Friday, April 4, 2014

REVIEW: Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie

(Calloway Sisters series, book 2)
Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway...she's all grown up.
Twenty-five year old Ryke Meadows knows he's hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha male personality -- he redefines the term likable asshole. But he's not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption. 
And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris - a girl that he has never been allowed to have. 
Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets. 
As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there's deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto -- "live as if you'll die today" -- may just come true. 
New Adult Romance: recommended for readers 18+ for mature content. 

BUY: Amazon 

I’m kind of at a loss. What in the whole wide world of words could I possibly say at this point? There are very few authors who can put out book after book and have me fawning over every single one. It’s so rare that an author (or in this case, authors) can piece together a brilliant, captivating story time and time again without one, single flaw (in my opinion, of course.) These particular authors have a tremendous gift, and it’s after reading their stories that I think to myself, “How in the hell did I ever survive before I read their work?” I can think of maaaybe 10-12 authors that fall into this category for me, and do you want to know who sits at the very top of that list?

Krista and Becca Ritchie. (That should be obvious, but ya know, dramatic effect and all that.)

Every time I devour one of their books, I think there’s no way they could possibly top it. How in the hell can it get better than this? And every single time, with every single book, they pull it off. They just keep getting better…and it flat out amazes me.

Hothouse Flower is the wild, passionate story of twenty-five year old Ryke Meadows and eighteen year old Daisy Calloway. Anyone who has read my reviews for the books in the Addicted series and Kiss the Sky will know that I have been head over fucking heels in love with Ryke from just about the first time he was introduced in the series. He has a heart of gold masked by an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and really is the perfect definition of a likeable asshole. It’s going to take one hell of a book boyfriend to knock him off the top spot on my list, that’s for sure. SO, my anticipation for this particular book surpassed all the others. My expectations were enormous, even though I tried to tame them. But not only were my gigantic hopes and dreams of what this story could be met, they were beyond exceeded!! Krista and Becca wrote Ryke and Daisy’s journey to perfection. It simply couldn’t have been done any better.

The dynamic between Ryke and Daisy has always intrigued me, and it takes a lot of skill to toe the line of innocent flirting and “uhhh, slightly inappropriate.” Daisy has been under eighteen in all the previous books and yet the way Krista and Becca wrote her friendship with Ryke, it never once felt inappropriate. Were boundaries pushed? Absolutely. Was there maybe some foreshadowing that these two might just be perfect for each other? No question. Was the wait worth it?  Abso-fucking-lutely. With Daisy being underage up until Hothouse Flower, we are able to see her friendship with Ryke evolve in so many ways before we start seeing them as a couple and to me, that adds about a hundred layers of depth to their relationship. Now, just a word of warning: when they do finally get together… it’s hotter than standing on the freaking sun! I’ve never actually stood on the sun, obviously because I’m still alive, but I feel comfortable with that analogy, so just roll with it. Seriously, you won’t want to be reading those scenes in public. I’m pretty sure after reading the cornfield scene, there was no hiding my flushed cheeks. One of the hottest scenes ever. Ever. In any book. I’m fairly certain that from now on when I’m driving by endless rows of corn (and wheat…I mean, I do live in Kansas) I’m going to start blushing and immediately think of that particular scene. I’ll never look at those fields the same again.

As much as I loved Daisy and Ryke being the focal points of this installment in the series, some of my favorite parts involve the other four: Lily, Lo, Connor, and Rose. There is a special energy that radiates from the pages of each of these books when the six main characters are together. There’s drama and angst, banter and quick wit, and so much humor! But above all, there is a deep seeded love amongst the six of them, and it’s just an absolute joy to spend time in their world, even if it is just looking in. To be honest, this book made me realize that as much as I love Ryke and Daisy’s relationship, and Connor and Rose’s marriage, Lily and Lo still take the cake for me. One of my favorite lines from the whole book actually came from Lily… 

I literally laughed out loud, and had the cheesiest freaking smile on my face for probably a good five minutes after that line. It’s so adorable and it’s so Lily. Each characters’ personalities are so well developed, and the ease with which Krista and Becca transition between the drastic differences is beyond impressive. No character ever loses their individuality, and that’s why no matter who is in what scene with who, it’s always entertaining. Every single word, page, chapter…it’s just absolutely superb.

If you read any of my reviews regarding this spin-off series or the Addicted series, you’ll know just how highly I think of these two authors and this series. Their work is out of this world incredible, and if you were to ask me to name an author whose work you just simply had to read, my answer would be a no brainer: Krista and Becca Ritchie. Hands fucking down

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