I am a horrible person. I suppose that I should feel guilty about taking so much energy to rant about the horrible sh*t that went down in book 1 and book 2, when I'm about to majorly drop the ball on reviewing this book, which I actually did like.
It's not even that pointing out frustrations is more fun (oh who am I kidding; it can be), it's just that I still haven't had the time and/or desire to want to review much lately - even for books that made me happy.
The lead female actually used her brain more than once. I know! I couldn't believe it either, after being so disappointed with Marie and Sophie in previous books. Em was a little bit stronger, a little bit tougher, and a little bit sassier.She also knew when to walk the hell away from a situation that wasn't good for her. *applause*
Hunter wasn't a role model, and that was okay for this particular story. Even with the continuation of the kidnapping plot (which I am thoroughly sick of in MC books), I felt like we got to see an admittedly damaged man come into his own in a way which felt somewhat believable. Hunter had issues, but he KNEW he had issues. He KNEW he was a stalker. He KNEW that he had to get Em off the crazy train. How much better would most super-heavy-drama books be if the screwed up characters actually took some responsibility for their shit?
I loved watching Hunter grow. I loved watching Hunter's buried sensitive side come out.
There was some great sexual tension, and much of it was fueled by Em. She already knew what being in the lifestyle meant and what the sacrifices would be, which made her acceptance of everything easier to digest than it had been with Marie and Sophie, who had gone along for the ride far too easily for my preference.
I know a lot of people didn't like this book as much as the first two, but I felt the writing and characters were stronger on every level. I would rather read something that makes sense and has true character development over reading something that has no entertainment value outside of a drama/shock factor. At least this time, I didn't feel like I was being lead around through a mad house only for the purpose of waiting for a halfway decent sex scene.
The bantering humor was a welcome addition. The sex wasn't as mind blowing as I would have liked, but the chemistry and timing was excellent, so the balance worked for me.
My only gripe : I was very put off by the author note at the end, almost "apologizing" for the NA character ages. I agree that NA has a bit of a stigma right now, but don't justify writing what what you want to write. It only fuels the stereotype of certain things being lesser than others. While I do feel that there's a lot of crap NA out there right now, it has not ONE thing to do with character ages, and more to do with cliched and bad writing. If your book is good, it's good, regardless of character age. If the fans can't see that, shake it off and continue writing your next adult book. Please don't make explanations for what you want to do. *soapbox off*
I'm really looking forward to Picnic's book!