“…how I hated her, how much I craved her…”
I feel like I have to run and hide after I say this but, in all honesty, I was a lot less “wow-ed” by this book than I was expecting to be. It wasn’t bad at all, I just really didn’t feel anything for it or the characters. I mean, okay, maybe a LITTLE, obviously, I mean I did care for the characters, but nothing that made the story ‘stay’ with me or make me overly attached to them.
I’m still giving the book a 3.5 – 4 star rating because while nothing jumped out at me that I just fell in love with, it also wasn’t bad either and nothing ever rang any of my alarm bells, it just didn’t really make my heart race… which I usually want.
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this book and I guess I can honestly say that I can truly understand both the really low and the really high ratings… I mean, I guess its about your mood of the moment maybe?
It was basically a light-hearted (but not funny) enemies-to-lovers story that centered largely around the sexual escapades of a boss and his intern.
I guess to describe it, its the story of Chloe who is working towards her MBA while being the assistant to Bennet Ryan – a “womanizing, arrogant, pigheaded asshat who assumed everyone around him was an idiot.” … in other words: a Beautiful Bastard.
Despite their intense physical attraction, they have an strongly antagonistic relationship at first…. until one day, the UST* snaps and (around 5% into the book) they pretty much just break down and have angry sex in the board room. Then in the stairwell. Then in the elevator. A fitting room. The backseat of a car. Two bathrooms. Almost a shower. And then about 10+ times in bed…. In case you were wondering, this book has a LOT of sex in it. I mean a lot. Its hot but not kinky – just very very frequent and often very very angry. Did I say a lot yet? … hmmmm, maybe, honestly, even too much at times? Or possibly a better way to say it would be too much, too soon.
But about half way through, emotions start to seep into their relationship – or, rather, positive and more romantic emotions and basically, the more they gave into their bodies, the more their hearts slowly began to catch up with the program and they began to fall for each other.
“He looked so different – still my asshole boss, but also someone else now: a man, in my bed, looking like he was ready for round… Four? Five? I couldn’t keep track.”
“Tell me what you want.” My voice is rough with need. “Tell me the things you want me to do to you.”
“I don’t know,” she whispered into my mouth. “I just want to see you come apart.”
Chloe and Bennet had a highly dysfunctional relationship… but one that kinda worked for them. I mean, they spent the first half of the book pretty much hating each other and trying to fuck each other out of their systems which, consequently, disconnected me a little from strongly “feeling” for them because THEY weren’t really feeling it yet. You know?
“So here were the facts: I felt possessive of her. Not in a romantic sort of way, but in a “hit her over the head, drag her off by the hair, and fuck her” way. Like she was my toy and I was keeping the other boys in the sandbox from playing with her. How sick was that? If she ever heard me admit to that, she would cut off my balls and feed them to me.”
It was nice that the story was told in alternating POVs though and that we got to see the man behind the bastard so to speak. It helped soften the way I felt towards him, understanding his frustrations with Chloe that made him act the way he did. That being said, I did really like that Chloe was a smart and sassy heroine who pretty much just threw all his asshatery back in his face so there was no ‘doormat’ syndrome going on here 😛
There were cute moments, some sassy banter, a lot of lust-hate-sex-lust-hate-sex… and some things I couldn’t help but laugh at (like Bennet hoarding all her torn up panties in his drawer *shakes head* LOL)… but I felt a little disconnected from the story. It took a long time (really right up until the VERY end) for them to actually be in a real relationship together and I guess I just usually want more actual romance in my reads.
I feel like I would have gladly traded in some of the sex scenes for more character development I mean, neither of them really ‘grew’ much as people (except to stop hating each other) and neither of them had damaged pasts or had anything in their past that was a mystery or affected their lives in any way… the story has no twists or anything, its really just a straight up enemies-to-lovers story. I guess I would have liked to know WHY Bennet was so mean to her – I mean, yeah, it was sort of explained but I would have wanted a bit of a deeper reason for that degree of asshatery.
There is a happy ending (no cliffhanger) but I did feel it was rushed and abrupt. They kind of solved their problem and then the book was just over. I feel like I really could have used an epilogue.
But… at the same time, I know I’m griping a lot but it really wasn’t a bad read. It just won’t be making my favorites pile and didn’t leave a lasting impression on me or really ever touch my heart emotionally.
However, I read it in one sitting (about 4 hours) and did enjoy my read so, all in all, I am glad I read it… I just won’t be doing a reread.
Rating: 3.5 — 4 stars
*UST = Unresolved Sexual Tension
CASTING –> click here
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