Tuesday, March 31, 2015

review || PERFECT TEN


A Perfect Ten by Linda Kage 

Publisher: Self-Published (3/30/2015)
Series: Forbidden Men, book 5
Genre: New Adult
Source: Tasty Book Tours
Purchase links || amazon | bn | itunes | kobo || add to goodreads


Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

I know I've closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since "the incident" where I messed up my life completely. It's past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I'm standing outside Oren Tenning's bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he'd probably kill Oren. But if I play may cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.

Maybe after tonight, I'll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I've ever met. Or maybe I'll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I'll discover there's so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.

about Linda || Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

{ excerpt } .
She was Noel Gamble’s one and only sister; I could not fuck her. No matter what.
Ergo, I needed to take drastic measures to keep her at arm’s length. I needed to...okay, fine. Fuck. I just needed to be me. Not really so drastic once you think about it, even though it probably seemed that way to her.
So I let her have the full intensity of Ten. I stopped watching what I said when she was around, and I let all my base, disgusting thoughts bleed out of my mouth like I usually did. I stopped smiling at her, stopped paying her special attention with little courteous things like holding doors open for her or asking her how her day went. I completely stopped being a nice guy. I backed off and pretty much ignored her, unless I could think up something crude to say in her direction. I made sure to chase other women when she was around. And I felt like shit every night I lay in bed, unable to get to sleep, because I’d relive every awful thing I’d done to her that day.
No matter how deeply my actions ate at me, though, it didn’t stop me from making her hate me and killing any soft feelings she’d ever had for me.
It should’ve been easy to accomplish. Everyone who knows me knows how fast I can piss off a woman.
But nothing about Caroline has ever been easy.
That’s the curious thing about temptation. It festers and grows. You feed that bitch enough and she morphs into craving, and then craving turns into obsession. Pretty soon, nothing in your life is as important as that one thing you want but can’t have.
I wanted her and I couldn’t have her, so I fed the temptation, I flooded the craving, I would’ve fucking nursed the obsession from my own tits if I could’ve. I made sure I got little doses of her here and there. Except something incredibly enlightening happens when you spend enough time in one woman’s company. You start noticing shit about her, little useless shit that actually begins to mean everything, like how she brushes the hair out her face—even if there isn’t any in her eyes—whenever she’s unsettled, or how she chews on the end of a pen during class whenever she’s listening to something that captivates her attention. You learn all her different laughs and know what each one means. You learn what pisses her off the most, or what makes her the happiest. You discover how smart and witty and sarcastic she is, and that her mind is almost as dirty as yours. You see how passionate she becomes when she defends those she loves, and you start to fall. Hard.
So, this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning and I have fallen. Hard.

{ review } .
I don't know if they really make men like Ten, but if they do? Dang, sign me up.

Ok, maybe not pre-Caroline Ten, but Oren Tenning Ten. That one. I like him.

In the last six months, I've come to find that I really like a well-written first-person narrative. Linda Kage writes in the first person really really well -- especially the pro- and epilogue in this book. While they're in first person, in Ten's mind only, they're written in more than just Ten's thoughts -- he's almost having a conversation with the reader, and while that sometimes can come across as annoying to me in other books, it was just done oh-so-well in A PERFECT TEN.

This is book 5 in a series -- a series I hadn't heard of before stumbling across this book. I can tell you that you can read it as a standalone. You can.

But you're going to want to read the others. There are little things that are mentioned that would be clearer if you read the earlier books, I'm sure, but really the reason why I want to read books one through four is simply for the relationships. All the relationships in this book were solid and lovely and just made you go awww.

Caroline has been in love with her brother's best friend for the last year, but he's off limits. Something he's not afraid to remind her. Noel, protective big brother to the extreme, knows Ten's way with women and the last person he wants Ten's hands on is his nineteen year old sister.

In an act of slyness, Caroline sneaks into Ten's room and has sex with him -- attempting to disguise her voice. The problem is everyone calls Oren 'Ten', but she slips a few Oren's in there. She also sometimes drops her disguise, but she figures he doesn't notice.

Ten has had a thing for Caroline for as long as he's actually known her. He knows she's off limits, but he's so drawn to her. After Midnight Visitor's first night, he starts to dream that the mysterious woman is actually Caroline. He goes through steps to try and prove it's her, but is disappointed when his efforts prove they are not the same.

But when he becomes 100% positive they're the same? Game on.

These two... My goodness, I can't get over how much I loved Caroline and Ten. He has his demons, ones that he's managed to keep firmly under wraps the entire four years he's been away at school. However, said demon only further fuels Noel's belief that Ten is the furthest thing from a monogomous man: he's lusting after his roommate, who also is his friend's girlfriend... 
Or so Noel continues to (falsely) point out... again and again and again. 
Oh, don't get me wrong. Ten's a man-whore -- even after swearing to his sister he'd never be one. But rather than pretending his past didn't ever happen, he ends up being honest with Caroline, because if she doesn't hear it from him, she's going to hear a version from her brother and while it hurts him when he and Caroline have the conversation, it is undoubtedly better that he's the one to tell her.
The thing is, though, once Ten finally got a taste of the one girl he wanted... He was all about changing his ways. The way Ten loves Caroline... My goodness, it just gives you the feel-goods.
I absolutely, positively loved the epilogue. I loved that everyone, including the mysterious friend we have yet to officially meet, are in it. Everyone gets their happily ever. Oh no, we don't get the lady-friends' names of Parker or even Asher (dang, I love his friendship with Caroline, too, by the way), but you know that they meet their happily ever afters.
Beyond seeing everyone in one place, you still feel how much love Ten has for Caroline. Yes, they have a young relationship. Yes, relationships that start at their ages tend to fizzle... But Ten's protective instincts and his absolute love for Caroline, that's not something that's going away.
The last chapter, too, was just so well done. You want to cry with Caroline and the gang. You smile at the 'do you want to build a snowman' line, because it means everything is coming back together.
Everything. Just everything. About this book did it for me. Epilogue reader that I am, yes, read the epilogue first. And when I was intrigued, I read the last chapter and epilogue before further diving into the story. Then as I read and wanted more feel goods of these two, I went back and read those two parts again. I went back to the last chapter and epilogue probably twenty times before I actually fully read to that part, that's how much I loved it.
So while I haven't read the rest of the series, have no worries --
Each of the four books is on my to-read list the next time I have a free few days. Next weekend, maybe??

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{ giveaway } .

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting! You definitely need to read Price of a Kiss!