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Monday, November 17, 2014

ARC Review: Undesired Lust by Eden Summers

Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Eden Summers
Release Date: November 21, 2014

They used to be the perfect team.

Two years ago, songstress Sidney Higgins ruined her life by sleeping with not one, but two of the famous Reckless Beat men, Mason Lynch and Sean Taiden. Their night of intimate celebration turned into a worldwide sensation when the video Mason vowed to keep private was uploaded to the internet, destroying her squeaky-clean reputation and turning the world against her. Now she’s broken and left without hope, trying to find the one thing that can get her back on her feet.

A mistake neither one of them is willing to forgive.

When the sex tape went viral and his best friends held him accountable, Mason bore the stigma of asshole with pride. Now, bitterness has destroyed him, driving away his muse and making him worthless in the industry he loves. There’s only one option left to reclaim his creativity, but that would mean collaborating with a woman who wants to castrate him with a plastic knife.

A palpable chemistry even hate can’t diminish.

Forced to work together, neither one of them is prepared for the undesired lust which immediately takes hold. The lies fade away, exposing the truth; however, it also awakens a threat from their past. The person responsible for tearing them apart is back to ensure they don’t rekindle a spark. With their safety in the balance, Sidney and Mason need to determine what they’re willing to risk to reclaim a relationship they wish they’d never lost.

Watch out! I’m breaking out my big girl words!

Songwriter and aspiring songstress Sidney Higgins made the questionable choice of sleeping with not one, but two of the world’s most famous men; Mason Lynch and Sean Taiden from Reckless Beat. What should have been a private moment for them made headlines when the video Mason shot of that night ended up on the internet. Now, two years later, bitterness, resentment and scandal has tainted what was once a solid friendship and destroyed a promising romance between Sidney and Mason.

The fallout of the scandal has not only destroyed Sidney’s hopes of a future as a singer but caused Mason’s career to stall, his muse gone and desperate, he is forced to work with Sidney again. Unprepared for the instant and powerful lust that hits them both, Mason and Sidney begin to discover the truth of that fateful night, along with a passion that never really died. But as they try to reclaim what they lost, the person responsible for tearing them apart before is back to make sure that Mason and Sidney don’t find their way back to each other.

Eden Summers is my go to author when I want a rock star romance that fits my needs as a reader. She hooked me with Blind Attraction, reeled me in with Passionate Addiction, made me laugh out loud with Reckless Weekend and completely sunk me with Undesired Lust even though I was biting my nails with anticipation and worry.

I kept thinking that maybe Mason wouldn’t be able to live up to the image he built up for himself. Yes my friends, Mason is one of those characters who demands attention in a “Look how awesome I am” way. Arrogant, proud and stubborn to a fault, I didn’t know if I wanted to strangle him or not, but he wouldn’t be Mason if he didn’t give everyone, including readers shit. What could easily be his most irritating trait is also one of his most endearing ones. You can’t help but like this guy even though he’s doing his best to prove he doesn’t need any one. A wounded hero. One of my weaknesses, but I did have a WTF moment when, after two chapters of Mason’s stubborn pride I said “Holy shit! He’s me but with a penis!”

I’m still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Sidney was a little harder for me. Maybe because she hasn’t been that big of a presence in the series or maybe because she doesn’t demand center stage like Mason does. Yet, in her own quiet way, she can commandeer the spotlight. She made me hear her side of the scandal, made me feel her humiliation, shame and heartbreak. She reminded me of the double standard that is so prevalent yet completely unfair in life. Mason got the glory, and she got branded a whore. I was outraged on her behalf and admit that as a reader I was firmly on her side for awhile, blaming Mason and his pride for not standing by Sidney no matter what.

Apart Mason and Sidney are shallow versions of themselves, simply existing and trying to pick up the pieces of their lives, but when you put them in the same room, BAM! Instant sparks and instant insults. Hell, if words were weapons, they would have killed each other in seconds. They’re so acidic towards each other that I wasn’t even sure that they could repair their relationship. It was a rollercoaster of emotions with them yet, Eden Summers didn’t over do it in that department. Undesired Lust remained a rock star romance, not a daytime soap opera with no end in sight. There was just enough emotional angst to make me feel how painful Mason and Sidney’s past was and how hard that was going to be to overcome.

Undesired Lust, unlike its predecessors felt more like an isolated story to me. What I mean is that the rest of the members of Reckless Beat didn’t feature as much as they usually do. I thought that this would bother me since part of what I love about the series is the often juvenile friendship the men have with each other and sometimes with the women in their lives. However, with the exception of Sean, they’re noticeably absent until the end. That worked in favor of the overall story though, because Mason, Sidney and Sean had a lot of baggage to unload and work through together and the story would have slowed to a standstill had Mitch, Alana, Blake, Gabi, Ryan and Leah played bigger roles.

Aside from Mason and Sidney, Undesired Lust painted a clearer picture of who drummer Sean Taiden was. A big, hunky, sweet man with unrequited feelings. He damn near broke my heart, wait scratch that, he did break my heart! He needs his own book and heroine ASAP and I have no shame whatsoever in pulling a Katniss Everdeen and screaming “I volunteer as tribute!!” Do you hear that Eden? I totally want to be Sean’s plaything/sex monkey.

Though part of a series, Undesired Lust can be read as a standalone but you’d have to be nuts to miss out on the previous stories and the connection these crazy people have with one another.

Final Verdict: I'm not kidding Eden, I want need to be Sean's plaything.

Music Pick: I can't NOT pick a song for Mason and Sidney. They're just too hot of a couple for them not to have a song.

My pick is The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You by Bryan Adams. Just listen to the lyrics and tell me that's not something Mason would say to Sidney.

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