Thick Love (Review and Excerpt)

Thick Love (Thin Love #2) by Eden Butler
My review

4 stars!

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Thin Love was one of my top ten favorite reads from last year. Full of angst it had a storyline that ripped your heart out and fed it to you, and Eden Butler followed it up in exactly the same way.

Thick Love is the story of Ransom, Keira and Kona’s son, and Aly, a dancer at the studio of a family friend. When Aly left her home at the age of seventeen to escape what I consider and abusive situation, her father comes after her and a teenage Ransom was there to save Aly from him. It’s something Aly has never forgotten. Flash forward a couple years and the two are practically strangers. Aly leading dance classes and working long hours at a diner to make ends meet, and Ransom in his freshman year of college and playing football.

In the time since their encounter, Ransom has suffered the loss of his high school sweetheart, a girl he loved very much. Ransom is internalizing his pain, keeping everything locked up so tight that it’s driving him mad. The guilt consumed him and tore him apart, he was a silent mess for a long time and those around him worried about him.

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This book started out slow for me. With the previous book and novella by Eden Butler I was absorbed in the book right away so I was surprised when I was pushing myself to read a little but near the beginning. It picked up a lot more near the middle (once Ransom stopped frustrating me) and took off from there, so overall I really enjoyed reading this.

Aly was the best part of this book for me. I liked Keira in book one, but she was very shouty and emotional whereas Aly was the opposite. Yes she felt the same emotions but was used to maintaining a mask to survive her home situation so she had a more stoic presence. She also didn’t take Ransom’s shit, which was so amazing to read. I love strong female characters, and Aly had the perfect combination of strength yet vulnerability that made her perfect for Ransom.

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One thing that was mentioned out there in the ether is that Ransom was with other girls before he was with Aly and it was presented as a problem. Well, that doesn’t really bother me because he’s a teenager and teenage boys have a lot of sexual energy and it has to go somewhere. BUT, it’s also a double standard to try and call him out on that because Aly said in the book that she was with other men too, and didn’t want Ransom to judge her for it. So why would we judge him if we’re not going to judge her? I don’t find that fair. Plus, neither one of them were together so it shouldn’t matter anyway. But that’s just my personal opinion.

I’d also like to commend Eden Butler for giving the new adult genre a much needed mixed race couple. While I love the romance genre, it is so incredibly white washed which isn’t at all a great depiction of love as a whole. Our culture is a part of what makes us who we are, and I loved the different cultures Eden added into the book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance with native Hawaiian’s or Creole’s and she had both.

Finally, the epilogue. Well, based on the note Eden included at the beginning of the book I was fairly prepared for the ending. So I wasn’t too shocked by the ending but more like frustrated. I felt that epilogue didn’t follow the same path as the rest of the book and it didn’t fit the characters. Epilogue or no epilogue, I’ll read anything Eden writes so I personally think it didn’t need to be included, it’ll just make a lot of people mad. But it didn’t make me mad, just kind of disappointed.

So in a strangly logical rating from me, .5 stars taken away for slow beginning and .5 stars for the ending. Overall this was a great story, and Eden told it so beautifully. More people need to start reading her books asap.

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for review

Synopsis
He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t deserve to know them.
Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.
Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.
Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.
But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.
Excerpt:
She offered me a quick glance, one that was closed off and guarded before she held her weight on her knees, shaking harder than ever, rubbing herself right against my dick. When she brushed her fingers across my face, over my mouth, Ilet her, didn’t pull away, forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to enjoy this. That I shouldn’t be touching her at all. “Beautiful,” I started, closing my eyes when her breath moistened my bottom lip and she rested further back, a low, satisfied moan leaving her throat when I lowered my fingers on her hips. The sensation was potent, made me drunk and I did what I wanted for once, what I needed. Ironside had gone. The window was covered with a dark curtain, but I still kept up the show. Only now, I wasn’t acting. This wasn’t a performance. “God…who…who are you?” No one had managed to make me want like this, make me crave like this in a long time.
But she didn’t answer. She was wrapped up in the music, letting it move through her as though it controlled her. The sounds she made, that sweet, eager groan from her throat when I breathed against her bare stomach was too much. I couldn’t help myself. Not for another damn second.
“Shit…I…” My mind spun and the confusion of feeling guilt and shame and lust and desperation had me stuttering, unable to keep my hands from stretching over her flat stomach. She didn’t stop me, didn’t protest when my fingers touchedthe top of her thong. “I need to touch you.”
Only for the night.
That’s all it would be. One night.
One moment, and fixating on that one small slip of time allowed my mind and my body to agree, for once, to forget that I shouldn’t feel this good, that I didn’t deserve this, that touching something this beautiful, this sweet, had almost destroyed me. She moved over me, exulting my senses, exposing emotions that I thought I’d buried deep, and for just those few sweet, obliterating minutes, a beautiful stranger made me feel what no one had since Emily.
“Lower, please” she asked and I was too caught up, too turned on
to deny her a thing or to stop myself from feeling what that small, breathy word did to my body.
I touched her. Fingers sliding under her slowly, gazing on her face when I pushed past that thong, to the warm, wet, so fucking sweet cleft of her pussy and yes, shit yes she gave back to me what I thought I’d lost, her trembling body weaving some kind of magic over my own that fogged my mind, had my hands gripping skin, my fingers clutching flesh, straining upwards to meet each grind of her beautiful body against me.
“There…yes.” And I let the dancer use me, her body over mine, rubbing against me, making me needy, desperate and all the while I watched her, headthrown back, fingers digging into my shoulders, while I touched her deeper than I had ever touched anyone ever before. We were senseless, lost to the communion of music, sweat, sensation all coalescing together, writhing friction that took me where I hadn’t let myself go since I was sixteen, and she breathed out into that dark room, hollowing her whispered pants until I couldn’t hear the music any more or the low hum of the overhead lights; until all that mattered were her soft breathy moans, and the deep groan of my voice mixed with the sensation of her searing heat, the smell of sweat and the labored realization that this beautiful woman I didn’t know was making me come.
Finally. Oh, god, finally… and I let go. I fuckinglet go against her and away
from everything that had held me back…
My gasp—shocked, overwhelmed—became a growling shout, louder than
hers, deeper and I only came back to myself when she shuddered, when the bite of
her fingernails left me blinking, understanding what had happened right as she came down from her own peak.
“Oh…oh God…” it was all I could manage, that level cry of surprise, confusion. “I just… God.”
She didn’t say anything.
Seconds passed with our breaths mingling, gazes focused, coming together just as reality broke apart the lost moments we had given ourselves instinctively, like it was usual, like it wasn’t some naked desperation that blinds reason, blankets thought.

I saw the question in her eyes, that desperate curiosity that choked down my own. What do you say? What do you feel when this happens with a complete stranger? There was a rush, a booming zip that began to fade just then. It had started the moment she came to me, the second I grazed my fingertips on her wrist. Now it was dimming, numbed by the awkward silence around us. Seconds lengthened with her damp skin, her heavy breasts resting in my hands and the wet, uncomfortable mess in my jeans making me feel as if I’d pissed myself.

“Um…” it was her voice that broke the trance and the discomfort came in a like soaking splash into that dim, quiet room. Behind that mask, her eyes were shut and the tremble in her hands then wasn’t from arousal. The stiff bearing in her shoulders returned and she sat up, eyes blinking and one small line crowded on her forehead.
“I’ll just…I can’t.” Then she exhaled, cleared her throat. “I’ll…go…” My hand fell away from her and that awkwardness felt thick, full as she stumbled off my lap before I could speak, before I thought I should stop her. She ran from the room leaving nothing behind but the echo of her heels against the hardwood floor and the heavy sensation of surprise and guilt thick in my mind.
Author Bio:
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult,
Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and
quickly became an Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast
Louisiana.
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