I am so torn when it comes to this book, and I really don't even know where to start with this review. If you haven't read Something Reckless, you need to start there before Reading Something Real. This book is the second part of Liz and Sam's story and you will be lost if you haven't read the previous book. Though you do need to read Something Reckless, you do not need to have read Lexi Ryan's Here and Now Series or the New Hope Series, though the characters are interconnected. I will tell you that I couldn't wait to read this book, and I loved Sam and Liz from the start of this series. But I did have some issues, and that kept me from really loving this book.
Something Real picks up after the events of Something Reckless, with Liz and Sam broken up after everything was revealed about who River was. Sam and Liz are both miserable and want to be together, but they have no idea how to get back to one another and neither of them has taken the initiative to contact the other. Liz moved to Indianapolis to work on the Guy campaign and has been there for five months. But when the Guy campaign suddenly brings Sam back into her life, they realize that they aren't as over as they thought they were. This time around there are more obstacles than ever and though they want to be together, can they actually make a relationship work?
I really loved Liz and Sam together in Something Reckless. These two just fit together so well, and I knew that they belonged together. I was so sad for them at the end of that book, but I just kept thinking that they had to find a way to make it work. Though I still liked Liz and Sam, this book didn't have me loving them as much as before. They both made bad decisions and seemed to be incapable of making the first move. They made assumptions and didn't talk to one another. I thought that Liz avoided Sam too much and should have been able to discuss things with him. Sam was so determined to always do the right thing that he missed so much of what was going on around him. I felt like he should have fought harder for Liz, and I wanted to see him step it up the way Liz deserved. They still had a lot of chemistry between them and their connection was never the problem, but they needed to work together more rather than separately.
I really thought that this book would be more about Sam and Liz coming together finally and moving past the pain and hurt that they had experienced in the first book. They already had so much to overcome that I didn't expect the amount of new obstacles they would have to face. As the drama kept piling up in this one, I just kept asking myself why this was necessary. They already had more than enough drama without adding the crazy they had to face in this book. I really felt like that was a lot of what left me on the fence about this book. I honestly thought at several points that Sam and Liz might have been better off apart, and it killed me to see that happen with these two. But they both made poor decisions, and I just felt like there was too much drama going on. Then we finally start to get some resolution and the story is over. The ending felt rushed and abrupt, and it could have easily been extended to give us a more satisfying place to stop. Though I was happy that all the crazy had been handled, I wanted to see what would happen for the characters beyond that. As much as I love Lexi Ryan and her books, I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this one. I think that Sam and Liz fans will be happy to have more of them and to see some familiar faces, but to me this wasn't the ending that they deserved. I am excited about the direction she is headed with Max next though, and I am so glad that he will be getting his story next. I have loved him since I first met him, though I knew he wasn't meant for Hanna. I can't wait to see more of him, and I look forward to reading more from Lexi in the future.
**ARC Provided by AToMR Tours**