Thursday, August 15, 2013

ARC Review: Winning Back Ryan by S L Siwik


  **Content Warning: This book contains a sexual assault scene and mature material. **  

Blurb: " After a horrible day at work, I came home to find my a curious position. After determining why he was unhappy, I, Anne Watson, decided to try and fix our broken relationship. My four closest male friends, however, had another idea. Revenge."

Synopsis: Anne Watson comes home from work to find her boyfriend cheating. While taking a shower, he explains why he's so unhappy in their relationship, i.e. his excuse for cheating. Determined to fix her relationship, she speaks to her four closest friends, all male, for their advice. 

She decides to start running with her best friend, Brian, every morning. Each of her friends helps her with an aspect of trying to reclaim her relationship, though none of them want her back with Ryan. 

They show her proof of how much of a dog he really is. It is the breaking straw for her. 

Now determined for revenge, she continues everything that she was doing before, only now it's to mess with her ex's head, not to have him back. Throughout the story, she realizes that she is in love with her best friend, who has been in love with her for five years. 

 As they try to move from friends to lovers, she also learns that her other close friend, Ben, has been harboring feelings for her for years, but won't do anything out of loyalty to Brian. 

When Anne is finally ready to move on with her life and leave her apartment for good, Ryan cannot accept it and attempts to rape her. Ben saves her and the book ends with her ex in jail and Anne now living with Brian, her newboyfriend. 

Review copy provided for an honest review

My take: There were things I loved, things I liked, and a thing I hated.

Honestly? I do not like the title and once you read the book, you will see why.

It took a minute or two for me to get into it and I think that was because of my dislike of the title. All I could think of is: Why??? Why would you want him back? He lied to you, betrayed you and you want him back? No!  But once I let that go, I didn't want to put it down. 

Well, except for the couple of times I wanted to throw it. But since this isn't the old days and throwing a book means throwing my iPad... you knew that wasn't going to happen. 

So I took a deep breath and figured Ryan would get his. This is my first ARC review and I am not sure how much detail I should give you all but let me just say that since the synopsis is above, I am not giving away any secrets to say that Ryan is uhmm an ass. A lying, cheating, drugged out ass. Who, when he doesn't get what he thinks he deserves, he resorts to trying to take it. 

Yeah, he got his... His name is Ben Hurley. 

And let us interrupt this review to talk about things I loved about this book. 

Ben Hurley. 

Does that mean I don't like Brian? Well, no. Brian is OK. Brian is good. Brian is NOT Ben Hurley. 

So a woman who was a virgin until Ryan bamboozled his way into her life and her bed, has a long term relationship with him, moves in with him, and is cheated on by him should take a bit more time before jumping into a serious relationship with her best friend of five years. It is not a decision that should be made lightly. 

I felt like there should have been some space, some, not necessarily rebounding; but to go from one long term, emotion filled relationship to another indicates a weakness to me.

I loved the relationship between Annie and her four male friends. Their good times and laughter-- often at each others expense-- was one thing that made this book so enjoyable. 

I enjoyed the time Annie spent alone with each of the friends-- as she explored more aspects of who she was and what she brought to a relationship. (There again, if one is still exploring all she has to offer, how can she make an informed choice as to who she wants and what she is willing to sacrifice?)

The logical side of me says would I care that she jumped right into bed with Brian -- thereby risking their longstanding relationship-- if Brian had been my first choice for her? 

I'd like to think that had she chosen Ben, I would have said the same thing. I really would like to think that. I hope I think that!

A main aspect that I liked about this book was the sense of family I felt between the five of them. That's what draws you in and as you see how the four men have spent years looking out for Annie, you see how much they all care for each other and it's admirable. Their methods might sometimes skate near the line but their motives are love and respect. 

And that's certainly worth winning.....

Four out of Five Stars

Just so you know, I did ask the author if Ben was going to get his own story and guess what?

This gets even better! 

The next story is "Getting Back Annie" and oh, I cannot wait to read that one!


About the Author: She loves going to NJ diners on the weekend for inspiration, drinks a pot of coffee a day, and loves finding new music to add to her playlist.  

Author to Just Good Friends and Winning Back Ryan. Getting Back Annie, Office Perks, and Sirens and Sweethearts are soon to be released.   

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