You read 100 books just so you can get to one like this.
Let me start by saying that I was biased by my own potential bias. I was afraid going into this book that I was going to give Laurelin more credit than she deserved because I am a “Fixed” series fan (have you read the “Fixed” series? If not, please step away from this review, do so and then come back). It’s happened before, sometimes we love an author so much that everything they write gets filtered through that positive feeling and we lose objectivity. I tell you that so you know that the fact that I love this book should be given real credence because it started at a disadvantage in my mind because I was trying so hard not to be biased. If you can make sense out of any of what I just said, bless your heart. Moving on.
“Free Me” is Gwen and J.C.’s story. Gwen and JC are both emotionally unavailable people but they have very different coping mechanisms. Gwen has shut off the sex valve, JC can’t locate the shut off button. That’s the condition they are in when they meet and bam you have a story. The book is told entirely from Gwen’s POV. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know I prefer books written in dual POV. However, it was not an issue for me in this book. This book was written so well that even utilizing just one POV, I got everything I needed from the story.
Some books you feel like an observer but this book, you feel like a participant, the story draws you in and makes you forget that you’re a third party. I don’t want to give anything away about the book but I will tell you that you can feel the connection between Gwen and JC and you can also feel both of their angst and hesitation. Every insecurity, hope and disappointment is described in HD detail. We don’t get a lot of the back story on JC but somehow it still works. I didn’t walk away from this book feeling like I didn’t know anything about him, I understood his story well enough.
Gwen is kind of an ice queen in the “Fixed” series but it really works in “Free Me.” At the same time, the journey to her slowly opening up doesn’t feel contrived or rushed for the sake of the story line. I’m surprised but I honestly walked away from this book empathizing with and liking Gwen.
I was trying to figure out what elevates this book above other books in the genre and I got it: It’s the language of this book that moves it beyond the realm of a good book to a truly great book that you will remember. At one point, feelings in this book are described as colors with such eloquence that I could SEE what the author was describing. I could see the emotions. Now that’s some stellar writing!
My one relatively minor criticism of this book is about the sex scenes. The scenes were good but they had a clinical tint that was a total buzz kill. During the early sex scenes, J.C. was asking Gwen questions like he was studying her. Awk-ward. Eventually that stopped but it was distracting at best and icky (that’s a word) at worst. This criticism is minor and doesn’t detract from my five star rating. This book is a MUST READ and I am really looking forward to Part 2.
**ARC provided by InkSlinger PR**