Friday, September 23, 2016
REVIEW ~ When it’s Over by Emma Lauren
I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading the first two books of Emma Lauren’s “When it’s Love” series. “When it’s Love”, the first book, is fantastic and does a fine job introducing two of our main characters: Sydney Morrison and Henry Hart. When It’s Love is entirely written in Sydney’s POV and recounts her story. “When it’s Over”, the second book, is written in both Sydney and Henry’s POVs and goes further to introduce another central character, Professor Paul Sparling. These books include some light angst and graphic sex scenes, so readers beware! ;)
A user on Goodreads included a dream cast in her review of the first book and it is literally the perfect casting for these books! I would TOTALLY see that movie!
To see her review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/816600891
WHEN IT’S LOVE
“When it’s Love” begins with Sydney lamenting her long unrequited crush on her Professor, whom I will appropriately name “Sparling” throughout this review. Sydney is meek and shy, so she’s envious of her classmate Melanie, an attractive and courageous student with no qualms about making her attraction to Sparling known. However, after Sparling compliments Sydney on her term paper, Sydney receives a letter from Sparling’s private emailing… stating that he thought her a great writer and would like to stay in touch with her. Sydney is quite over the moon. They email back and forth, and things heat up quickly! Sydney’s imagination takes over and the fantasies she had for ages intensify, awakening her passion and sexuality.
However, things also start to heat between her and Henry, her best friend for the past four years. It is soon revealed that Henry has held a torch for Sydney for quite some time. And like her email correspondence with Sparling, Henry ignites her passions; she is drawn into his significant sexual charm and prowess. But she’s torn. She still has yet to talk to Sparling face to face. And she’s more than a little worried that beginning a sexual relationship with Henry will ruin their friendship. But she can’t quite help herself. Henry touches a part of herself that even her fantasies with Sparling have yet to reach… a part of her that she tries to hide from the world: her loneliness and need for safety, comfort, and love.
However, all things are not simpatico for Sydney and Henry for she soon finds he’s hiding a huge secret from her that could forever destroy their relationship, both romantic and friendly.
WHEN IT’S OVER
This part contains SPOILERS for those that have not read the first book!
When it’s Over continues a few months after the ending of When It’s Love. Sydney has discovered that Henry was sending her emails in Professor Sparling’s name. That he had taken advantage of her trust and her attraction to her professor. As such, they have been separated for several months; even their friendship is in tatters. In an attempt to bury both her anger at Henry as well as her need to have him in her life, Sydney throws herself into a new project, a memoir that she enlists Professor Sparling to help her with. As they continue to work together, Sydney begins pushing the boundaries between their student and teacher relationship. She is surprised to find that although Sparling is hesitant to return her affections, he is quite drawn to her as well.
Meanwhile, Henry is desperate to get Sydney back. While he may be mopping, he also constructs a plan to get her back, to win back her trust. A part of that plan is to help her uncover the mystery that is Sydney’s existence, the truth behind her parents and her birth.
As the story continues, Sydney’s need for Henry grows… she misses his friendship, his safety, and his love in her life. But she’s not sure she can trust him again. On top of that, things are heating up between her and Sparling, in person this time! And it’s not just her love life getting more complicated! She starts having flashbacks to her childhood and learns that there may be more to her past than she was ever told!
And finally, my REVIEW! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
My short, quick review of these books is that I LOVED them! It was a compelling story with characters that weren’t cookie cutter perfect! They were flawed and that made them very relatable. I also loved that the books were such quick reads… they didn’t drag on and there weren’t huge information dumps that blocked my ability to enjoy the story. I also really like that not everything was handled to me as the reader on the silver platter, that it was a little unpredictable and that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. It’s a nice change of pace because I’m usually pretty good at predicting the way a story is going to go.
My only critique I would say is that a lot seemed to happen over a short period of time… some things, like Sydney and Henry’s sexual relationship, felt a bit rushed. But then again, after four years of friendship, they were comfortable with a hurried sexual intimacy.
Sydney Morrison. I quite like Sydney… I can relate to her in more than one way. She’s shy and reserved, but underneath that is strength and courage. She had a neglectant childhood and that is reflected within her character. She was crafted quite well.
Henry Hart. For such a ladies’ man, this guy is quite clueless when it comes to women! I find that I go in and out of liking him. He seems like a good person, but I’m not sure I like the way he treats women.
Paul Sparling. I still don’t know enough about Sparling to gain an accurate view on him. Hopefully, the next book will give us more time getting to know this hot and obviously lonely man!
Random thoughts I had throughout the read:
(WHEN IT’S LOVE)
- I find it interesting that in her fantasies in the first book, Sydney imagines Sparling as the sexually dominate partner considering that is exactly the kind of lover Henry has been to her so far.
- I was pretty damn surprised that Henry was behind the emails from Sparling. I thought it was Melanie, honestly. I was so worried it was Melanie pulling a prank on Sydney to embarrass her; while Sydney was worried that it WAS Sparling, but that he might be playing a prank on her.
(WHEN IT’S OVER)
- I wish more of this one was in Sydney’s POV. I relate to her more and I feel like I’m missing out on what’s going on with her with the switches to Henry’s POV. But I understand the reason for this considering the strings he’s pulling behind the scenes… like reading her emails and hiring the PI to investigate.
- Sooo… Henry has a sex addiction? It hasn’t actually said what kind of mental health issue he has, but I’m leaning towards that. Plus likely a personality disorder with his possessiveness and controlling.
- (Regarding lying about a hurt ankle to lure Sparling into her apartment) Oh Sydney. It may be a white lie, but if you’re hoping to have a relationship with this man, lying is not the healthiest thing to do. Neither is assuming he’s going to sleep with you. You are angry at Henry for assuming you’re back together after sleeping with him, and yet you’re also lying and making assumptions.
- Her fixation on Sparling isn’t healthy. Crushes and fantasies are one thing, but thinking him as something she can win and conquer is another. I’m worried about her mental health. BUT I do like that Sydney is so open and honest about her upbringing with him. She’s been holding in a lot and it’s good for her to talk about it and get it out.
- I don’t find it surprising that she couldn’t sleep with Sparling. He’s a FANTASY and so far, he just isn’t more than that. Sydney may be sexually attracted to him, but actually being intimate… I think she needs to have an emotionally intimate relationship in order to have a sexually intimate relationship; like her relationship with Henry.
- (Chapter 11) Dr. Adler: “the more you try to own Sydney, the more she pulls away.” EXACTLY! I’ve been screaming that at Henry since the first book! If he wants a strong relationship with Sydney, if he wants her to trust him not to mistreat her or push her to far too fast, he needs to slow down and allow Sydney freedom.
- I don’t like the way Henry is constantly reducing Sydney and their relationship to sex. It’s like their 4 years of friendship has gone down the drain and she’s nothing but a conquest.
- (Chapter 14) OH SHIT!! Does Sydney have a TWIN?!?!
- (Chapter 15) YUP! TWINS! What the fuck is going on?! What happened in the past between her parents?!?!
- (Chapter 18) You’d never expect this story to be so mysterious, but it is! I’m incredibly curious about the mystery that Sydney and Henry are trying to solve; the REAL truth about herself and her parents. Because I have a feeling there is a LOT more than being a twin that has been withheld from Sydney.
- (Chapter 19) So Sydney is not only hiding how she truly feels about Henry from Henry (and Sparling), but also the fact that she’s nearly slept with Sparling twice now. And Henry is hiding his mental disorder, whatever that is, and the fact that he’s looking into her parents’ history through a P.I. NOT GOOD GUYS! They are hiding a lot of things from one another. They need to come clean if they expect to have and strong and healthy relationship.
- Even though Henry has been controlling of Sydney, I’m glad that he realizes that it’s not good for them and their relationship and is working on it with his therapist. No one is perfect, but it’s important to TRY.
- (Chapter 23) I knew as soon as he offered the modeling job to Cassie that something like this was going to happen. L
My final random thought…
- AHHHHHHH!!!! CLIFFHANGER!?! NOT NICE, EMMA!! L
I truly can’t wait to read the next book!! I am looking forward to it!
~About the Author~
Emma Lauren is a writer and editor. Her debut novel, When It’s Love, was an Amazon best seller. She loves spending time with her husband and three children, writing, reading, and drinking coffee.