You’re Still The One, Sasha Clinton and Brilliant Secrets, Dawna Raver
You’re Still The One, Sasha Clinton
Genre: Romance, New Adult.
This sounded great, and the first ten per cent was perfect for me, just wonderful….I was so looking forward to the rest of the story.
I felt the tension and sensuality between them, Andrew who until now had devoted all his spare time to his fledgling business, was blown away by how he felt over Ashley, and Ashley wasn’t looking for love and yet it whacked them both like a sledgehammer.
And then it all fell apart for me. Ashley became so whiny, so “poor me”, she knew things would be tough, Andrew had offered her a job with him when they first met, but warned it would be 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, so why did she think he’d do less? She’s been struggling to find work and ended up at Walgreen, doing double shifts to support them. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t work with Andrew, at least they’d see more of each other….and the inevitable happens and that beautiful love turns into bickering and them barely seeing each other.
Seven years later she’s got a successful career as a book editor and gets handed Andrew’s book to promote. He’s still as attractive as ever, his business has done well, but he’s still a workaholic and yet – they can’t seem to keep way from each other. I guess that’s where it went wrong for me, the rest of the story just feels its all to and fro, will they won’t they, push and pull, and I wanted to shake the pair of them. Ashley still blames him for everything, but he did tell her right from the first meeting that his business was his primary focus and it would be a few years before he could let up a bit. Yet she resents the time it took him away from her even knowing life was going to be like this. She hated her job when they were together, so why not change it, look for something else, why not work with him? Inside she’s bitter and resentful and yet she doesn’t do anything, except that final blowout, when Andrew got a real shock. Then there’s mention of when she was in hospital a couple of times, and I was back tracking thinking “when did that happen? How did I miss it?” but that doesn’t actually get a proper detail until later…
Even now she’s still resentful of the time he spent at work, and surely by now she should realise why he did it? See that he didn’t hold all the blame? The hospital thing – yes, I could see why she was upset over that, it did seem horribly callous. I’d have felt exactly as she did, and I could see why their love that was so intense derailing so quickly could make her scared of loving again. That must have been awful, scary and of course setting yourself up for that possible pain once more is hard.
Andrew could have asked more questions, looked at whether she was really happy instead of bing so immersed in his new business, but if he thought all was well he wouldn’t would he? Later though when his other issues come up I did feel he was a bit of a coward in not dealing with them, that he’d rather let Ashley go, despite still being intensely in love with her, rather than seek help. His dad was a horrible man, and I really wasn’t convinced by the later behaviour and the reasons we’re given.
Its clear that Sasha can write the kind of deep emotion that I love, that beginning had me hooked like a fish on a reel, but I needed more of that drama and intensity, maybe another plot layering over the will they/won’t they theme of the last half. Still, maybe that’s not the kind of work she wants to write – its her book after all 🙂 I’m just a reader.
Stars: Three and a half, that first part was perfect, but though the rest was good for me it could have been much better.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers for review purposes
Brilliant Secrets Dawna Raver
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Well, I had great hopes for this, it sounded a real fun read, a hot and sexy love story with some exciting suspense moments. And it did deliver all that but…didn’t work as well for me like I’d hoped. I’m not really sure why, its got all the things I love but they just didn’t add up to a story I really connected with. Even though this is only a couple of days later I had to actually go back to the book to remind myself which read it was and what it was about. That’s not something that happens for me with great reads, soon as I read synopsis I’m back there with the characters, whereas I recall this as being a fun read, enjoyable for a one off but in the end a forgettable one 😦
So Alek is womanizer, a real manwhore and well known for it , and he meets Rylan, who’s just a sweet and normal (rich) girl. She’s had her life turned upside down after her mothers death when her father very quickly marries Helena, a real b itch character – and I so love those. She was great, lived up to her rep. Helena though is Alek’s half sister, making him a relative of Rylan…
The day they’re all meeting up, Alek and his dad, Helena, Rylan and her dad, Alek gets a shock, his dad tells him he’s to marry Helena, he and her grandfather arranged that before the two were born!! He also tells Alek a huge secret that’s taunted before us all the way through, until its finally revealed. Its a huge one and means Rylan is in danger. Alek’s smitten with her from first glance…his rep though, worries Rylan. Still , she’s takes the chance for some out and out torrid sex. Of course it never stops there does it, pesky emotions get in the way.
Rylan also learns that on her 21st birthday, very soon, she takes control of the company that her dad and Helena currently are running. I guess I was a bit gobsmacked there at how a 21 year old with no real experience did so well, I know she’d prepared soon as she knew, and had excellent advisers but its a huge sea change for her. The plot heats up as the dangers start appearing and Alek and Rylan are trying to keep their relationship going but its hard when they’re apart so much.
So there’s plenty of heat here, which fits the story very well, a fun plot and lots of dangers but somehow though it should have made for a great read for me it was one that didn’t crack the magic five star. Still a good read at 3.5 stars, just not one that’s stayed with me and that I’d reread.
Stars:Three and a half, some torrid and heated sex scenes but overall the story didn’t make the Great league for me
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.