Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

Title: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (The Secret #3)
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Published: October 22nd 2013
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She'll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there's only one person who's there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.
Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn't do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila's pretty princess image, Ethan can't deny they have a deeper connection than he's used to. If he's not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he's learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.
When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her?

I first noticed Jessica Sorensen’s work when Ella and Micha’s books had the original covers. They were so eye-catching and the blurbs sounded so amazingly good. (Well, I was surfing on the wave of New Adult back then.) Then the raving reviews started to surface. I am not quite sure why I didn’t pick ‘em up, but I have wanted to for the longest time. Since Ella and Micha's story didn't have a conclusion back when I felt the urge to read something by Jessica (yes, I had heard of the cliff hanger syndrome her books seem to be suffering from), I decided to give Ethan and Lila a try. Luckily, this companion stand-alone did not disappoint.

"I can't bring myself to move and break the peaceful moment. So instead I sit down and wrap my legs and arms around her and we just sit there in the sun, enjoying each other in the quiet."

Lila was an interesting character. At times she comes off as a spoiled rich brat, then there are times where her vulnerability and good spirit shine through like no other and these were the parts what got to me the most. She doesn’t have a lot of people in her life she really cares about, but when she gets the chance to show her gratitude, devotion and good heart, it’s brilliant. Then again, she’s fighting some pretty dark demons of substance abuse and who else to help her through this battlefield than Ethan.

Talking about Ethan… He was superb! I hear he’s a good friend to Micha and from what I read, this proved to be right. He’s also a great friend to Lila and he went beyond his limits to take care of her when she hit rock bottom and I admired his strength to hold himself back from ruining their relationship by taking it a little further than friendship, even though it was killing him to do so. He has had his own fair share of demons to fight with and he’s still doing the fighting four years later. I felt for him a lot.

As for the demons I talked about? Lila’s substance abuse is a hard one, but she has had the most awful experience in her past. I can’t believe that there are people out there who do such things to young girls. What’s worse, her mom and dad are the main reason things went the way they did. I’m just so glad that Lila has a real family in Ethan, Ella and Micha. Ethan’s past entwines with Lila’s present in some ways and overall it all came to a full circle. Watching them let go of their pasts was great. I basically enjoyed everything about it. The writing was quite simple, yet I liked it. 

If I had to point out flaws, I’d say that the middle part somewhat dragged in some chapters and I'm not a fan of those under 10 year old kids telling their dark stories in the prologue to build the suspense, but other than that, it was a decent New Adult novel and offered more than just break-up-make-up drama.

In the end, I think I'll be reading something more by Jessica (especially since the follow-up novella of Lila and Ethan is free on Amazon and I already have it + I own the first two of Ella and Micha's books), but I'm definitely going to wait until all the books in a series are out. At least I'll try, because I don't handle cliff hangers well. Plus, I hear that she has the tendency to turn originally stand-alones into a series, so.. We'll see how it goes.

PS. By now I have read another book by Jessica and while Lila and Ethan's story was a hit for me, just wait for my other review.. -.-

Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

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  1. I liked Ella and Micha and I thought it was decent, but then I read Callie and Kayden and decided that I had had enough of Soreson's books. She has this annoying ability to stretch a series to no ends and sometimes the story doesn't require more books. Plus, all her books have characters with troubled pasts and quite frankly I've had enough of those.
    I'm glad to hear that you liked this one though.
    I'm curious what's the book you didn't like by her?

  2. I'm nervous about reading her books Siiri! I really want to, but they sound like they have some really DARK things in them, and I'm wondering if they might in parts be too dark for me. Or too heavy/angsty. I don't deal well with a lot of angst, so I'll probably be picking your brain about this one and the other one you've read to see if I want to give them a go. Looking forward to your next review!

  3. I really really liked Ella and Micha and Callie and Cayden but was like 'WTF is up with these non-endings?' Then I saw her list of never ending series for these books and gave up. I'm all about series and companions but not when it feels like you're just stretching out a story to make more. Ella and Micha have 3 books, Lila and Ethan have 2 (so far), Callie and Kayden have 3 books and Violet and Nick also have 3 books. At one point it's like how much more shit can they go through???
    And I agree with Nick with the troubled pasts characters. Do they all have to have this horrible past?
    Same goes for Abbi Glines books, are we on book 10 of the Rosemary Beach series now?
    I read the NA version of Fallen Star by Sorensen and hated it, I wonder if this is the one you didn't like too :)

  4. I actually read Ella and Micha's story and found the first two to be fun but I haven't read the last one because I've heard that it was full of way too much angst and there was no real need for it. I was not completely sure about Ethan and Lila but your review makes me curious about their story.
    I am sorry you didn't enjoy the other book you read by Jessica. I kind of gave up on her when her books just seemed to end on weird notes.

    Great review! :)

  5. I've only read one book by the author and thought it was pretty good :) I've not checked out this series, but I've seen a lot of people read them. Books that drag in parts can sometimes turn me off from the story. Great review Siiri!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  6. I am really curious about this one! I REALLY liked Lila and Ethan in the first book , but I kind of want to read book 2 to get it out of the way before digging into this one. I got the novella as well :D

  7. Sooo judging by your last sentence, does this mean the next book you're reviewing from Jessica wasn't that great? :P

    I haven't really read this series yet, or anything from this author, but I certainly am intrigued! I do like interesting main characters.. I've grown tired of reading Mary Sues and Gary Stus, and want someone a wee bit more complex. Ethan also sounds like an awesome character. I can't wait to meet him when I get this book!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

  8. I'm just going to go ahead and COSIGN everything Nick and Nereyda said. I'm actually shocked this was a stand alone, and am assuming that novella is just a bonus? I can't take any more non-endings!
    Great review!

  9. I haven't read any Jessica Sorrensen book yet,but I heard wonderful thing about her books :)
    I think I will give a try to read :)
    Very nice review,thanks!

  10. I love the sound of this one, I have loved some of her other works, and think that I would like Lila and Ethan's stories and romance as well

  11. This is another author I really have to try out she has a lot of fans - and she releases SO many books she must write a million words a minute! O_O Hmm the kids in the prologue is different. I'm curious though! And even with the slow middle it sounds like a great read! I have always liked books with serious issues like susbtance abuse. Have you read Ellen hopkins' crank books? You totes should! :)

  12. Wonderful review, Siiri! I wouldn't mind reading this because it doesn't seem to end on the usual cliffhanger JS LOVES to subject us to! I only read the first Ella & Micha story and to be honest, it ends quite well with the one book. I refused to picked up the next book in the series so that my happy ending could be screwed around. No thanks.

    I do love JS writing but I now always wait until all her books are out because she can leave you on some major cliffs! The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden is a prime example. Book 2 is out now, so it's safe to read that even though it's not done. :)