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REVIEW: Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Dear Ms. Stephens:

Thoughtless is the perfect title for this book because all of the main characters act in thoughtless ways.  But because the story is told in the first person from Kiera’s point of view, her behavior is what I focused on.  My first reaction on completing this book was hell no and then when I sat down to write the review, I wondered if I could be more nuanced than “I hate the heroine”. This is my attempt.

Thoughtless SC Stephens Kiera moved to Seattle to be with her long time boyfriend, Denny. He asks her to do this, taking her away from family and friends and her initial college choice. She loves him and wants to be with him. But she moves in with him while he is living with a friend, Kellan Kyle, kind of a wealthy dilettante in a local band. Kellan is gorgeous and sexy and charismatic. Kellan and Kiera begin to meet in the morning in the kitchen and drink coffee together. Their encounters are charged with sexual tension early on but Kiera remains blind to it.

Denny takes an internship in Phoenix and leaves her there with Kellan which was his first mistake. While Kiera tries to resist Kellan, their interactions become more and more intimate emotionally and the sexual tension ratchets up.  Denny then makes a life decision without Kiera. He is going to take his dream job in Phoenix. He assures Kiera that she’ll love it. That night she gives in to feelings for Kellan and they have sex. The next moment she finds Denny back in Seattle telling her he has quit his job and is back with her. He can’t live without her.

Kiera’s torn. She loves Denny. He’s safe for her. But she wants Kellan badly and Kellan wants her too. Whether it is to punish Kiera, himself or simply to seek succor, Kellan begins sleeping around, bringing multiple women back to his room.

My biggest problem with Kiera is that she allows the situation to fester for too long. I did understand that she wanted to be with Denny because he was safe but that Kellan was so magnetic that she couldn’t stay away. Unfortunately it takes her a whole book for the situation to shake out and she is never proactive. I wanted Kiera to take some responsiblity for her actions. Even though Denny left her and then came back to her and even though Kellan had also little respect for Denny’s feelings, I still wanted Kiera to woman up. And she never did, not through the entire book.  Not only that but she asked, repeatedly, for friends of hers and Denny’s to lie for her and to assist in the cover up.

The book is full of angst.  How could it not be with the three people involved in a torrid love triangle?  Kiera has nightmares of slipping into bed with Kellan only to have Denny find them together.  She is sick when she sees Kellan with other women.  She is tortured by Denny’s sweetness and kindness.  Every day that goes by hurts everyone even more, Kellan and Kiera now but Denny when he finds out, as he will inevitably.  I wanted to empathize with Kiera but because she seemed so reactive, it was hard to root for her. Instead her continued avoidance of making a choice, deceiving Denny and fostering Kellan’s belief that they had a future together only frustrated me.  Her passivity angered me.  Yet, I read the entire book and the second.  I bought these books when they were self published and before they were purchased by a larger publisher. It’s not likely I would have bought the books at the current price but oddly I don’t regret reading this book or its sequel.  Such is the power of a strong emotional story, even one wherein I didn’t like the characters for most of the book.  C

Best regards,
Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Char
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 15:41:45

    I just finished this last week and I’m now reading Effortless. I told me myself I would not read the sequel because I couldn’t stand Kiera anymore. She has to be one of the most selfish heroines I have read to date. Kellan is not much better either. He reminded me of a moody teenager instead of an adult. Denny I think it the only Adult out of the three. Poor guy.

    I am reading the sequel in hopes Kiera does change but so far she is still the same selfish woman she was in the first. Why do I keep reading?!? It’s like a train wreck and I can’t stop looking. *sigh*

  2. cleo
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 16:30:04

    Is this a romance? Is there an hea? I’m wary of love triangles, especially when I’m in the mood for the afterglow of a good hea.

  3. Jane
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 16:31:31

    @cleo: Yes, a tortured one and it does have an HEA.

  4. Kaetrin
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 19:39:45

    @Jane. Did you like the sequel any better? I was wondering if it was one where after you read the sequel you felt happier about both books?

  5. Jane
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 19:53:16

    @Kaetrin: There’s no more infidelity and I think it is less emotionally powerful than the first one but I’m glad I read it. If that makes sense? I have a review of it but I think it is set for next week some time.

  6. Kaetrin
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 20:29:41

    @Jane: I’ll wait and see what you have to say about the sequel. I don’t usually go for infidelity plots but the way you describe it, it’s kind of like Ross’s excuse (“We were on a break!”) so I can probably live with it. :)

  7. Patti (Loves FAB Romance)
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 21:42:49

    I liked Thoughtless despite the annoying heroine. I really liked Effortless (trying not to give away spoilers): I thought the angle of what happens after the cheating was well done.

  8. CC
    Dec 06, 2012 @ 15:17:08

    I really really HATED this book. I give it a big fat F!

    Some books are bad but leave me indifferent. This one was VERY bad and left me FURIOUS. How can anyone like this crap? =S

    This is really the worst heroine I ever read. I don’t think even Twilight’s Bella or 50 Shades’ Anastasia (should we consider them the same?) left me as angry.

  9. Jules
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 11:39:49

    Hi.. this book sound great, i read a chapter online.. i really want to read it. Do you by any chance have the pdf for this book? If so can you please send it to me? Many thanks in advance. Jules

  10. Jane
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 11:40:37

    @Jules: This book can be purchased through any of the above links.

  11. Marc
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 13:03:00

    I LOVED these books- can’t wait for the third in the series. I am infatuated with Kellen Kyle.

  12. shane
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 00:36:33

    @jules: you can download these books from epub site… it will go direct 2 ur ibook ( f ur using ipad).. way better than having it as a pdf file.. i really loved the books.. it made u believe in love and fighting 4 it once the right person came around ;) hope u’ll love it too…

  13. REVIEW: Reckless by S.C. Stephens
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 12:02:06

    [...] Kiera and Kellan and a little more realism in the rock story.  As much as I despised Kiera in Thoughtless, that was the clear standout in this series.  The other two, particularly this one, seems to [...]

  14. Nicole
    May 05, 2013 @ 15:01:00

    I loved these books. I couldnt put them down and read all 3, one after the other over a weekend.

    People are right about what they say about Keira. She is selfish. However its not that surprising to me. Shes young and does not have a lot of experience. Im not saying its right to cheat but, I mean who didnt do stupid crap in their early twenties?

  15. Cath
    May 09, 2013 @ 09:46:51

    I hated this book a lot. I couldn’t even force myself to finish it. The heroine was downright oblivious, stupid, and selfish. Surely, no one could be that naive to live like that for so long. A girl who’s in her early twenties(I think) and made a big decision to live on her own can’t be that stupid to not know right from wrong. She did say that she was smart in a way.

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