This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Dominic Kinkaide is a world famous actor. He's very good and it's mostly due to the fact that he likes to bury himself in his roles. A tragic accident in high school has haunted him for his entire adult life and acting helps him forget. Acting and fulfilling his dark fantasies. Jacey Vincent is just trying to make it by until she can finish her business degree. After that, she'll be home free, but until then, she's stuck working as a waitress for a catering company in a skimpy outfit. That is until she and Dominic are thrown together for a possession charge even though both claim the weed wasn't theirs. Regardless of their guilt, they are both stuck with community service hours at Joe's. The two hate each other and then respect each other and then something more. But can Dom escape his demons enough to make things work with Jacey or is his life as doomed as he believes?
I'll go ahead and get this out of the way now. SPOILERS AHEAD. I REPEAT, THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. I've been trying to do spoiler free reviews, but I can't do that with books that severely irritate me and, sadly, this book did just that. So, knowing that there are SPOILERS AHEAD, you may proceed.
Dominic was a character that didn't annoy me instantly, but the more I learned, the more I disliked him. To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the Alpha Male character. He's a dick and his logic over why he won't fornicate is stupid. I just wanted to shake him. Then, we finally learn about his past and what happened with Emma and I wanted to fucking shot him.
I get the undeniable rage that comes with the knowledge that you're girlfriend and best friend got drunk and got it on. That's fine and they both deserve to be shunned for such behavior. That reaction I was fine with. The next one, not so much. Emma realizes that she is pregnant as a result of that night and Dom flips shit and demands an abortion. The first issue I have with that is a very controversial one. I don't believe in abortions. The whole right to choose thing is bullshit. You had a choice, to have sex or not. Period. You chose to have sex, knowing that no method of birth control is 100% effective. That was your choice. Now that is done and a human being is growing within you. I know there are extenuating circumstances sometimes and that's fine, but that is how I feel regardless. Even with that, you are so sure that there is no possibility this child is yours? Condoms are not 100%. That baby could very well be yours and you are demanding it be murdered. I would have been sympathetic towards him due to his situation, but that it is too much. You were right, jackass, you are partly to blame for Emma's suicide. There is a good possibility that she would have done it anyway because she couldn't live with her mistake, but we'll never know.
I wasn't anymore in love with Jacey. She's better than Dom, but not so much so that I can see her as a role model for him to emulate. Then there was the whole Brand thing. It's obvious he's in love with her and she knows it, but she just doesn't feel that way about him.
That's all I really need for her, one massive eye roll gif. Everything she does gets that reaction from me. Her comments on her job and how she needs it.
Her knowledge that there is more to Dom and her need to "help" him.
Every single thing about her just rubbed me the wrong way.
Brand is probably the only character I liked out of the whole novel. He was nice and normal and went out of his way to help Jacey. She doesn't really deserve it, but he's dedication is admirable all the same. I generally like the nice guys who never win. I want them to win, even if I like the asshole or two on occasion.
This has a love triangle and characters I hate. I'll have to emphasis again how important characters are to me. If I don't like them, the probability of me enjoying the novel are slim. And these characters were not for me. It just wasn't the novel for me. I do, however, plan to read the others in this series. This series is about Jacey's family/friends and the next novel is about Brand, so I'm all for that! I am really disappointed in this. I really enjoyed Cole's Dante's Girl and had high hopes for getting to read this, but, as I keep saying, it just wasn't for me. Dominic's character irritated the fuck out of me and there was no getting around that.
I really enjoyed Shannon's voice, but Bunny irked me. This is probably because of the source material as I know a narrator can only work with what they are given, but still, she bugged me. They had good pacing, though, and brought me through the story well enough. I'm not overly talented at commenting on audio yet, but I'm working on it! Shannon did a decent job of differentiating between characters, but Bunny didn't. It's obvious she tries, but I still had a difficult time determining who was talking.
****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****