Author: Laurelin Paige
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Recommended for: Fans of male POV’s, lots of twists and turns, and sociological experiments 🙂
I can easily divide my life into two parts—before her and after.
Hudson Pierce has led a life few others could even imagine. With money and power at his fingertips, he’s wanted for almost nothing. He’s never experienced love, however, and he’s seen few examples of it in his dysfunctional family. The ridiculous notion of romance has always intrigued him. He’s studied it, controlled it, manipulated it, and has yet to understand it.
Until he meets Alayna Withers.
Now, the games he’s played in his quest for comprehension can finally come to an end. Or are they just beginning?
Told from his point of view, Hudson fills the holes in his love story with Alayna Withers. His past and relationship with his long-time friend Celia is further revealed and light is shed on his actions during his courtship with Alayna.
MUST BE READ AFTER THE FIXED TRILOGY.
THANK YOU, Laurelin Paige! I always love books that are completely the male’s point-of-view, and I knew Hudson would be better than the rest.
It’s not just the moment Hudson and Alayna meet up until their happily ever after told in a different voice. We go deep into Hudson’s past, starting when he was eighteen years old and realized how much he could learn about human emotion by manipulating others.
Throughout most of the book, I was annoyed with how present Celia was in comparison to Alayna. Be warned, she’s probably more of a main character than Alayna at times, since it switches between the present (Hudson and Alayna) and his past. But it’s worth it in the end, because she ends up facilitating everything that happens between Hudson and Alayna, whether or not that was her intention.
So at the beginning of the “before” section, we see Hudson when he’s only recently started his “experiments.” He learns his lesson about “experimenting” close to home, and sets off what will be the biggest source of Celia’s and his family’s dysfunction.
I loved, loved, loved. Seeing Hudson’s past. Seeing his experiments. In the Fixed trilogy, it really seems like he messes with people just because he can. Because not having those emotions makes it that much easier to play with the feelings of others.
So Hudson was almost redeemed for me in this book. I got why he manipulated people. He’d never experienced strong emotions or felt deeply for other people, so how was he to understand?
I saw him as a sociologist trying to understand human emotion. Someone who was curious about something he’d never experienced. I get that. I’m very curious about things I’ve never experienced, like being in shape, having a verbal filter, etc.
You want to hate Hudson for playing with peoples’ emotions, but once you get why, you feel sad for him. Doing that was the only way to understand other people.
And then, it turns out, he wasn’t really “playing” when he meets Alayna. He was, like, a double agent. He was playing along to protect her. I won’t fault him for that.
I always loved the dynamic between Hudson’s issues and Alayna’s issues so much. How they should bring out the worst in each other, but instead they bring out the best. And this book just reinforced those feelings for me.
About Laurelin Paige
Laurelin Paige is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine.