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Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

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03 September 2012

Book Review: Thoughtless, S.C. Stephens



Reading Level:Mature Young Adult
Format:EBook
Publisher:Gallery Books 11/6/12 (Paperback) Ebook out now
Parasols:4

S.C. Stephens series Thoughtless, is a roller coaster, heart palpitating, panties wetting book.  It might be a bit cliched with the theme and plot, but she manages to overcome some of those cliches by really getting into the emotional aspect of the story. Stephens is by far becoming one of my favorite indie authors (although she has gotten a publishing deal), her books are phenomenal. She writes angst better than anyone I've ever read. And angst isn't easy to do. I absolutely adore this book and I highly, HIGHLY, recommend it to anyone who loves a great love story and one that will cause palpitations.

Kiera and Denny, are moving 2500 miles away from Ohio because Denny (who is Australian) has just graduated college and has a job at a very respectable ad agency in Seattle. Kiera is leaving her family for her boyfriend of two years. She's madly in love with him and will be transferring to the University of Washington with a pretty decent scholarship in tow. Luckily, Denny did a year exchange from Australia in high school, so he's staying with his friend Kellan Kyle. He, who happens to be a local rock star.

Although Kiera is not a virgin, Denny has been her first and only. Living with him is glorious. When Kiera first meets Kellan, she thinks he's extremely good looking, his band is fantastic, but he seem to overdo the whole sexuality when he's performing. He flirts with every woman in the audience and the women consider him their rock god. Denny, Kiera and Kellan have a really good relationship. Everything works out well. Kiera even gets a job at the bar that Kellan's band has a standing weekend gig. Plus, the it's the band's home away from home, so she sees the D-Bags a lot. (The band's name is The Douchebags, but if they want to go mainstream that will need to change.) Denny's job as an intern is going so well the company asks him to help start up an office in Tuscon, AZ. Kiera is crushed. He'll be gone for two months (they moved to Seattle in June). She tries to keep a brave face, but she's despondent. Kellan does try to get her out of her funk, by including her in band activities or watching a movie with her. Having dinner with her. Their friendship becomes stronger. His glances last a bit longer as does hers.

While attending and arts & music festival, Kellan stays close to Kiera, wrapping his arms around her waist. She rests her head on his chest. He holds her hand during crowds. Wins her a stuffed puppy, which he gives to a crying child whose ice cream has fallen. Kiera notices something changing. With Denny calling less and less, Kiera relies on Kellan to help her through her funk.

When Denny finally does call, Kiera is unhappy, missing him, not sure what is going on between her and Kellan. However, Denny drops a bombshell. The agency has offered him a permanent position in Tuscon and he's accepted. Kiera is livid. One because he took the job days ago, two, he didn't consult her, and three she couldn't just leave school, Seattle, etc. Denny tells her that he'll wait for her to finish school and then she can come to Tuscon. Pissed off she ends the relationship.

And then comes the drinking. And the tears, and more drinking and more sobs. Kellan arrives home and seeing Kiera in a state, questions her. She refuses to tell him, but then he manages to get it out of her.  The only thing to help a broken heart? Tequila, and more tequila. Then there is touching and licking, oh, and don't forget the kissing. Kiera wakes up the next day, naked, hung over and not in her bedroom.

Trying to remember the night before it comes back to her in painful flashes. But the one thing she remembers is that it was amazing. Kellan is a bit of a man whore when it comes to women. When we learn how many women he's been with (in the biblical sense it's mind blowing). Kiera manages to get to work and being unable to do anything leaves work early. To wallow over her break up with Denny and her night with Kellan. While sound asleep, her bedroom door opens and Kiera is petrified that Kellan will be kicking her out. But it turns out to be Denny who has given up his dream in Tuscon to be with Kiera.

Kiera is devastated that Denny gave everything up for her, that she cheated on him with his best friend. (and her best friend as well.)

Although there are ups and downs in the strained relationship with Kellan and Kiera; Denny remains oblivious. Kellan has given Kiera the cold shoulder; turns out Kellan came home the night Denny did and heard the two of them making love. As much as Kellan has been an ass to Kiera, he finally comes to the realization that he has to change things. So he invites his two roommates out to listen to another local band at another local pub. Denny has accepted another job that he hates so he's been moody and listless, Kiera is miserable. During the night out, Denny gets a call from his boss (who has him on constant speed dial), and goes off to take it. Kellan turns to Kiera and tells her he's leaving. Sensing what he means, she follows after him begging him not to go, that she needs him. Needs his friendship. It all comes to head in the parking lot when they crash together, lips, arms, legs. They fuck right there in the open espresso stand. It's rough, it's passionate, it's crazy and nuts. It takes them to great highs that it all comes crashing down as soon as they finish.

Kiera more confused then ever finds herself drawn more and more to Kellan. She's not that gorgeous beauty that he's used to, but she's pretty enough.  Kiera and Kellan sneak kisses, and hugs and holding hands. Brushing against each other.

Kellan's man whore comes out and he starts bringing women home after Kiera explains that she can't stop making love to her boyfriend. During one heated exchange, while Denny is asleep in the next room, Kellan and Kiera make love. Yet, she slips back to Denny feeling horrible and unsure.

It all comes to a head, when Kellan finally tells Kiera that he's fallen in love with her and she has to make a decision. Kiera wants steady and safe, but she wants the thrill that is Kellan. The passion that she feels for Kellan she doesn't feel for Denny. Kellan give Kiera a simple necklace of a guitar with a diamond in it. Knowing that Kellan is leaving again she begs him not to. And again they give in to the basest of desires, but this time, they get caught. Denny has witnessed the whole exchange.

Denny was never the bad guy. Kellan was never the bad guy and Kiera was never the bad guy. Sometimes, things happen for a reason and we just can't argue with the way things pan out. Kiera felt guilty that Denny gave up everything for her, but she did the same. Kellan didn't mean to fall in love with Kiera but she brought out feelings in him that he'd been searching for many years. The one thing that Denny noticed was the love between the two. When Denny originally left for Tuscon, he warned Kellan to keep his hands off of her. She was his. But how was he supposed to know that it would go both ways?

After everything is said and done and Kellan gets a pretty good beating from Denny, just as Denny is about to kick Kellan while he was down, Kiera jumps in front of Kellan, getting a very heavy toe-steeled boot in the head.

Denny is devastated that he injured her, Kellan is all broken up (literally, broken ribs and arm), he refused to fight back. Unfortunately for Kiera who has been out for days, both guys break up with her. Thankfully her sister has come back (Kiera thinks her sister and Kellan slept together) and finds an apartment, and ironically gets a job at Hooters.

Kiera had an affair, she loved two guys but one perhaps a bit more. Although the sex is a bit more explicit in this story, I still don't see why it couldn't be for mature ya. There's a passing mention of pot, but none of the characters really do drugs. They drink and have sex. Lots of sex.

Sex is portrayed in this story as a way to get close to the other person, to express their love for each other. Kellan, Kiera and Denny are great characters and each have flaws. 

There is also a sequel to this Effortless and I just found out the other day that a third book will be coming out in March of 2013 called Reckless. 

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