Just Three Words
by Melissa Brayden
Date: April 20 2015
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Series: Soho Loft (2nd in series)
Rating: 4.75 out of 5.0
Read: February 3 to February 4 2016
Right, I should probably actually get around to rating and reviewing this book. Though I kind of don't want to do so.
The thing that I had mentioned in my review for the previous book in this series? About being reluctant to dive into this series because everyone and their pet donkey absolutely loved these books? And I didn't want to be the late comer who comes, reads, and finds everything wrong/negative/bad. Was self-conscious about that. Well, I read the first book in this series and, while there were issues I had with it, I still loved the book. So, naturally I started . . . a book in a different series. Another one I kind of feared actually reading since so many seems to love the series. There, though, I found myself loathing the main characters. So, I've kind of put that book on the back burner. I'll probably read and finish it eventually.
So, I dove into the second book in this series, this book here. Had been reluctant when I noticed, from the description, that the main coupling here would involve Hunter and Sam - two long term friends and business partners.
Rereading what I've written up to this point and I messed up, eh? I had meant to reference my reluctance to read the books in this series, mention that I loved the first book in the series, then mention that some of my fear was found to come true with this book here. The book that people I'm friends with and/or follow gave a higher average rating to than the previous book.
Well, enough of that --
This book involves Hunter, the ad agency's graphic artist, and Sam, the ad agency's accountant. Being that this is a book that involves a group of friends, and an advertising agency, the people from the prior book, for the most part, also pop up in this one. Even Brent (though less so this time around), Jessica's assistant. Jessica had a much smaller role in this book, and was almost not in it. Ashton had roughly the same amount of page time as Jessica in this book, though only because she got hired, at some point in the process, as an intern. Brooklyn had a larger role than Jessica or Ashton, but a much reduced one from the previous book. Mal, the fourth friend in the four friend group, had about the same amount of pages this time as in the first book.
I was going to dive into this book immediately after finishing the first in the series, but stopped myself because of the fact that it involved Hunter and Sam. Seemed a tiny bit incestuous. Not that they were sisters or anything like that, but they kind of love each other like that, right? No? Maybe not. Well, anyway, that's why I dove into a different book before moving to this one when that one tanked.
And the reason why I didn't want to dive immediately in this book is one of the main problem areas for the coupling/romance here. As in, they are friends, and business partners, they don't want to ruin either their friendship or their company/ad agency. So, every time they are offered a choice, they take the path that seems more inclined to safe-guard the friendship/business while also likely to be adverse to a successful relationship.
This is a two person point of view book. Hunter and Sam. I know there are people who like to include rants about books that are first person books, that have just one point of view (which is not necessarily the same thing as a first person book), but sometimes that is a better solution. Largely, a two person point of view book worked better in this situation. Largely. Because both of their lives/back stories/emotions/etc. was needed - more, at least, than can be gotten if only one of their point of views was present. It did cause me to wish to never read another romance again, though. Because, at some point, the book broke down into something like this:
*scene opens during a thunderstorm. Night, late night. A woman jerks awake as thunder booms. She blinks. Licks her lips. Her lips are dry. She licks them again. Shrugs, gets up, and heads to the kitchen. She then spots another person there. The woman is kind of awestruck by the vision before her. Unable to control themselves, they press their lips into the other persons. Thunder booms. Lightening lights up the apartment.*
Person 1: whaaa
Person 2: ... *person two, the kisser, then turns and returns to their room*
*next day, kitchen at work*
Person 1: what happened last night? What was that about?
Person 2: I couldn't stop myself. *internal chatter acquired via POV: I wish to continue kissing you until the sun implodes* We . . . we shouldn't do it again, right? *internal: please want to do it again*
Person 1: aaah . . *swallows; internal chatter acquired via POV2: yes, let's, kiss me, please . . nooo, it will ruin everything!!!* aaah . not again . never again.
Person 2: Right. Um. Right. *Internal: crap*
Person 1: back to work. *grins weakly. *internal: crap*
*scene 2: apartment*
Person 1: I just can't keep myself off of you! . . um . . sex with benefits? I mean friends with benefits? No strings? *internal: please want strings. I wish to hump you until the end of time*
Person 2: Ahh, I don't . . know if ahh . . *swallows* ookay. Right. Friends with benefits. No strings. *internal: darn, well, she can't be any other way. Not built for relationships. I want to hump her until the end of time, oh well.*
Repeat these scenes six hundred more times. Well, not specifically kissing and humping. But the conversations and the internal desires being hidden.
Oh, and Brayden, in these two books I've read, seems to like to have big flashing blinking lights foreshadowing conflict points. Happened in first book. Happened in this one. I knew exactly what was going to happen because of that foreshadow point in the first book. I kind of had a 'um, that's not good' kind of reaction this time, but my brain didn't follow to the logical conflict point that would result from this foreshadowing (one of the characters telling Brooklyn that they might really like someone, then slipping in a name of some other person, not the person they wish to hump until the end of time; Brooklyn then revealing this information in a way that causes conflict and confusion – accidentally not on purpose).
Also like in the first book, friends, family, business, etc. play big parts in this book here. The family that matters specifically in this one is Hunter's. Hunter and her great relationship with her mother, and horrible relationship with her father; plus there is a straight sister, and a younger brother in the mix as well.
There are some important, very important need to know, plot points that I could mention, but I do not feel up for it.
This is another book that I felt would end up highly rated, by me. I thought the first book was heading towards me creating a brand new top level shelf just to place that book on it (a 6 star shelf), only to have the book annoy me at a specific point. With that information presented - this one felt like it was a much better book than the previous . . . until a specific point that occurred much earlier in percentage terms. From something like 60% to 70% I was seriously considering putting the book on a DNF shelf; burning all my romance books; deleting all my digital romance books; never reading another romance book ever again.
I said something in my status updates that relates to the issue. It was around midnight and I worded things badly. I know women are stereotyped as being chatters, as being more open with emotions and feelings than, say, men (while women also - from the male perspective, saying things like 'you know why I'm angry. I shouldn't have to say why'). That doesn't mean that lack of communication/miscommunication doesn't happen between two women. It can and does happen. I'm just tired of it being a major plot point in romance books. My status update made some kind of comment, something like 'I moved from MF to FF because I wanted to try to get away from this failure to communicate (because men are fucking morons, right?)'. What I didn't mention at the time is one simple fact. Lack of communication? Miscommunication? Is something I've run into a lot more often in lesbian books than in non-lesbian books. Actually, I could probably just say LGBT books, as I've also run into it more often in FF as well as MM books. More often than in MF books.
But, alas, I managed to finish the book. And need to find some method of rating. I can’t just leave it unrated. It’s confusing. I’m both inclined to rate this book 2 stars. And inclined to rate it 5. And no, I have no desire to merge the two together, take an average, and rate the book 3.5 stars. No, this is not a 3.5 star book. It’s either a 2 star book, or a 5 star book. Maybe I should flip a coin. Okay, I flipped a coin. 2 times it landed tails (2 stars), 1 time it landed heads (5 stars). Therefore, and naturally, that means I rate this book something. Hmm, flipped the three coins one more time each. 2 heads, 1 tails. Meaning 3 and 3. Luck is no help!
February 4 2016