Cover Image: Royal Affair

Royal Affair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Reviewing books can be a tricky and difficult thing sometimes. The way that I choose what books to read is very arbitrary and I only end up writing reviews for some of those (for a variety of reasons that generally ends up being as simple as not having enough hours in the day). Sometimes, I am motivated to write a review by online conversations about a book that happen with other reviewers. This is the case for Parker Swift’s Royal Affair (mostly prompted by discussions around this review of the story at TBQ’s Book Palace).
I read Royal Affair back in January after a couple of starts and stops. I distinctly remember opening the egalley of this romance and seeing this sentence at the end of the table of contents: “Don’t miss the thrilling next installment of Dylan and Lydia’s story.” I was rather ticked, to be honest, because nowhere in the summary (that you can see above) was there any mention of a cliffhanger ending, of this book not having an HEA,  or of the fact that this book is the first of three books for Dylan and Lydia’s story. I would not have requested a review copy via NetGalley had I known that this wasn’t a complete HEA. Lesson learned (for like the 80th time now - maybe it will stick this time).
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with duets, trilogies, hundredologies, etc over which one romance is told. However, I do not want to review them until the romance is complete. I can’t appropriately judge a romance without the HEA - and frankly do not want to. And I don’t want to buy them UNLESS THIS INFORMATION IS GIVEN UP FRONT. I want to know BEFORE I decide to buy, and chances are I will want to wait until the romance is complete until I read it.
I do want to note that this information is clear on the Royal Affair book description page at etailer sites. Unfortunately, I do not generally look at etailer sites when choosing which review books to read - so I will take some of the blame upon myself. But ultimately, I think there is room for improvement in the way that publishers and authors make this information known IN ADVANCE.
Ultimately, I did read Royal Affair, and my overall reaction was not bad (unlike that of the reviewer in the above link). I did connect to both Lydia and Dylan. I agree that he is a total alphahole, but assume he has some deep, dark tortured secret that makes him a douche which may make him more sympathetic. We just don’t find out what that secret is in the first book in this trilogy. But it was my conversations with the author of said review (and others) that prompted me to vent my frustrations with reviewing multi-book HEAs. I do not feel as if I can fairly review part of a romance (and if I were going to review part of a romance it would always be the part with the HEA). With this series, I actually do want to see what happens next and plan to read the next two installments - just not until the third book is out (hence I will not request review copies of them).
So in case it isn’t clear, I don’t really know what to say about Royal Affair. It started out decently for me, but I don’t know where it is going, whether or not Dylan will be redeemed enough to be worthy of an HEA or how the HEA will unfold. Maybe ask me in mid June after the third book is out and I will be able to let you know
Was this review helpful?
4 Royally Amazing Stars!! 

First off Ms. Parker Swift what an amazing debut book. Great Job!! 

Going into Royal Affair I wasn't exactly sure of what I was in for. Once I got started I just couldn't put the book down. 

Lydia is spending the summer babysitting for a rich family until she packs up and moves to London to work for a new fashion designer. This all happens after the death of her last living relative, her father. While babysitting she runs into the sexy Duke Dylan. 

Dylan is a sexy, hot, alpha, Duke in London who hates having his life broad-casted in the media. So to avoid the media he distances himself from people he care about and doesn't do relationships. However he is so taken with Lydia that he just maybe willing to give up his rules. 

Royal Affair is a total funny, hot, suspenseful emotional must read. This is a 2017 you HAVE to read that should be on everyone's TBR list!! The characters, Lydia and Dylan, you will really connect with. The chemistry between these these 2 are so off the charts. Lydia is a female character who speaks what's on her mind and not back down from a challenge. She has no problem at all calling Dylan out. Dylan, Dylan, Dylan is just totally sexy, hot, alpha male. He knows what he wants and goes after it and isn't afraid to actually admit when he screws ups. 

Oh and the ending of Royal Affair OMG what a curve ball. I totally didn't see that coming at all!
Was this review helpful?
Royal Affair by Parker Swift is the first book in her Royal Scandal series. Told solely from Lydia's POV, this book is a sensual romantic story that is continued throughout the three book series. As the story of Lydia and Dylan continues throughout the series there is a small cliffhanger that will bridge into the next book but this installment is wrapped up quite well.

Lydia is a girl who has dealt with loss, and now has a plan for her life. Leave New York and go to London to work with an up-and-coming fashion designer. A chance encounter during her summer job leaves her aching for Dylan and paves the way for them to meet again once she arrives in London.

Dylan is a private man. Oh sure, he may be the son of a Duke and sought after by the press, but private he remains. When he meets Lydia, she starts to break down the walls he has carefully and purposefully erected around his life and, to their possible detriment, he may never be able to keep her out completely.

What happens when the upper crust meets the American in their midst? Well - it was an extremely well-written story. The pacing was great. I loved the characters, I felt their pain. There was plenty of angst without it being overdone and the sex was H O T! Enjoy!
Was this review helpful?
It was ok.

I'll admit that I had very mixed feelings on this one. I started reading it and enjoyed it and then my level of enjoyment decreased. The back and forth and hemming and hawwing and the whole sex only thing. It felt a little too close to Fifty Shades for me at times.

I almost DNF'd but I really wanted to finish it and see how the ends were left open for the next book. I read this one knowing that it was part of a trilogy so that wasn't a big deal to me.
Was this review helpful?
It's been a long time since I was completely blown away by a debut author, and boy was I ever blown away! I can't believe this is her first book. I happened to stumble across this title while taking a quick peek on Netgalley, and I'm so glad I read it. I'm not sure there are sufficient words for how much I LOVED this book! Big points for attention to detail, creativity and intrigue. Not to mention some sexy times hot enough to rival the temperature on the surface of the sun. Dylan Hale is equal parts sexy, dirty and infuriating. And the feels? I'm talking full body, feel it in my skin right through to my bones kind of feels. So intense! I'm dying for the next installment to satisfy my "Royal" cravings!
Was this review helpful?
Let me start off saying I loved the book. The writing was great and the plot was a seriously gripping one. I hated putting the book down. The characters were so very complex. They were so hard to really pin down and man did I love that! Lydia was my favorite. She was head strong and I thought the book was leading in a different direction with her. I liked how her character handled things. She wasn't all knowing and super genious smart at knowing how to handle her life. She was real and passionate. Her responses and emotions made her feel like a person I was living the book with. Dylan was such a deep vat of unknown. I truly didn't know what to make of him and because I didn't have all of his pieces I halfway didn't like him because of how he treated Lydia. Granted he SAID he had good reason but I was so emotionally involved with this book I just could not see it. I will leave it to other readers to decide if he had a fair reason or not. I absolutely love his depths. He was so powerful and with an almost dangerous aura he could easily tip the scales of this book into romantic thriller. The book has closure of sorts but does end on a cliffhangar. It isn't one that will make a reader run screaming into the streets, but it certainly leaves us craving more! I can not WAIT!
Was this review helpful?
"Royal Affair" immediately piqued my interest, and I found myself devouring this book! With a storyline using the royalty trope and some seriously steamy scenes, this story was maybe not overly original, but it was seductive and sexy as hell. The author’s writing is strong, her characters are well-developed and engaging, their story was believable. The repetition of the sex scenes was a bit boring at times, though. I would have preferred more focus on the plot and the characters.

After her father’s death, Lydia Bell decides to get away and accepts a summer job of nanny, travelling to Canada with her employers. A chance encounter with Dylan Hale, a sexy and mysterious Brit, will alter the course of her life. When she moves to London to pursue a career in fashion, she gets to know him better. As it happens, Dylan is a celebrity is his country, not only as heir to a dukedom, but also as a famous, award-winning architect. 

With his upper-crust accent and his title of Marquess, he is every socialite’s dream and oozes status, self- confidence and sophistication. Lydia is startled by his attraction to her, they don’t run in the same circles and she feels vulnerable and out of her depth with him. But she is drawn to him and enjoys his gentleman-in-charge attitude. Dylan is a former bad boy turned successful businessman. He is posh, rakish, bossy, and yet caring, attentive and nice.

I loved Lydia and Dylan, the delicious push and pull between them, their undeniable chemistry was palpable. My heart broke for Dylan, he was a lost soul. He is a public figure, constantly followed by paparazzis and has paid the price of celebrity. This is why he wants to protect Lydia from the negative impact of being in the media spotlight. But even if Lydia is a genuinely sweet girl, she isn’t weak and refuses to be his little piece on the side. Will Dylan be able to break his self-imposed rules to keep her by his side?

Royal Affair is the first part in Parker Swift’s debut series, and it ended on a mild cliffhanger that left me wanting the next installment immediately. But no worries, the next book, Royal Disaster, is coming soon!
Was this review helpful?
I don't know where to start with this book. I hate-tweeted so much about it last night though. First 20% or so was mostly meh, not rage inducing, just boring and eye-rolling. The rest of the book? So. Much. Rage. The hero's "commanding" ways are not sexy, they're creepy, borderline abusive, and overall he just needed a kick to the nuts and she needed to run away. Worse, I didn't even care about her, so that couldn't save it (and it's told entirely from her POV, so there was no hope). 

My full, very honest and full of curses, review is linked below and goes up on Feb 15th.
Was this review helpful?
Well, that went in no way how I anticipated... in the best possible way. Kinky Dylan and strong willed Lydia won over my heart from the get go.

Their meet was a total accident. Lydia spent the whole summer with a well off family as their au pair which was a perfect setting to get acquainted with British Royalty. How royal? Well basically a bunch of people has to die for Dylan's family to ascend to the throne but from the sound of it, not TOO many people will have to. This was what attracted me first to this new author’s book. I was craving some royalty taboo romance read. Taboo as in royalty falling in love with a commoner... what is more— an affair with an American commoner.

“You’re so pervy. You’re like the Earl of Perv.”

He laughed. “The Marquess of Perv. Please. Be precise.”

I may have fallen in love with the characters and the wicked, wicked, super hot and kinky Dylan but man did he try his patience. Half the time he was a jerk and I wanted to throttle him for things he pulled on Lydia. Lydia, I applaud you girl in remaining by his side and slowly coaxing out Dylan from the shell that he cocooned himself in while simultaneously breaking through the wall he has build around himself. The push and pull chemistry between Dylan and Lydia is quite overwhelming.  Yes! It was that extreme. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of their no string attached romance growing strings. Especially that moment when they both realized they were surrounded and interconnected by so, so, so many strings.

He trailed kisses back to my rear and softly licked me there. “And soon, here,” he said, and I sighed in response. “This is mine too.” 

“Oh god, Dylan. I’m yours. All yours, and you’re mine. I want you. So. Badly.” 

“I want you too, baby. And you have me.”

I will pass on my sage warning -- if cliff hangers are your kryptonite then I would advise waiting. However, definitely do not forget about this series. Me personally I can’t wait for book 2 and thankfully we only have to wait until April 4th!!! So, for now, I’ll go peruse the paper for job want ads, if anything I have learned that a right circle can introduce you to your knight or even Marquees on a white horse even if you ended up in that circle as the help.
Was this review helpful?
Royal Affair is the first book in the new adult contemporary romance, Royal Scandal series by author Parker Swift. I really enjoyed Royal Affair. It is the perfect valentines day read, or really a read for any day of the year. It has lots of romance, sexy times, witty banter and great characters. I can’t wait for the next book in the Royal Scandal series, because this one sure did brighten my day.

At first, I has no idea what to make of Lydia and Dylan. I loved both of them, but they also each annoyed me in different ways. Lydia is a pretty independent person, and I really admired that about her. It takes guts to pack up and move to another country for an internship, especially one in the highly critical fashion world. But at the same time, she was the type of independent that views accepting help or nice things from other people as a weakness. Which I don’t agree with, and it got to the point of annoying when she was constantly shutting down Dylan’s courteous gestures. But Dylan on the other hand was more than a little overbearing. Each one of them took their personalities to the extreme. But oddly enough, they worked well together. I enjoyed reading about the two them…a lot.

While I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey, I have seen some people comparing the two books, and I can totally see that. Dylan is a dominating force in the story. If that is your kind of thing, you will absolutely love this book. It was just a bit too much in terms of their heightened personalities that prevented me from giving this book 5 stars and falling madly in love with it. But don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this story and I will definitely be continuing on in the series. Fans of dominant guys will really love Dylan. He is certainly swoonworthy and the romance did have it’s sweet moments, which I loved. I also really liked the whole “royal” aspect to the story. It added another layer both to the plot and to the complexity of Dylan’s character.

Bottom line: Royal Affair is a really great start to what looks to be a great romance series. if you are a fan of books featuring a hot romance, hot royals, and a dominant alpha male, the Royal Scandal series will be one you love. I can’t wait for the next book.
Was this review helpful?
One seriously sexy son-of-a-duke . . . 

Behind the posh British accent, Dylan Hale possesses a down-and-dirty sexiness. Off-the-charts gorgeous, a ruthless architect . . . and did I mention he's a future duke? Every time we touch, it's wildfire. All need and lust and heat. But Dylan has rules: just sex, no one can know, and in the bedroom he gets complete control. All I have to do is follow the rules, because falling in love with Dylan Hale is all it would take to screw everything up . . . royally.


I was totally engrossed in this story from page one.

Dylan and Lydia were the things I loved the most about the book.  I loved them, I hated them, and I wanted to smack sense into them at different points in the story.  For me that is what made them interesting and had me caring about both of them and their romance.  This story was super sexy too, lots and lots of sexy.  Dylan is a man in charge, definitely an alpha and a caretaker too.  Lydia is submissive, but has a little brat in her.  I did like her better when she was showing her spunk and standing up for herself and the relationship.  I have to say I kept waiting for Lydia's long-lost mom to show up or for Michael the next door neighbor to do something nefarious.  This is a continuing story, so there is open ending to this book.  I know some like to read series all at once, so if that is you, you might want to wait a couple of months.

Now this is the first in a trilogy, at least a far as I can tell.  In a good move by the publisher, it looks like the wait between books is only two months. Since these are full length books, every two months is pretty good in my book.

The writing is great and for a first time Author I think she did a really great job.  I eagerly await the next book to see what happens to Lydia and Dylan next!!


*I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Was this review helpful?
This was a decent book at first and then I just got bored with it. 

This isn't one I would buy and read again in the future and I don't see myself reading the next books in the trilogy
Was this review helpful?
Royal Affair (Royal Scandal #1) by Parker Swift
4 stars!!!

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

For a debut book Parker Swift really delivered and I have to be honest and say it did not read like a debut at all, the writing was very accomplished and totally engaging. I love a good Royal book and this is what initially caught my attention, I then read the synopsis and being British reading it was a no brainer and so I dived in.

Lydia Bell is not in a great place emotionally, she had put her life on hold to be there for her sick father and since his passing she has lost her way in the world…no sense of belonging, no parents, no idea what to do and too many memories in her current surroundings. Even though Lydia knows now is her time, it is hard to let go, but moving on for the sake of her own sanity is a must. Her parents met in London and so it is there she intends to make her final destination, if this was where her parents fell in love maybe love could find her there too. In the meantime, a summer job nannying for some extremely wealthy and connected parents was on the cards, a summer trip to Canada was where her life would forever be altered, even if she didn’t know it yet.

“Just sex? What I have in mind will be far better than ‘just sex.’ I hope you’re not offended…I’m afraid it’s all I’m good for, but I promise I’m very. Very. Good at it.”

Dylan Hale was a drop dead gorgeous Brit with the accent to match and when he first catches a glimpse of Lydia frolicking with the kids in a skimpy bikini it seems our Brit is smitten. Dylan though is a man of mystery, a man who wants to keep his cards close to his chest, he doesn’t have relationships and keeps his private life private and he has his reasons. While at times he came across as an arrogant, self-assured, domineering, arsehole, underneath was a man that actually wanted something he knew he could never have, a normal relationship, he just didn’t know it…or at least he didn’t until he met Lydia Bell.

Dylan was British Royalty, a title that he never wanted but was given by birth right. After the death of his grandfather he has to step up to the plate and none more so than in providing the next Marquess. Dylan is well aware he is every socialites wet dream, he is aware of the superficial gold diggers that constantly throw themselves at him, but he never takes the bait. Dylan is adamant with regards to his no relationship policy, but he hadn’t met his game changer, he has now.

“I can’t be a haven for anyone – I’m a goddamn war zone.”

Parker Swift delivered a book with a captivating plot and while it isn’t the most original it was delivered in her own unique style. I loved the dialogue, I felt the emotion and I felt their connection, I may have even shed a tear of two, but most of all this book kept my attention throughout, so much so, it was a one sitting read and for a newbie, that is a huge accomplishment. 

My only niggle was this had a little Fifty Shades feel about it, certain scenes or actions would make me think of Christian and Ana and it was a little annoying. Dylan is an alpha and a little dominant and while his predilections have only gone so far as slapping, a little bondage and butt plugs and of course a penchant for knicker stealing or even better no knickers at all, I can see that this side to their relationship will probably be explored more in depth. Lydia also had that Ana feel about her, being the inexperienced (not virginal), coquettish woman who suddenly finds her inner vixen.

“Yours is the only pussy I can’t bear to be separated from by fabric, no matter how thin.”

The sex scenes were seriously hot and Parker Swift certainly has them down pat and with an engaging plot line there was little to not love about this book. This is the first in a trilogy and this book was left on a little cliffy but in a good place none the less. To say I am seriously jonesing for book two is an understatement and I cannot wait to dive into it. As much as Dylan pissed me off in the beginning he has worked his charm well and truly into my heart and I want to see these two make it…they both deserve it.

“I just couldn’t stay away. I still can’t.”
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this more but I can't. If I hadn't read 50 Shades Of Grey I might like this one a lot. It was way to similar to that for me to enjoy. The similarities were too much and I couldn't stop comparing it to that. There was less BDSM in this one then there was in 50 Shades. This was a quick read and I wish there would have been less sex in it and more of WHY they fell in love. I think they fell in lust more than they fell in love.

It was interesting enough that I did read all of it and the author is a very good writer. I don't know why she would do this. I think a more original story line would have done wonders and I would have been raving about her.
Was this review helpful?
I am a total sucker for royal romances. For the past six months or so, they have been my jam - I seriously can't get enough of them. It's why I picked up Royal Affair in the first place. There's just something so utterly and completely romantic about a rich royal alpha male who is willing to give up everything for the right woman. 

In the case of Royal Affair, Dylan Hale might not be enamored with his charmed, royal life, but he's accepted it as a cross he has to bear. He has to put up with his stuffy, stuck-up, socialite parents and superficial socialite women who are only interested in him for his money and his title. There's not a lot of real in his life, but the real he finds, he is determined to keep all to himself - safe from prying and judging eyes. 

Lydia Bell very recently became an orphan. Even in her twenties, that's a hard thing. So, she's shaking up her life and moving to London for her dream job as an assistant to a famous fashion designer. Through a circuitous route, she meets and charms Dylan, and he completely sweeps her off her feet. But, to protect her from the vultures, Dylan resolves only to be with Lydia in secret. 

Can you even imagine? What choice would you make? I can't even answer those questions. Everyone - Lydia included - says that they would rather experience the heat and passion and connection with someone like Dylan in secret rather than not at all. But, I don't know. Because being the dirty little secret - the hot piece on the side - would make me feel like crap, no matter how special our times together were. 

And, also like Lydia, I'm the type of person who would have no choice but to fall in love with someone like Dylan - someone who is handsome and charming and sex on a stick and knows how to treat a woman. Which would be a problem since Dylan is 100% committed to keeping things between he and Lydia completely on the DL. 

I think my favorite part about Royal Affair is that Dylan changes and grows and learns as he gets to know Lydia. He realizes that living and loving out loud and unafraid is so much better than keeping the best part of yourself a secret. 

It's obvious from how Royal Affair ends that Dylan and Lydia's story is not even close to over yet. Dark days appear to be before them. Will they be able to handle what's coming? I can't wait to find out.
Was this review helpful?
Ok I've read this before it was called Fifty Shades of Grey!!!  I found myself skimming through all the BDSM because without the red room it all reminded me of Christian Grey, the dominance, insisting she never leave home and take the tube but going with his driver, not wanting her to work, all while telling her that he doesn't do relationships. It was truly just like it in some ways without the contract. Even some of the dialogue sounded so much like Ana and Christian. 

Even at the ending where she gets an email from someone indicating that there is trouble ahead in book 2, I felt like it was Jack Hyde all over again. 

Change CG to a Duke and Ana from publishing to fashion design and you've got the same thing. Even after they go public she gets a bunch of emails from people in high places and talks about wanting to work her way to the top on her own not based on his name!  It was so similar at times I was really kind of angry.  It was missing all the British slang and verbiage I'd expect from someone in London.  His accent wasn't even there, which was really bad in my opinion and something that should have been caught by the editors.  He should have called her Love or something more European not baby, that's an american term.  His family didn't even sound British and they were aristocracy.... 

I'm highly disappointed that the publisher put out a book so similar to such a highly beloved and popular series! I felt like the characters were just way to similar and though the back story was different all this was missing was a written contract and a red room.
Was this review helpful?
British-Control Freak in bed-Royalty? Yeah. SOLD.

That’s what I got from the blurb, so of course I requested this one. Who doesn't love a future duke who has as a rule to have complete control in the bedroom. I do. 

But the more I read, the more the story reminded me of another one. Wealthy hero who doesn't do relationships. Spanking and stalking included. And a sassy heroine who loves to push the hero buttons. A little familiar, right? Yeah, That’s what I thought. But even though, the storyline was a little overused and I have a mad love for the “the other book", Royal Affair was still a sexy and page flipper book. 

What I enjoyed the most about the book was the chemistry between the characters. Dylan was not used to get sassiness from women so to see him deal with Lydia’s witty comebacks was a funny thing to read. 

Ok this is going to sound weird, since as you know I’m a horny little thing who loves to read steamy-scorching scenes, but I got a bit bored here. Don’t get me wrong, those scenes, plus Dylan’s dirty talking were smoking hot. Their first encounters had me fanning myself but then…then… I never thought I would say this but, THE SEX WAS WAY TOO MUCH! There I said it. Damn, that was hard but true. It was as if the sex had swallowed the plot completely, making me lost interest to the point that I had to skim some parts and that coming from me is a sacrilege. 

Dylan’s “No one can know bullshit” got on my nerves. I got his reasons but it was frustrating. And I hated that Lydia had to put up with it. 

Overall, the book was just ok for me. I enjoyed it but couldn't help comparing it to “the other book”. The author managed to deliver a intriguing ending so I may or may not be reading the next book. Will see.
Was this review helpful?
Lydia has been so caught up in caring for her terminally ill father that she forgot to live for a few years. Now that he has passed on, she takes a job as a nanny in order to get away from all the memories in NYC and to do a little traveling before making another major change in her life. She will be moving to London in a few weeks for a new start with a career she is looking forward to, and it will give her the chance to reconnect with the country where she was born.

While traveling with the Franklin family, Lydia meets Dylan Hale, a stunningly gorgeous British alpha male who also happens to be an aristocrat. Despite his mother's apparent matchmaking attempts to ensure that there will be an heir to carry on the title, Dylan sets his sights on getting to know Lydia but he quickly turns into the duke of mixed signals. When he learns Lydia will be moving to his home base soon, he invites her to look him up when she arrives. Although she feels he is way out of her league, she can't deny he turns her on in a way no other man has ever been able to accomplish.

She soon learns Dylan is a man used to getting what he wants, and he has decided he wants her - but on his own terms. He doesn't do relationships so any dalliances that he indulges in must remain discreet. There will be no public appearances, no dinners out, and no mention of him to any of her friends and co-workers, just down and dirty sex behind closed doors. She will essentially be his dirty little secret as he goes about his daily business and attends dinners with the very woman his mother is obviously trying to set her up with. Can she deal with having him one moment and then being escorted out the back door of him to avoid notice by potentially lingering paparazzi or having to pretend they barely know each other when they cross paths in public? Sure, he claims to be protecting her from having her life splashed across the pages of tabloids merely for being seen with him but that excuse becomes old quickly.

There are plenty of steamy scenes with some tender moments thrown in as Lydia's emotional turmoil grows. I loved her best friend Daphne's advice and her new co-workers who provide her with much needed support even though they don't know the full story. There is an element introduced toward the end of the book that sets up some interesting moments to come I am sure in the next book, and there is a still great big unknown in the form of her mother's identity too.

Days after finishing the book, I am still a bit torn about my feelings on it. The story was well written and didn't feel like a debut novel, but in the end I am having a very hard time getting past the impression that I just read a British version of 50 Shades. With all the hype around the new movie's release, that story is back in the forefront of my mind and I couldn't help but notice quite a few parallels between Dylan and Christian along the way. There is no overt similarity so please don't jump to any adverse conclusions! There are little things that just stuck out to me in Dylan's attitude and actions toward Lydia, his comments about breaking his own rules when it comes to her and a few other one off things that triggered me to reminisce about Christian along the way. As the saying goes, imitation is the highest form of flattery and all that, but when a story has reached iconic status, it stands alone in my mind and other books have a hard time living up to the lofty expectations set by it. With that being said, take my ramblings with a grain of salt as being induced by a recent FSoG revisit and don't let them unduly influence you because the author did do an amazing job for a debut novel. The twist thrown in at the end intrigued me and I am still curious what will happen in the next part of the story. 3.5 to 4 stars
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars -- I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

So I'm probably one of the few erotic readers in the world that still hasn't read FSOG, or seen the movie.  It's not the BDSM, it's more that I'm a hipster that doesn't tend to get into things that are especially popular.  I've read a lot of BDSM erotica, I couldn't imagine what that story would give that I hadn't already read.  So why am I even mentioning that book?  Because even having not read it, I couldn't help but think to myself many times while reading this story "this feels like FSOG."  It also gave me a Harlequin Presents line feel.  So if you're the type of reader that doesn't mind books that stick to well known tropes, and you enjoy either of those reading experiences, then this book is perfect for you.  If that's not your bag, then you might want to proceed with caution.

So I'll go with what was meh for me: I became a bit bored.  I hate to say this, but I wasn't expecting it to be an erotic read, and so there was just way more sex than plot for me.  I'm not saying the sex wasn't hot (it totally was, and OMG can Dylan dirty talk like no one's business...*fans self*), but after awhile I just wasn't as engaged, and I really wanted the book to hurry up and get back to the plot.  Which was kind of weird.

Also, I saw the conflicts coming a ways away, and they made me roll my eyes at times.  I've never been a fan of the misunderstanding thing, and Lydia (fabulous name btw) had a bad habit of jumping to conclusions.

And quite frankly, I hadn't realized this would be a series all based on Dylan and Lydia, often times these series are about connected love stories.  But this is in fact a series of 3 books about Dylan and Lydia.  Which isn't terrible by any means, but I felt like this one dragged a bit and could have been edited down, which makes me wonder how well the plot will be paced in the next two installments.

So saying all that, let's get to the things I LOVED.  The chemistry and bantering between Dylan and Lydia.  THIS is where the author NAILS it.  I can't tell you how delighted I was in Lydia's sassy comebacks, pushing Dylan's usual control.  That girl seriously made me laugh out loud.  And I enjoyed the bit of backstory about Lydia and how she came to be in the fashion industry, while not being super fashionable.  There is definitely some insta-love going on in this book, the relationship develops incredibly quickly, but I did feel like they had a connection outside of the sex, even if most of their connection WAS the sex.  I felt like we got to see them getting to know each other enough that I could believe there were deeper feelings involved.

And speaking of chemistry, while I did get a bit bored with all the sex, it was fairly smoking...particularly their first few encounters.  Heck their first kiss was just tingly.  And like I said, the dirty talking was very well done (especially given I recently read a book with unnatural dirty talking, I was like "THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!").

My problem lies in how to round this.  My hubby just shamed me about wanting to round up, saying how could I 4 star a book that bored me.  But he doesn't understand how GOOD the good parts were.  Or how much characters and banter really weigh for me personally.  But alas, he is kind of right.  It was a bit predictable.  GAH!!!  Stupid logic!  So there you go.  Rambly review complete, you're welcome.
Was this review helpful?