September 24, 2014

REVIEW: Block (Social Media #3)

Block (Social Media #3), by J.A. Huss
Published September 24, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-book, obtained from the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

 Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Grace @FilthyBlueBird
@VaughnAsher #YouAreCaredFor So the movie star says. But his idea of cared for isn't the same as mine. Obviously a #Douche.


MovieStar @VaughnAsher
@FilthyBlueBird #BehindTheScenesIsMyScene The Blue Bird has trust issues. And tantrum issues. And commitment issues. 

Grace @FilthyBlueBird
@VaughnAsher #

MovieStar @VaughnAsher
@FilthyBlueBird #YouAreMine and I won't let you forget it. 

Grace @FilthyBlueBird
@VaughnAsher #YouMustShitUnicorns that's how delusional your fairy tale is. #GetAGripOnReality I'm outtie. 

MovieStar @VaughnAsher
@FilthyBlueBird You're an #Innie #Sweetheart :) My tongue licked all your #CuteLittleButtons.


Why is he so damn sexy? How will I ever get out from under Asher's thumb if I can't stop thinking about his tongue on my buttons? #HottiesNeedToPlayFair

For the love of doughnuts - JA Huss, what are you DOING TO ME?! Block toyed with my fragile emotions in ways I didn't expect. I spent equal amounts of time smiling and sneering, and more than my fair share of time crying - like, actual tears-running-down-my-face-and-my-husband-giving-me-strange-looks CRYING - while reading the third installment in the brilliant Ms. Huss' Social Media novella series.

"I have so much inside me, Vaughn. So many bad things inside me that I'm trying to move past. And I think you're right. I'm too afraid of failure to allow anything good to happen to me."

We were lulled into a false sense of security at the end of Like when Vaughn and Grace seemed to be in a good place. But, with the dawn comes reality after the good sex high has worn off, and now Grace is again having reservations. A few texts from Vaughn, though, and she's back to okay. But, then - radio silence. For two whole weeks. And those weeks change both Vaughn and Grace. Vaughn has time to realize what and who he really wants. Grace has time to realize that she's worth more than a casual dirty screw once a month. And, this time, Grace may have bolstered herself up enough to refuse even her fantasy prince charming.

Those two weeks that Grace and Vaughn spent apart - man, those were absolutely pivotial for this series. The change I saw in Vaughn during that time was unbelievable.What was even better is that, I got the impression that the shift even took HIM by surprise. All of a sudden, the thought that Grace may not want to talk to him again after false media reports surface about him is too much for him to bear. The lengths that this unshakable rock of a man goes to just to TALK to her astounded me. It was the absolute height of romanticism and just plain swooniness.

But, the absolute best part for me was when both Grace and Vaughn dropped all pretenses and got real with each other. I've been waiting for this moment since the first time they met. Vaughn shrugged off his arrogance (well - most of it, anyway) and stopped fronting for the purposes of maintaining his insatiable desire for control. It seems that Vaughn is well aware that he lost control of this situation with Grace a long time ago, and with that realization comes true freedom - the freedom to *gasp* talk about your feelings! Share your dreams! Beg for forgiveness that you know you don't deserve.

"I might not be your prince, but I think you're my princess. I swear, I never knew I was looking for one. I just always knew that the women I was with before didn't mean anything to me. But, Grace, when I was up in that private suite and you were sent away, I realized something. I realized that I like you. A lot. And I don't know what that means or where that leads, but I like you and I want to keep seeing you... I can make you feel all those things you crave, Grace. I know I can."

Grace absolutely killed me. She is so torn up about Vaughn and whether she should be with him or not. The two weeks apart really gutted her. We all could tell in Like that she was already in love with the guy. She feels stupid and betrayed and humiliated. And, when Vaughn tries to convince her otherwise, like every good female, she tries to guard her heart from further pulverization. But, she's also so very sad. She wants desperately to be loved by somebody, but ESPECIALLY by Vaughn Asher. He's her white knight who was supposed to take her away from her tragic life. And, instead, he (allegedly) dumps her without a word and (allegedly) hooks up with someone far prettier than her. She was destroyed and utterly disappointed, and that was so tough to read.

"I deserve that fairy tale ending, Vaughn. I do. You might not think so. You might think I'm just some silly girl who has no right to expect so much from a man. But, I don't care. Maybe that man doesn't exist and maybe I'll spend the rest of my life alone, waiting for my prince. I don't care. I refuse to play this game with you."

In Grace's internal musings, she's made references to a seemingly tragic past. We didn't know any details until Block. Now, we know some, and it's even worse than we all imagined. And, I have a feeling we haven't even scratched the surface. I think Grace's past, and how Vaughn responds to it, will play a big part in the books moving forward.

Unlike the two previous installments, Block did not feature any of Vaughn's sexual proclivities. In fact, he seems intent to show Grace that he is multi-faceted. He shouldn't be judged by what she's seen to date. Backpedal much? Honestly, it was refreshing, this vanilla version of Vaughn. He proves that good sex isn't about using the best toys or whether you have an audience. It's about the feelings behind the act.

"You want to know what everyday sex with me is like? This would be in. Me. You. In bed naked. I don't need the dirty words or the public performances. I don't need to make you submit or humiliate you. I just need you, Grace. That's it."

Block was certainly a roller coaster ride. Things start out good, then they get bad, then things seem to get good again, and at the end... well, it's hard to tell how things stand. I think bad? Again? And, it seems that Vaughn has done something while Grace was drunk that we aren't aware of, and that Vaughn seems to think Grace won't appreciate. I have my suspicions as to what that thing is, but time will tell. In any case, at this halfway point in the Social Media series, it's safe to say I am completely and utterly caught up in the story of these two lost souls.