by Cherrie Lynn
Published by Entangled
Book 1 in the Ross Siblings Series
One week in paradise will make or break them…
It’s not enough that Kelsey’s husband left her for another woman. Oh, no. The “other woman” had to be her best friend Evan’s fiancée. Not only has she lost her marriage, she fears losing Evan to the lingering awkwardness and humiliation that hangs between them.
Evan has no intention of letting that happen. He’s got plans…namely, an extra plane ticket to Hawaii now his future wife is out of the picture. There’s only one person he wants on the trip with him, the one who’s always been there for him. The one he should never have let slip away into the arms of a traitorous friend who shattered her heart.
Kelsey is anticipating a week of fun in the sun with the man who’s always treated her like a little sister. No one’s more surprised when she discovers that Evan has seduction on his mind—and that she’s more than ready for it.
Love is the most powerful healing force of all. But past demons have a way of ripping open old wounds, and threatening the survival of even the strongest friendship…
Unleashed in the first book in Cherrie Lynn's Ross Siblings series, and centers around recent divorcee Kelsey, and her best friend Evan Ross. Six months ago, Kelsey walked in on her best friends fiancé in bed with her husband. Recently divorced, Kelsey is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her marriage, and is in turmoil over the distance between Evan and herself after catching their partners cheating. Evan misses his best friend, and isn't going to let Kelsey keep hiding herself away. He convinces her to come with him on what would have been his honeymoon - an all expense paid trip to Hawaii. When old feelings become known, and the attraction can no longer be ignored, these two best friends collide in the best of ways. But is this a one time fling, or the start of something big? And can Kelsey and Evan let go of past hurts and let love happen?
I can't remember how I came across this series, but it's been sitting in my TBR for well over a year now, and after reading so much fantasy and reverse harem over the last month, I needed a contemporary to cleanse the pallet, and this one jumped out at me. There were things I liked, and things I didn't like. For example, I loved the plot. Very interesting storyline, and throughout the story (and its a short one at less than 300 pages), I didn't feel like it slowed down any. I liked the characters, and all their hang ups seemed like totally realistic issues a person would have after being cheated on by someone you loved. And while I went in, predicting how it would play out, it actually played out differently than I thought. And as for the romance, I really did like the romance part of it, and the sex - SO HOT. I loved the fact that this book, while short, was able to put out some realistic emotional baggage for someone who was cheated on. In particular, Kelsey always kept thinking to herself that her marriage fell apart when she stopped making him happy. Frustrating for the reader at times - because as Evan points out, when her ex stopped making her happy, she didn't cheat. But as someone who has friends and family who have gone through similar situations, the victim is always blaming themselves. So realistic, but I loved how the author doesn't forget to point out that that line of thinking is wrong, and that the scorned one is not to blame. Actually, how Cherrie Lynn wrote the Evan and Kelsey's exes ... I really appreciated how it all played out.
The things I didn't like, were actually the technical aspects of the book. Now, I'm not opposed to third-person POV's, but they aren't my favorite. But something about this book, it just didn't "read" right to me. It didn't flow well. Another thing I take issue with is separation between dual POV's. Some authors use a divider line or asterisks if it's mid chapter. But in Unleashed, there was NO DIVIDE. Not even increased spacing. Almost every time, I didn't know the POV had switched, and when it did, I had to go back and re-read to essentially "refresh" my brain ... does that make me weird? Maybe.
While I did enjoy the story, the romance, and the steam level, I don't think I will finish out the series. The technical aspects were just too much to overcome for me, and I didn't feel intrigued by the one brother we do meet Unleashed to find out more. But I do think this book has merit. If you like a third-person narrative, and you can get over the dual POV's between Evan and Kelsey not being separated, I do think you would enjoy this romance. Especially if you love a friends-to-lovers trope with lots of steam.
Their first time, and pretty much all the sex
I story from college when they took care of each other when sick
Kelsey's closure - "He's all yours."
Declarations - "Get off your ass." Fucking love it
Kelsey: “I need you.”
Evan: “Tell me.”
She raised her burning, blurred gaze to his. The voice that sounded from her throat couldn’t have been her own.
Kelsey: “I need you to fuck me, Evan, fuck me until I can’t walk anymore. I don’t care if you hurt me, just do it.” Oh, God, her job. Evan’s trial next week was against her boss, and Jack would need her at court. How in the blue hell was she going to get through that? After a moment, she put that question to Evan, and damn him, he laughed low down and dirty.
Evan: “I’ll tell you how,”
he murmured against her ear, sending gooseflesh marching down her arms in waves.
Evan: “You’re not going to wear panties under your skirt. You’re going to watch me shred your boss on the floor knowing as soon as we recess for lunch, I’m going to sneak you into my office, bend you over my desk, push up your skirt and fuck your sweet pussy until you can’t stand up. I won’t let you come until I’m ready for you to.”
She struggled to keep him from rendering her mindless.
Kelsey: “I’ll make you work for it, Mr. Ross.”
Evan: “Oh, I will. And then you’ll go back and do your job trying to defeat me, all flushed and glowing like you are now. I’ll love watching you, remembering all the dirty things I just got your pretty mouth to say to me. Knowing that you’re still wet from me and that you’re still feeling me move inside you. And they’ll have no idea about us unless you want them to.” Kelsey: "I told Todd he couldn’t hurt me anymore, and now I’m telling you that if you want me, get off your ass, because I love you, Evan, more than anything. But I refuse to live like this anymore.” Kelsey: “You’ve given me back everything he took away, and then some.”
The tension in his body flowed out of him, and he relaxed into her embrace.
Evan: “I’ll give you more than he ever did.”