On page nine my little writers heart had a little climax of its own when I read this; "Most of all, I love the way a blank sheet of paper looks when it's waiting to be written on. Anything can happen in those moments before you put pen to paper." Excuse me I believe I am experiencing another little moment. That won me over a little too hard, and probably also raised my expectations a little too high.
I haven't been so pleasantly surprised by a read in a long time. It had moments that really floored me and connected with me on personal level. There was a realness and a grittiness that got under my skin. But even though it got to me I do have a few complaints.
First of all as I was reading I was making a list of all the things I was going to criticise the Editor for. In the first chapter I was a disappointed by what seemed to be a lack of editing that let the writing down. Paige is looking for the perfect gift for her step-mother. We are told this, then shown this, then have memories of why, then are told again through dialogue, and then it is re-stated again! What editor wouldn't smooth that out, even if just to cut out that last line of re-stating? A good editor prunes the dead weight off a book, and I already had a terrible feeling that this read was going to have a lot of extra branches. It did. Mainly with too many memories, and too much back-story.
About a third of the way through the pace slowed, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what direction things were taking. I felt like the heroine was wandering around aimlessly. I felt this was large due to all the excess that needed to be stripped away in editing. There were sections such as her interactions with her boss and at work that seemed to not contribute enough to the plot to warrant the time invested in them. I thought they could be cut altogether and things would have moved much more comfortably.
Still I loved it. It made me cry in places. I really felt the loaded history with Austin. I really understood and believed all the family dynamics and situations. My biggest complaint is that it did not really feel like a romance for me until the very end because Paige is so indecisive and unsure about what she wants. The things that frustrated me and confused me during the book did all come together in the end. Although I felt it ended rather abruptly considering how the pace dragged.
One thing I have to point out. For something that is intended to be very erotic I really didn't feel the sex in this book. I liked it more for the plot. Maybe because it did feel too vulgar and something was just not right... Not to mention words like C*#T in a sex scene tend to kill off the romance a for me.
Is it for you?
IF YOU LOVE: Something gritty and real, that gets under your skin then this will get to you. If you like something a little kinkier then you will enjoy. If you like an assertive heroine you will like Paige.
IF YOU HATE: Vulgarity, excessive and unnecessary use of the F & C words and sex that feels well... dirty then you probably wont like this. If you like your romance pure and uplifting this is not going to do it for you. This is no warm and fuzzy kind of romance people. This heroine has issues and allot of the story will make you feel sad.
All in all, I am happy to have read this. I went to the bookstore and purchased the physical book instead of the cheaper Kindle option and I do not regret it. It is one I will probably re-read at some stage. I am very eager to read more by this author.
Characters 4/5Plot 3/5
Love Factor (Possible 1 point Bonus)
Rating 4.5 out of 5