Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sassy Sara's Review of Fearless ~ Reckless ~ Painless by Devon Hartford


In the event that you were not aware, these are three books in the Devon Hartford series The Story of Samantha Smith.  I started reading these right after putting down another book about an ostracized teenager looking to reinvent herself in college so I thought I'd give these a try.  Sometimes letting go of another book so that you can connect to a new one can be more of a challenge than you think...  I guess that's the tricky part of being a reviewer!!

The first book, Fearless, brings you into the new world of Samantha Smith as she starts her first day of freshman year at SDU.  She was rescued during her drive in by a knight in shining Ducati and later found out that this man is named Adonis.  Yes, that is his real name... I struggled with this book because it seemed to go down the path of most NA stories that come across my kindle.  Young girl leaves home to escape her past.  She meets a super-hot guy when he rescues her from some fate.  She shies away from hero thinking she isn't 'beautiful'.  It's a tricky plot since most girls go through that in college.  Hell, I went through that in college.  Since it is such a universal theme, it can also be used or overused if one isn't careful.  

I guess the trouble I had was that there are so MANY issues for Samantha (or Sam to her friends) to deal with, I found it hard to focus on what was happening.  Was she worried about her patents? Her major? Her friends? This super hot man she was trying to avoid? The mega bitch who always seemed to be around?  Self image? Money? Instead of focusing on one issue at a time, I felt bombarded with issue after issue until I wasn't sure where this book would lead.  If you had no idea this would turn into a series, you may have given up and let it go after what seemed was a HEA ending.  While this book had a number of  unresolved issues, I may have stopped reading had I not already had book 2 and 3 in my possession.  But wait, there's more!

This book picks up where Fearless left off with a few exceptions.  We now have more than one POV!! This was THE BEST thing Devon had done for the series up to that point.  I felt that adding in Adonis's thoughts made the book move at a better pace and while there was some EXTREME cheese in their communications, the sex scenes he wrote in this book were seriously hot.  Unrealistic, but a girl can dream!

You see a fairly narcissistic side of our 'hero' in this book.  He has a healthy ego and Sam doesn't seem to mind or call him on it.  I felt myself getting drawn into the family drama, both his AND hers but that was only part of the stress weighing heavily on this couple.  Outside influences that try to derail this destined couple make you wonder if loving someone can be enough to see you through some of the hardest decisions you ever make.  Do you walk away to give the person you love a chance at living a full life or do you hold on tight and doom them to the same fate?

Book three starts with our couple in a very dark place.  I was on pins and needles waiting to see what would become of these two emotionally charged lovers.  I found painless to be, well, painless!  There were still a number of things threatening to derail this couple but after everything that happened in Reckless, they are determined to hold on and see where life leads.  The sex was as steamy as ever.  Families are reunited and torn apart.  Friends are lost and found.  Then there is the ever present art that has gripped the souls of Adonis and Sam, weaving its way into the story as if it were a living breathing character.

This book of the three showed me the growth in Devon's writing style and while I was seriously tempted to give up after reading Fearless, I'm glad I kept going.  You learn to let all the immaturity go and find yourself dreaming for a love like theirs.  Everlasting, indestructible & fearless.  This series is still in the works so there will be more for these two and their merry band of misfits.

Overall, the series gets averages 3 stars for me.  I think that younger readers might connect with this series more as it is geared toward the college aged reader.  For me to still be able to connect with these books at all despite the fact that I am YEARS out of school says a lot about Devon and his ability as a writer.  If you look past all the hot men and sexy women, you will see a story about the vulnerability of youth and the strength of love... At every age.  That is what kept me reading and what I hope Devon will continue to write about.  This series was dripping with drama.  There were times that I was reading about things that I felt were unnecessary to the plot and could have been left out of the book entirely then there were other times I couldn't get to the next chapter fast enough.  If you like dramatic NA books, this one's for you!

  Much Love
~Sassy Sara

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