Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Second Chances by Lauren Dane

Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now she’s back, older, stronger and finally loving herself -- and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams…and her adult fantasies.

Jude can’t believe the sexy, confident woman before him is actually Rori! She’s gotten under his skin like no other woman has…and brings out secret desires he can’t resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.

Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she’s in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he’s lost his chance forever…
**I requested this title for review from NetGalley**

For the first 1/2 of this book Dane had me with her. I liked the characters, the storyline, the emotion - the whole thing worked. Rori was real in her sexuality in her personality and the relationships she developed with the people in her hometown didn't feel forced. The problem was that after the first half of the book I got confused and then after the first 3/4 I was irreparably pissed off.

I was confused because for a while there I didn't understand Jude's purpose to the story. His romance with Rori had ended, she was with Zach; what was he doing there? Zach was too nice/perfect (almost too) for Rori to cheat on (not that her doing that would make sense at ALL) and Jude was still slightly in and out as the friend who was learning to change his ways, but I just didn't get it. What was going on here? With a title like Second Chances there was really only way I could see this story going once they introduced the second story - either Zach had to die or he and Rori would have to invite Jude into a 3-some to make everybody happy. Neither seemed to jive all that well with my perception of the author and the character's personalities, so ultimately I ended up feeling on edge for a good part of the book while trying to figure out what was going on.

Dane does pull it out while maintaining the integrity of her storyline but for me I just didn't agree with how it all wrapped up too neatly. It was just too pat and since I had been taken aback by the way it came about (sorry for the vagueness, more explanation in the spoiler laden paragraph below) I couldn't have the same emotion for the story I'd had before.


What the F*%K Lauren Dane?! I understood that with the title there were a couple ways you could make this work. Still I had figured in on Zach dying during some earlier part in the novel when I didn't know him all that well. Instead I get through 150pgs of a 200pgs book and BAM! Bomb. Dead. The end. NOT COOL. I had felt all safe my nice little 'maybe Jude will find someone else' dream and that was just too much for me. Rori loved Zach soo much and to have only about 50pgs to take her love for him and turn it into a real relationship with Jude didn't jive. I understand that it took placed over almost 2yrs after his death. I'm not saying the time line wasn't realistic, but the way that it translated to the reader (i.e., me) was too fast. 

I'm not going to lie, this killed the book for me. I called my coworker, I called my friend, I pretty much tortured the people around me after Zach died because I just couldn't believe that it happened. I know that I'm ranting and that some people might consider me too harsh in this instance - but I don't think I have to make sense. As a reader and a reviewer I get to rely on my feelings to explain how I connect with a book, and this one knocked my feet out from under me.

*******************SPOILER ENDED*******************

Overall Feeling - Eh. The ending kind of killed this one for me.

Series - None

Other Reviews - Fiction Vixen (less spoiler filled, lol)