The Thrill of It (No Regrets #1) Review!

2 Feb

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A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power…

Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it’s the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love…Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that’s how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I’ve never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I’m being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don’t regret.

Trey…

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She’s the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she’s back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don’t know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she’s the closest I’ve ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

Well, since Lauren Blakely has her second book from the No Regrets series coming out February 10th, 2014, and I am going to be posting a Blog Tour post on Feb 8th, I figured it was time to read this book. I have had it for a long time but haven’t gotten the chance to read it, and now it’s the perfect time!

Quite frankly, I had forgotten about it. When I picked it up and read the summary, I remembered why I had wanted to read it so much.

“I’m a sex addict and a virgin.
I know everything about sex and I’ve never done it, though I came close last night.
I know nothing about love.
I know men.
I can size up a guy in seconds.”

Yes. The oxymoron of all oxymorons. I was curious as to how on earth this came about.

Okay, can I just say that if you plan on reading this book, you had better not have ANYTHING lined up for the next 24 hours (or however long it takes you to read a book). Because no matter how angry I was at the characters, or how many times I wanted to step away and breathe or just hated the book for what it was doing to me I. Couldn’t. Stop. Reading. It. It was embarrassing how much this book controlled me yesterday. I would read it, huff in its ridiculousness and declare that I would come back to it tomorrow, and somehow within 30 minutes it had found its way into my hands again. I became an addict. Thanks, Lauren Blakely. Thanks a lot.

Seriously, though, this book was amazing. It hooked me in from page one, cast a spell on me, and called to me all day.

The story was addictive (even though it wasn’t all realistic, but hey, it’s fiction! I can live with it.) and beautiful and broken. It was ‘the ugly beautiful’.

Now, a little about the two protagonists:

Harley is a former call-girl (escort, if you will) who’s life has spiraled out of control. When her dad leaves when she is young, her mother falls apart, and Harley is forced to become her ‘pretty pony’. Her mom quickly becomes her best friend instead of her mother, and the parenting in the household becomes very permissive. Her mom has very low expectations for her: all she wants is for Harley to be pretty, find a boy, and be the beautiful show pony for everyone else to see. She talks about her own sex life openly and gives her daughter kissing advice, sets her up on dates, and promotes beauty over brains every day. As a result, Harley feels like she has no self-control, or control over her own life in general. So the day she meets Cam (her pimp) and he offers her a job, she takes it. Because it gives her power and control. And it becomes her drug. Controlling men, not letting them touch her, living a secret life that no one knows about. It’s her aphrodisiac. And it all starts when she’s a teenager.

Until her life comes crashing down. That’s when she starts being blackmailed to write a book (Memoirs of a Teenage Sex Addict) and begins attending SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) at church in order to cure herself of the addiction that has begun to control her life.

Harley’s whole life just reminds me of this song:

The full song hasn’t been released, but you get the idea. Her life as a call-girl can be very glamorous and dirty at the same time.

Trey is also in SLAA, but for a different reason. He is addicted to sex – with the cougars in his parent’s building. His household has always been dark and emotionless, and the older women in the building have rich husbands who always leave them alone to travel on business trips. So, naturally, like meets like. However, one unfortunate night leads to him having a scar on his face, and he decides to turn his life around. He begins attending therapy, and going to SLAA meetings.

And they meet. But there is one rule in SLAA: No dating for a year.

This was a very powerful story about healing, dealing with addiction, and falling down hard. Trey and Harley are drawn to each other – they bring out the best in each other. But they also tempt each other into going back to their old ways.

The one thing I realized while reading this book was that it followed the stereotypical plot outline that all NA books follow:

Beginning that outlines all the problems – check

They meet but there is something keeping them apart – check

The obstacles pile up on both of them and draw them apart – check

They freak out at each other and then realize that they are better together than apart – check

Everything is happy and you just want it to end here – check

But you know it doesn’t because there’s a little less than 100 pages left so something dramatic is about to happen where someone freaks out for no reason… and there it is… – check

But you know what? I don’t care. Because even though it followed the stereotype, the ideas in the book were fresh and inspired. The focus was on love and the hardships of overcoming addiction.

I think that in an NA novel, it is very easy to paint over the addiction, make everything perfect, and go straight to the ‘love cures all’ attitude a lot of authors use when writing books. We all want a neat ending, and authors deliver. However, I think that what Lauren Blakely realized is that what more people want now is the raw, nitty gritty life struggles. Because no one writes them out. No one talks about spiraling out of control, trying to overcome addiction and falling down all the time. No one talks about how hard it is to get back up again. As soon as there is love, there is the attitude that love will cure addiction.

This book didn’t do that. Even in the very end, both characters have overcome so much and have grown so much and yet they both still struggle with addiction every day. They want to go back to their lifestyles every day. There’s always doubt and points where they may want to break down.

Which is why I’m scared to read the second book. Cuz let’s face it – I’m probably gonna be addicted and moody again when I start reading it.

But this book is definitely worth a read. 4 stars! I love it and I think that everyone should read it. It’s amazing, and Trey is definitely one of the sweetest guys I have ever read about. He’s very macho and protective and caring (and very in tune with his feminine side, as well. Macho man with a feminine side. *sigh* yes, apparently it’s possible). I also really like that she didn’t do the stereotypical addiction to drugs or alcohol (even though those are very serious issues, as well), but did something outside the box that maybe no everyone realized  actually exists.

So go read it! You’ll love it!

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3 Responses to “The Thrill of It (No Regrets #1) Review!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Every Second With You (No Regrets #2) ARC Review! | The Novel List - February 6, 2014

    […] the review I did of The Thrill Of It (No Regrets #1),  I had said that she sticks to the stereotypical model NA books […]

  2. Every Second With You Blog Tour! | The Novel List - February 6, 2014

    […] The Thrill of It Review    […]

  3. No Regrets Box Set Release Day Launch + GIVEAWAY! | The Novel List - March 25, 2014

    […] The Thrill of It Review    […]

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