You'll find here a bit of everything that goes through my head. Most of it silly, crazy things. =D
I loved, loved, loved it!
Anne Calhoun did an awesome job showing us how a man and a woman, that due a lot of circumstances, don’t know or forgot how to feel things.
And I think this is the perfect verb to describe this book: TO FEEL.
Rachel is a girl whom left a super rigid religious community to experience how is to live life to its fullest. At the community she couldn’t express her feelings. To feel anger, sadness, fury is a sin and they told her she had to suppress it. But Rachel has a free spirit. She wants to go to college, she wants to know how is to have a relationship with a man and with people, she wants to leave the safe and permit herself to experience everything, the good and the bad.
Ben is a cop who – at first view - doesn’t feel much. He doesn’t seem to be attached to nothing or anyone. At his job he is fearless, he likes to feel the adrenaline, the danger. His personal life is full of drinks, women and meaningless sex. He uses his aloofness and the badass exterior to hide strong and destructive feelings. Feelings and memories of a time in his life he prefers to forget.
For the most part of the story we see Rachel shine like a diamond. She buys a date with Ben wanting to have sex with him, no strings attached. She just wants to know how is to be with a man and they do have sex. Ben doesn’t know she’s a virgin and he didn’t even realize it until the next morning. She didn’t orgasm and he’s a bit rough, but she doesn’t care, because she felt.
Once Ben realizes what he did, he proposes Rachel to teach her how good sex can be. And boy, it was a good ride! The author takes sensuality to a new level. The scenes are sensuous and erotic in the best possible way. Rachel discovers herself as a powerful and sexy woman and little by little those encounters arouse a desire for more.
We see Rachel pursue her dreams to go to college, to get a better job at the same time we see her struggle with her father’s rejection and the pressure to return home. She grows stronger as the story progresses, she very determinate and sure of what she wants to her life.
In the end the focus shifts to Ben. We see how deep are his feelings for his twin brother (and as a twin sister myself I could relate alright!), how guilt he feels for what happened to him and how he focus all that guilt and anger on his father. It’s sad. He suffered so much that know he’s numb. And he doesn’t know how to cope with his growing feeling for Rachel, pushing her away again and again.
Everything was so realistic, the characters, the feelings, nothing was rushed. In the end, when they drifted away from each other, it was so good to see how they come to terms with themselves first and then try to give their relationship another try.Beautiful.
PS: The cover doesn’t represent the book in the slightest.