My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“I can’t remember the last time I saw a girl eat a muffin.”
“I sacrifice small animals to pagan gods too.”
ARC kindly offered by the author in exchange for an honest review
“Styled” was my first full-length book in this series, having only read “Sealed“, which is a novella about Dylan and Lex, (by the way, I’m reading “Stripped” right now and loving the hell out of it).
Back to the topic at hand, this book was absolutely entertaining and satisfying. If there’s something I love about Lawson’s style is her ability to write witty banter that has me snickering with a side of malicious smiling. But this book didn’t lack in the heat and heart department (which is what I care the most, at the end of the day).
At first, I was skeptical. I knew I’d like Jordan’s character because she’s a girl coming from a rich family who decided to leave her own imprint in the world. She’s hard-working, level-headed, sassy, yada-yada. I love this kind of heroine. I can relate to this kind of heroine. It’s not that she doesn’t believe in romance in general, just that she’d rather be real than be swept up in a fantasy. Also, I found extremely relatable how she got behind in her work when she started hanging out with Ethan. Finding a balance between social life and work is a struggle most people have faced and, honestly, who has never put duties on the back burner for a guy, right?
Enter Ethan Cameron. Ava’s brother and all-around heart-throb. Panty-dropping everything, toothpaste commercial smile (literally), high profile realtor, kind of preppy… but with a wild side. What can I say? Motorcycles get me going… and apparently I’m not the only one. *wink wink*.
His POVs were my favorite. He’s such a charming, cocky, smart-ass, but I also loved when he got accidentally sweet. Even if he’s hopped in many beds since he broke up with his last steady girlfriend, I found interesting how I couldn’t label him as a manwhore. It think it was exactly because of this previous girlfriend. Knowing he’d been in a monogamous relationship and that he’d put himself out there with someone to such a degree made him stand out from the never ending line of reformed manwhores, so that it wasn’t hard to imagine him having a future with Jordan.
And since the temperature is rising, I’d like to mention my love for the setting. It had a huge role in this book, seeing how Jordan was not familiar with LA and how she was looking for an estate where to open Travesty’s new boutique, with Ethan’s help. I’ve gotta say I appreciated immensely how the hot scenes were not set just in the bedroom. It added a forbidden and thrilling feeling to the act, making it original and unique.
Another thing, there was a plot twist which had me gasping and yelling: “Holy Batman! I didn’t see that coming.” Usually, this thing is something almost flaunted in blurbs or at least stated from the very beginning. Seeing it pop up out of the blue and change the entire scenario of their relationship was a shock, a positive one IMO, because it gave a whole new meaning to what they’d shared.
Only two things didn’t exactly make me squeal with joy. They’re both situations that make me queasy. First, the fact that they had an expiration date. I don’t like reading about relationships which people already know will have to end, and know precisely when. I’m a all or nothing kind of gal. Starting something when it has no possibility of going nowhere is not my style. So seeing them fall for each other and knowing Jordan would have to go back to NY made me nervous.
The second thing is about the quantity of time, or rather the portion of the story in which they are together as a couple. I get it, it’s a series, so we’ll see more of them (I definitely want a novella about them, no matter when it will come out and how much we’ll have to wait), but if there’s something I adore is to see the characters get together kind of early in the book and then face relationship-like problems. Still, since a novella is not to rule out given how Dylan and Lex got theirs, I can’t say I’m completely bummed with how late Ethan and Jordan became an item.
In conclusion, I’d highly recommend this book. You all know I hate grand gestures because they tend to be impersonal and all a carbon copy of one other, but I loved Ethan’s because it was exactly what they needed as a couple. It showed Jordan how much he truly cared about her. It was practical, like she is, but it also meant the world to her. It hit her right in the heart, right where she cared the most.
It comes out on Monday 28th March, so if you are a fan of the series, or want to meet Ethan Cameron, grab your copy and enjoy the ride.