Eli Constant's Reviews > Limerence

Limerence by Claire C. Riley
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it was amazing

I'm still finishing Limerence, but I've unfortunately read a few other reviews that contained spoilers so I know what I'm in for as I continue reading through the final chapters. Below, I have tried to craft a review that is both vague and informative (as oxymoronic as that seems). These are my impressions of Limerence by Claire Riley.

Limerence is not without flaws, but those flaws have contributed rather than detracted from the emotional investment this reader feels. I'm not focusing on grammar here when I speak of flaws (Limerence is nicely crafted and well edited). It is the lovingly-crafted characters, the mind-children of Claire Riley, that are riddled with flaws and thusly more real, more human, more approachable. Anyone who has been in a relationship - based on true love or otherwise- has experienced the occasional wandering eye- innocuous or intentional- and the poisonous guilt that follows. Mia's wandering eye, although not entirely her fault, eats away at her and forces her to question her innate goodness and faithfulness to Oliver. Of course, Claire’s Limerence takes the concept of wandering eye to the fantastical and ‘enth degree.

Throughout much of the storyline, Mia struggles with herself, both internally and externally, to remain faithful to Oliver. Robert is a convincing partner in crime. Everything about him calls to Mia- even when she glimpses a peek of his more sinister, barely-hidden nature she wars between fear and lust. Robert is born to hunt Mia- it is who he is, what he is- his natural state of being. I should have realized what he was at the beginning, but Claire artfully sidesteps the issue, letting the mystery of Robert survive until it was absolutely necessary and fundamental to the storyline to reveal his nature. There is a particular scene where Mia- half awake and struggling against the after effects of binge drinking- hears the sounds of heated arguing from the living area of apartment... and all we reader's 'hear' is Oliver shouting that he knows what Robert is... know who they are all and what they do.

Robert has his own struggle, trying to understand the irresistible draw to Mia. He eventually realizes that his vain nature propels his need for her. She is taken, loved by another man, unavailable. It is common to find that which we cannot have more attractive than that which we already own. His desire for Mia leads her towards the deterioration of her humanity and the loss of everything she holds dear.

Out of everyone, I found Mia to be the most real. Her response to situations normal (if sometimes misguided). She is transformed, literally and figuratively, into the living opposite of who she was. Love and good-naturedness are changed as she determines that she has no reason to remain kind and pure-spirited. The edges of this transformation peek into scenes- a song sung in a crimson room for Oliver... or is it for Robert... or is it for herself. Eventually, she embraces her monster. Claire leaves us hope, however, hope for Mia's reformation and rebirth into humanity. I can only imagine Limerence II will give us some satisfaction in that respect.

Oliver... Oddly became a least favorite character for me. His response to situations seemed sometimes spineless, his fight for Mia at times felt halfhearted. There was a well-executed juxtaposition between Oliver's character in the first section of the novel- strong, confident, a willful lover- to Oliver's development as the pages turned. Eventually, Oliver's fate is decided and I, as the reader, do not know if I felt relief or sadness. Oliver's character also proved a lovely counterpoint to Mia. She gained strength as he lost motivation.

I happily recommend Limerence to others and it is my hope that I have provided enough information above without sacrificing a new reader's ability to 'discover' the surprises and nuances of Claire's work. I will finish the last chapters, breath held- knowing what is coming thanks to *spoilers* from others (naughty, you - you know who you are! There's a 'hide entire review because of spoilers' option right at the end of the review text box!)

Nod to Claire. 5-stars from this fan.
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Reading Progress

March 9, 2013 – Shelved
March 29, 2013 – Started Reading
March 31, 2013 –
15.0% "Thoroughly enjoying this book. It is a romance per se, but it is also so much more than that..."
April 1, 2013 –
April 3, 2013 –
40.0% "Most reviewers speak about the love triangle b/w Mia, Ollie and Robert, but I want to also give a nod to the author for creating such a realistic and relatable dynamic b/w Mia and her best friend, Rachael. I especially like how open and honest Mia/Rachael are about eachother's flaws, but seem 100% accepting. Just goes to show that Claire took as much time polishing the minor details as she did with the main focus."
April 5, 2013 – Finished Reading

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Claire Riley Thank you, Eli, for such a thoughtful and lovely review. I'm so pleased you caught all the little details that went into producing Limerence, and not just the obvious.

It makes it all worthwhile when you know that someone 'gets it'

Claire x

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