Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
Jenny: 4.0 Stars
Gitte: 2.5 Stars
There’s a first for for everything!!!
It’s not very often we disagree on a book, but it happened with The Thrill of It. Here is our review for The Thrill of It with two different opinions
Jenny: Well, the synopsis of this one certainly piqued my interest from the get go. I mean, how can you be a sex addict and a virgin? I was intrigued by that statement and had to find out what this was all about. The first chapter pulled me in and so begun the story of Trey, a sex addict with a penchant for cougars, and cougars with a penchant for Trey. And Harley, a girl with so many walls built up over an unorthodox past wandering aimlessly through life pleasing others at the expense of herself, addicted to the control her situation brings to her and not specifically the sex. Both imperfectly perfect in each other’s eyes, yet so totally unworthy and broken in their own eyes.
“All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn’t have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.”
Harley and Trey’s story was certainly different, I found the story somewhat refreshing and I couldn’t stop reading it. I needed to know what brought them to the point where we pick up their story. What could have set these two on such a self-destructive path? Yep, there was so much I needed to know and I was drawn in immediately. But…..we didn’t agree on this one though did we G?
Gitte: So, now for something completely different guys! Jenny and I can count on one hand the amount of times over the last two years where we have disagreed on a book. We are book soul mates. This will be the first review we’ve done since starting the blog where we’ve disagreed on how we felt over a book. Hmmm, this could be interesting.
Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this story to a point, it was very well written and flawless in execution, however, the storyline didn’t wow me. I have to say I found the storyline extremely dubious, a virgin who’s never been touched – anywhere, who’s a ‘sex addict’ and a ‘love addict’. Seeing that this is the crux of our heroine’s story I looked the term up and read several articles on this very much disputed concept. Having been interested in the psychology of human behaviour since my degree from university I have to say I just didn’t get it. I understood her patterns of behaviour to a degree, after all it stems from a misplaced sense of control, but I found the storyline grasping at straws to be unique, the straws being very farfetched. Our heroine is a ‘love’ addict, yet she has never really loved anyone nor does she want or understand love, which she states on numerous occasions. Hmmm……
‘Love isn’t a quilt, love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman for himself.’ – Harley
Now, yes you can argue that this is fiction so why am I being so harsh? Well, I guess for me when the topic of which a story line is based on is so specific, it needs to be handled with some authenticity and woven into the fictional tale. This is where it fell short for me.
‘I’m a sex addict and a virgin. I know everything about sex and I’ve never done it. I know nothing about love.’ – Harley
I will re-iterate again, I did enjoy it as I needed to see where it went and I love the writing style of this Author, the emotion is definitely there and well executed!!
Jenny: I can absolutely understand where you’re coming from Gitte because as you know, I’m naturally inquisitive and I did wonder if this was an actual disorder and did question the authenticity of it all. However, I let the story lead me and by the time I questioned it I had become well and truly invested in Trey and Harley’s story.
First we have Harley. Gitte, if I could get hold of her mother I’d give her a bloody good slapping. Just what was this woman thinking!! What Harley had to cope with! Wow, no child should ever have to witness that! It made me shudder. Could you think of anything worse? Yuk! Harley needed love, affection and and nurturing. What she got was a poor excuse for a friend. One who would disregard her daughter for her own gain. Harley had very little stability in her life and it was testament to her character she was as beautiful inside as she was outside.
“I am gross. I am disgusting. Miranda is right. I don’t deserve redemption.’ – Harley
Trey gave her a reason to be. He offered her comfort, love and passion. Something this girl never thought she’d receive and I adored watching their relationship develop. Did you want to bitch slap that mother too?
Gitte: I absolutely felt for Harley Jenny, what a life she’s had and she’s only twenty years old. No parent role model, no holds barred at home in regards to morality, respect and discipline, as in there was none.
No Mother or Father figure to aspire to or look up to. You can’t blame the girl for being confused. I was confused. Her mother had a split personality in respect to her career and her life outside it. She was two completely different people. Everyone was so emotionally stunted their behaviour and rationality was skewered and hampered.
‘There is no such thing as real love. There is only agenda. There are only expectations. And if you can remove the sticky mess of feelings from the equation, you’re better off.’ – Harley
Jenny: Her mother was a nutjob! Then we have Trey. What was his story? The tattoos? The secrecy? The sex and why older women? What sent him on this self-destructive and self-loathing path? As Trey’s story evolved you really felt for him.
“She’s a girl. And I only know women, and I only know sex. I don’t know what to do with someone who’s not a game, a conquest, a way to numb the pain. With her, I’d have to be myself, to be honest, and truthful, and let her all the way in.” – Trey
Poor Harley and Trey had been dealt a shitty hand as far as parents and role models go. They needed love, understanding and guidance, yet instead received apathy and cold hearts. My heart went out to Trey and Harley. Their chemistry sizzled on the pages and the sex between these two was HOT! But it was the emotion felt between two people suffering and hurting and finding that healing balm with one another that won me over.
Gitte: Now Trey was an enigma too. We got snap shots into his broken soul and I understood why he needed an escape. His story broke my heart, it was so devastating and he too was needing that control and outlet for his buried emotions. But why is sleeping with ‘cougars’ such a bad thing? HA!
‘It’s as if I’ve given her a piece of my heart, and said there, do with it what you will.’ – Trey
Jenny: Haha! No, sleeping with cougars is NOT a bad thing! There should be more of it I say 🙂 This story had me stumped and I couldn’t fathom how this was going to play out. How were these two damaged souls, so destroyed by sex and emotional walls ever going to come out the other end? How were they going to break down those walls? This story was told with passion, emotion, humor and compassion.
“Maybe it’s what you need then. To feel it again. To go through that pain. To know you can say it and you’ll survive.” – Harley
Two beautiful characters who together made two halves a whole.
“He knows me. I know him. I am flawed and I made mistakes….” – Harley
One thing I will commend Lauren Blakely on with this story, among other things, was how she handled the first sexual encounter with Harley and Trey. The scenes felt quite realistic and you could feel the timidness and uncertaintly between them and it helped you connect with them even more. All too often we are faced with the Magical Virginal Vagina in these story. You know the one…..where our virgin has sex for the first time, comes on demand, it’s the most amazing sex EVER for the guy and she then becomes a seasoned pro when giving her first BJ. All that becomes an eye roll moment for the reader instead of emotional connection between the characters. But Lauren gave us a wonderful moment between Harley and Trey, where love blossomed, sex was new and exciting and where these characters learned to trust and give, and break down their emotional walls.
‘It’s weird that one person can know your before and your wish for after.’ – Harley
I really did enjoy this one. That ending though……gah!!! Way to leave us hanging Lauren Blakely. LOL. I will be hanging out for book two that’s for sure! Dying to see how that one plays out!
I know you loved Falling For You by this author G and I bet it’s hard for you to admit you didn’t love this one but we always respect each others honesty and opinions, so final thought on The Thrill of It for you?
Gitte: Right, so this review breaks my heart because I loved the previous book I read by this Author and I love her, but I have to be honest. It wasn’t for me. I think the brilliant writing style, the raw emotion and the grittiness kept me reading, but the characters and storyline just didn’t work for me, though I have to say that I did like how the characters got strong and stood up for themselves as they went on the path to repair themselves emotionally.
In my opinion The Thrill of It was trying too hard to be unique but there were too many under-developed branches of storyline and not enough ‘reality to the fiction’. It felt confused on what it wanted to be which in turn made this reader confused and unsure!
*runs to hide from onslaught of tomatoes*
J&G: So there you have it. TB history was made today. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Reading is subjective and many things come into play which can affect what we experience from a story.
We are both always so in sync with our reading and often pick the same quotes and highlight the same things as each other – so much so it’s actually quite spooky and this review goes to show that everyone will garner a different reading experience, even book soul mates. Yet everyone should be entitled to express their opinion without fear of reprisal.
We all have an opinion and that opinion should always be respected regardless of whether the book worked for us or not. It would be a boring world if we all loved the same thing!
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Check out and purchase The Thrill of It here: