"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde
Weeeeell, that escalated quickly... What the hell did I just read?
This one has me torn, and torn badly. Let's start with the things that worked for me.
The Writing was gooood. Every time I pick up one of Ashley John's books it seems to work better for me than the last. Not sure if the author's evolving or I am, but it's good. The banter was amusing, if a little exhausting at times. But the chemistry between these two guys worked and made me turn the pages even when I was not happy with how things were going. The enemies to lovers was explored to the max here. But between all the anger and hurt and hate sex - there were tender moments I enjoyed very much. Plus, it's always nice to see MCs growing with their developing relationship and personal struggles. All in all, this book gabbed me and I couldn't put it down until I was done.
But there were things I couldn't enjoy and wasn't happy with. For one, Joshua Silverton was too irrational for me at times. He behaved too much like a spoiled brat who didn't care about anything but material riches. And if he would have been a superficial asshole of a cuntmuffin all around, that would have been fine. But that wasn't all he was, and sometimes he seemed to act a little too out of character for me. Like we were supposed to remember that he had his awful sides and wasn't the caring, hurt young man we saw in other scenes. Made for some annoying moments for me while reading. Same goes for Ezra. It felt like we got to know these two well, understood more of their motivations and got all the gory detail of their backround stories. And in the light of these revelations it felt petty and childish how they fought against their feelings and for material wealth like two toddlers in the sandbox.
The ending was a strong HFN, and I know Ashley John is preparing to release the sequel soon. I'm just not sure how to rate this book, let alone if I want to pick up the next in the series. Because I wouldn't be able to stand a continued fight on such a superficial, financial level. These MCs have more meat to their bones and I'm just not comfortable with how things evolved between them during a big part of the book. Except for the hate sex, maybe. The steam was hot, I can't deny that. But again, sometimes I just wasn't comfortable with the surrounding conflicts and how they made the two guys look.
All in all, this is a good book. I'm just torn. Because while parts of it were great, while others annoyed me, irritated and angered me. I think, 3.5 stars are appropriate all around. And a hestitant "Maybe."when it comes to the next installment in the series.