Ahem, can I have your attention please. My review is my review and my opinion, no one elses. I will NOT tolerate flaming, bad manners, cyber bullying or name calling on the blog. If you don’t agree or like my review, that’s fine. Its your opinion and I RESPECT that. Do I agree with other reviewer’s reviews? No but I don’t cyber bully them either.
I realize that there are some people that don’t “get” Liz and her books. Personally, I do. I’m a true romantic and I crave the HEA more than anything in the world. Do I totally agree with some of the situations in Liz’s books? No, I don’t but that makes for great writing. Liz creates worlds that are real, emotional, upsetting to some, hurtful at times and I may not agree with the story or how it ends and why. To me that’s great writing. Its thought provoking, emotionally engaging and great conversation. I have stopped reading some of the so-called bestseller authors because they tend to write the same thing over and over. I got bored and tired of the whole “let’s just recycle a story and see if anyone notices” rote. Or series that have been around too long. Yawn… On with the review…
This was one of the hardest books of Liz’s for me to read. It brought out emotions and images that I had tucked away for over 20 years. I’ve experienced the horrible situation that happened to Lori and the feeling, at least for me, never goes away. It effects you in ways that I can’t describe. There is shame, nothingness, numbness and rage. Unless you have walked in our shoes, you can’t judge or offer an opinion on what anyone should’ve, could’ve or would’ve done in that situation. Did she make decisions that I don’t agree with? You bet but at the same time, this is Lori’s life, not mine. Again, powerful writing. (At least this time, I didn’t throw my computer) I related to Lori and her way of thinking.
Picking between two completely different men is a situation that, thank goodness, I’ve never had to do. I could see Lori’s dilemma. What to do and who to pick? Are there situations that aren’t Harlequinisque? You bet but again, that’s a real life decision that Lori made, good or bad depending on how you look at it in context. Personally I couldn’t choose but I choose my guy for Lori. You have Mr. Perfect and the Wild Man. Never to go down the easy road, Liz created situations for Lori that made her think, become emotionally attached and then, have the rug pulled from underneath her. Bravo!
The ending was a complete and total shock to me. Didn’t see it coming and then BAM…I read this book when I first got the ARC and the review you are reading is my second and final draft. When I read my original review on Monday (its Tuesday), I realized that I had actually given away spoilers. Horrors, I know. I also thought, why did I write such a normal review for Liz? Liz’s books are not the “norm” so why does this review have to be normal? I talked about how well Liz incorporates the brewery world in this book, the raw and emotional sex that she writes but most people already know that about Liz’s books. What I wanted to talk about today is the way Lori effected me as a woman that had gone through a horrific event in her life and how she dealt with it and the fallout. Trust me, I still have some hangups and emotions that come to the surface from time to time. Books that I will not ever read because of the content, no matter if it is fiction and that people just rave about.
In the end, Paradise Hops is a book about a woman’s struggle to deal with the fallout of events in her life that shapes her, molds her into the woman that she will become and how she deals with it. Its emotional, raw and the characters drew me in and never let me go. I still think about Lori almost a month later and try to put myself in her shoes. Nope, can’t do it. My path and her path were different. And that makes for a great thought provoking book. *sniff*
*I received this ARC as part of a blog tour for a fair and honest review*