Please don’t lynch me!!
I’m a little scared to say this given all the passionate fans of this book but, if I’m going to be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it.
I mean, I get it. I totally get why so many readers loved it. It had a hot Alpha (somewhat damaged) hero, boat loads of steam and all, plus he was a fighter (gotta love the bad boys, right?) but… I just honestly barely felt anything while reading. I also had several issues with some of the content and then found the ending absolutely predictable. Nothing ever surprised me or made my heart race so … I just don’t think this story was for me.
I know a LOT of readers loved it though, it’s been getting so many 5 star ratings, so I know that in many people’s eyes it’s got something special and I fully respect that, I guess I just personally couldn’t connect to it.
REAL follows the story of Brooke and Remy. Remy was the champion boxer who every woman just lost their heads over. He was hot, dangerous, and unbeatable in the ring. When Brooke’s friend drags her to one of his fights, they have a chance encounter and from that moment on are hooked on each other.
But when she was called to his hotel room after the fight, the last thing she expected was to be offered a job to tour with them. Brooke specialized in athlete rehab therapy and Remy wanted her there to help him with his training and after his fights. Or so he says. What he was really looking for is something “real”. A real connection. Not to Remington “Riptide” Tate, but to him, Remy. She agreed, and their story began.
I had several issues with the story but I’m just going to just list a few of the main ones then leave it at that so that you can get a feel for what bothered me.
My first issue was their connection, or lack of. For me, it was too much, too soon. The entire story was told from Brooke’s perspective and I just felt there was SO much focus (right from like page 2) on how hot she was for him every time she even saw him that I felt there was no time spent on actually building a real connection between them.
My second issues was the repetitiveness of both the scenes and certain words. There was a lot of clenching, muscle bulging, drenching etc. I’m not usually one to nit pick, but the word ‘clench’ was used over 70 times in the book. That’s a lot of clenching. And it began on page 3. Another term that I began to tire of was ‘speedy’. Now the hero was bi-polar. And (I’ll address my issues regarding that next) but whenever he had an episode, they called it him going ‘speedy’ and I just got tired of the word. And just in general, a lot of the wording really made me mentally ‘trip’ while reading. Here’s an example of the kind of thing that just didn’t work for me.
“Tonight we’re both naked and deliciously entangled, and my sexy blue-eyed lion now seems content to have petted me for a long while, until I feel groomed down to my bones.”
Ok, next, about him being bi-polar. I won’t give the details because I don’t want to spoil them, but basically, everything regarding the way his medical condition was a bit of a stretch to the point that it wasn’t even remotely believable. I felt that, if the author was going to use that plot element, she should have use it accurately. I normally try to look past this sort of thing but it really bothered me here because it was referenced several time and there was just no way it was remotely plausible. His condition was described as some sort of gene switch that flicked back and forth and could also be determined by looking at his eyes which switched from blue to black if he had an ‘episode’. His eye color chance was also linked to this gene switch. In a paranormal story, sure, I’d buy it. In a real life story, no way.
And finally, I predicted the ending from about a half way into the story. To a tee. So there was no adrenaline rush or anything because I just knew exactly what was going to happen.
I thought this book had great potential. I liked Remy a lot as a character and I even think that in a different book, I could have maybe fully fallen in love with him. His back-story made my heart ache and it set him up wonderfully as a damaged/tortured hero and I totally understood where he was coming from in terms of wanting to find something ‘real’ in a relationship.
“Why’d you want to have sex with me? To have a fucking adventure? What was I supposed to be? Your one-night-fucking stand? I’m every woman’s adventure, damn you, and I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your fucking REAL. You get that?”
“I want this. Very badly.” He nuzzles my nose with his. “I’m trying not to fuck it up, all right?”
See? Now that stuff is swoony! And the way I look at it is this. I liked Remy. I really did. What I didn’t like was everything surrounding him – including the heroine, which sucked because the story was told from her perspective. But, the result was that it made it harder for me to connect to the book as a whole (including Remy).
I mean, there were a few awwww moments, a few really gorgeous lines, and a few moments where I felt the hint of a ‘spark’ in their connection but those moments were brief and didn’t last long enough to sway me into fully liking the book.
I fully respect that many people loved this book, it just really wasn’t for me.
3.5 – 4 stars for Remy’s character.
2 stars for the rest of the book.