Surrender to You is the second book in this series. I read the first book and you don't have to read that one to read this one. Also, if you want to go back and read that one after you read this one, it contains no spoilers. When I read the first book in the series, there were some aspects of the plot I didn't care for but I really liked the authors writing and felt like there was a lot of potential there. I must pat myself on the back for being right and giving this book a chance because overall I really liked it.
STY is Carlie and Tomas' story. Carlie and Tomas have history that goes back to their teens. They were each others first loves. Both Carlie and Tomas thought that their teen love was going to last forever but something happened that separated them. Over the years they remained friends with a lot of freaky benefits but there was some unspoken rule that things could never go beyond one night. At the point where this book begins, its pretty clear that the one night rule is much more Carlie's thing than it is Tomas.' From Carlie's perspective Tomas left her. That's true but it's not the whole story. I got where Carlie was coming from. The first loss of Tomas devastated her so even though she was still in love with him, she was focused on avoiding a repeat of the devastation.
Ok, now here is where I had a bit of an issue. The reason Tomas left Carlie made sense. I couldn't understand why over the next 10 or so years, Tomas didn't just explain what happened to Carlie. The reason it was so hard for me to understand is because it was clear that Tomas loved Carlie and wanted to be with her. All it would have taken was some sort of explanation so Carlie knew he had not just abandoned her but years went by and Tomas said nothing. And while he was saying nothing, he was in agony. I guess people really have that hard of a time dealing with their own feelings and saying what needs to be said but I just really wanted him to spit it out.
The other reason this book was not a total 5 star read for me was because there was just so much going on. Carlie got a totally random job even though she owned her own business. Within the random job, there is a sub-random plot about this kink club of sorts. There was the story of Tomas trying to sell a hotel. Carlie's secret health issue. Carlie trying to find her parents and then what happened when she did. By the time you get to the end of the book, the characters have spent more time a part dealing with separate issues than they have spent together. An author like Madison can pull this sort of thing off because her writing is good enough that the subplots hold your interest. The only thing was I wanted a lot more from the actual romance in the book. When all was said and done, I just wanted more Tomas and Carlie together.
Still, I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. It was sexy and with all that was going on, it was never boring. I will be back for whatever this author has next.
**ARC provided by Publisher**