Review: Three Stages of Love:Lust by T.C. Anthony

Summary: Evangeline Chase has everything she ever wanted: she has a high-powered job in finance, close friends, and the financial freedom to do what she wants without having to ask anyone for permission.  Eva has always been determined, hardworking and solely focussed on her career.  She doesn’t have room in her life for a serious relationship.  Out at a bar for her birthday, Eva falls (literally) into the arms of Alexander Mason, whom she later learns will be her boss.  Eva feels a strong attraction toward Alexander, but her singular focus on her work has her running away from her feelings for him.  Can Alexander break through her outer shell, or will Eva push him away to guard her heart and her future?

Rating: 2.5/5

Reasons: I felt that this book had a lot of promise, but didn’t quite deliver.  When I first started reading it, I really enjoyed Eva’s character.  A smart, determined, successful, non-virgin woman.  What’s not to love?  As a working mom I really understood her struggle with reconciling her career goals with the expectations placed on women who get married and have children.  I think this is a very real issue, especially for women in high-level jobs, and I could totally relate to Eva’s feelings.  Should she risk her career to pursue love, and then if she finds love will she have to give up her career for her relationship? 

But, and it’s a pretty big but, after a while I found Eva really irritating.  Firstly, I found it grating how she talks about herself all the time.  Maybe that was because the book is written in first-person from Eva’s perspective, but even so I found it off-putting.  Also, one minute Eva’s a strong career woman, the next she’s a crying, blubbering idiot, and then she’s back to being cold.  I thought she flip-flopped too much.  And then she makes all these comments that Alexander must really like how she can be hard and then soft, professional and then personal.  I don’t know about that, but she gave me whiplash! And I found it really annoying!  She could have been this strong character, but then she turned into a mess.  Maybe I became disappointed because I related to her so much in the beginning? I’m not sure.

NOTE: I wanted to add that I also found it totally unrealistic that Eva was an executive and still left the office at 5 p.m. to go out drinking every night.  Working in a similar industry, and with a number of friends who work in finance, I know that in reality her character should have been working at least 12-14 hour days.  There’s no way she would have been able to work 9-5 in that industry, and keep moving up in her company.

I also wasn’t sold on Alexander’s character.  Again, perhaps the limitation was the narrative voice, so we never really got to know him.  But, I just didn’t see what he saw in Eva, and I didn’t find him as swoonworthy as other male characters in some of the recent books I read.  He just wasn’t memorable to me.  She also kept describing him as “giggling” which stripped him of a LOT of masculinity in my books.

One other minor issue was that I didn’t understand the relationship between Samantha and Marcus.  They knew each other for like 5 minutes? It just didn’t seem very authentic to me.  But, again, it was a minor point.

I thought the tragedy in the book which led to the conflict between the main characters to be very well written.  I felt that Eva’s reaction was realistic, and I could understand her motivations and her actions.  Although it was quite sad, I actually felt that part of the book was the most authentic and real.

Overall, it wasn’t horrible, but certainly not the best book I’ve read in the past little while.  I thought it had promise, but something was missing in the final delivery.

*This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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