Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published November 13th 2010 (first published August 11th 2010)
Title: It's All Relative
Characters: Kai, Jessie, Millie.
Setting: Colorado, United States.
Copy downloaded for free at the authors website.
The club was packed, the music was loud, and the alcohol was flowing. Jessie couldn’t keep her eyes off of the exotic man drinking by himself across the room. Kai couldn’t keep his gaze from the buxom brunette laughing with her friends at the bar. Fate pulled them together, giving them a night that neither one would soon forget. But then, you know what they say about fate. While their one night of bliss was perfect, neither Jessie nor Kai could have imagined what would be in store for them the next time they met, when fate again crossed their paths. As they both soon discovered, sometimes life places obstacles in the way that are insurmountable...even for soul mates
When Jessie and Kai meet in a nightclub the attraction is instant and their sensual fire is palpable. They act upon it in the home of Kai and I liked the level of sexiness in the scene portrayed by the author. The situation of a one night stand has been used over and over by authors to set up a variety of conflicts between the main couple but holy Moses, S.C. Stephens knocked me out of my comfort zone with a right hook I didn’t see coming!
While I was still riding a sensual buzz of the hot ‘one-night stand’ scene I flipped onto the next chapter and got presented with ‘the conflict’. My jaw dropped to my iPad because I had no idea how the author was going to solve it. My mind was baffled, I could relate to Kai and Jessie completely and I was preparing myself for a very romance angsty read. Which is something I always enjoy. It was such a disappointment to have that excitement, that thrill and wonder where this story would take me kicked back a great degree when a few pages later I was presented with another story thread that diminished the shocker of the conflict. Now that shock and wonder was changed in to anticipation when the characters would discover their true situation.
So the readers knows it all and this is not necessarily a bad thing. There is still a great deal of angst between Kai and Jessie. However, I feel if the author would’ve taken the mystery step by step instead of dumping it all in one chapter it could have added a tremendous tension for the reader. It would trigger that drive to unravel the mystery and connect all the dots by the end of the story. Now a lot of that tension evaporated within the early stages of the story.
Kai and Jessie are both in their early twenties. They love life, enjoy their work, have a tight-knit family. Kai is from Hawaii and moved to Jessie’s town; Colorado. Both are very personable and charming personalities. They are very much the boy and girl next door. Jessie comes with two friends; Harmony, who is the more quiet and down to earth type which is countered by the flamboyant and sexy April. They have girl talk, girl fights and it’s all very recognizable. The character who instantly warmed my heart was grams Millie. She is just an energetic, warm and meddling grams who everyone wants. Millie’s personality adds a pizzazz I like, her straight forward behavior is so very charming.
S.C. Stephens created a very close related group of characters and kept this story very character driven. It allowed the conflict to get much time and attention. Which had its pros and its cons. It gave way to all the emotions Kai and Jessie felt and experienced together. I enjoyed getting an in-depth view of what drove them in their actions. How the internal conflicts fueled the push and pull between Kai and jessie that was almost unbearable to witness at times. It pulled me in to their story and I was loving it. On the other hand, since this is a four hundred plus pages novel, it also dragged on a multitude of moments. Sometimes I wondered how many times I could endure scenes where Jessie stopped by Kai for mundane things. There was nothing more going on than the dilemma and the mystery, while highly intriguing, lost a bit of its momentum due to the length of the story.
The trials and tribulations of Kai and Jessie change what would’ve been an run-of-the-mill romance in to an emotional and intriguing story. S.C. Stephens has a knack for the out-of-the-box angle in the romantic development. I will definitely keep my eye out for what this author releases!!
Kai Bringing his lips down, just a fraction, they minutely brushed together with hers. He closed his eyes and exhaled, remembering, savoring her taste from last night, equally wanting to savor it again, and wanting to push her away. His head hurt again, while his body and mind shifted in two directions. This was so wrong, but it felt so right.
Steeling himself, his fingers already moving to snap shut the phone, he closed his eyes. Picturing her one last time - her smile, her beautiful face framed in dark, curly locks, the sound of her voice when she said his name - Kai imagined that she was the one person on this earth that he would like to experience everything with. He couldn’t think of anyone he’d rather have on this twisted, rollercoaster of a ride called life, than her.
Panting in her ear, he muttered, “Jessie…stop me…please…stop me.” His voice was strained when he said it, the ache in his voice palpable.
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