Please note that this is my rating for the entire series!
This 19-book novella series felt more like a long book that's been divided into 19 chapters, and it feels kinda weird to rate each chapter of a book individually (and it also couldn't possibly do the whole story justice this way).
But if I HAD to rate this instalment on its own, my rating would be:
~ 4 stars ~
"You can't just... have sex with patients!"
"I can." Groves slid to his feet like a panther and circled Adam's desk. "And I'm going to have sex with you, Adam."
Yep, I'm giving a PWP four and half stars. Not because the writing or the plot (*snorts*) were such a revelation, but for what this was, - and let's say it together: "FILTHY PORN!" - it was perfectly fine.
Scarlet Cox managed to squeeze so much kink into only 26 pages that it was a true pleasure to read:
And one my favorite tropes: THE AGE-GAP, with one of the MCs being in his early 30s whereas his boss (!!!) was a 57-year-old. *insert record scratch*
Another point: this was shockingly good writing for a PWP:
"He was so used to being in a position of authority that having someone strip him of his dignity and reduce him to a fuck toy was astoundingly, shamefully hedonistic."
Also kudos for the use of "fuck stick" as a euphemism for cock. Never heard that one before and I immediately fell in love with it.
So yeah, I was in fap heaven. FAP, I SAY.
This was honestly entertaining as fuck, so pulpy and fun.
And HAWT. You can only read this book while sitting alone and listening to Prince.
"Rob never broke down. He never needed help. He was the rock, and Matty was the bird who flew. It was the way it worked. But as it turned out, Matty was the bird that broke the rock's back."
This book exhausted me, and I so wanted to like it.
I loved the first book in this series, Training Season, so very much. In fact, I even rated it 5 stars and added it to my "favorites" shelf.
For me, it was the perfect mixture of funny and light-hearted in the first half and heartbreaking and moving in the second. Throw in some BDSM light elements for an amazing hurt/comfort and I was perfectly happy. Looking back, I should have been satisfied that it ended on such a perfect note and left it at that.
This book though? Well, let's just say that it's never a good sign when the best part of a book for me are the secondary characters because they bring a much needed comic relief.
This book was angst-fest galore! Everything that was going on between Matty and Rob was so dark and painful to read. Basically, it was hurt/hurt/hurt/hurt/a little comfort/hurt/hurt/hurt.
The story takes place 5 years after the first book, and Matty's eating disorder (or disordered eating) has become worse than ever. Gone is the bratty and flamboyant twink from the first book. Now, all that's left of Matty are his insecureness and his self-loathing. He's insecure about his job, his talent, his relationship, even about his looks.
And this went on and on and on ALL THE TIME. It was so stressful to be in his head that at around the 30% mark, I was just SO OVER IT! I was over his constant self-loathing and selfishness and his endless needs and demands from Rob. The worst thing for me was that he took Rob along with him in his downward spiral.
"Matty, when it came to sex, was the very definition of greedy - more, more, more, and me, me, me was pretty much his chant."
Yeah, that's Matty, the annoying bird, in a nutshell.
I was also this close to be over Rob too, who should have kicked Matty's selfish and demanding ass to therapy, no matter the money. But instead, he tried to help Matty and his illness with sex. Lots and lots of sex. Because the cure to an eating disorder lies in BDSM, obviously. Lovesick doormat is lovesick.
The BDSM scenes that worked so well in the first book became much more extreme and disturbing here. In the first book, they were a means to an end to establish and strengthen the relationship between Matty and Rob, and to give them both what they needed from each other.
Here, the BDSM went from light to very extreme and it was a cry for help on Matty's part and an expression of helplessness on Rob's. Which made for some VERY uncomfortable scenes that I had to skip over most of the parts.
The end made up for most of the frustration, but I was past the point where I cared anymore.
It's not that this is a bad book. Far from it. It's just that I hardly recognized the characters from the first book anymore which I so fell in love with.
And it's also one of those cases where I wished I would have stopped at a certain point in a series and let the MCs just have their HEA. Because I couldn't care less what happens after that. I know that real life is about physical and emotional struggles and financial problems and juggling work with free time. But I just don't want to read about it.