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Friday, May 29, 2015

ARC Review: Defining Love Serial by Elizabeth Reyes

Defining Love is a serial told in three parts by Elizabeth Reyes. As with serials, each part needs to be read in order and will leave things unresolved until the final part. While I am not the biggest fan of serials, I was excited to read this story since I was able to read them back to back. Luckily, all three parts are live now so there is no waiting for readers in between installments. One thing that I was unaware of that I think readers should know ahead of time is that Henri's best friend that she is with is another girl. While it was made clear that Aaron and Henrietta are with others in the blurb, it failed to mention that there was some bisexuality in this book and I believe that that is important for some to know since it isn't for everyone. I will say that I don't typically read Female/Female. In this case though, I felt like Elizabeth Reyes was very respectful and things were not overly graphic, but it is definitely something readers should be aware of. 

Volume One

Volume 1 starts with the reader learning about Henri's life growing up. Henri and her sister were abandoned by their mother and were left to live in foster homes. Henri has abandonment issues and fears that everyone she gets close to will leave her. She ends up moving to live with a previously unknown aunt where she meets Edi. The two quickly become friends and move away to attend college together. Things between her and Edi begin to change when she finds out that Edi is gay and they start a relationship. She then meets Aaron who is also in a relationship, and the two feel an instant connection. Aaron is engaged to his high school sweetheart and would never cheat on her, but he can't stop thinking about Henri the same way she can't stop thinking of him. 

I liked these characters a lot, and I feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface with them. Henri's past is one that would be tough for anyone to get through, and yet she has emerged smart and strong, if a bit damaged. She has insecurities, and it is clear to the reader that a lot of what she does stems from those fears. Though she loves Edi and the two are best friends, their relationship is new, and it really seemed to me that it was more out of fear of losing Edi than actual romantic love on Henri's side. Edi is clearly in love with Henri though, and I can tell that is going to be something that they will have to deal with in the future. Aaron loves his fiance Mia, and they have been together a very long time. They are comfortable with one another, but you can also tell that their love isn't passionate or explosive. The connection he and Henri feel is already becoming strong, and these two really haven't had much interaction at this point. I had to keep reading to see what would happen next, and I couldn't put it down. I really liked seeing Henri and Aaron meet for the first time and I felt like their conversation was really a turning point for both of them. It was interesting how instantly they started to see each other differently, and yet there was no cheating or drama. I liked that they didn't start off together right after they first felt the connection, and I am curious to see how things will proceed from here. 

Purchase Volume One: Amazon |

Volume Two

Volume 2 continues the story of Henri and Aaron, with Henri just having accepted a job working for Aaron. As the two begin to spend more time together, they get to know one another better and the attraction between them intensifies. Aaron and Henri are both still in relationships though, and neither of them would ever hurt their significant others by cheating on them. But the closer they grow to one another, the more they begin to rethink their relationships. 

In this installment it was so clear that while both Aaron and Henri cared about who they were with, it was also different from how they knew they should care about the person they were with. Aaron loved Mia and didn't want to hurt her, but he also knew that he didn't feel passionate about her as he did other things in life. His growing connection with Henri made that very apparent, and he knew that he needed to make some changes. Henri was still struggling with her relationship with Edi, knowing that she wasn't gay but that she didn't want to lose her best friend. She knew that her growing feelings for Aaron were changing things in her life, and yet she also knew that because of the path she had started on with Edi, ending things would completely change the friendship that she had with Edi. I really loved seeing Aaron and Henri grow closer as they got to know one another. It was so clear that they were passionate about the same things and that they connected in a way that they didn't with others. They had such a natural ease with each other, and it was impossible not to see the attraction between them. But what I loved most about these two is that they never crossed that line, and there was no cheating. Though they were bonding emotionally, they had never done anything that was entirely inappropriate. I'm not saying that their feelings or thoughts were completely innocent (because they weren't) but they never acted on anything or took it to that level, which I found really refreshing.

Purchase Volume Two: Amazon |

Volume Three

In the third and final installment of Defining Love, Aaron and Henri can no longer deny the feelings they have for one another. Though they love their significant others, they also love each other in a completely different way. Aaron and Henri must make the tough decision of whether they should take a risk on the connection and love they have found with one another or stay with the ones that they have loved for years. Both of them know that whatever decision they make with change their lives forever.

I have really enjoyed seeing Aaron and Henri get to know one another, and it has been clear to me from the start that these two had a connection that they didn't share with anyone else. They had everything right from the start, and it really felt like they had been meant for one another. Their friendship and bond was easy and natural, and the passion and attraction between them was undeniable. I did have a few moments in this book that Henri drove me nuts, and I really wanted to shake her. I felt like she was a bit weaker in this installment than the previous ones, and it seemed like she struggled more than ever. While I understood part of that, it also got a bit old at times. But what I loved about this book was how fantastic Aaron was. He was sweet and thoughtful, and he was so supportive and understanding of Henri. He understood just what was going through Henri's mind, and he really could not have handled things better. He absolutely made this story for me, and I really loved him!

Purchase Volume Three: Amazon |


Overall, I thought that this serial was a really good story and I was surprised how different and new it was. This is not the same old story told with slightly different details, and it was great to read something refreshing and unique. The epilogue was my favorite part of the whole story, and I loved getting to see down the line at how everything had worked out for everyone. I thought that Elizabeth Reyes did a great job on the story and the ending, and I will definitely look for more from her in the future.

**ARC Provided by As The Pages Turn**

Purchase Set: | Amazon |


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