It’s All Relative
By S.C. Stephens
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Dottie
It all started with a packed club, loud music, and a lot of alcohol. Recovering from a broken heart, Jessie couldn’t keep her eyes off the exotic man drinking by himself. New in town, Kai couldn’t keep his gaze from the beautiful woman laughing with her friends at the bar. Fate pulled them together, giving Kai and Jessie one perfect night that neither would soon forget. But when the pair is reunited, and a hard, irrevocable truth is placed between them, their once-fond memory turns painful.
As their paths cross over and over again, their ever-increasing passion must be denied, no matter what their hearts might say. Because some obstacles can’t be overcome.
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Dottie’s Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
This book is going to be challenging to write a review about – and here’s why. This book will probably make you uncomfortable. But, this book will also melt your heart if you let it. I went into this book blind – I’m a fan of S.C. Stephens’ other work and when this book was finally recently rereleased, I jumped right into it, simply because of who the author is. This is a book you should read fairly blind because there are a few twists, (the first you won’t see coming) and that’s the one where there’s an ick- factor that will make you uncomfortable! But in this particular case, I’m asking you to stick with me for a bit and let me explain.
This ick-factor isn’t in the form of something slimy or spidery or sticky or gooey. This is an ick-factor where there is a taboo subject…and no, this isn’t porn so don’t go there. I’ve seen several reviews where the readers weren’t comfortable continuing to read and I’m telling you, if you read it anyway, you’ll be glad you did. Plus, at one point, the author throws you a bone to help you get beyond this – but you’ve got to watch for it. In the meantime, please continue to stick with me here because I have to tell you, I honestly loved Kai and Jessie and loved reading their story; well, most of the time. I had to get beyond some of this too but I found myself completely enthralled with this story and I will never regret reading it.
Kai has just moved to Colorado from the beautiful state of Hawaii. Why someone would do this is a mystery to me, it’s one of my favorite places in the world! But I digress. Kai is interested in studying the environment to make this earth a better place and has been working in the lab in Hawaii where his parents have been working together (albeit now divorced yet still colleagues) in an estuarine research reserve on the Big Island of Hawaii. His parents have an old friend/colleague they used to work with (in Hawaii). This friend now lives in Colorado and has offered Kai a position in his small reserve near the base of The Rockies to continue to study protecting the environment with a broader approach (than just the coastal areas he has been studying in Hawaii). Although he has never been to Colorado, he has a grandmother there (his dad’s mom) so he feels he won’t be alone and is anxious to explore his new town and make it his home.
Jessie lives with her two roommates/best friends in an apartment and has just broken up with a jerk of a boyfriend. Her roommates have had enough of her moping around and decide it’s time to get out and party and meet new people. Although Jessie really thinks it’s a lame idea, they gave her no choice so she agrees to go out with them to a bar to drink and dance and let down their hair and have fun. While drinking at the bar, she sees a gorgeous man across the room (Kai) and locks eyes with him…
Jessie was pleasantly buzzed, laughing with her friends at the bar, when she felt a set of eyes on her – different than the eyes she’d felt all night. Twisting to search for the source of the heat, she instantly spotted a guy at a nearby table. He was standing by himself, sipping a beer and staring at her. Jessie couldn’t help but return his focused gaze. Even if she’d been completely sober, he would have gotten her attention…Almost as if he’d finally realized they’d been staring at each other for a while, the man blinked and looked down at his table, like he’d just been caught doing something wrong…She bit her lip as the beautiful boy kept his eyes downcast; a small, adorable smile curved his mouth. Jessie couldn’t be sure, but he didn’t seem to be waiting for anyone. Maybe still feeling her eyes on him, he lifted his gaze back to her position at the bar. As Jessie was still staring at him, he quickly returned his vision to his table, but his smile grew a little larger…Jessie nodded her head at the man. “He looks lonely. I’m gonna go cheer him up.”….
These two had instant, sizzling chemistry and seeing them getting to know one another was fun and sexy. When Jessie pulled him out onto the dance floor, their chemistry got pretty hot…
…They weren’t keeping time with the fast, thumping music anymore, but making a beat of their own, perfectly in sync to the rhythm of their bodies. Jessie gasped after the brief contact, and felt the anticipation of another kiss rip through her, igniting her. Her body instantly responded, the fire quickly building to an invigorating boil. She hoped her new friend was feeling it too…When his eyes reopened, Jessie could see the heat of desire in them. Maybe she couldn’t feel his body yet, but she knew he was, at the very least, interested in her. She smiled and brought her lips to his again – tentative, soft, and teasing. Her dance partner didn’t let her leave it at teasing for long though. As she ran her lips over his, he shifted his head and fully enclosed her mouth. The electricity was immediate….
Yet, after they said goodbye, they were both shocked to see each other again (after that night) in a place and situation that neither of them would have ever expected and this was the first twist of this book – and the one where some people might say, “Ewww.” But please, keep reading.
This love-story isn’t common. This is a story you need to read with an open mind, ignore the funny feeling it gives you, and trust in this author to make this story so good, so intriguing, so easy to picture everything that you read really happening that it can really make you want to keep reading it, almost like someone who is watching a crash happening – you feel a little horrified but you can’t stop yourself from watching it anyway.
These two characters find themselves in a situation that neither of them could have possibly predicted, yet completely unsure of what to do within it. They are both torn and yet, there is this underlying chemistry between them – it’s the type that you can feel coming off the pages of this book. They have that type of attraction toward each other that feels like they are two beings magnetically being pulled together and cannot ignore the pull. But there’s an issue and this causes both of them a lot of pain; it prevents them from naturally pursuing their hearts’ desires (and reading this was honestly kinda painful for me too).
And yet, as you get to know them, you feel how desperately they want to do the right thing, yet they are still feeling that pull toward one another and find themselves boxed into a position of uncertainly. These characters are very human. To me, they didn’t feel like characters from a book. They felt like normal people put into an impossible situation and finding that they no longer know which end was up.
See, I told you this would be a difficult review to write. There are twists and I don’t want to give them away. So, here’s the bottom line – go into it with an open mind, trust in the author, and if you would, trust in me telling you this book is absolutely worth reading. It is worth getting out of your comfort zone and taking a walk on the questionable side of life for a bit. If it freaks you out, remind yourself it’s just a book and keep reading. It will be worth it in the end.
I loved this book. This was a book the author wrote quite some time ago and it had been unavailable for quite a while and has recently undergone a “clean-up;” going from a rough book to a more polished one and rereleased to the public very, very recently. There were a couple of residual goofs left over from the original that were simply overlooked but they don’t detract from the story. If you catch a couple, just know they are leftovers from the first version and ignore them. Don’t buy trouble. Don’t look at them and think this book isn’t worth reading because you are uncomfortable and are looking for a reason to quit. Don’t. You’ll be glad you hung in there.
These two characters completely touched my heart. They are both so good. They are both so caring. They are both truly good people stuck in an impossible situation and are trying to find the best way to live with the situation they have been dealt. I fell in love with these two “people” and if you give this one a real chance, I think you’ll love them too!
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About S.C. Stephens
S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.
Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.
In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out to the movies, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.