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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

ARC Review: Blow by Heidi McLaughlin

Blow is the first book in the new Virtuous Paradox series by Heidi McLaughlin. I have really enjoyed past books from McLaughlin, but I have to admit that this book didn't quite hit the mark for me. I was a bit underwhelmed with this one, and hope that things get better as this series continues. 

Bodhi is an addict, sent to rehab to get clean or be kicked out of his band, Virtuous Paradox. There he meets psychologist/counselor Kimberly Gordon. Though Bodhi finds it hard to trust, he also knows that he is drawn to Kimberly. As Bodhi tries to get clean, things begin to heat up between him and Kimberly. But what happens when Bodhi leaves rehab and returns to the world of rock and roll? 

This was a definite case of insta-lust/love, and it didn't really work for me. While I did see the attraction, I never felt the connection. There wasn't a spark or any real passion to me, and it just didn't feel real. Bodhi was almost instantly better, and that didn't feel believable to me. Addiction is a process to overcome, and it felt like he never really dealt with that and it was just brushed aside as the focus of the story shifted to romance. I also felt like Kimberly acted in ways that didn't feel believable, and while this is fiction, it just didn't seem like how someone in her position would actually behave. I tried to let part of that go and just enjoy the story for what it was and the forbidden nature of their relationship, but without being able to really feel any connection or chemistry between them I just couldn't let some of that go. 

Overall, I struggled with this book and really wanted to love it even though I couldn't. I did enjoy the fact that this was dual POV and we got to see both Bodhi and Kimberly's thoughts and feelings. I always love when a story gives readers both POVs because I think that it really helps to connect with the characters in a way that isn't possible otherwise. Unfortunately I never felt fully invested in this story and thought it was just okay when it could have been so much more. I am interested to see where this series goes, but I think that the next story will need to be a bit more realistic and give the reader more of a connection between the characters for this series to be one that readers love rather than just somewhat enjoy.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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