I can't be a person who doesn't tell the truth about a book, about my experience reading a particular story. I just can't be that person. If I love a book, you *know* it. I don't hesitate to get effusive with my praise and love and sickening adoration;-) If I don't like a book, I try my best to not be a total raving witch about it, and I hope that comes across when people read my reviews. This review is going to sound harsh, but...I really don't know any other way to say what I feel needs to be said. I've written and rewritten this review multiple times, and, I'm sorry, but this is what I've got.
I went into this with the very best of intentions and expectations, even after some less than stellar reviews on Goodreads. I thought, you know, it's a matter of taste and preference. This sounds like my kind of story, so I'm gonna go for it! One of my favorite authors loved this story in its original form, and, well, that was good enough for me. I was so excited to receive this and start reading!
I tried. Truly, I did. So, when all is said and done, what do I think? I honestly cannot comprehend what originally drew so many people to this story online that a major publishing house felt compelled to pull it, pretty it up a bit, and spend the money to have it published. There is absolutely no snark or nastiness intended by that comment. Truthfully, I'm completely and totally baffled.
I understand sex is a draw. It attracts people in droves. I get it. I've been one of those people on more than one occasion. The opportunity to read Beautiful Bastard is case in point. But, I have read FAR better, far sexier, far more sensual (for that matter, far more filthy) sex scenes than what is offered up here. There was nothing original in that regard. In fact, I knew I was in trouble with this story, when, by 4% in, Kindle page 17, without knowing ANYTHING about either character, without having even the most minimal physical description of the two, with barely any conversation passing between the two up to this point, THEY HAD SEX FOR THE FIRST OF UMPTEEN TIMES!!! For God's sake, it was like a bad porno! Is that what's doing it for people now? Is that the big draw here??
So, then, I thought, what else draws me to a story? You can tell, at this point, I was still trying desperately to find some reason, any reason, this story originally attracted so many people that it *had to be* published. So, I considered what other characteristics I've enjoyed about the stories I've read and loved (or, even just tolerated). Chemistry, emotion, character growth, great dialog, humor...I love all of these things. NOT ONE OF THEM WAS ANYWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THIS STORY!! Not an ounce. Not one iota. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Lord help me, but there was absolutely *NOTHING* but the most boring sex interrupted by bouts of incredibly childish, annoying and tedious bickering between the two! Quite literally, that. is. all. there. was.
I am disappointed, in the extreme. Frankly, I don't know that I've ever felt this disappointed in a book, on several levels. Some days I have to wonder about the state of the publishing industry. I guess this is just one of those days. This review is obviously only my opinion, which I am entitled to. As I said when I began, I do not enjoy being harsh and overly critical. I *loathe* feeling the need to give a review like this. But, I'm also committed to giving my full and honest opinion. In this case, *my* honest opinion is that there was nothing here that deserved to be published, and, if there was, it certainly could have benefited from a good editor and the investment of even a little bit of time.