Review and Sweepstakes: Idle Bloom by Jewel E. Ann

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“What lies beneath my veiled perfection is the ugly truth—my truth, my reality, my destiny.”

Vivian Graham has an acceptance letter into Harvard, a badass tattoo, loyal friends, ties to marijuana, a penchant for Dunkin’ Donuts, and her pesky V-card.   Everyday she takes the Red Line to her job at The Green Pot in Boston while her friends enter the coveted, black iron gates to higher learning. The ramifications from a tragic accident have put her life on hold while time marches on for everyone around her.  After graduating from Harvard Law, Boston native, Oliver Konrad, moves to Portland to start his career and his life. Three years later, after a horrific discovery, he returns home to trade in his three-piece suit for leather work boots and his suburban home for a condo in Cambridge.   All he brought back to the East Coast was an aversion to pillows and secrets he keeps hidden behind a mysterious locked door. Oliver’s days are predictable and his nights are lonely until he meets Vivian on the subway. Her long raven hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs are achingly sexy, but the way she “innocently” fingers and licks her Boston Kreme doughnut can only be described in two words—complete torture.  When their paths cross at every turn, laughter is abundant, friendship is easy, and love is unintentional. However, their future seems improbable.

*This book contains adult situations and explicit content, 17+

Source: ARC from author

My Rating: 3½/5 stars

My Review:

Each and every morning Vivian Graham turns on half the morning commuters as she seductively consumes her donut and drinks her coffee. Completely oblivious, Viv all but makes love to the donut in an effort to thoroughly indulge her passion. While all the men are watching Viv, she is indulging another passion, ogling the super-hot guy who has recently joined the morning commute.

Oliver Konrad has no designs on having a happy life and until the day he dies, he will be content to live his life quietly and alone. He harbors a great amount of anger related to his past and simply can’t see himself ever allowing himself to trust or love anyone ever again. Though these things are always in the forefront of Oliver’s mind, he isn’t dead and certainly isn’t immune to the sight of the smokin’ hot girl who likes to seductively eat her donut every morning during the morning commute.

As fate would have it, Vivian and Oliver not only meet through their respective jobs but discover they are neighbors. The attraction between the two is instantaneous but both have some pretty serious baggage that may not allow either to fully commit to the other. Though Vivian appears happy on the outside, she is basically living a lie. Her parents have no idea she isn’t actually in college, her roommate’s parents have no idea she actually lives with her roommate and, her best friend has no idea how she really feels about him and the disastrous past they share. Adding to the tension and uncertainty is that fact that Oliver is significantly older than Vivian and the fact that he is clearly hiding something from Vivian.

The ups and downs experienced by Vivian and Oliver as a couple are extreme. From moments of earth-shattering passion to moments of sheer torment that involve a lot of harsh words, at least one black eye and, the destruction of property. The emotional swings and the highs and lows experienced by this couple would be enough to topple an emotionally stable couple. For Vivian and Oliver, it is something that damn near irreparably breaks them both on so many levels and forces each to face the demons of their past. When the truth of their respective pasts finally emerges, it is ugly and awful and pushes both characters to their very limits.

The Bottom Line: I was totally intrigued by both Vivian and Oliver and their stories are so twisted as to be nothing less than purely fascinating. Ann does a fine job of creating interesting characters who have a real depth to them. Oliver is morbidly sad yet hopeful for his future with Vivian and Vivian is only superficially happy and desperate to preserve what she has with Oliver. During the moments they are “happily” together they are generally having sex and ignoring their underlying issues. Once both are forced to deal with their issues they are also forced to dig deep and acknowledge what it is that makes them truly happy. My issue with this read and how I got to just three and a half stars has to do with the overall length of the read. No, I am not opposed to a lengthy read but I am opposed to a read that becomes repetitious. Once Oliver and Vivian’s cards are all on the table, the read should pick up speed and move far more quickly than it does. Instead, it becomes a sort of vicious cycle of anger, angst, sadness and, wild sex. I never thought I would hear myself say this but at some point, I got a bit tired of reading sex scenes. At the end of the day, Idle Bloom became a sort of weird read for me: I loved the characters and their story but found their story to be far longer than it needs to be.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes

idle bloom teaserAbout the author and where to find her:

jewel e ann bioJewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.  With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.  After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.  When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

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