Tuesday, June 26, 2012

{Review} "Giving It Up" by Amber Lin

Title:  Giving It Up
Author:  Amber Lin
Publisher:  Loose ID
Publication Date:  June 19, 2012
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format:  Kindle

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Author's Website:  http://authoramberlin.com/
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Amber Lin

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Allie prowls the club for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it's not rape if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her tenderly, despite her protests.
He tempts her, but kindness and a few mindblowing orgasms aren't enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing to have come from that dark night.

But when her rapist returns, threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she loves, hoping her newfound power will be enough to save them all.
Diving In...

I had a hard time with this being classified as erotica, somewhere it even has a BDSM tag which I also think is misleading.  To me, Allie's preferences are nowhere near a BDSM classification.  I think that with the popularity of The Fifty Shades series this tag on a novel is an attention getter, but not something that is always used properly, if that makes any sense!  This was a contemporary romance with some dark undertones, but it wasn't erotica in my opinion.

I actually had to sit on this review for a couple days and thing about how I wanted to talk about it.  I went so far as to take notes while reading it so I could see if my feelings changes as I kept reading.  For the most part they didn't.  It's hard to post a review like this without spoilers so I am going to use the summary as a guide and try not to give anything away.

My main feeling is that the story here had really good potential, but it was lost somewhere in little details and things that weren't developed quite enough.  I liked Colin at first, but I didn't really form a connection with any of the characters.  I think that so much time was taken plotting out the story and focusing on Allie's "addiction" to being hurt that the character development just wasn't there.  I never really did like Allie, there was something off about her and I think it's that I just didn't "get" her need to be hurt by men.  In order for that to work in the story I needed to understand why and I never really did.  

I didn't feel the connection between Colin and Allie either, at all.  It didn't even feel like a love story to me.  It was more like she needed someone, he was there, the end.  That spark just wasn't there for me.  Even the love scenes were strained and not sexy for me.  She kept saying throughout the story that she trusted him even when it was clear that she didn't and she had no reason to trust him because she didn't really know him.

What was the worst thing for me was that out of all the men in the story, Jacob was the one that I felt was the most decent and had the most potential and he was a rapist.  That may be a little spoilery, but it's a point I need to make.

Here is the deal...I think that too much focus was put on Allie's problem with men and her date nights.  I think that the book would have been better if the characters and their relationships would have been better developed.  I really think that the whole story of her being raped, trying to move on with her daughter, meeting Colin, the stuff with his brother, etc...would have made a really good story on it's own.  I think that trying to make it more of an Erotica title is what threw it off.

I know it doesn't make sense at this point to say that the story was well written, but it kinda was. It's just missing a vital component.  What is there is written well.  I think it just needed to be fleshed out a little and tightened up.  For me, character development is a HUGE thing.  If I connect to the characters and I feel for them then I love them.  If I don't, no matter how good the idea is, it's just not a great story for me.  I do think that Amber Lin has great potential, I saw it in this story, most definitely.  I wanted to love this book, there was just something crucial missing for me.  With a little more work it would have been really great, in my opinion.

Content Warning:
*There is a fair amount of profanity and some is pretty vulgar.
*Explicit love scenes with a touch of roughness

Rating 5/10

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a .mobi copy of this book courtesy of Amber Lin in exchange for my review.*

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