Series: Mayhem #2
Published by: Avon Impulse on February 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon
When Dee Dawson meets sexy mohawked guitarist Joel Gibbon, she knows it won’t be long before she has him wrapped around her finger. No guy has ever been able to resist her… but Dee’s met her match in a player like Joel.
Dee’s not the relationship type—not after seeing the pain “love” has caused her friends and family—yet she’s desperate to make Joel want her more than anyone else. He quickly becomes an obsession, and when a reckless attempt to make him jealous ends in disaster, Dee turns into the damsel in distress she never wanted to be. With her carefree world crashing down around her, the last thing she needs is Joel’s pity.
But Joel is suddenly determined to prove he cares, and no matter how hard Dee tries to push him away, he refuses to let her shut him out. Now the girl who swore she’d never say those three little words must choose between guarding her heart and losing Joel forever… or falling head-over-heels for the tattooed rock star of her dreams.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: Very rushed and messy, but not bad.
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
If I had to describe this book, in short, it would be equal parts messy and rushed. Those words blinked overhead the entire time I read Riot. It was crazy how the couple went from hot-as-hell sex buddies to deep, meaningful lovers. Their relationship was all over the place and it was funny that all of the characters had no idea what in the heck was going on between Dee and Joel, because I had no idea either. This is your typical couple with instant attraction who eventually fall for each other, but one is hesitant because of trust/love issues, except in this case, I don’t think it was executed all that well.
I generally read companion novels in order, even though I know I don’t have to, and after finishing so many series of companion novels, I can safely say that you don’t have to read them in order for a book to work. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about this series. Yes, Riot is Dee and Joel’s story, but so much of their relationship is rushed and scattered, I felt like I really didn’t know them as a couple at all. They actually started up in Mayhem and I feel like I missed key elements of the initial appeal of them as a couple because I didn’t read the first book, which was disappointing, because it made me enjoy this book less than I probably would’ve had I read Mayhem first. I probably would’ve even settled for flashbacks of their beginnings in this book, just to help me connect with them.
As for the characters themselves, I can safely say that I did not care for Dee for the most part. I’ve seen plenty of characters who love to push people away and who love to deny themselves a chance at true love because of a troubled past, but Dee walked that line of acceptable to plain annoying/frustrating. Also, it’s one thing to push the guy away and all that junk, but to lash out at your best friend for stating what is clearly so obvious just worked my nerves. And it wasn’t just one time, it was repeated episodes of Dee telling Rowan to “mind your business” mixed with storming out in huffs and crying fits. It was just too much unnecessary back and forth crap, especially between friends who have known each other their whole lives. There have been plenty of worse off characters with bad childhoods who are more put together than this girl, lets just say that.
Joel was a decent guy, although I think I would’ve liked this book to have been in dual POVs, because I just don’t think I understood him and his actions enough. Not that I didn’t get it, just that something was missing. Like I said, it was such a quick change from sex buddies to “I’m in love with this girl”, such a sharp, sudden change of pace, I felt like Shaw put me through an episode of emotional whiplash. Besides that though, Joel himself wasn’t that bad. I loved how supportive and patient he was with Dee. It was cute how he couldn’t stay away from her, it was borderline obsessive, but in a good way.
I have to point out that the best thing about this book, besides Joel, was Dee’s dad. He was downright hilarious and grounded, I kind of wish he was my dad. He isn’t that big of a presence in the book, but his parts were so entertaining.
Despite this being somewhat of a miss for me, I am curious about its predecessor, Mayhem. I really liked Adam and Rowan and I really want to know how everything in this group all began. I’m also curious about the next book in the series, Chaos, which focuses on two other band members, Shawn and Kit. So yeah, even though I didn’t particularly like this book, I’m still very much interested in the series as a whole. I’m unsure how I feel about Shaw’s writing style and will reserve that judgment for when I read another one of her books.