So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).
After DNFing two books in a row I really needed a break, and having wanted to read this book for over a year now, I finally decided to pick it up. Honestly, I was scared that I wouldn't like it. I was constantly paranoid and waited for something weird to jump out of the closet at me that would piss me off but nothing happened. This book was pretty damn good.
That is not to say it didn't have its faults. It did, but you tend to overlook those when you read two annoying books back to back and are on the verge of ripping your hair out.
It took me a while to get around to this review because
a) NaNoWriMo and
b) Its complicated. It took me a day for my brain to settle down after everything that had happened in this book.
It was a hell of a ride that's for sure.
This book stands out from the usual NA. I usually avoid NA and whenever I pick up a NA, I research the hell out of it to make sure there is a greater likelihood of me liking it then of me not liking it. This book stood a million miles away from NA. Nenia builds a novel that doesn't follow the usual tropes you see in NA. You don't have a love sick girl who spends the whole book swooning over the incredibly hot guy (although Michael IS hot), in fact she is very aware of the danger she is in the whole time. She doesn't become a victim of Stockholm’s Syndrome.
With that said I definitely prefer Michael to Christina. Christina, while she is a very good female lead, still managed to annoy me from time to time. There is a fine line between being smart and being stupid. And for me she crossed that line a couple of times. She tried to fight back against a man who was her captive and had a lot more power than she did. She didn't think of the consequences at all. Had she not tried to fight him and instead tried to bid her time to actually come up with a plan (if not a very good one) she probably would have bad a better chance of escaping. The fact that she fought made him more alert, she could have brought his guard down by cooperating. Her self-image issues also bothered me. They shouldn't have because they made sense, when a parent keeps on nagging to you about your body you're bound to have issues but it seemed to contradict with her own private rebellion against her mother and the fact she didn't want to be just like her. She shouldn't have let it get to her. Then there was the whole 'I am not beautiful' yadda yadda yadda when she so obviously was, if your mom was a model, the likelihood of you being ugly is low hon. The other thing that bothered me was her faith in god, I don't mind the fact that she had faith and maybe the fact that I am not so religious is coloring my opinions, but when you're being held captive you usually don't say stuff like "this is god's way of testing me." No.
Michael on the other hand was almost 'blemish free'. After reading a couple of books by Anne Stuart, I've developed a liking for Anti Heroes, and Michael was definitely a damn good anti-hero. For the most part he was pretty awesome, the only thing I didn't understand was his attachment to Christina, which I cannot really fault him on because he didn't seem to understand it himself.
Their relationship, or rather anti-relationship (for the lack of a better term) was rather interesting too. This was the one area in which Christina aced and Michael didn't. Christina did NOT fall in love with him. In fact when they first slept together, she did NOT in fact see stars and didn't die and go to heaven because it was so incredible. It was miserable for her. It was demeaning. She questioned her feelings for him and I am not even sure she really liked him. They had forged a bond but you cannot just overlook everything he put her through in the blink of an eye. Michael's feelings came out of the blue for me. I actually never saw them coming, well I did because obviously they would be a couple, but not so soon. For the most part he always seemed to be annoyed of her even if he was attracted to her so it surprised me.
The plot. Holy gods the plot. It was beautiful. This woman is a genius. Instead of trying to make is run around in circles or trying to 'shock' is with who the villain was, she told us right off the bat, everything else was build around that. Knowing the villain didn't take away the suspense of the novel. It made it even more interesting.
This novel was gritty, creative and damn it was good. I definitely recommend it to everyone who is tired of the annoying tropes in not only NA but in 'romantic suspenses' (come moi).