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.
Every body has been telling me i HAVE to read this one -NOW. I have not read it yet and I appreciate your honest review. Sounds a bit Travis Maddox-y.
Might put it off a little longer, it is not like I don’t have a thousand other books to read yet!!
I’ll be honest and say that I actually LOVE Travis and love Beautiful Disaster but other than the fact that they are both fighters, I wouldn’t honestly compare Remy to him. Beautiful Disaster had that ‘spark’ for me that this book was missing.
Good review and thanks for the honesty (even though I just bought the book tonight). Maybe it will ring some bells for me sometime, but it’s going down the list for now.
I totally agree with your review! I wasn’t getting much from the story. I liked the underground fighting alot I liked Remy I just couldn’t stand Brooke! The lack of chemistry and the repetition of words and story was too much for me. I would have loved more Remy’s POV I just didn’t connect with Brooke and I know Remy’s hot but really we don’t need to read it ever other page.
Kim U says
Oh thank goodness, I thought I was the only one who wasn’t feeling the hype for this book. I got halfway through and I put it down but I really didn’t feel the need to go pick it back up right away for exactly the reasons you have in your review. Thank you for being honest, it is always appreciated!!
Adrienne Scales says
Thank god for honest reviews. I’m so tired of all the 5 stars I see everywhere. Then I read a book and I’m thinking “wth”. I’m not saying I won’t read this book because I most likely will. I just won’t drop all my other books patiently waiting in line to be read.
bobbi h says
Natosha – Thank You for being honest. I felt the same way. I wondered if everyone read the same book that I did. And, as I read blogger reviews, I was beginning to question the 5 star reviews.
bobbi h says
so sorry! I called you Natasha, my apologies….. need coffee stat!
Thanks for being honest. I was almost feeling like maybe is being too hard on this book or if i was reading the right book. I can’t normally read a book in a day or two but this one took me all week to read. I had to put it away for a little and read something else in between. I wanted to like it but I could not I had a lot of the same issues as you did. I don’t like to be hard on books and normally I am not picky when it comes to reading.
Megan Bolyard says
As usual, I agree with your assesment. I was telling my husband that I bought this book because everyone LOVED it and I just did not get that feeling. There was just to many things (like thelicking thing. I would slap the shit outta my husband if he cleaned me like a lion. Gimme a break.) I won’t go into detail about my feelings of him pushing his fluids back inside her…Umm can you say U.T.I?
Anyway, thanks for the review. I should have waited.
This book was a train wreck for me. Grammatically and structurally it was a mess. How do you “scent” someone? You are one of the few bloggers that has given it less than 5 stars and frankly, that’s impressive. I really can’t figure out what book these people read that gave it that many stars. It’s nowhere near “Beautiful Disaster” and that’s insulting to Jamie McGuire to even try to put them anywhere in the same category of quality.
Thank you for being honest!
I think every one can have their own opinions. Sometimes there are topics in books that will hit home more with one reader than another. This was one of those books for me. I do agree that the bi-polar was an EXTREME case but it still held a lot of truth. My loved one doesn’t get speedy, but he does have panic attacks and he chooses to medicate b/c if he didn’t…. I honestly don’t think I could handle him…. I do think Remy needs meds, btw! I loved this book, Remy needs Brooke. He is an alpha, but he needs her to live… she is the stronger of the two. I look forward to more of their story.
Aestas, I am so happy Song for Julia is on your to read list. It is a wonderful book, so well written, it was my favorite for 2013. I am looking forward to your opinion. 🙂
Jayn Wilde says
First, you shouldn’t feel youhave to apologize. After all, you are doing reviews. 🙂
Second, I haven’t read the book yet, but I did read the reviews and notice that you aren’t the only one who has felt this way. You have done a great, honest review. That is what authors want. Yes, getting all 4 and 5 stars is nice, but in the long run, it doesn’t help the author if the book, in fact, is only worthy of 2 or 3 stars. Honesty, though hard to dish, is part of doing reviews and I appreciate ALL of the reviews you do. Thank you. 🙂
This is so funny! Just last night I was telling the friend who encouraged me to read it about the word throb being used over 20 times and clench over 70. She laughed at me when I told her it messed this book up for me a lot. I agree almost 100% accept I didn’t guess the ending, but I guess that’s because I really didn’t care enough about it.
I read this book over the weekend and I agree with everything you said 100%. I’m glad you were brave enought to give an honest review and it makes me an even bigger fan of your blog (which you are my favorite)!!!
I agree that you shouldn’t feel you have to apologize-it’s your opinion-you are allowed that! I happen to agree with you though, and I’m glad to see others (you & those commenting) felt that way, because I thought it was me. A few reviews I’ve read said it was the best book ever………um, no. I liked the book somewhat, but my no means LOVED it, l I honestly thought some of it sounded juvenile, but that’s just me I guess.
Anyway, thanks for keeping it real!
wow guys!!! I’m going to say the same thing I said on Facebook that are guys are making me almost want to cry with how supportive you all are. It makes no difference to me whether you loved or didn’t love the book, but THANK YOU for understanding and supporting the honest review! I was seriously a little worried putting this out there but thank you for reminding me what an amazing community you are!! I heart you guys SO much.
Totally agree with your review. I read it because Remy was compared to Travis. The only similarity was that they are fighters. Brooke was exhausting with her repeatedly describing how her anatomy responded to him. After the 10th time I was like O.M.G get a vibrator and shut up!
Glad you’re reading Naked. Ethan Blackstone is HOT. One of my top book boyfriends. Can’t wait for the 3rd book!
Jenny Wade says
I LOVE honest reviews! I was getting ready to read it…but I know there are others that are much better. I’m getting sick of the 5 star reviews on books that make me go WTF? Some look as though no one has even proofread them and it makes me nuts.
Jen Wurtzburger says
Great honest review, as always! I was so interested to see what your thoughts were on this book. I succumbed to all the hype and hotness ratings last week and starting reading it. I’m only about halfway through (it was a busy, very little reading-time weekend, boo) and while I like Remy I’m starting to get tired of all this physical attraction that just seems too over-the-top. I’m sick of hearing about how aroused and aching she constantly is, it’s just starting to bore me. Can’t she just get a vibrator and find SOME relief? It’s enough already!
But I’m going to finish it to see where it goes. I agree with you that it lacks that special “connection” between Remy and Brooke, that makes your heart swoon and makes you feel angsty when things aren’t working out. I’m not sure I believe they can even have a relationship built on pretty much nothing but a physical attraction?
Thank you for once again providing a well-written, honest review. 🙂
Haha! I loved your review – it was so honest! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so you should never have to apologize! This book had some downfalls, but I really did enjoy reading it. My hubby is bi-polar so some of Remy’s characteristics really hit home for me. I just loved Remy! He was sweet and his character really pulled at my heart strings. I agree with Jen. Can one person really be that aroused 24/7? That poor girl needed some relief, and the author took her sweet time in getting it to her! I just love how one book can get such mixed reviews. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all had the same opinion?
Thank you for such an honest review – I would say that is exactly what us readers out here read your posts for! I have started and stopped this book several times (can’t get into it so I start another book and then I go back to it when I am done). I kept thinking maybe it will get better. The addition of unbelievable / unrealistic story / plot lines just get me every single time. As does the repetitive mention of her clenching etc. I wanted to love Bound Together but felt much the same (way too many contradictions in this story). Wasn’t such a great fan of Beautiful Disaster either.
Sara J says
Great review! It was pretty on point with how I felt. I’m glad I’m not alone in not loving this book.. I was starting to question myself lol.
[email protected] says
I agree with everyone else that you should be completely honest with every review, and say what you really think. Some people just may not click with a book that most people love! That being said, I loved Real. Some of it was a little over the top, yes-but I still couldn’t put it down. I feel the way about the Thoughtless series that you feel about Real. Everybody else looooooves this series and it has gotten so many good reviews. I was so excited to start it, only to be severely disappointed. The only thing I love about those books was Kellan’s character. I can’t stand Kiera and don’t understand what Kellan sees in her. I think even some really popular books just don’t do it for everyone!
I remember seeing a review (turns out yours) a while back on this book. Then i see everyone else loving it. So I give it a chance because everyone connects with books in differnt ways. I am almost done now but I had to find the review I thought I remember reading that described what i was feeling through this book. Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t totally love it. I mean like you said its and okay story but just didn’t hit home for me! I have personal experience with bi polar disorder and I also felt the descriptions were very off from what reality is when dealing with someone who has bi polar.If you read Find You in the Dark series that is what it is like!! A Meredith Walters hits it right on the head. I can agree those with bi polar have moments they act on and may not fully remember what they say or do in the heat of the moment but the whole eye color change and this episode of not remembering lasting for days was weird. I’m not feelin the chemistry between them either its a lot of words that to me are that just words. Yes a few quotes were sweet and swoony. AS far as him and Travis being similar…um not really except they both underground fight and protect their girl. I loved travis’s story and the chemistry between trav and abby is amazing. I feel bad when i don’t love a story or not even love but like it more than meh….but this is meh for me and I know the author worked really hard so that is why I finished it plus I just hoped it was gonna turn a corner and it was gonna grab me.
Ok, so I saw that you didn’t like this book a while back, but I didn’t read your review. BUT I saw a lot of positive reviews for this book, so I decided to go ahead and read it. I ALWAYS take your recommendations to heart. I should have read your review first. I am now half way through this book, and for the first time in EVER I don’t think I can finish this book. This Brooke character is really, REALLY, pissing me off. She is really stupid. No, I don’t think that word is going to work. She just really doesn’t get it, and I am just having a hard time understanding why. What was the author trying to get at, having the heroine be so damn dumb? I am at a complete loss. So, with that being said, next time I will be reading your review because 9 times out of 10, I always listen to what you have to say about a book. I’m just sorry I didn’t this time. But hey, who knows, maybe I’ll finish this book eventually.
Melissa Jenks says
At least your honest, just have to disagree, I absolutely loved this series! And recommend it to everyone 🙂