Book Review – The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent

by Maryse on July 15, 2017 · 17 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Unrequited
TONS of awesome reviews (mostly ONLY awesome reviews) and BIG love for this book, and I was so excited to dive in. :D !!

I went in pretty much blind, having no idea where it was going AT ALL (I hadn’t even read the blurb) but that cover, and THESE recommendations, were enough to convince me. In fact, it was enough to convince a whole BUNCH of us, ’cause this was a big buddy-read!

Grey: “Maryse, it’s awesome! I 5 starred it… it was fantastic…I can’t even tell you what it compares to… i want to compare it something… kind of arsen meets slammed… to the extreme… but not… it’s different, you can’t really use that comparison, but it’s on a level all it’s own.”

Heather: AMAZING!!!! I haven’t read a book that affected me like this one in years. I’m so excited for you to read. It!

Lisa: …Grey – this one is evoking feelings suppressed long ago. Oh man – the pain on unrequited love…gahhhh!

Sally: OMG! I’m only at 39 % and I can feel it!! I feel a 5 star book!! This book is owning me right now and all I can think is YESSSS!! FINALLY!!! Woohoooo Maryse I think we found a awesome one this time!

Kelly: I finished The Unrequited and I loved it to much. It’s the kind of love that makes you forget the world around you while you are reading, like a kind of bubble where you don’t hear anyone talking to you until they are yelling at you to get your attention. The author’s writing was wonderful and her style reminded me of Suanne Laquer.

Grey: I am beyond excited to see so many of you going to buddy read, The Unrequited, this week! *squee* Maybe I will read it again with you… Just because!

And yep… I was delighted with the whole first half (a few reveals catching me off guard) but in the best way. I was HOOKED!!! Now… it’s not like I haven’t read something like this before, but the early character development (which absolutely had me convinced they were real), the slow burn, the jerk-face hero, the quirky, hot-mess of a lonely heroine,

I wonder what it takes to be loveable. Maybe you have to be less crazy or less selfish or less… ruining.

and their ever-so-slowly revealed intriguing backstories had me bouncing in my seat with anticipation. I. Was. Riveted!

Maryse: I ADORE the writing in this book. Unrequited. There’s something so raw, and primal, but pure… to it. Makes me feel like I’m her, and big time. And I cringe. Yet I LOVE it. And I’m worried. I feel like I’m headed for disaster.

Amy: Maryse, right?!? RIGHT??? She is so devastated and distraught (damn her stupid mother), and she expresses it in a way that her actions make me feel FOR her without thinking less OF her.

*****

“I’m scared…” I whisper brokenly.
“Of what?”
Of always being this miserable and alone.

*****

GAH! My heart. :cry: Then things start to look promising and…no, don’t do it…don’t…don’t…ARRRRGHHHH!!!! *grabs hair and covers eyes* What are you DOING?!? I just love this poor, broken girl…

Oh yes. It had everything going for it. Poignant, emotional depth, a heroine that was incredibly flawed (and in fact, borderline losing it, obsessive even – but all due to a devastating heartache – this was SO captivating to me).

“You know, Layla, falling in love isn’t bad or wrong or even hard. It’s actually really simple, even if there’s no reciprocation. It’s the falling out that’s hard, but no matter how much you convince yourself otherwise, reciprocation is important. It’s what keeps the love going. Without it, love just dies out, and then it’s up to you. Do you bury it, or do you carry the dead body around? It’s a hard decision to make, but you have to do it.”

I know what she’s saying: move on, forget him, don’t think about him— but how can you forget a love of thirteen years?

Eye-opening inner-dialogue and introspection that had me gasping in realization and understanding (even for my own self),

I think anybody who’s in love with anyone is a perfect match. I don’t believe in crap like There’s somebody better for you out there. I don’t want better. I want the guy I’m in love with.

off-the-chart romantic tension,

His lopsided smile morphs into a chuckle. Dark and rich, like chocolate. We want to taste it. For once, I agree with my stupid heart.

…entire back stories that were laden with drama and heartache, and a tumultuous love story that was totally forbidden, in a few ways, in fact, but that couldn’t be stopped.

I growl, enraged. He was f**king kidding. I growl again. We hate him, my angry heart says. Yeah, we do, I agree.

A total train-wreck happening before our very eyes.

Who is this man?

He’s like candy-coated toxin.

I won’t tell you anything more, though, (not even a “what’s it about?” section). I love that I went in blind and had NO idea that this was even about anything other than “unrequited” love, and the author sure delivers on that aspect. The first half? 5-stars for me. I lost myself in it, and was nervously delighted in where it would lead me… or possibly… spit me out when it was all over. I was game!

It’s the second half of the book that I struggled with.

NOW FOR THOSE WANTING TO GO IN BLIND… SKIP THIS whole next part as we analyze our experience of this book. No spoilers, but a definite story and reader “feel” is explored next:

The whole mood of it, even the writing style… the whole storyline… shifted. What I first found to be an intriguing heroine (with serious, yet relatable issues) completely lost herself. She became a hot mess. You’d think that would be okay (even GREAT!!), in a book like this. A good downward spiral always has the potential for a lesson learned, whether the main character comes out victorious or not.

But I barely recognized her from the first half. In fact, I ended up skimming lots and lots of scenes due to the second half becoming pure, full-on erotica. No. Not just erotica. HARD CORE erotica (at least to me). With the kind of descriptives, and the dirty-talk the two main characters were engaging in, it was full on… *blink blink* eek <— AND LOTS OF IT. It detracted from the depth and emotion. I suppose I get why it was told that way (a power-struggle, and complete submission of sorts) but in the end… the feel of the second half lost that amazing feel of the first half.

The second-half drama, decision-making and overall… finale, was just a little too over-the-top, for me.

Robyn: I finished Unrequited last night. What the heck did I just read?! That book drained me. First off, Layla is a nut case! Just WOW! I felt that Thomas, as an “older” and hopefully a more mature person shouldn’t have given into half her antics. Yeah I know he was Unrequiting to, but still! I don’t want to give anything away but, that girl needed some major help. Not to fall in love, but some self love help. But alas, it is just a book and all that…..but it could happen in real life! See! What the heck did I just,read?! I’m rambling…gah! I’m giving it 3.5 stars. What did you guys think??

Maryse: Robyn, I’m with you! I liked the first half much better than the second. It had more emotional depth, and eye-opening, heart-wrenching personal introspections that made SO much sense to me.  But then once the sexy-times started, I found it a little too overt. Like… WHOA. What am I reading? That said, I’m sure plenty will love the descriptive super-dirty talk. ;) LOL!! But for me, the whole integrity of HER story shifted so much, and then it was bad decision after bad decision, and OMG. I was face-palming so hard. It was interesting, but I thought, even with the forbidden love aspect, that it would be… deeper.

Leslie: Maryse, glad it wasnt just me. I felt a def shift in the 2nd half AND the sexy times were a bit too porn-ish.

*sigh*

Still. I will admit that I liked it, and I could barely put it down. It’s true. I devoured it. Whether I loved it or not, the initial story-telling, and my attachment to the heroine had me wholeheartedly invested. I practically highlighted the whole first half of the book. ;) LOL! Yep. There were parts that were just… absolute excellent reading. Something I could feel. Something I could practically touch.

3.75 stars for me. <— 5 stars for the first half. My love for the second half, however… wavers.

P.S. Thank you to the author for the review copy! Now I have two copies, ’cause I was so excited to read this that I had already pre-ordered it. :D

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

bev July 15, 2017 at 7:53 PM

It is a SHAME that LAST HOUR……err……part didn’t work for you.

Jen July 15, 2017 at 8:24 PM

I started off disliking this book and then loving it to disliking it all over again. Different strokes for different folks!

Grey July 15, 2017 at 8:42 PM

Aw, sorry it wasn’t as good for you as it was for me, Maryse. *naughty giggle*

Awesome review, as always! Love you! Thank you for everything you do for us!

Tessa July 15, 2017 at 10:03 PM

How did you italicize that, Grey?

I loved this review. I did like Layla, but for me, the depth and angst weren’t there as much as I thought. Maybe if I wasn’t expecting extreme angst I’d have liked it better, but I did go in wanting that. A huge part of the angst loss for me was the predictability. That said, I don’t mind the hard core erotica. :P Though some of that didn’t feel believable.

So, close to the same stars for TOTALLY different reasons. *hugs*

Grey July 15, 2017 at 10:42 PM

I have *NO* idea, LOL! I think I wrote something about sentencing myself to the corner for being naughty… This is almost as bad as when I said the F word on the blog at 2am when I read Jezebel, remember THAT?! *smacks forehead*

It’s late, I’m going to bed. Love to all!

Leslie M July 16, 2017 at 6:25 AM

I absolutely love when a bunch of us read book at same time. I am fascinated by all our different interpretations and appreciate everyone’s honesty!!

*group hug*

Maryse July 16, 2017 at 6:34 AM

*group hug*!!!! :D

Amy July 16, 2017 at 10:34 AM

I posted on the other board so I won’t repeat it here, but I’m with all y’all on this one. I freaking LOVED the first part and felt so much along with Layla, but then it shifted for me and I missed the feels of the first part.

Hard core erotica is right. Weeping vaginas and angry penises don’t work for me. Just sayin’. *shrug*

R. Renee July 16, 2017 at 10:42 AM

IDK. At 60% I was right there with you guys. The scenes made me cringe hard. But I kept going since I was reading it for the writing anyway, and by 70%, it just clicked. The cringe worthy scenes suddenly made sense to me. I don’t think I was supposed to react any other way than I did. Before I even realized what was happening, I was caught up in their free-fall and went down with them. I think the second half held the brilliance. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a hot, steamy, romantic read. IMO, this one had a Hausfrau feel.

Linda July 16, 2017 at 8:04 PM

Ok I finished reading The Unrequitted.

Jean July 17, 2017 at 8:56 AM

Completely agree with your review Maryse. Loved the beginning and then don’t know what happened…..I had a really hard time relating to Thomas…..every time I started to somewhat warm up to him, he’d turn around and be a total jerkface!

Maryse July 17, 2017 at 11:26 AM

What’d you think, Linda?

Maryse July 17, 2017 at 11:27 AM

It’s so neat how we have such similar tastes, and yet can take in a story and characters completely differently.

I do say, our group mixes and matches perfectly though. ;)

Cheryl July 17, 2017 at 1:08 PM

I just finished it this morning. This damn kitchen painting is sucking up all my reading time!!

Maryse, dead on with your review. I thought the first half was wonderful and so COMPLICATED and I kept wondering how this was going to end. I even empathized for both Layla and Thomas. Then it dropped off into crazy-land and it wasn’t complicated anymore; it just got convenient with how things wrapped up.

Linda July 17, 2017 at 7:01 PM

Maryse your review is spot on. It sucked me in from the beginning. And then the middle happened!! Felt like emotional whiplash!!! I dunno it just didn’t sit right with me. And then the end was rushed for me. I NEED AN EPILOGUE I think to soothe all the emotional turmoil we experience with a story. I’m very needy that way. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Maryse July 17, 2017 at 10:15 PM

Yeah!!! It totally does, Linda!!! ;)

Sharon July 20, 2017 at 8:09 PM

Ever the rebel I am going to disagree with the reviews. For me the second half came alive. It was gritty – sometimes I need something different than oohs and ahhs and hearts and flowers. It wasn’t boring and kept me reading. I would give it a solid 4.25 stars.

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