Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Aurora Rose Reynolds

REVIEW:  Until Nico by Aurora Rose Reynolds

REVIEW: Until Nico by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds Until Nico

Dear Ms. Reynolds:

I read the first in this series, Until Trevor, which reminded me a great deal of a Kristen Ashley book. I didn’t follow the other books but upon the recommendation of a friend, I read this one. I definitely think it is the better written of the two and the voice is compelling.

The series is low risk emotionally with little angst and little external conflict. You feel safe when you read the story because it’s mostly about Nico’s courtship of Sophie. He falls in love with her instantly and spends the whole book convincing her that he’s a vital and necessary part of her life.

The entire series follows one primary conceit. The Mayson males are cursed to fall in love with one woman on sight. When Nico Mayson finds a cell phone, he also finds the love of his life in Sophie Grates. Except she doesn’t know it and she’s not prepared for it or him.

Upon meeting Sophie, Nico’s primary objective is to get her to return his feelings. The best thing about the Until series is that the heroes are incredibly sweet even though they are domineering. What I left the story with, though, was an insidious feeling of misogyny the colored my enjoyment of the book.

Sophie is a librarian who suffered a non penetrative sexual assault when she was a tween. This has left her traumatized but she does seek counseling for it. But her experience with men in the past hasn’t been positive so she’s kept to herself. But through Nico’s bull dogged persistence, Sophie soon finds herself dating Nico.

Nico senses that Sophie isn’t ready to take the next step in the relationship (and in the early stages of the book, Sophie isn’t even willing to acknowledge that there is a relationship which provides some comedic relief) and the physical part of the story develops at a slow-ish pace. The two sleep together but don’t have sex, for instance, in one of the more tender parts of the book.

Until Nico is a perfect book to read when you want to turn off your brain and just enjoy a sweet romance with a gruff alpha male who is avidly pursuing the sweet, innocent heroine.  There is a little suspense plot thrown in so that Nico has the opportunity to rescue Sophie. And there are definitely some funny moments as Nico expresses his possessiveness over Sophie and ultimately their kids.

However…Nico had a tendency to say and think things that suggested women were definitely the weaker sex. It really grated on me after a while and the capper was the epilogue where he not only admitted to his bigotry but embraced it.

Chicks are all the fucking same. They all talk about how men only want one thing from them, but they are constantly throwing themselves at me, yet I never hit on them first. They want the bad-boy experience.

Later his mother calls him a man-whore so he’s judging women for doing the same exact thing that he’s doing.

“Hopefully, now that you’re here, they will stop arguing like a bunch of old ladies and just get it done already.”

Why couldn’t he accused them of being “old men”?

Second, I know you bitches love to sit around and gossip like a bunch of women in a knitting club, but unlike you fuckers, my business is my business.”

Again why use “women” in a perjorative sense here? It’s his brothers that he’s referring to as gossiping.

“So your daughters can’t talk to boys, but your son can do that?” She nods to where my seventeen-year-old son, Bax, has his mouth on some girl.

“I never claimed to be fair, babe, but the shit with your daughters is getting ridiculous.”

and

There is nothing greater than being a father, but it’s also difficult watching your kids grow up. Having girls only makes it that much harder. Boys can look out for themselves, but girls need someone there to watch out for them.

I think anyone who read the book would argue that Nico loved women but you can love women and still think that they aren’t equals.  There’s a reference Nico makes to “good girls” and treasuring Sophie’s innocence and that type of language plays into the commodization of a woman’s sexuality. She’s good if she’s innocent and not flirtatious but bad if she is sticking her tongue down a guy’s throat.

Nico’s jocular words aren’t the only signs of his belief that males are the superior sex. Throughout the story he’s preemptively addressing issues that Sophie isn’t ready to deal with for her sake. For instance, when she refuses to tell him about her past he gets a deep background check on her and then confronts her with the information so she can move past it. At this point, it’s important to remember that Sophie is in therapy for the abortive sexual assault but Nico wants to have sex with her. She won’t be ready until she can talk and deal about her past. So while this seems caring on the surface, his motivation is dick driven.

I don’t remember Until Trevor having this underlying theme and I know that I’ve been guilty of using gendered insults. But as I grow older or as my daughter grows older (or a confluence of the two) I’m becoming increasingly intolerant of using “girls” or “women” as the worst thing that someone can be called. You throw like a girl; you gossip like a woman; you do all these perjorative things because you have lady bits.

The messaging in the book is likely unintentional but it was so pervasive, I didn’t feel like I could escape it. While I enjoyed the story, I had a hard time warming up to Nico. If Sophie hadn’t been an innocent and she’d played the field like he did, would he find her just as amazing? I don’t think so and that left a sour taste in my mouth at the end. C

Best regards,

Jane

 

AmazonBNSonyKoboAREBook DepositoryGoogle

REVIEW:  Until Series: Until November (Until #1) and Until Trevor (Until #2) by Aurora Rose Reynolds

REVIEW: Until Series: Until November (Until #1) and Until Trevor...

asher new coverDear Ms. Reynolds:

Yesterday, while browsing at Amazon I came across book one in your Until series, called Until November. I sent myself a sample and really enjoyed it. I found your voice to be deeply reminiscent of Kristen Ashley, whose voice generally works very well for me. While I do think that the books had some editing issues, they worked quite well for me and I found myself reading both in one day.

In Until November, November has fled New York to Tennessee after a brutal attack that left her with significant injuries. Her father, who she’s never really known, is in Tennessee and he’s willing to have her work as the office manager at his strip club. She’ll get him organized and then work from home. While there on the first day, she leaves the club and is confronted by a brawny, good looking guy, who assumes she is a stripper. This is Asher Mayson. He’s irritated that this new, hot young stripper doesn’t know that as a stripper, she’s always to have an escort to her car. Of course, he’s embarrassed when her Dad comes out and introduces him to his daughter, November.  Asher immediately begins wooing November.  Wooing seems to involve a lot of bossing her around, interspersed with some very sweet moments. One night, while out with Asher, November comes home to find her apartment trashed and a threat on her wall. Perhaps her mugging in New York wasn’t random. Asher immediately insists that she come home with him. As they spend more time together, the further they fall in love. But the threat to November might be more real than expected. Will Asher be able to protect this woman he’s come to love so deeply?

I really enjoyed this book, despite a number of issues. I loved how deeply Asher felt for November. He’s all about caring for her, and making sure she has what she needs. That being said, he’s also an overbearing pain in the butt sometimes. But, as a fan of Kristen Ashley books, I’m used to alphaholes, so it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all. The book is in need of some serious editing, so readers who find that badly copy edited books irritate them will most likely find the errors enough to turn them off reading the books. But overall, this book was spicy hot, had a heroine with a spine and a hero who was dominant, but had a deep core of caring for the heroine. Final grade: BUntil_Trevor_ebook_amazon_smashwords_goodreads

After finishing Until November, I immediately went back to Amazon and bought Until Trevor. Trevor is Asher’s brother. He’s known Liz, November’s closest friend in town, for years.After one hot night together when Trevor stopped just before having sex with Liz, he’s put her off. Hurt and angry, Liz has decided to date another man. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t sit well with Trevor, who immediately puts all of his resources into running the guy off and reinstating himself as the only one for Liz. She’s confused and furious with him. He doesn’t want her, but he also wants no one else to have her? That’s crap. She gets right in his face and confronts him about it. He tells her that he’s always cared for her, and that he was scared because she’s so innocent. Then he sets about making her as experienced as possible.

While this book wasn’t as well written as the first, I also enjoyed it. Liz is relatively namby-pamby, which detracted from my enjoyment. She wants Trevor and cares for him, but spends alot of time fighting what seemed like needlessly to me. Trevor is a good guy. He’s a stud in the sack, and while he does occasionally go into “alpha-overdrive”, as a reader, I never doubted that he cared for her. The sex scenes are smokin’ hot, which I really liked. The series definitely has apparent series bait in each of the Mayson brothers, but I found myself excited for the next book. Again, the book is not perfect. There are a number of editing issues, and I found this one a little harder to read. But overall, I think that readers who enjoy uber-alpha heroes will find something to like in Until Trevor. Final grade: B-

Kind regards,

Kati

AmazonBNSonyKoboAREBook DepositoryGoogle