Katie: Sebring, contrary to what the title might lead you to believe, is not about a car. Instead, it’s about two lost souls who find redemption in each other.
Patty: Two souls who have lots and lots of sex. But never in a car. And the redemption thing Katie said.
Katie: I can’t believe I practically waxed poetic about a KA novel. A breakdown of some sort may be in progress. Patty, why do those men in white coats have nets?
Patty: I’m just glad you can’t blame me for this one. You chose to read it all on your own. Maybe we need to have a talk…
Katie: Nick Sebring has made it his life’s work to be an asshole. To everyone. Olivia Shade is the second daughter in a once great crime family that is now the joke of the Denver crime scene. (Wait. There’s crime in Denver? Who’d’ve thunk it?) Nick, realizing that he may have made a mistake with the asshole thing, is trying to make karmic amends. This puts him on a collision path with Olivia.
Olivia has learned the hard way that there is no escaping her family’s legacy. Her time with Nick starts out as a respite of sorts. (If by respite you mean having sex against a wall in a club without ever exchanging names or applying basic protection.)
Patty: What starts out as a revenge ploy by Nick gets… complicated. Olivia’s father is a certifiable nut-job, her sister is a sociopathic bitch and, as one can expect in a crime family, there is all KINDS of disfunction.
Patty: It wasn’t bad; I mean, when comparing it to the other offerings from the author in this series (not counting Deacon which Katie and I agree is the best). The plot wasn’t the usual color-by-numbers/Mad Libs Pronoun Swap we’ve come to expect. The heroine had legitimate, scary issues but dealt with them with self-preservation always at the top of her priorities list.
The hero, who as we mentioned was a prized asshole in the other books, realized he was an asshole and actually took steps to remedy his assholiness.
And I LOOOOOVED that a certain character got their comeuppance in the best.way.possible. I would have clapped but I was holding a drink and a cigarette AND my iPad because there is no other way to do Kristen Ashley.
Katie: Yes. I liked that the male protagonist was a schmuck trying to better himself and not your typical alpha male hero/bad boy with a heart of gold.
Patty: Also, there were a few instances where the heroine would use a “big” word, the hero would ask her to clarify – meaning he wanted her to explain why she felt a certain way – and she would define the word instead, assuming he was a doofus with a limited vocabulary. I don’t know why but that made me laugh. So often in KA’s stories, the little wimmins are treated like boobs and the the big, bad Alpha has some mansplaining to do.
Patty: The sex. There was just too damn much of it. I found myself expelling a sigh every few pages and thinking, “Oh great. Here they go again. Good LORD people! Haven’t you ever heard of Netflix? Try just sitting down on a horizontal surface and not groping each other for a change!”
Katie: I never in a million years thought I’d find myself saying this, but there was so much sex it was a bit eye-roll inducing. I literally thought, “but what about condoms?” on more than one occasion. That, and “is she never indisposed?”
This book was also too long. There were at least two sub plots that could’ve been removed completely without any detriment to the novel. In fact, their loss would probably improve it. The first was the mother. They should’ve just made her dead or runnoft.
The second was a completely unnecessary bit at a bdsm club. They could’ve just as easily been at a bar or nightclub. Ooh, we get it. These are edgy characters in an edgy book. Yeah, not so much.
I should also note that with all the crossover references, it’s helpful to have read her Rock Chicks series, the Chaos series, and the Dream Man series. Not absolutely necessary, but definitely helpful. Otherwise you’ll just be like, “whaaaaaa?” for bits of the book.
In the plus column: I think she’s gotten herself an editor that has helped her work through some of her Kristen Ashley-ness. In the minus column: This one felt a lot like the publishing company was insisting on more (and edgier, for lack of a better word) sex scenes.
Patty: Agreed. And though the uber-capable Alpha Man that KA usually employs in her stories generally ends up annoying the crap out of me, in this case he was a little toned down and kind of necessary due to the type of danger Olivia was in. He also could not do it alone; he was not omnipotent and ended up calling upon friends and family to help him rescue the damsel in distress, which tied back nicely into the asshole redemption theme.
Katie: I didn’t hate it. Definitely one of KA’s better efforts, and a fitting end to her anti-hero series.