Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Pushing Limits (Fighting Love #1) by Kali Cross

Pushing Limits (Fighting Love #1)

by Kali Cross

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

AMBER TURNER has trust issues. Major trust issues. Shipped off to boarding school at the tender age of six by her power hungry mother and distant father, she tried hard to gain her parents’ approval and have the love she craved. After graduating high school, she comes home from school hoping she will finally have the family life she wants. Turns out, dear old mom merely needs her to smile and wave for the photo ops while she runs for public office. After she wins her coveted position, her mother doesn't need her anymore and gives Amber two choices: be kicked out of the house without a dime or find a “suitable” husband from the “right” family at an exclusive college in Texas. Yee-fucking-haw.
TOMMY BOLT is a blue-eyed country boy with secrets of his own. To help out an old family friend, he offers to stand in as the school chauffeur. Damsel in distress and all. He picks up Amber and her aunt when they land, driving her towards her new life. Drawn to her striking sense of humor, smart mouth, and her scrumptious ass, he offers to show her around town. With his dark curls, sapphire blue eyes, mischievous grin, and one smokin’ bod, Amber is tempted to get to know him better. After a scorching hook-up, Amber tries to make it all about the sex, brushing off every attempt Tommy makes to get to know her with sarcasm and half-truths. Tommy pushes Amber’s limits, emotionally and physically, forcing her to break down her walls. His only condition is I don’t share. His only requirement is honesty. After one monumentally stupid decision, Amber violates his trust and Tommy walks away, obliterating her heart.

Amber is your typical rich kid: opinionated, brash, snarky. She's also hiding an insecure streak a mile wide with her smart mouth and don't-care attitude. It's sadly typical for kids who essentially raise themselves because of apathetic parents they can't rely on coupled with the "privilege" of money to burn.

Tommy, while seemingly an open book, forces Amber to purge her soul but seems to still be hiding secrets from her. It's strange they both demand honesty from each other yet only reveal parts of the truth or refuse to discuss it at all.

I was dragging my feet a bit at the beginning. The story was going a bit slow while, on the other hand, packed with one sex scene after another. Even the conversations centered around sex! Although Amber and Tommy make a sizzling and highly experimental couple with imaginative bedroom romps, there was something lacking. Everything was sizzling, but ... but. I can't really place my finger on what was off.

Their chemistry was right but neither of them was at the scene. "Physically present, mentally absent" describes it perfectly. It's not just Amber, but Tommy too, who appear to be more engrossed with keeping up a facade than letting their partner know themselves more deeply. Was this done on purpose?

I ask because the pace picks up around the last third of the novel. The emphasis was more on their relationship while they were broken up than when they were together! Strange that it's only here where I felt more intimate with Amber's character.

What I appreciate about Pushing Limits is that all the characters are unexpectedly  in the round - sexual orientation isn't an issue, characters are believably flawed, even the jerks can be friends. The only unbending monster is Amber's mother, which is about right under the circumstances. Sally is a lovable, freaky woman and Aunt Patty is a perennial wild child. Love these two most.

So. Did I enjoy reading this? Yes, especially the last part of the book. Also found the secondary characters to be highly entertaining. Will I read the second book? After an ending like that, how could I not?

Note: Copy provided by author for an honest review.

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