Saturday, January 25, 2014

REVIEW: Kiss the Sky by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared. 

Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy. 

After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way. 

Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity. 

**This New Adult Standalone Romance can be described as Friends meets The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature audiences only.**

We all have those books or series that we cling to as if we're actually living them right alongside the characters. We all have those authors that, no matter what they put out there, you know you're going to buy it and more than likely devour it in one sitting. These are the same authors that cause us to royally lose our composure when we see they have added a new book to Goodreads...and then cause us to scream "NOOOOO!!!!"  when we realize that we have to wait 3 months, 6 months, a year, before the book is released. We put it on our TBR, try to move on, read other books, and dive into other worlds. But it's always there in the back of our minds -- the countdown until the release date of that particular book by that particular author. Or if you're like me, you mark it on your calendar and highlight the crap out of that day (as if I'd miss it without the entire day being highlighted bright ass yellow).

And then it's finally release day (or ARC send-out day), and you're salivating at the thought of having that book on your e-reader. You download it, take the day off work (hey, we've all done it at least once), and greedily tear through that book page by page, chapter by chapter, as if your life depends on it. And then something weird happens when you finally reach the last page. All that anticipation, all that over-the-top-fangirl excitement for that story starts to fade away and you're left asking yourself, "Why in the blue hell did I read that so fast? Why didn't I at least try to slow down and make it last just a little longer?!" So then you're sitting there, reeling from the sheer awesomeness of what you just read, wishing that euphoric feeling of consuming a book you have been waiting on pins and needles for wasn't so fleeting. And because as readers we're all greedy bitches, it's at this point we immediately start the countdown for the author's next book...and God help you if there's no indication as to when that will be. Then, like clockwork, you tell yourself "I'm going to try to savor this next book, I really am. Maybe I'll try to stretch it over a couple days. Yeah, that's what I'll do."

That right there is currently the state of mind I'm in after finishing Kiss the Sky in one day. I'm telling myself that I won't blaze through the next book in this series, and let's be honest...I know I'm just lying to myself. Because to me, Krista and Becca Ritchie are those particular authors who wrote those particular books in that particular series that have me fangirling like a fucking lunatic over anything and everything Lily, Lo, Rose, Connor, Ryke and Daisy related. So, after finishing Kiss the Sky, I am once again left in complete awe of this series while wishing I could have pumped the brakes a little to prolong it, and of course, counting down until Hothouse Flower. (RYKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Kiss the Sky is a spin-off novel from the Addicted series, and can be read as a standalone. However, I personally wouldn't recommend reading it on it's own. You will get enough background on the characters to feel like you know them, but there is soooo much depth to each individual character and the various relationships between them that you will miss out on by not reading Addicted to You, Ricochet, and Addicted for Now  first. This novel (which is told from Connor and Roses' POVs) picks up where Addicted for Now leaves off, with the Calloway family trying to repair their tarnished image after Lily's sex addiction is plastered all over the news. In an attempt to not only help her family, but also her fashion line, Rose Calloway agrees to turn her life into a reality show. For six months, she (along with Connor, Lily, Lo, Ryke, Daisy, and Scott) will have essentially their every move filmed, aired, and ultimately critiqued by all of America. In the process, we see the wonderfully brilliant dynamic of Rose and Connor's relationship, the ever-progressing recovery of both Lily and Lo, and the trusting, protective friendship between Ryke and Daisy; and it wouldn't be reality TV without fist fights, drugs, sex, and of course, lies. But can the six of them survive living in a fish bowl for six months and come out unscathed? Or will this reveal more secrets that will not only muddy the Calloway name even further, but blur lines that were once perfectly clear?

First and foremost, I have to talk about the writing. If you have read any of my previous reviews for the books in the Addicted series, you know that I am continually floored by Krista and Becca's talent. This book, however, took more than just talent; it took brilliance. These two somehow wrote a story involving the inter workings of a television show, while making it look easy as pie. Throughout each separate story line, they impeccably and sometimes subtly, remind you that there are in fact cameras on these seven characters, but that never becomes the focal point. The actual story doesn't get lost in the jumble of setting up the scene for the reader to visualize a reality show, it just flows right along with it. One of my favorite parts of this book was the viewing party of the first episode, where we get to "see" some of the various clips that they chose to air, and cast interviews. The interviews were entertaining to say the least, and that part in particular reads as though you're actually watching these interviews on an actual reality show. Like I said...this novel took brilliance and the Ritchie sisters clearly have that in spades.

Kiss the Sky is different from the three previous books in the Addicted series in more ways than one. For starters, Connor and Rose become the focal characters, as opposed to Lo and Lily. Being inside the minds of Connor and Rose is a COMPLETE 180 from Lo and Lily, and I enjoyed every second of it. This has a lighter, funnier vibe than the previous books since the storyline doesn’t revolve around addiction. I loved the dark clouds that hovered over most of Addicted to You, Ricochet, and Addicted for Now, but it was refreshing to bask in the sun during most of this novel.

Now…Connor and Rose. GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY. Their relationship is pure perfection! The way they constantly challenge each other intellectually was incredibly entertaining, and their witty banter had me grinning like the freaking Cheshire cat. I have been rooting for them all along, but after getting inside their heads, my love for this couple skyrocketed to a whole new level. Rose has always been portrayed as a “take no prisoners”, confident, slightly bitchy, career-driven female; it seemed like she had it all together. This gives us insight to her insecurities not only regarding losing her virginity and the reason why she's been reluctant to let it go, but also her relationship with Connor. It was nice to see a vulnerable side to her, it makes her more…well…human. And Connor. Hooooooo boy. I have proudly waved my Ryke flag since Ricochet, but I’ll be damned if Connor didn’t charm my panties right off with his domineering side and all that sexy French talk. And the sex! I can’t even…I. CAN’T. EVEN. My cheeks are flushed just thinking about it! Holy hell.

As much as Connor straight rocked my world in this novel, Ryke is still my #1…he’ll always be my #1! And for all my fellow Ryke lovers out there, his and Daisy’s novel Hothouse Flower, is set to release THIS MARCH!!!! We’re talking TWO MONTHS, Y’ALL!!! I’m going to be a fucking lovesick maniac when I have that book in my hot, little hands!

I think I’ve made it horribly clear how much I absolutely, positively, love this book. It was tr├Ęs bien! (See, I DID retain some of that French from high school and college! At least I think that’s right…eh, whatever.) If you want a novel with superb writing, phenomenal characters, and hotter-than-sin sex, get your feet off the ground for a while and KISS THE SKY. 

(Krista and Becca's Dream Casting for Connor & Rose)


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