Monday, March 16, 2015

Love and Skates

I have to start by saying, I really liked these books.  They had me hooked and I read both of the first 2 in the same number of days.  Then I started the 3rd… and to be honest I just don’t know if I’m going to finish (see #1 below for the reason).  I really liked the characters and the way it was written to develop those characters was fun to read, BUT - There are just some things I can’t let slide by…

#1 They were written with a formula (ironically the same formula she used for the first book by her that I read and it wasn’t even in the same series).  The second book was almost a mirror of the first and the third… well, it started out different – until he met the girl.  It didn’t bother me while reading at first because I really liked the characters and most of the reason I was reading was because of character development. 

Formula =
     Guy and girl lay eyes on each other and can’t stop thinking about each other until 
     they finally meet…

     They then fall in love within a week… 

     There are some rough patches but they make it work due to their sappy love (sorry, 
     but there are times when I just eat up the sappy love story and this was one)…

     Then they get engaged.  The girl thinks its crazy fast, but they’re so in love they 
     go for it anyway…

     Then the big fight happens and they don’t speak for weeks or months.  They’re 
     each still pining away but for some reason can’t seem to talk about it and realize 
     that the other one still loves them (and that doesn’t get annoying AT ALL 
     **insert sarcasm**)…

     Then there’s a big reunion scene, and …..

     The End.  (and this is why I don’t care to finish book 3… I’m pretty sure of 
     EXACTLY how it will end!)

#2 By book 3 even the character development started to fall flat.  Owen was very different than Falcon but Nellie and Reed were practically the same person.  Then we come to Maddox… he was just… flat.  I mean, what happened?  In books 1 & 2 he was this crazy, funny guy that made everyone laugh just being in the room, but the minute book 3 started he was a different person.  He was moody and depressed and seemed to think this is how he’s always been.  With a family so close there is no way he was faking for the last NINE YEARS!  And even his depressed state was kinda weak. 

#3 While we all wish that there was an abundance of men in the world with the self-control of these brothers I just don’t see how it is possible.  Here they are completely head-over-heals in love with the girl of their dreams and yet they can manage not only to sleep night after night in the same bed with her, yet they have the impossible self-control to wait for sex until their wedding night.  This might even be believable if the women were as strong in their desire to wait as the men, but instead they blatantly tease and tempt without caring at all if their purity is compromised before marriage. 

I think this is the part that is almost purely wishful thinking.  I mean what girl doesn’t dream of a guy who is so perfect that all he cares about is her and wants what is best for her above every selfish desire he has?  Is this a complete fantasy?  No.  I feel like more often than not my husband is just that self-less.  Does it mean that girls with this standard are doomed for disappointment?  I don’t think it should.  I think they should be looking for someone who is that perfect for them.  Does it set girls up to get hurt? YES!  I say this because if you go around acting like these girls do my estimate would be that more than MOST of the time the guy isn’t going to be like the Black brothers.  He’s going to do what men are known for and take your teasing as a “yes.”  After all, not all guys are like that, but there is a VERY good reason that’s what they are known for!

So while I ate up the sappy love story and how incredibly sweet these guys were, when I stepped back and was honest, what I saw was: Girls putting themselves in harm’s way, couples involved in very risky behavior, and a book that sets seemingly impossible standards on purity despite a lack of boundaries.  The things they did were the kinds of things that invite sin into a relationship.  They aren’t things that should be done, even by engaged couples, because there will eventually be that one time where they go too far, get caught up in their passion and things happen that can never be taken back.

Overall, I would say that if you’re old enough (i.e. experienced enough) not to fall for the lie that guys have perfect self-control I would say these are really sweet.  Hey, at least, due to the perfectly controlled guys, there was no premarital sex.  They were still a little steamy without going too far or describing too much and for me that’s a huge plus.  In a world of where 50 Shades of Grey gets all the publicity I’m super happy to put up with the above mentioned downfalls to NOT have graphic sex in my books!  Given this thought, maybe I should go back and finish book 3 at some point.

** NOTE ** There are more books in the series than are mentioned and, as always, you can click the picture to be taken to Amazon to buy.  Honestly, despite the previously mentioned downfalls at $2.99 for the entire 5 book series I would have to say they are worth the money. 

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