Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review - Rose of Thorne by Mia Michelle

Title: Rose of Thorne
Series: Rose of Thorne #1
Author: Mia Michelle
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 311, ebook
Goodreads Rating: 4.43 stars
My Rating: 2/5 stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Adults only!! Erotica and attempted rape)

Summary from Goodreads: When a drunk driver tragically orphans Skylar Rose at the age of sixteen, she leaves her dreams behind and takes on the daunting task of helping her elderly grandmother raise her young sister. While other girls her age were living a typical carefree life, she was picking up double shifts at a local café and struggling to pay the bills. 

Always putting her sister’s needs and school first, Skylar has never had time to date or develop relationships. Now a senior in college, she has her sights set on an amazing internship opportunity. The last thing she needed was for a sexy distraction like Sebastian Thorne to walk into her life. 

Sebastian Thorne had been an entitled and reckless nineteen year old when he got behind the wheel of his new sports car that night. When his night of indulgence goes tragically wrong, Sebastian hesitantly turns to the one person, he knows can make everything go away…the one person he hates ..his father.

Now twenty-six, Sebastian is the young enigmatic and powerful CEO of his late father’s design company, Thorne Enterprises. With both millions in the bank and a new woman on his arm almost every night, the world never knew the dark secret he carried inside. Still plagued with nightmares from the night of that horrific accident and having to leave the beautiful girl behind, Sebastian vows to find the one that haunts his dreams. Sometimes the choice of revisiting our past opens the door to a future that we never thought possible.

Haunted by their past, these two want nothing more than to have their life given back to them. But what do you do when the person who gave you back your life, was the very one that took it from you in the first place?

* BOOK 2 THORNELESS will follow VERY VERY SOON!! Contains sexual content and abusive situations. Recommended for readers 18+ years

Okay, I have to say that this book was a train wreck for me in a lot of ways.  When i read the synopsis, it sounded like something I'd really love - I'm a sucker for emotional stories where one person has a secret - but this was one case where the story just didn't really live up to the premise in my opinion.

The synopsis summarizes the book relatively well, so I'll just jump right in to what I did and didn't like about the book. 

What frustrated the heck out of me:
  • Skylar is every man's dream.  Skylar has to be one of the most unbelievable characters ever.  She's in her early twenties and has never had anything even approaching a relationship before (and is, of course, a virgin), yet pretty much every man in this book is either immediately head over heels in love with her or lusting after her to the point where they can't control themselves and they feel the need to try to rape her (really - she is almost raped in this book FOUR TIMES by three different men).  Apparently Skylar is magically hot in a way that drives notorious playboys to forget all other women and fall hopelessly in love (that happens with two different men) and who drives men wild with her mere presence.  But, this magic either suddenly manifested roughly when this book started or Skylar is just completely oblivious to the attention she's always gotten.  At any rate, Skylar has never been interested in anyone before Sebastian comes along, and she is instantly in love with him when they meet (and him with her).
  • Sebastian.  For most of the book, I was completely frustrated with Sebastian.  I get that he wants Skylar, but he doesn't think he deserves her (and doesn't think it could ever work between them) because he killed her parents.  But for some reason this gives him some sort of multiple personality disorder - one moment he's kissing her and he can't stay away and the next moment he's yelling at her or treating her ridiculously coldly.  This wouldn't have been quite so bad if it hadn't happened repeatedly (over and over and over and over again) and hadn't gone on for SO long!!!  By three quarters of the way through the book, I just wanted to strangle Sebastian and send Skylar off to a psychiatrist who could help her analyze why she wanted this insane man in the first place.  Really - WHY would she want him?  Because they had like one or two nice dates before he went whack-o?  I just had no sympathy for them and couldn't figure out why I was supposed to want them to be together.  
  • Too much focus on sex.  This book is pretty much all about how much Sebastian (and every other guy) wants to have sex with Skylar and about all the ways they do have sex once they get to that point.  Oh, and how Sebastian plans to forget about Skylar by having sex with anyone else he can find.  Then there are a couple of subplots thrown in (yep, the main plot actually feels like more of a subplot).  This book is true erotica with very explicit sex scenes and lots of talk about sex in between.  If you're a regular reader of my reviews, you know that I'm fine with explicit sex when it doesn't overshadow the plot, but that was not the case here.
The positives:
  • The last quarter of the book.  The last quarter of the book was actually much better than the first three-quarters.  Once Sebastian stopped acting like a maniac and actually gave Skylar a reason to care about him, I found the story much more palatable.  I was once again waiting for the climactic moment when Skylar would find out Sebastian's secret, which added a sense of actual conflict to the story (rather than the contrived conflict in the first three quarters of the book).  There was also some suspense built with a couple of the subplots of the book.  The problem was that, by the time I got to this point, I was already thoroughly frustrated and didn't really care about these characters enough.  It was a case of too little too late for me.
Unfortunately, this is not a book that I can really recommend unless you're up for pure erotica and don't care about much else.  I give it 2/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***