Book Review – Avoiding Temptation by K.A. Linde

by Maryse on December 12, 2013 · 16 comments

in My Book Reviews

Avoiding Temptation – book#3
For those that haven’t read this series yet, skip this review and check out my review of book #1 Avoiding Commitment (and here’s the Avoiding Series Reading Order).

*whoooo* I needed a few hours to breath (and contemplate) after this one. Emotions ran high, and while I only felt a serious need to cry once (oh that 5-star scene tore my heart out!!), I was mostly *eeeeping* and growling at various reveals and “goings-on”. Total roller-coaster ride!

But at first, I had to go into hiding from the internet for the last couple of days so I could read this, spoiler-free. And boy were there some serious spoiler-alerts everywhere (thank goodness they were alerted). THAT alerted me to stay away. ;) Having gone into this one knowing what the outcome would be would have definitely stifled my enjoyment of it. Kept me from feeling and guessing the way I felt and guessed in this one.

I’m going to try to keep this one spoiler-free… (and here are a few spoiler-free reader reactions):

Maryse’s Book Blog: Gah! I’m going to need to recover from K.A. Linde’s brand of book-angst after THAT last read. *whoooooo* My heart. LOL! I had a good time, mind you… but I feel bad about it. (review to come shortly – I need a breather first). Errr…. clarification. I don’t feel bad about the book per se… I just feel bad about enjoying their angst. heh.

Cleida:  I am reading tonight, and I know for sure I need a drink before I read. Lol

Maryse’s Book Blog: And after!!! ;)

Kirsten: I’ll be interested in what you thought Maryse.

Melissa: I am reading it right now and it’s killing me

Danielle: I’m excited to read your review! I’m at chapter 18 and LOVE it!

Stacey: She broke my heart and then perfectly put it back together all over again. Loved it!

Lindsay: I finished it yesterday, and it’s still with me.

Melanie: I can’t wait to see what you have to say about it on your review!! Let us know when it is up

Michelle: I finished it yesterday too. I did want to throw my iPad a few times while I was reading it.

Cynthia: I love the emotions that it brought out. I got so invested in this series. I will say that I loved how it ended but can see the door left open for her to revisit down the road (although she says she won’t, I am desperately hoping she will)

Megan: Gah, I finished it last night and I was having all sorts of anxiety attacks while reading! Very good though

Sarah: I am halfway through it, trying not to rush reading it even though I really want to!!! My heart is already torn I don’t know if I can take any more!

So… spoiler free… which means I just can’t say anymore in regards to the reader reactions I was already getting a hint of, just hours from it’s release (I’ll leave a few of ‘em below in the “self-analysis section of the review). No worries, I’ll warn ya’all when it comes up.

What I can say is that tensions were high! It seemed (and still seems) that no matter what lovers of this series expected, hoped for, got or didn’t get, we were taken on a wild angsty, tumultuous ride that could go any way. This one (in feel) was perfectly consistent with the entire series.

“Just don’t be stupid.”

“Thanks for that one.”

“Jack makes you stupid.”

Hehe. ;)

The rumors, the jealousy, the backstabbing and eavesdropping. The misunderstandings, the over-reactions, the mind games and the honesty. Sometimes an ugly honesty, and sometimes so sweet and true… and sad.

Lexi could think of one too many times when she had been too forgiving, too understanding, too accepting. Jack Howard.

No, she would not think about him today. She wouldn’t think about their past and everything that had led to her walking out of his wedding. Today was the day that she wanted to move forward and to be okay with the fact that she had left with Ramsey. She would just think about Ramsey today.

Maybe tomorrow, she would let the weight of what she had done sink in – when she was all alone and could start to process what had happened. Maybe after she found out whether Jack had gone through with it.

She might have also forgiven Ramsey too easily. She wouldn’t think about that right now, either.

The love triangles were in full force, and now we had three guys and three girls in the mix. Er… make that 4. Four what? I won’t say, but they were a hot mess, the bunch of ‘em! Us being suspicious that the good guys could be bad guys (or at least… up to “bad things”), and the bad guys maybe not so bad? Only time (and finishing this book) will tell. If our “past” experience with #1 & #2 have any influence, you already know it’s all in the name of love. True love for some, and selfish greedy love for others. Those that obviously don’t even know the meaning of love. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes in real life, it can be cold and calculating, or just plain greedy for it.

Speaking of the whole “the heart wants what the heart wants” thing… in this case, the heart *could* (<— I’m not saying does…) potentially want more than one. Ohhhh who am I kidding? As if you guys don’t already know that, at least.

Considering what we’ve already read, when it comes to this gorgeous group with all of their secrets, sabotaging, innate faults and fears PLUS the occasional totally amazing things they’ve done (making us waver in our love/hate of them), too? With their history, you already know what you’re in for.

And then there’s Bekah. <— yah. Enough said.

So what’s it about?

Ramsey and Lexi have been dating now for almost 2? 3? years (although we go back and forth in time for those years as there was – and still could be – two other men involved). Jack (of course!!) and John (I was really feeling him… how? Good or bad? I won’t say). ;)

“You don’t seem like the type of person who just runs back to the guy who hurt her. He did hurt you, right?”

She nodded softly.

“So, what made you change your mind?”

“Why does it matter?” Lexi asked, sidestepping.

“I want to know so I can figure out how to change it back.”

Jack is getting a divorce from Bekah (who didn’t see that coming?)…

Bekah had done everything to keep her and Jack together, and now, she was going to divorce him after two years. Lexi suddenly felt murderous. How dare she ruin everyone’s life over and over and over again like this!

and their (Lexi and Jack’s) “friendship” is tested. And then there’s John (Adam’s brother that she had a fling (and potentially more) with, while in NY). And well… he’s just so far removed from them all that he could potentially be that breath of fresh air Lexi is needing.

Until he shows up at a meeting for that whole new “hospital/clinic” thing the “Bridges” family (and “Parker”, Ramsey’s gorgeous ex-love of his life, and “bringer” of MUCH romantic tension to this story) are organizing. What!!?? He’s on the project, too?

How could she fix this?

She needed to clue everyone in on the train wreck they had just walked into. Ramsey didn’t know who John was, and John didn’t know who Ramsey was.

John is now thrown in the “Bridges” mix (and mess)!

As I like to say… let the games begin. And there could be no truer thing said, considering this series and some of these scheming characters.

“You’re going to see him?” she asked, looking her straight in the eyes.

“Yeah, it’s kind of complicated.”

“Isn’t it always with you, Lexi?”

Some are scheming for deviously selfish reasons, and some are just doing what they have to do for love. And that’s for us to sort out all the way to the end. ;)

I’m not gonna tell you who, or why, and how or when, but I will say there are plenty of answers.

Some stuff I doubted and wasn’t so sure would have gotten that far in real life (or would have exactly “gone that way” in real life). And some so true-to-life in their reactions, that I didn’t doubt it at all.

I had a GREAT time reading it. Of course it got obnoxious at times (a la night time soap featuring crazy wealthy people and their haughty “image-loving” families). The kind where it seems everyone is out for themselves mixed with some others that are so consumed with their self-sacrificing ways that you wonder if we should be wary of them, instead. The devil you know and all that. ;) Or are they good guys just trying to protect themselves from the bad guys they love? <— that could be it, too… in a nutshell right there.

Yep it made me feel all sorts of stuff. From eye rolls to grunts, to sighs to turning into a fire-breathing dragon. And at times I was swooning and wanting to act out the sweet adorable cuddling love-scene(s) that I was reading (and seeing and feeling). 

She couldn’t believe that after everything they had been through, he could still look at her like she was the greatest prize he had ever won.

Okay I’m going to stop here for those that haven’t read the book yet and tell you I give it…

4 stars!


SKIP THIS PART for those that haven’t read it yet. I’m not going to spoil it exactly, but just in case you have magic powers of deduction or you can read my blog’s “aura” here… ;) SKIP THIS NEXT PART – don’t even glance down just in case!! I’m in “analyzing myself” mode:

And… the question that some of you have asked me? Yep. I’m good with that ending. It felt real to me. In real life, considering everything that happened, with that kind of intensity? I didn’t doubt that ending for a second.

Was it the ending I wanted? Well… honestly? I dunno. No… you know what? Yes.

Lindsay: I finished it yesterday, and it’s still with me. I don’t understand the angry fans reaction. It ended the way it should.

Jill: I was devastated for him. Wish there would have been and epilogue or hopefully a spin off so he can find his.

Kristen: At one point I found myself yelling at my Kindle. Something along the lines of “I don’t care if he makes lightning shoot from your vagina….” I hope that’s spoiler free enough!

Kasey: Crushed me. Seriously. I am still reeling through the events and thinking she will just say gotcha and change the ending.

Michelle: I was heartbroken for him but it ended the way I wanted it to from the very beginning!

Lisa: all i have to say is grrrrrr!!! Not what I wanted gosh darn it

Courtnee: Already finished Avoiding Temptation and it was an emotional roller coaster but so, so good! I can’t wait to hear your take Maryse! So many readers were so dead set on their team/guy- that they aren’t happy if he wasn’t who Lexi ended up with. I definitely had a ‘team’ and then I completely abandoned that thought once the story got moving and enjoyed the journey.

See? We’re all over the place! But Courtnee, that was perfectly put!!

I don’t think I had any true expectations other than I wanted it as “raw and real” as it could possibly be (even in it’s over-the-top melodrama). I dunno if it’s ’cause I love drama, angst and the possibility of surprise endings, even potential controversial endings, so much (oh yes, done right, I love it when the authors shock me!!)… but I think I was good with it going any way. ANY way. *shrug* I just wanted to have fun getting there. And I did.

People don’t always deserve what they get or get what they deserve. The good guys, or the bad guys… deserving in good ways and in bad ways. And yet sometimes, they deserve exactly what they get. I think this book (and if you think about the potential future of these characters) played out exactly as was destined. Forced or fate? I think… just real.

Oh and I MUST mention that intense and truly heartfelt “tear rolling down a cheek” scene (at 83%) that made me melt into a puddle of emotion. The detail in that one was just… *ooomph* and at that moment right there, it answered one of my biggest questions. Alas…

side note: Yes… I do have my preference. Right at this very moment, even after all is said and done. That’s why the *tear down the cheek* heartfelt scene was so big for me. Affected me so much. So now you know.

Finally, so many answers, yet a few more questions, too. But I think I have enough to work with now that I can imagine the rest. And I’m good with what I’m imagining, there too. Deserving hearts, and all that.

Okay y’all can come back now!! :D

4 stars! (and 5-stars for a few heart-to-heart moments, but specifically… that one above in the “skip this part section” ;) )

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy December 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I can’t wait to read this one. I was introduced to this series when it was on Fiction Press…by YOU…and I LOVED the roller coaster ride I had with the first two!! I’ve been holding off on Avoiding Decisions until I have a chance to get to this one. Your review settled it. It’s bumped up for sure!! I can’t wait to get that twist in my belly and lump in my throat. I’ll order the defibrillator ahead of time. ;)

Maryse December 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM

LOL!!! Good thinking, Kathy. :P

Lindsay December 12, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Love the review. I finally exhaled on the last page! The wait was worth it. Loved a certain cameo appearance btw..I was giggling like a little school girl. Seriously like he was real. I love how authors intertwine their characters. On to the next.

Amy December 12, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I’m coming back to read your review after I finish AT, but I wanted to peek real quick and see just how angsty it gets. I wanted to experience the angst to the fullest, and I couldn’t do that on Norco (dental work, bleh) so I couldn’t start it on Tuesday as planned. So excited to start this now!!!!

And you don’t even want to know the sorry state of my nails. *covering my face in shame*

Maryse December 12, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I swear when I finished, my heart was racing. I dunno if it was ’cause of my joy of finally treating myself to a big bowl of Cap’n Crunch and subsequent sugar rush (I SO needed to treat myself after that book)… but I have a feeling it was definitely the book. :P

Nicky December 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM

I’m one of the big fans that is not happy. Not because my guy didn’t get chosen, but because how it came about. Can I ask what scene you are referring to, the really intense one? I’ve what chapter? Just so I know we are “on the same page”. Did you see what I did there? :)

Maryse December 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Nicky… 83% ;) I just added a little “side note” to my self-analysis section above, indicating it (and my own preference)… *hug*

Antonella December 13, 2013 at 7:15 AM

I just finished reading it and it has been hard avoiding FB and all the spoilers. It made sense the way it ended but doesn’t mean I’m a little devastated.. Yes that scene at 83% had me teary as well. Whilst I enjoyed the book, part of me wonders if it was needed and that perhaps the story should have ended with book 2.

Janet Jones December 13, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Strangest thing about this series is that I wasn’t rooting for anyone. I was just watching the train wrecks unfold one after the other. And yet this was one my favorite series of all time. I’m good with the ending…although, a spinoff wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Danielle December 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I finished it late last night, and I completely agree with your review. That “5 start scene” was gut wrenching, but it had to be that way. Believe me, going into the book that’s not what I wanted, but getting involved with the characters this time… it all made sense. That’s the way it had to happen.

Nancy Parken December 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I started reading this series from Fiction Press, & must say I read AVOIDING DECISIONS just before starting AVOIDING TEMPTATION, & was a good set-up of the mind set & “rehabilitation” of characters. This is one book that kept me reading till 2 o’clock in the morning & I was fine with the ending, because I wasn’t sure how it would end, & feel that that was the only way it could end because these were “less then perfect” people who were never going to live a “perfect” life. I knew I was going to read this book, so didn’t look at any reviews before hand, & glad I didn’t.

Courtnee December 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Maryse! Great review! Thank you for reviewing it so quickly! This book has been so controversial to so many who loved the series. Exactly like you said, it felt so real. 83% was so incredible. Terribly sad but I felt like in that moment- I got it. It was painfully honest and emotionally raw. There were parts but I just feel like it was messy which made it relate-able. Too often these books gets wrapped up a little too nice and neat for real life.

Leslie December 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

I LOVED IT. Avoiding Commitment was the first one of your recommendations I read forever ago (in your “what to read after Beautiful Disaster” I think) and I swear it started and also cemented my love (obsession?!?) with your blog! This series ruined me in the best possible way and I loved this last one and the ending! *sigh* I bet you can guess what team I was always on…

Maryse December 13, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Tee hee. Yep Leslie… I have a good idea. ;)

Isadora December 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Im 61% through, I do love the all the angst, I get Lexie. But I always find myself needing a little break from the book.
its just too much! all the going back in the past, and then again to the present…I need always to remember where everyone ‘was” in the book… sometimes I feel that being a little distracting.
Cant wait to find out how it ends though…. I should get back to it.

Patty December 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Omg I just finished… I’m so..Omg I don’t know. I saw it coming but I kept reading thinking this will change on the next page, the next scene, the next chapter…. but it didn’t , not that I don’t like the one she picked or think it was a good ending but I hated the collateral damage, it was heart wrenching. And then no follow up on him, nothing. No epilogue.. no matter the ending I always feel cheated when there isn’t an epilogue especially when there isn’t any talk of a sequel. Can you tell the ending has left me babbling….did I say omg yet…Omg

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