Book Review – Unsticky by Sarra Manning

by Maryse on February 22, 2012 · 52 comments

in contemporary romance

Wait. I just realized… I still have no idea what “Unsticky” means. What the heck is unsticky? Interesting title for sure but it seems I may have missed the hidden meaning. *shrug* Ah well. The title might be convoluted, but the book was straightforward, and an easy read. Interesting enough to hold my interest, but I was able to put it down.

So was it like the Fifty Shades trilogy? Is Vaughn as awesome and freaky, as tormented and as infuriating, yet as sexy, as Grey? Was THIS the book that we’ve been looking for to give us another “Christian-style fix? Hrmmm…. sorry. But nope. Sorta close, but not close enough. It had everything it needed to “give me the need to read” – I mean how could one not want to read this? This looked like it would be right up my alley!

  • young, inexperienced, down-on-her luck girl wanting to get ahead in the world
  • super wealthy, distinguished man that has “his way, and ONLY his way of doing things” who sees potential in said girl
  • An interesting “business/personal” proposal that includes a 6 month timeline that allows her to live his lifestyle
  • An incredible tension, and a constant like/love/hate relationship
  • A seemingly unattainable man who can be sweet and gentle and generous at times, and then turn around and absolutely destroy all of the tiny crushes I was developing on him. Constantly. Give and take, but when he takes, he has a tendency to smash it to bits.

And yet, I could never wholeheartedly latch on to the potential (and I must underline potential) “love” story.

Because for a grand majority of the book, the romance is kept right on the edge, you think it might be coming. It’s there it’s hovering, it’s close, but the reader is not allowed to fully indulge. I never felt like I was in it. Indulge me deeply, and then take it away if you must, but PLEASE let me bask in the romance glory, even for just a bit before the drama starts up again. I LOVE the drama. I love the give and take of an alpha male that won’t let himself lose control, that wholeheartedly resists the potential for true love. I enjoy that in a book because it keeps me on the edge of my seat, and I find myself pining… anxious for him to break (well you know, not “break” but more like… show his vulnerability). Love that!

This had it. Sorta. But here is yet another book that was just… missing something. At least to me.

We were discussing this one on Facebook (Gitte’s friend LOVED the book so Gitte was already planning on reading it, and Yanira was reading it at the same time I was):

Maryse’s Book Blog: It’s a good book. BUT, go into it to enjoy their journey and “issues” and go into it NOT expecting to fall in love with Vaughn. Not that he is not “fall-in-lovable” but I think I was really expecting the passion and intensity that we had with Grey and Anna… and that was a bit of my downfall. Because Vaughn really does stick to his guns… whereas Grey gave in a little bit easier. The end though, in this one… – VERY worth the read. And she may seem “shallow” at first, but she’s in fashion, and she’s 23, so you know… it makes sense. There is a lot of “growing up” in this one, and they are both broken.

Gitte: Thanks still sounds good so am still quite excited to read it!!! xx

Yanira: Gitte it’s a good read, I’m sure you’ll enjoy and at times you’ll want to kick both their asses… I’m currently reading it, at moments I’ve hated Vaughn, the main character, so much, he can be an ass sometimes, or most of the time. But they grew on me.

Yanira: Back to Unsticky…I hate him all over again!! This a rollercoaster alright!!

Julie: Can’t wait to get my copy!

Iced: I honestly can’t make up my mind with this one, I think I’ll subconsciously keep comparing it to 50Shades all along and that will totally ruin the experience before it even starts. I will put it on my TBR pile but I think I need to further detoxify myself from the whole 50 Shades realm!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Yep Iced… I think that was my problem. Had I read this before Fifty I would have loved it more, for sure, because the story IS interesting and the journey is quite a ride… but. I dunno. Not enough *oomph* I suppose.

Was it too much Vaughn barely ever giving in?

“Another reason why people take me seriously is because I never apologize even when – no, especially when I should,” he told her coolly. “No pleases, thank-yous or sorries – remember that and you might have that interesting year I was talking about.”

Despite his “glorified bigger than life persona” did I just not find him sexy enough? Was it that I didn’t feel the heroine truly falling for him? Now I’m not saying whether that does, or doesn’t happen… eventually ;) . But for a large part of the book I found what I was mostly reading about was the struggle while they learned to adapt to one another (which caused Grace serious issues at first – I mean, wow she had some learning to do…). That, and all of the bumps in the road they encountered (plenty of those, and they were SO fun to read). OMG Vaughn could be infuriating (but there was that undeniable attraction…)

“God you’re pushy.” Grace sighed without much bite, because there was something to be said for a man who got what he wanted and didn’t just wheedle and whine until she did it for him.

And Grace… well you know what? I kinda liked her most of the time. She had issues to resolve, and she was sometimes irritating. Some of her decisions (no wait – most of her decisions) were all wrong and yet, she had a few things I could relate to. Her love of fashion, and her love of floppy-haired bad boys (especially of the rock star/artist kind):

And as usual, that first sight of Liam made her heart flip over because he really was pretty, but the stubble and the tattoos gave him a dangerous edge. God, the bad boys were Grace’s kryptonite.

Hehe. Yeah. *blush*

I dunno. Had I read this before Grey, I probably would have loved it. Honestly, it’s not fair for me to compare anything to Christian. It just isn’t. He ruled my world for months, and there was just so much more of him to love (hee hee! Not like that silly! Okay.. maybe a bit of that too ;) ). So much of every part of him (emotionally, professionally, romantically, desperately…) and we just had so much of him from the start, and even though he resisted falling, you could just tell… you could feel him… and her.

Vaughn… well, we get that, but something was held back in the romance part of this book for too long, that I never fell for him completely.

However, I must say, the last quarter of the book really had me. LOVED it. So I’m gonna give this book 3.75 stars (maybe 4 stars? I dunno – I’m undecided). Anyway. It’s almost there. There were lessons learned (and some that were sorely needed)…

“Yeah, yeah, I know all that,” he conceded. “But that’s it. You’re funny but you’re not happy.” He nodded again, a short, decisive dip of his head “You have no happiness in you, Grace, you just fake it.”

But unfortunately, I needed much more to *squee*. I swooned… but only a little bit.

So… I have one copy to give away (mine) It’s used and slightly abused, but still worth the read ———-> WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!!! –> Congratulations Teresa! You win my copy of Sarra Manning’s “Unsticky” book!!

How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below, and Friday night (Friday February 24th 2012) by 10pm EST, I will randomly select one winners.

The winner will be contacted and will have 24hrs to respond with a mailing address (must respond by Saturday February 25th 2012 – 9pm EST at the latest), so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance.

Here’s a suggestion. If you want to enter to win the book, leave your comment, and you may also pre-send me your mailing address, by email, in case you do win (please don’t post it in your comment). In a couple of my past giveaways, there were some issues with getting the mailing address on time, so to avoid this, if I pick your name, and I already have your address, then all is good. Sorry for my international readers, this is a open to U.S. residents only (but you’re welcome to comment and join in any time!!).

And while you’re here, if you haven’t already joined me (actually “us”, ’cause we’re a big group now) on Facebook and Twitter, whatcha waiting’ for?!

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Cece February 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I’ll take my chances and read it…..nobody beats out Christian though! Have you read Comfort Object? It sounds similar in premise, although CO is *heavy* on the erotica and BDSM. It was hard to swallow in a few spots. This sounds like a much milder version. Love a chance to win!

Brandy February 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Love your blog, I have read almost every one of your recommendations. I never would have found Christian without you!

Nadine lepretre February 22, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Went check Amazon as well and prices are HIGH. Hope you pick my name!! My reading has become an addiction as well and I am greatful for your website. My friends are constantly asking me “Where do you find these books?” I have a long list to go through. Thanks!!!

Yvette Pavlock February 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Ooooh hope you pick me love your blog and I always trust your recommendations!!!!! It’s because of you I always hve a good book to read!!!!!

Angela February 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Have this on my amazon wish list. Would love to win the book!

Rebecca February 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Want to read this one. Couldn’t find a copy anywhere without paying a lot for it.
Thanks for the chance.

Joy February 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Would love a chance to read especially in between my Kristen Ashley books!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Cece… yes I did read Comfort Object, and you are exactly right. Same type of contract… minus the hardcore stuff ;)

Nancy Parken February 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Always love to see your book reviews, & still want to for leading me to Kristen Ashley. Did you see the new book cover for her TILL THE SUN FALLS DOWN? Vampires!?! She said it comes out Friday & I can not wait. Oh & I’d like to win this book, too. I’m just reading now FIFTY SHADES FREED & WOW!

Beth Marie February 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The second I read your blog post I went right to Amazon to see if I could get lucky! No such luck… :( I would love to read this and I have to thank you for all the amazing posts about Fifty! I wouldn’t have read it without you and you made me stick with it because of your enthusiasm and WOW was I glad I did! Really hoping to read Unsticky, once again because of your thoughts! Thanks for being so fun!

Nancy Parken February 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The new Kristen Ashley book coming out is UNTILL THE SUN FALLS FROM THE SKY. (correction)

Kelly L February 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I would LOVE to win this book! And Feb 24th is my birthday, so it’d be a great present :)

leslie February 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Love your blog

Teresa February 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I’ve been wanting to read this. Please pick me. Love your blog

trish February 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I am dying to give this book a read. I loved the fifty books although I think the second was the best? I love your blog we have similar taste in our “heros” good bad or sexy! I am crossing my fingers as we speak ;)

Angi Johnson February 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Would love to read this book!

Jennifer February 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Would love to win this book!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

:) You guys rock!! *group hug*

Brandy February 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

maybe because he UNSTUCK her from her rut!? lol well i would have to say like you… had i read it before fifty i would have liked it.. it was TOO much “fashion” for me though.. i dont know if i will find another book i love as much as fifty! i still cant stop thinking about it.. lol other then BDB (like i have said) i havent had books that i think about constantly.. cant wait to find another that ranks up there with BDB and fifty…

DebLI February 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Sounds like a good one. Hopefully will show up on amazon soon. Would love a copy!

Vicki February 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Absolutely love your blog!! Thank you for all the reading and reviews that you do! Just finished reading Tall, Dark and Lonely and Without Regret-loved them. 50 is my new favorite series!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM

You know what, Brandy. She WAS stuck in a rut!!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Trish, I agree – the second “Fifty” book was the best!!

Carla February 22, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Wow yeah… I’ve tried this book a couple months ago. A friend told me this was kind of a mix between 50shades and pretty woman, so i though it would be good. I started to read and I think i read almost 200 pages, but I put it down. Like you said this story had potential, but the guy… huh nah no way. I mean, when i read the first book of 50shades i didn’t liked Christian too (ok he had me for the last quarter of the book) but everything else in the book was so perfect. I could relate so much with Anna that i couldn’t put it down, until i read the second book and completely fell in love with him. But with Vaughn and Grace it didn’t happen. I just couldn’t feel anything. And he was an ass EVERYTIME.And for me guy makes at least 50% of the book. Even Christian in the first book wasn’t like that. It didn’t work for me. Maybe it has something to do with 50shades, but i think even if i hadn’t read 50shades, i still wouldn’t like Unsticky. For me the problem with this book was Vaughn and the lack of drama.

Lauren February 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Oh I’m bummed, I was so looking forward to your review hoping this would be another great one for us. I would still like to read it and the chance to win it.

Kara February 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

See….this book makes me nervous to try from everything that you have said. I know we shouldn’t compare everything to 50, but who are we kidding – it’s naturally gonna happen so whatever…and that being said – one of the major reasons I Loved 50 was because of all those concessions Christian makes for Anna. It’s like Christian is a my-way-no-highway-option-kind-of-guy EXCEPT when it comes to Anna – he can’t seem to deny her anything – THAT made the romance for them so real and swoonworthy for me. It made her special. Without that the hero just screams ass too much for me to ever really fall for him.

Robyn B. February 22, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I have enough love for both Vaughn & Christian :) I think the title Unsticky could refer to the way Vaughn handles his relationships prior to Grace. He doesn’t want to have to deal with the “sticky” situations that arise when in a relationship. That’s what I thought the title could mean.

Cece February 22, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Vicki – who wrote TD & L and Without Regret? My to-read list is dwindling!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Cece: It was R.L. Mathewson —>

Here are the links to those two books:

Robyn: Excellent definition of Unsticky. Yep that sounds about right, too. Vaughn was “Unsticky”. No complications, no emotional attachments, no “issues”.

But being human means that he has all of that and more. LOL! Poor guy. Lasted THAT long with his lifestyle in an “unsticky” way and then he meets Grace. hehehe

Carla – if you still have the book, I’d still give it a go. Vaughn… isn’t all that boring ;) . Sure sure, he’s an ass lots of times, but his “humanity” peeps through, and that’s the fun in discovering him. And it’s almost 600 pages long, so there’s plenty of drama to experience. ;) Not Fifty, but I still enjoyed it.

Tori February 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I’d love to give it a go. I mean, 3.75 stars…sure it’s no Fifty, but sounds like it came close?

Jenny February 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I read alot of your book reviews and have gotten a lot of good books from your recommendations:)

Sara February 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Hey! I just read this book per your request and I actually do know what “Unsticky” is referring to!
During one of Grace’s rants she talks about how all of her boyfriends leave her after three months and how they can’t stick with her. She decides that she must be “Unsticky” because her boyfriends never want to stay with her.

Thanks again for your recommendations!

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Oh that’s right!! I remember that exact part now. Ha! Thanks!!

Cindy February 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM

I’d give it a try. Have you read Gabriel’s Inferno? He reminds me of Christian!

Mary Gehrki February 22, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Would love to have your copy of Unsticky! It may not be Grey-worthy but what is??

Tarah February 22, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I just have to say I LOVE your recommendations and every book I have read has been recommended by you. Unsticky intrigues me. I love drama and this book seems to have a lot of that!!!! :)

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Cindy, I have not yet read it. I hear equally “good” and then “boring” ack!! SO I have no idea how I’m going to like it. I will be giving it a try however…

Maryse February 22, 2012 at 6:42 PM

True Mary. Exactly! Great book as long as you’re not expecting Grey. LOL!

Courtney February 22, 2012 at 7:02 PM

The book looks interesting from what you say about it. Would love the chance to read it, since i pretty much love all the books you recommend.

Debbie Williams February 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM

I would love love to win this book. I came across your blog few months ago. There was a link to your page on one of my author friends on Facebook. I saw your list of 2011 favorite books. I could not agreed more. I have read almost all the books on your list and loved them all and the ones I have not you given me great ideas. Every since I have read fifty nothing has came close for me. I have this book on my wish list on amazon,but it’s a little pricey for me. Thanks so much for the great reviews I will be visiting your page often to see what to read next!

sandra February 23, 2012 at 6:17 AM

Ohhhh I have been trying to buy this book everywhere and no luck. So if you pick me I will pay for the postage to Australia. How about it?

Erin M. February 23, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Pick me! Pick me! I am pregnant, big as a house, and in need of decent reads!! :-)

Cheryl February 23, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Would like to give it a try. Thanks.

**Chris** February 23, 2012 at 8:37 AM

I think I should win your book because I introduced you to Megan Hart obsession and I share your love for Christian Grey. Plus, I know I make you smile with all my e-mails. ;) .

Melanie Fling February 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Would love a chance to win to win this. Thanks for all the great recommendations.

Michelle McPherson February 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Would Love to win this book :)

Rachael Turner February 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Love your blog maryse, and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this book!

Ashley Potter February 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Ooooo sounds good! I’d love to read it!

Gail Nichols February 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I would love to win this book:)

Biate July 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I just finished this book and I loved it! It was such a sweet story that left me smiling happily for days. I just bought another Sarra Manning book.

MissMelLady August 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I think it’s because it’s written in ’3rd person’ and not ‘first person’ that it’s not as captivating.

Maryse August 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I do prefer first person, also, so you might be right!

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