***** (5 stars) Sweet, romantic, and steamy story dealing with real-life issues.
Ashli Rose did a wonderful job with her second book in the Hearts on Fire series. The Law of Love can be read as a standalone; however, characters from the first book do play some role in the second book. The Law of Love is the story of Bree Kingston and Louis Mercado.
Bree is a young attorney starting out on a new career, but can be something of a party girl. In actuality, Bree’s outgoing nature is something she hides behind and uses to help keep her secrets. Bree’s issues affect her and those in her life. Ashli Rose incorporates a real issue that many people struggle with and highlights how a past event can affect many parts of a person’s life. An ex-boyfriend is at the root of many of Bree’s problems and has destroyed her self-confidence and self-esteem. Bree’s issues and secrets distort her perspective of herself, what others (especially men) see in her, and her belief on relationships.
Louis is a sexy police officer that Bree meets when he is featured in the Hunks in Uniform calendar. Bree and Louis are interested in each other, but Bree is unsure of why Louis is interested in her. Bree’s insecurities are added to when she realizes that any relationship she had with Louis would be a long-distance relationship as she lives in Chicago, and Louis lives in New York. In spite of her concerns, Bree and Louis put a lot of time and effort into making a long-distance relationship work.
Bree’s secrets and her past start to catch up with her. Ashli Rose does an amazing with keeping Bree’s secrets hidden. She gives some signs, but nothing definite that you can say with certainty what Bree’s secret is. Poor Louis is in the same boat we are; however, issues from Louis’s past have skewed his interpretation of what Bree’s secret is and what she is doing. Misunderstandings and lack of communication start to challenge their relationship and lead to issues with trust and each one believing something else about the others.
I enjoyed seeing how much Louis cared for and loved Bree. In spite of his belief about what was going on, he gave Bree the time and opportunity she needed to work things through on her own. When he realized that she wasn’t getting better, and was getting worse, he stepped in. Ashli Rose captured all the emotions and intensity of an intervention scene. Everything was set up appropriately, and I could feel exactly what Bree, Louis, and Bree’s family were experiencing. Bree was understandably upset at first, especially since she thought everyone wouldn’t understand and would hate her.
If you are looking for a romantic, steamy book that features genuine characters who experience real-life issues, this is the book for you. I felt Ashli Rose put everything together nicely and I liked that the story was told from both Louis and Bree’s perspectives. Ashli gave hints of a possible future story for Elise, Bree’s sister, and I hope to see this story soon.
** (2 stars) Difficult to get into with flat characters and confusing dialogue/paragraphs
I really tried to get into this story, but the theme of rich man/poor woman coupled with a mother who tells her daughter what kind of man she will be with has been overdone. Parts of the story were reminiscent of a movie, and I felt like I had read sections of this book in the past.
Lexi is Greek, and her family is depicted as a stereotypical Greek family – always in her business, dictating what she should or should not do, and her mother constantly putting guilt trips on her and telling her that she needs to do things the “Greek way.”
The main characters, Lexi and Lukas seem flat and without development or growth. Lukas is a wealthy business man, and of course, he has an alpha personality and secrets. Lexi is constantly up and down. She never seems to know what she wants and resolves problems immaturely by running away or ignoring people. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters and seeing them as being genuine for their depicted ages and careers.
I tried to get into this story, but it was made even more difficult because it was hard at times to tell who words, thoughts, and actions belonged too. Actions with dialogue were often repetitive and the characters were frequently smiling and flinching when speaking. In addition to this difficulty, there were several editing-related issues that I couldn’t get past. I ignored minor issues like typos, but I couldn’t get past paragraphs and sentences that misused verb tenses and made no sense. I found myself re-reading pages at a time trying to figure what was going on, who was speaking, and whose head I was in.