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Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: Fighting for Devlin by Jessica Lemmon

Anyone up for some serious angst and first POV?

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: November 24, 2015

Devlin Calvary makes his own luck. Orphaned as a young child, he was taken in by a crew of bookies and gamblers—and they became his family. They’re the reason Dev’s running a trendy bistro, living in a high rise, and enjoying the good life with a string of women who never ask for too much. Until, one night, he finds out how much it hurts to trust the wrong people. . . .

Rena Lewis sticks to the straight and narrow, determined not to slip up again . . . like the terrible night of partying four years ago that ended in tragedy. A waitress at Oak & Sage, she knows that sleeping with her boss is not a smart move. But when Dev shows up on her doorstep, beat up and clearly shaken, Rena’s not about to turn him down . . . or kick him out of bed.

Dev reawakens something primal within her—a need to go wild. And Rena soon finds out that the heart she’d sealed away years ago still has the power to fight for love.

The blurb sounded promising, two wounded souls looking for a way out of the rut they’re in find each other and have to figure out whether falling in love is a benefit or a handicap. There’s the hint of hot sex, troubled waters and a bad boy whose past might drag the woman he’s falling for down.

The execution however was a little shaky for me. Maybe it’s because Fighting for Devlin alternates POVs from Devlin to Rena, back and forth and sometimes that slowed down the pace and development of the story. I’m not a fan of first person POV but with author Jessica Lemmon giving both characters’ their POV, I found myself slowly getting into this angsty, passionate romance.

Of the two main characters, I liked Devlin best. He really let me as a reader get to know him and the struggles he endured for so long. He was at a crossroads in his life and while he was betrayed by someone close to him, it didn’t close him off to the people who did genuinely care about him. He grew more cautious but I think that by the end of the book he went from being a street smart but somewhat naive kid with issues to a mature man still with issues but with more experience and a bit wiser. Emotionally I connected better with Devlin through his need to walk a straight, clean line yet not leave behind those that helped him when he needed it most. It’s not easy to pick between what you know to be right and what you’ve always known.

I didn’t get that much out of Rena. I got the basics from her: Her past, how it affected her but mostly I just got a whole lot of how attracted she was to Devlin and how badly she wanted him. I wanted to know more about Rena outside of her attraction to Devlin. I didn’t get a clear enough picture of her to say whether or not I liked her. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a teenager’s diary with her POV. The one thing about Rena that told me the most about her was the way she didn’t hesitate to reach out and help Devlin when he needed it. Now, it could have been her hormones that let him into her life or it could have been that she genuinely wanted to help him, I don’t know.

As a couple, Devlin and Rena didn’t convince me. I don’t think they spent enough time conversing and getting to know each other without the clothes flying off. Since Fighting for Devlin is a romance I wanted more, well, romance in it. There were a few sweet moments between the two but no real connection beyond the physical.

Still, the setting for Fighting for Devlin made for an interesting life for Devlin himself. Living among bookies and gamblers is bound to give a person an interesting perspective on life and relationships. It was something different for me and I enjoyed the conflicts that the lifestyle threw at Devlin and Rena, they didn’t feel forced or made up.

Final Verdict: Fighting for Devlin had the requisite heat, sex and angst of a New Adult romance but it lacked character definition, especially with Rena and I felt that there needed to be more time spent on the couple getting to know each other outside of bed. Devlin’s POVs were the best because he focused on more than just Rena.

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