Series: Sticks and Stones #1
Date Published: June 20, 2013
Genres: New Adult
Source: Provided by author for honest review
Description: Emma Walker was a writer who'd lost herself to someone else's anger--who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god--the one all the woman wanted, but he'd never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they'll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan's fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma's checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they'll destroy my soul--Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she's become because of it?
Love Exactly is told from the first person narrative of Emma Walker. Emma is a girl plagued by a past relationship, namely the pain and degradation a past boyfriend inflicted with his words. Rock-star Evan Levesque knows the importance of words. He confronts Emma’s past head on, and with his help, Emma is able to begin healing.
The irony was the words that were useless were keeping me from healing my fractured soul with words that mattered.
I liked the overall emphasis on how words can harm a person as much as or even more than physical assaults. Another thing I liked is that Evan is very protective of Emma. I always like this element in a romance. Evan cared about Emma and that meant he cared about her past as well. In one scene, Emma and Evan are in the vicinity of Emma’s ex and Evan is clearly upset.
‘Can I throttle him now?’ Evan growled through clenched teeth.
‘Later… only if he gives us a reason.’
‘He already gave me a reason five years ago.’
There were some really cute and sweet moments between Evan and Emma and although their romance did have that “insta-love” feel, their relationship was one that felt like it was based on mutual interest in each other’s thoughts and feelings and dreams and future goals and NOT solely based on physical attraction. I did like that the book was a relatively clean read.
Things that did NOT work for me:
Some of the dialogue was clunky and felt off to me. An example is when Emma asked Evan, “Did you guys start working on a new CD yet?” I felt like that was so awkward. Wouldn’t the term be “album?” Do people even buy CD’s (besides me, of course!)This may seem picky, but the word “CD” kept screaming at me so much it was distracting to read Evan and Emma referring to his working on a new “CD” all of the time.
Another thing that felt off to me was Emma and her mom getting a tattoo. I get her mom getting a tattoo was supposed to be comic relief, but again, this felt forced. Her mom obviously isn’t one for getting tattoos, based on Emma’s surprised response. Her mom is on a first name basis with the tattoo artist, Tom. This was unbelievable in my opinion as the woman has ONE tattoo! The set up for the tattoo scene did not work for me either:
Mom walked in and flopped on my bed. ‘Any plans for today?’
I traced the vein popping out of my wrist and smiled as I thought of Evan. Then it occurred to me. ‘I was thinking about going to get a tattoo,’ I said, looking up at her. ‘You want to come?’
So okay, whose mom “flops” on their daughter’s bed? And Emma just decides on a whim to get a tattoo? It just “occurred” to her? Soooooooo….. if her mom had never asked her what her plans were, would Emma not have gotten the tat because it never would have “occurred” to her?
I hate to say it, but there were too many things that just did not work for me in this book. I could say that this was a sweet, uncomplicated romantic read. Honestly, I feel that this book has the potential to be those things, but to me, it reads like a work in progress. The underdeveloped plot was clichéd, the scenes forced feeling, and the characters were too often unbelievable.