Taking Him by Jackie Ashenden (Lies We Tell #1)
Released: November 12, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
There has been some great Twitter buzz around this book. First of all Hunter is a virgin. I believe the hash tag #dirtyeffingvirgin has been used to describe him all over Twitter. Hello? Dirty virgin hero means there is a 100% chance I will read the book. So I expected maybe Hunter to be shy and awkward and ready to spurt all over the place the second the heroine raised an eyebrow at him. (hey – it’s my virgin fantasy, okay?) But this book is much, much darker than I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – but I had to change my mind-set. I can’t be my pervy self and lust after a hero when he is battling such dark demons. Hunter was sexually abused at the age of 16 by his 38 year-old step-mother. She seduced him, made him do sexual things to her and vice-versa (never intercourse though). Being a teenager, he thought he was in love with her, but she tossed him aside when his father became suspicious. Years later (I believe Hunter is in his early thirties when the book starts) he has struggled with intimacy. He gets horrid flashbacks and feels shame.
Ellie is the sister of Hunter’s best friend. She has had a crush on Hunter forever. He actually used to babysit her for a short time, so he sees her has a kid sister, rather than a love interest. Ellie is a video game designer and moving to Tokyo soon to pursue her dream job. She is willing to do anything to get Hunter to notice her as sexy. So she pursues and pursues, and Hunter reacts violently.
So my deal with this book – overall it’s a pretty good book but I definitely had some issues. Ellie comes off desperate a lot through this book. She reallllly wants Hunter. She will take anything he is willing to give her. I got tired of it. And Hunter holds on to the secret about his step-mother forever. So Ellie makes a move, Hunter forcefully pushes her away, Ellie pouts, Hunter feels conflicted and shamed, Ellie tries again..and the cycle continues. Ellie knew something was up with Hunter and Hunter had a million chances to tell her why he couldn’t be intimate with her. The miscommunication drove me nutty.
I didn’t dislike these two together but I felt something was missing. Maybe some quiet romance between them. It all seemed too dark and intense, I missed the courtship of it all. I kind of got upset when Ellie pushes Hunter away at the end too.
So this review makes it seem like I disliked this book. I didn’t – but it could have been better.