time apart and struggling through their issues. There was definitely a change of pace from the first book that some readers may find disappointing. Then again, maybe it's just me. You will just have to give it a read and find out for yourself. But in no way am I criticizing this author's work. She will always be a one-click author for me. What We Do in the Light just fell a little flat. So yeah, I didn't love it, but overall enjoyed it.

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Profile Image for Rochelle ♡.
381 reviews201 followers
February 14, 2021


We’re both two idiots stumbling blindly in this piss poor excuse for a relationship.


What We Do in the Light left me feeling conflicted and shocked; it didn’t reach similar heights or moments that made the same lasting effect as What We Do in the Night. It was such a lacklustre conclusion.

“Just believe in myself,” he sighed. “Just change my life and my goals and my dreams and slay every dragon in the land, all for Saint Valentine.”
“All for you,” she corrected him. “You're nothing to anybody if you aren't worth something to yourself.”


Val’s attitude is littered with tiresome self-centeredness, childish stubbornness and the continuous need to flee from uncomfortable but inevitable situations. Val started off with a sass-filled and fierce attitude, but her lack of awareness, close-mindedness and selfish reactions became bothersome—her insecurities would continually be projected onto others and rather than internally acknowledge her self-worth is dictated by herself, she blames everyone, specifically Ari. It’s unfortunate that she isn’t the same heroine we came to appreciate initially.

“You are literally the worst.” Ari smirked right back at her. “Whatever made you think I wasn’t?”


Ari’s characterisation didn’t have the same sweet charm. I don’t mind when authors don’t redeem asshole heroes—I mean, we fall in love with their asshole tendencies for reasons that’re oftentimes difficult to explain. I could sense the author creating convenient situations to make Ari’s changed attitude reasonable and suitable enough, essentially enforcing a drastic change to make the hero more likeable, I assume. He came across as too nice though and while grovelling scenes are fantastic, they aren’t so when they feel forced and unnatural.

Simultaneously, I had issues with scenes that were told to us rather than demonstrated. It made everything seem less exciting and appears to be a common occurrence with Stylo Fantome—the first installment is always brilliant; full of sexual tension, rife with intense chemistry and featuring the sassiest of characters before ending on the most fist-biting, teeth-clenching of cliffhangers. But the second installment seems to finalise the romance with the most rushed, un-thrilling conclusion ever. Sadly, it happened with What We Do in the Light.



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Profile Image for Kaishi.
261 reviews135 followers
December 27, 2019
Sadly disappointed with this one, but it's not the story's fault.

The problem is with Stylo Fantome's predictable duo style. From "Best Laid Plans" to Katya & Wolfe's story in first two books of "Twin Estates", and even the recent amazing "Church" duo, she follows a break it and make it pattern.

The first installment usually has all the fun. The buildup, the chemistry, the sexual tension. And then it would end with a boom where a huge plot reveal/twist will turn everything into a clusterfuck. The second book will pick up shortly after where the first book left and just fix everything for the protagonists to have an HEA.

Nothing phenomenal or even remotely interesting ever happens in the second book. Which can still be enjoyed as a light right and more of a fan-service to the readers, but it gets old after a while. And that is what happened here with me.

There was nothing wrong with Ari & Valentine's conclusion except for it had no major contribution to the plot twist, was very predictable and that I skimmed through most of the pages as I yawned every few seconds. I was severely disappointed as I was left wanting more after that hyped cliffhanging ending in the first book.

Fantome needs to start writing more original plots and deviate a little from her style, else I'll be done to only reading first installments of her every upcoming series and not bothering to pick up the second one if I know what's going to happen down to the last page.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,400 reviews735 followers
October 18, 2019
Expect the unusual from Stylo everytime, that's the beauty of her writing. Her talent crosses tropes, themes, genres like a pro. She has created swoon-worthy Alphas, hilarious rom comes and dark humour in her books.
In this Duet, when the lusty couple Ari & Saint Valentine cross paths in indulging Club Caché, they inadvertently get hooked for two weeks together. But that was all in the darkness of the night in book 1-Clandestine liaisons and Hush Hush rendezvous.
What happens when they have to step out in the light, that's where stylo picks this story and takes us in book 2.

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All hell breaks loose, to say the least.
Ari is still a jackass, Val is still the stubborn pissed off girl and both feel wronged party here.
“You are literally the worst.”
Ari smirked right back at her.
“Whatever made you think I wasn't?”

Yep, he's still smirking bastard he was earlier, only now his heart has stirred and he is forced to face some Truths in his life, courtesy of Val

description

"My name on the side of a building, or a saint in my bed ... too many choices."
He's been living under his dad's shadows, walking in his footsteps, trying to pour himself in the mould created by his Daddy, he simply doesn't know any better.
In steps Valentine O'Dell who makes him realize his goodness and self worth...
Women are always smarter than men I say....except Harper, that bitch can drown herself for all I care!!!!
Valentine has her plate full with all the troubles piling high, but like a warrior, she's tackling them one by one

description

"I've spent half a year fighting just to survive. I don't wanna spend the next year fighting his father for his soul. Not my battle. Not my boyfriend."
Together they join forces but their love doesn't get much space and time to flourish healthily. Negativity, anger, frustration creeps in from all sides like roaches and threatens to infest their love. But Ari is nothing of not stubborn headed and persistent. His prowess in bed and in court in dogged pursuit comes in handy when he goes after his Saint and the people who're hell bent on destroying her.
All the while fighting with almost everybody with his proverbial sword...Knight in shining Armour, Good sir!!!

description

"Baby steps. Slay a tiny dragon now. Slay the bigger ones as they come."
The humour is sharp and edgy, dialogues crisp and hard hitting. I had a sense of deja vu though. Aaron Malachi reminded me a bit of Wulfric Stone somehow. Some situations and turn of events were predictable and somewhat unbelievable but the BEST PART was that the pace and tautness were so tight and fast, their sizzling chemistry so palpable that I couldn't take my eyes off the hot and happening couple. All in all I loved the story and thoroughly enjoyed it

description

4 stars for Tiny Dragons and Dead Dicks
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Profile Image for Ria.
148 reviews497 followers
November 8, 2019
It hurts me to write this review! I loved book one, I devoured it and it’s one of my favorite reads of 2019!
With that being said this book was such a disappointment for me.
I’m not going to dive into everything I disliked about this book because I don’t want to come across as disrespectful to Stylo because I really do enjoy her writing.

The elements that pulled me into What we do in the night was absent in this book. There was no good banter, no steamy sex scenes, no laugh out loud moments, the chemistry between Ari and Valentine seemed forced.
My sweet sexy Ari, I felt like your character was not done justice in this book. I loved loved loved him in book one but the way in which he was written here made him seem weak and the Ari I fell in love with is anything but weak.
Valentine- I actually began to dislike her character here even though I loved her in book one. Ari went through hell to be with her and she’s so caught up in her "issues” she keeps running away and it was really annoying to read. I felt like I was reading about a spoiled Child and it made me dislike her. I’m not taking anything away from what she went through but it could of been written better.
Honestly I felt like I could of done without this entire book because even when I finished reading it I’m still left feeling like their story is incomplete! Even the epilogue was disappointing. This entire book felt rushed, like the direction of the story after what we do in the night was unclear.
I know that Stylo had personal issues so maybe it affected her writing in this book. Please note that I mean no disrespect. I know life happens and we all have obstacles to get over. Not every book you read you will love even if it’s from an author you love.
For these reasons I will have to give this a 2/5!
Profile Image for TeriLyn.
1,327 reviews385 followers
October 21, 2019
**What We Do in the Light generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

3 "How beautiful you are always." Stars

I love these characters and the beginning of their story so much. The sequel started off good but became a little rushed and repetitive for me. It was disappointing to me in areas as I felt a lack of depth that Stylo Fantome usually provides. This may be a case of myself expecting something truly epic from these characters that I so adored and not receiving that.

However, the tantalizing and the taboo was still heavily prevalent and I loved that. The characters didn't change in this one instead just sort of continued but their connection was there and as electric as in book one. There's a great beauty in their relationship and how they balance each other out that's truly romantic. How Ari came to give Valentine a piece of herself she couldn't quite grasp and vice versa was awesome plus it held all the debauchery and scorching goodness that Stylo is so great at delivering.

It's a great read from book one through book two with bewitching characters and dark themes and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Greta.
445 reviews
October 25, 2019
Inizialmente volevo dare un voto più basso perchè questo libro era pieno zeppo di errori, sicuramente non è passato in mano ad un editor perchè ce ne sono davvero tanti, probabilmente l'autrice avendo già rimandato una volta l'uscita non voleva farlo di nuovo e ha preferito pubblicare una versione "difettosa" che mi ha rovinato parecchio la lettura se devo essere sincera.
Un altro motivo per il quale volevo dare un voto basso è che la parte iniziale è concentrata solo sulla nonna di Val e di come lei si occupa di questa donna. Molto deprimente e lagnoso, con rispetto parlando. E Val si comporta davvero da deficiente con Ari, le peggio scuse per lasciarlo, ridicola davvero, non era la Saint Valentine del primo libro.
Ma Ari brilla di luce propria. Quest'uomo è fantastico e nell'ultima parte del libro è riuscito a migliorarlo di colpo, con ogni frase e gesto che compie. Posso dire infine che consiglio questo duet.
Profile Image for Marie Vasquez.
1,598 reviews73 followers
October 21, 2019
I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion for Ari and Val!

The way things ended in WHAT WE DO IN THE NIGHT it could have gone a completely different way. Val is a such a strong, independent woman and has no patience for anyone to speak about her in any way she doesn’t agree with...but she’s also had so much on her plate that navigating a relationship is still something she needs to learn. But Val is so deep into Ari’s skin that he’s determined to not give up on her. He proved persistent in getting a chance to explain himself and get Val back.

WHAT WE DO IN THE LIGHT was eye opening for both characters. Their strengths and weaknesses were brought out into the open and they learned so much about themselves as well as each other. With Val constantly on a defensive while Ari is stuck between earning his father’s respect & approval and knowing what he truly wants in life. Val’s faith in him was the push he needed and Ari’s persistence proved to Val that no matter the argument or misunderstanding he will always be there for her.

Everyone got the perfect HEA!! I actually felt JOY by the end of that last page. ♥️
Profile Image for Jen (jensdreamylittlereads).
763 reviews53 followers
October 22, 2019
I have been anxiously awaiting the conclusion to Ari and Val's story, and I immediately was sucked into Valentine and Ari's world again. There are some surprises and some heart aching moments. There was definitely a change of pace from the first book which I wasn’t expecting.

However, the tantalizing and the taboo elements were still heavily prevalent and I loved that. The characters didn't change in this one instead just sort of continued yet their connection was there and as electric as in book one. There's a great beauty in their relationship and how they balance each other out which is truly romantic and beautiful.

Stylo did another fantastic job with this and gave me the conclusion what I wanted. I would have liked a longer epilogue because it didn't seem quite complete but I am still more than satisfied with the ending. She knows how to write so many different types of characters in which you either love them or hate them. She weaves stories together masterfully which easily suck you into her world. I look forward to see what Stylo has for us in the future!

Profile Image for Vanessa (When Vane Reads).
557 reviews216 followers
October 18, 2019
Get ready for this amazing story !
wow!! this couple is everything!!! I love Ari and Valentine !! Their chemistry is so intense and their scenes are the best!! They almost scorch my kindle!
I love this couple so much!!

I loved the way that the characters evolve and become the best version of themselves with the support of the other! Definitely a must read
Profile Image for Katherine Ramos.
258 reviews15 followers
March 28, 2022
“I'm saying,” he spoke slowly, never taking his eyes off of her. “That she's priceless.”

This book was amazing, I know I bitched about book 1 being like a copy/paste from degradation, and it was, but this one has left me speechless!!! I actually saw both Val & Ari overcome their issues for themselves and getting their HEA

Stylo Fantome outdid herself with this book!
Profile Image for Erica Chilson.
Author 34 books428 followers
October 16, 2019
I received a free copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Stars

What We Do in the Light is the second installment in Day to Night. I believe it's the final installment, but don't quote me on that. Can it be read independently from What We do in the Night? No, absolutely not. It's a continuation, and I strongly recommend reading in order.

What We do in the Night ended with a massive cliffhanger, with Saint Valentine overhearing Ari speaking to his father, calling Val a very unsavory word, which she deep-down saw herself to be.

What We do in the Light is basically Val getting in her own way on every page, struggling with her inner demons, not accepting that things aren't as they may seem.

Ari is on a redemption quest, trying to convince Val actions speak louder than words. For such a strong character, he was pretty much entering perfect person territory, which highlighted how off Val was behaving.

I recommend reading the novel in one-sitting, from the first page until the last. The novel is a quick read, but I suggest reading it all at once so you don't look too deeply beneath the surface.

Entertained in the extreme, why didn't I hand out a 5-Star rating?

This was a novel about the heroine getting in her own way. Non-freaking-stop. There are plot-driven storylines, action-driven storylines, and character-building storylines. The entire plot was basically waiting for Val to give in and do what she ultimately wanted, so there wasn't much conflict or plot in that regard, which I'm fine with and was thoroughly entertained.

The first portion of the story, I understood Val's actions/reactions/emotions, felt it very human and couldn't stop tapping the pages. But by the halfway point, it felt as if the book had already met its conclusion, so I knew something angsty would happen that would be frustrating, because it had to be a full-length novel. But it wasn't angsty or frustrating- it just left me feeling like why waste pages on it.

In fact, while I know people do the most irrational things- I know these people in my everyday life -I don't believe Val even knew why she did what she did, because I don't believe the author could truly explain it- there needed to be some conflict, but it needed to make sense. It was a situation where "this is exactly why everyone on the planet uses women as the brunt of jokes & refuses to respect them" type of emotionally driven, hormonal response that quite literally comes out of nowhere and make people not like women.

Between the villainess of the tale and Val, women weren't represented well. The ex-girlfriend was a ridiculous parody of character, which took away from the emotions of the novel. We could have a debate, but I bet it would be difficult to find a reader that would believe the ex would behave as she did toward Ari (the bullying of Val, yes. The crazy pants stuff with Ari, nfw) I could ignore the ex's criminal behavior, because every novel needs a weirdo, if it hadn't been for Val having a personality lobotomy, where her traits shifted at last minute.

Since this isn't a paranormal novel (listen up, every woman who expects people to read your mind- use your words, ladies!) no one should have to be a mind-reader because Val is an insecure wreck who plays games with someone's head who showed her nonstop how he felt about her, when words can be lies. That is where the novel didn't work for me. Someone who was raised as Val was, someone who was taking care of her grandmother and doing whatever she could to survive, she wouldn't be so flighty and irrational with that idiocy, just to add a few more pages to the novel.

What resonated with me the deepest was Gam-Gam, written beautifully and accurately. Most would say they've gone through similar experiences, so they get choked up by reading. But what was on the pages (aside from the legal matter) was exactly what impacted my family only a few months ago. I had a difficult time reading those portions, able to empathize, unable to keep the sobs at bay.

Highly recommended to fans of Stylo Fantome and returning readers. I'm a big fan of the author, having read the majority of all of her work, but I still struggle with how women are represented- how all the sudden they act out of character or end up being slap-happy hormonal crazies that civilized society would eat up and spit out for being insufferable.

Ladies, stop the mind-reading bs. Here's a piece of advice from my dad. If you hit someone, expect to be hit back. You're not exempt just because you're a woman. Here's my advice: don't hit people- you're not a toddler.

Aside from the few pages of "wth, where did this come from?" I enjoy Val's character, found her to be mature and logical and compassionate, with just the right amount of insecurities to resonate with readers, while having us root for her because of her backstory. It was the strong sense of survivor instinct that kept the martyred victim mentality from being too much to read.
Profile Image for thebooksmicaelareads.
80 reviews3 followers
October 20, 2019
What a let down this was, don’t get me wrong I loved book one and I was looking forward to book two and was disappointed when the release got pushed back from September to October and now I wish Stylo waited and perfected this book before releasing it.

Firstly the book was riddled with mistakes, I don’t know if it even went to a editor because I picked up on so many typos.

Secondly the story went nowhere we went around and around in a circle but the story hardly progressed.

I don’t remember Valentine being this annoying in the first book but I couldn’t stand her in this book, she acted like a neurotic 16 year old the whole book

“I hated him a couple days ago – how could I sleep with him? One apology doesn't fix everything, doesn't even really change anything.” This was Valentine train of thought throughout the whole book

“she didn't want to start that new chapter with all of his excess emotional baggage.”
This one made me want to throw my precious kindle because she was the one with so much baggage that she should be lucky that Ari wanted her.

And where the hell was the Ari we met in the first book because the one we met was was nowhere to be found, because I couldn’t find a angsty, asshole alpha anywhere in sight, that’s what created an appeal to him in the first book.

So I’m overall disappointed, we didn’t even get an inch of the same sexual chemistry between the characters, if the story was bad and I was atleast given some steamy scenes I wouldn’t have even minded but I didn’t even get that.

I think I’m being generous with the rating because I love Stylos other books.

Plot: 2.8
Heroine: 2
Hero:2
Steamy Scene: 1
Profile Image for AJ's book-reMarks.
1,194 reviews34 followers
October 18, 2019
Valentine O'Dell moved from NYC to Chicago to take care of her ill grandmother, the person who took care of her when her parents died, one of the last people who knew her as a child and loved her unconditionally and for what it's worth, paybacks are a bitch!

School is a nightmare, Gam-Gam became ill and was hospitalized, someone called and reported elder abuse, and Val wasn't allowed to see her Grandmother. Oh, let's not forget the huge yellow evection sign posted on her front door. Ari Sharapov walks back into her life like nothing ever happened. Life takes many twists and turns this is just one of many, but done in Stylo fashion! While this series might have put Stylo over the edge, I appreciate her words, her work, and her tenacity to finish her projects sorry that it stressed you. Great series, unique storyline, with steamy scenes you've been warned.
Profile Image for LianaReads blog.
2,120 reviews168 followers
October 17, 2019
They say that “When it rains it pours “.
That’s what happens to each apparently.
After a told lie, a misunderstanding and a break up or break down I’d say, Ari is trying everything to get Val back, to come clean in front of her. With a bit of help, he gets to do that and more.

This second book of the duet shows another face of the story, takes a further step towards the ending that we all expect (and get by the end of the book).

“One dragon at a time, Valentine. You may not be a damsel in distress, and I'm beginning to think you never were, but I'm still slaying them for you.”



There are a few predictable twists and turns but there are a few surprises as well. Can’t say much as it will spoil the story but overall I enjoyed this book and I’m sure many will do as well.
Profile Image for Precious ✨.
437 reviews58 followers
May 15, 2021
Great finish.

I’m just not ready to see Ari and Valentine go.. I fell in love with them in What We Do in the Night, and drowned in that same love in this one. If anything I would love some more stories about them just sitting around the house, THATS how much I want to stay with them. I’ve got to say I love the inner monologues Stylo gives her narrators. She’s done it in all her books (that I’ve read so far this one would be number 8) and it’s great trademark along with the humor. It digs deeper into what shapes these two and they go through some real shit, but for two people made for each other.. did you really think they quit?
Profile Image for Karen111.
1,140 reviews57 followers
November 5, 2019
Any stars I’ve given are for Ari. Whiny heroines do my brain in, and Valentine was no exception. She gave Ari such a hard time - she was so self centred, and I couldn’t warm to her this time around, and found it hard to feel any sympathy for her. Add to that the numerous typos, and you’ve a very lacklustre read.
Profile Image for Maheswari.
495 reviews12 followers
December 29, 2019
Why do I even bother to read the ending
Of H & h which has no balls at all and just , why did ms Fantome waste her times on these duet books

I’d rather she wrote few pages of Mr Dashkevich story

I need to re read Kane trilogy from these train wreck of story , sorry not sorry
Profile Image for Bee.
148 reviews437 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
October 19, 2019
OH YEAH BABY!!! Gimme some more Val & Ari!!!! Can’t wait till september
Profile Image for &#x1f49c;VGreedyReader&#x1f5a4;.
481 reviews99 followers
January 17, 2020
3.75 *insert* yawn 🥱 stars
Ari did some grovelling and Val was a brat and at times childish not only predictable but also repetitive, 15 chapters of the same with a rushed end 😳
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