Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Raw Need by Cherrie Lynn

RAW NEED by Cherrie Lynn
SMP Swerve
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Rating: 2 stars


Zane Larson has done everything he set out to do: conquered past demons, saved lives through his music, and toured the world as the frontman for one of the most popular rock bands in the world. This life—and an escape through music—was supposed to be everything he’s ever wanted, but after meeting Rowan, Zane’s no longer sure…

Soon after her husband’s death, Rowan Dugas learned she was pregnant. With grief and uncertainty her only companions, Rowan was only able to find an escape through music; specifically Zane Larson’s hypnotic voice. But after meeting the sexy lead singer of her favorite band, Rowan can hardly believe he’s interested in her. But Zane also has a painful connection to her unborn child - Zane's brother is responsible for her husband's death.

Torn between the only family she has left, and a life with Zane unlike anything she’s dared to dream about, Rowan’s decision will change her fate forever. Raw Need from New York Times bestselling author Cherrie Lynn is a heart wrenching, emotionally intense story that will leave readers breathless.

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It really pains me to have to rate this two stars. I loved Raw Deal so incredibly much, and couldn't wait to read Mike's brother Zane's book. Let's face it, it would have been so easy to get the first book wrong. Savannah's brother died during a fight with Mike, so falling in love with him is hard to wrap your mind around. They met at his funeral. And a friendship formed, evolving into a relationship over three months time. Sounds pretty unlikely, doesn't it? But honest to God, Cherrie Lynn made it work for me. It was handled delicately and the writing was filled with beauty. Unfortunately, I didn't end up feeling the same about this couple.

Zane is Mike's rockstar brother, and was introduced to Rowan in the previous book. Zane just happens to be her favorite music artist, and his songs have always been a source of comfort and inspiration.

He was her favorite singer. Ever. The music he made with his band, August on Fire, had gotten her through some of the worst times of her life, and by an insane stroke of fate, they’d become friends. But that stroke of fate had begun with her husband’s death.

After their first meeting at one of his concerts, they've kept in touch, and there was an unmistakable attraction on his part. But knowing that she is a very recent widow who is also pregnant on top of that, he knew that pursuing her wasn't in the cards at that time.

My first problem with the plot was the speed in which he asked her out. Their first dinner date occured four months after the love of her life passed away, and she went because Zane is her idol. Not because she was past her grieving, or was simply attracted to him as a man. No, because she was starstruck over his persona and spending time with him was like a fangirl's dream come true. To me, it didn't feel like she even saw him as an individual. And honestly, it made me feel uncomfortable to see a pregnant woman who is still very much recovering from the loss of her husband, lusting after her favorite celebrity.

I think it would have been so much better for multiple reasons if the author had pushed the story forward in time to give the heroine a chance to heal and get her head straight. As it was written, Rowan swings dizzily from indecision, to guilt, to longing. And back again. One minute she was giving Zane a small bit of encouragement, the next pushing him away in guilt. Her mixed feelings lasted far into the book, until I started to get whiplash with her decision making process. And when you think about it, that makes sense, because she started things with him way too early. How could she know what she wanted or what she should want? Maybe that's my problem for not wanting to read that kind of conflict. I wanted something that felt authentic between them, and it only ever felt stiff and forced.

I’m in my cocoon, and you can’t tear me out no matter how badly you want to.

Zane was actually a fantastic guy for the most part. He tried to be the support system for Rowan that she didn't have from anyone else. Her late husband's family tried to be there for her, but all they managed to do was stifle her in concern, and crowd her into doing things she wasn't comfortable with. With him, she had someone who just listened and comforted. Someone who understood the type of pain she was trying to work through. Zane had his own dark past with his mother that still affected him to this day. His music was his one escape and very cathartic for him, and that's probably why she connected so easily with his songs. She recognized the emotion of the songs in herself.

It was him. It was the juxtaposition of security and danger. The way he looked at her, the way he knew her when he shouldn’t. He made her feel like everything was fine when nothing was fine. Calm in the middle of crazy. Right in the middle of so much wrong.

Her meddling family was an added conflict causing tension between them. On one hand, I could understand them being protective of her and the only link left to Tommy after he passed. On the other, Savannah and Mike particularly was being a bit hypocritical in trying to tell them that they should stay away from each other. Considering they were in a very similar situation when they fell in love, how did they have any room to judge?

There were some sweet parts mixed in, but as a whole, I just didn't feel this couple as I should have. And two particular actions by the heroine after a string of indecision on her part was kind of the last straw for me. It was incredibly frustrating.

This second book in the Larson Brothers series missed the mark for me for the most part, but I'm still very intrigued to read Damien's book Raw Heat in September. He's always been the most enigmatic and intense brother of the bunch, and I'd be interested to see who he ends up with.


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