I read this book in early December, and I’ve been trying to decide since then just how to review it, and whether I even wanted to. The concept behind the story was really interesting and pretty unique as far as I’ve seen, and I wanted to love it. I really, really did. I mean, just look at the cover!
But I just couldn’t.
My first problem is pretty trivial, but it cropped up enough to be annoying: I noticed in both Prelude and Once that the author seems to enjoy using the word verdant – and I can’t blame her, because it’s a fabulous word. My problem is that I can’t tell from the context quite what she intends for it to mean. I’ll make the obvious assumption that covered with plant life is not a serious possibility (though fun to speculate), so does she mean it as green or fresh or as some strange synonym for luxurious? There’s no ‘sapphire’ for blue, and so on, and other references to something obviously green are just green.
But now there’ my big problem. As I mentioned earlier, the premise of the story – the story of a sex addict before it was recognised as a condition and long before there was effective help – was immensely interesting, but to be honest, I don’t feel that it was effectively carried out.
I am not a therapist, but the ‘solutions’ to the hero’s sex addiction problem seemed to my mind to likely be ineffective. The heroine vacillated between being understanding, unsympathetic and almost disgusted, and the whole ‘love story’ just didn’t convince me.
The side-story with the brother and his mistress felt excessive and unnecessary, and I feel it should have been left out all together.
An interesting concept, but ultimately the book fell flat for me. I know other reviewers have loved the book and happily recommend it, but I just don’t and can’t.
Trigger Warnings for: Violence, rape, addiction, domestic abuse.