September 10, 2014

REVIEW: Like (Social Media #2)

Like (Social Media #2), by JA Huss
Published September 10, 2014
Publisher: Science Future Press
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) #WhatADick

Vaughn Asher. I’ve stalked him relentlessly. I shaped and formed my lust into the perfect dirty hashtag…day after day… weekend after weekend. He was my prince. My fairy tale. My fantasy.

I gave him the best years of my online life and what did he do for me?

Ruined my social media experience one tweet at a time. That’s what.
MovieStar @VaughnAsher
@FilthyBlueBird #Fantastic #BackToNatureFucking
#MissingSomething #You

And now #TheDickWhoIsVaughnAsher thinks he can weasel his way back into this filthy blue bird’s Twitter account? He’s wrong.

His public fantasy is about to collide… ah, fuck it. He’s hot as hell, bitches. I need more than a free sample. This time I want it all and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

J.A. Huss' Social Media series is a study in self-reflection and a rearranging of thoughts and priorities. Who knew that, only two novellas in to this six-novella series, I'd be so invested in these two people and rooting for them so hard to figure their issues out? It's a credit to JA Huss' master story telling, certainly. This series is about so much more than sex. It's got so much more substance than what you expect when you read the dust jacket.

Grace thinks she's seen the last of Vaughn Asher after she left him without a goodbye. She didn't know how persistent he is, and she doesn't realize how much she's gotten under his skin. Why would she? He's a gorgeous movie star with a bazillion dollars in the bank. She's a nobody from Colorado. So, no one is more surprised than she when Vaughn starts blowing up her Twitter account. It soon becomes clear to her that Vaughn isn't going away, and Grace isn't quite sure how she feels about that.

Vaughn Asher is one of the most frustrating characters I've ever encountered. It's clear to me that there are several sides to him, and they are completely dichotomous to one another. Vaughn loves his sister fiercely, and I love that about him. He's concerned for her happiness, and he trusts her completely. He also has a sweet and surprising relationship with Felicity. I could love THAT Vaughn very easily.

It's the other Vaughn - the one he shows Grace - that I take issue with. Vaughn covets his privacy and his control above all else, which doesn't allow room for any of the other wonderful things that Grace could bring out in him. Like, love, for instance. Why is Vaughn so resistant? He admits to himself that Grace is amazing, and he feels drawn to her like no one else before. So, why does he believe that he can't have a romantic relationship? That this contractual agreement that he wants so badly with Grace is all he can give? Through his relationships with the other women in his life, it's clear that he's capable of so much more. It's maddening that Vaughn thinks that an NDA and a weekend of hot, somewhat deviant sex, every other month or so is all he can give.

Vaughn is a smart guy. He never lies to Grace. In fact, he's always blatantly honest with her. What sparked some intense anger in me is that he wraps that up in a pretty package with gifts and money and calls it "commitment" and "protection" and "caring" and just expects Grace to fall at his feet in unquestionable acceptance. Well, maybe after their first meeting, he doesn't exactly expect that from her - he knows she's feistier than his usual flavors of the month. But, he wants that badly from her, and he's willing to couch it in any way he can to gain her acceptance. He is a master manipulator, and we see his mad skillz in that area come out in spades in Like.

What is even more frustrating is that, although Grace continues questioning Vaughn's motives and her own desires, she relents on some particular demands that I felt she shouldn't have. Vaughn's hipocracy blew me away in Like. He expects certain things from Grace that he's not willing to provide himself. And, when she calls him out on them, he distracts her with pretty words and his talented hands. Damn his hands! Grace does give him some ground, and rightfully so, I think. After examining how she feels, she decides that it's okay if Vaughn wants to be the boss in bed. But, her life is her own. And, when she states her position on that matter, I cheered her on.

"In bed, fine. Be the caveman. But in life, no. I'm sorry. I'm in charge of that. I make my own decisions and you live with them."

But, Vaughn manages to talk circles around Grace until she's so dizzy, she starts walking in the opposite direction from where she was at the end of Follow. Where Grace was the one to leave Vaughn and have the last word in Follow, the tables turned in Like, and the control that Vaughn so desperately craves is back in his possession.

For once, I want someone to rock HIS world, shake HIS foundation and teach HIM a thing or two about relationships. I think the perfect person for that job is Grace, but she needs to find her voice again and use it. Based on the title of the next novella in the series - BLOCK - I'm hoping that is exactly what happens. I have hope for these two. I've seen enough in both of them to know that they'd be amazing together if they could just find some common ground.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh, I've totally loved book 1 and I'm really looking forward to book 2. Great review! :)