The third book I have read as part of my Clearing the Backlist challenge is Spiraling by Rachel Cross. This is the third connected book in this series (the hero Shane is a close friend of book 2’s hero, Asher).
What is Spiraling all about?
Blue-blooded Amelia “Amy” Astor was a champion, America’s sweetheart, and on track to give the US Olympic medal glory before she gave it all up to join skating’s equivalent of the circus. Now she’s a professional princess, the lead in Enchanted Ice. But in an industry that values young, cheap, and healthy, her age, salary, and injuries are a liability.
So when she’s offered a job teaching Hollywood heartthrob Shane Marx to skate for a role in a hockey film, she leaps at the opportunity. Maybe with the right kind of exposure, she can survive one more season and put off decisions about her future a little longer. If she invites the wrong kind of exposure …well, there’s that pesky morals clause waiting in the wings.
Shane Marx traded his boy band dance moves in TruAchord for acting lessons years ago. His blond, blue-eyed gorgeousness makes him the most sought after romantic comedy lead in the movie industry. But lately his clean-cut image has been tarnished by one sex scandal after another.
When America’s ice princess meets Hollywood’s hottest leading man, what could go wrong? Inside that sequined costume is a woman of steely determination who has conquered many of her demons. And beneath his sinfully attractive exterior, Shane Marx is a man still battling his.
Here are my thoughts on Spiraling:
I’m a little unsure how I feel after finishing Spiraling. Let me start by saying I love Rachel’s style and there are aspects of this story that I really enjoyed.
From the moment they meet, it is impossible not to see the immense and immediate sexual chemistry between Amy and Shane. You know it won’t be long before they find their way into each other’s beds. Boy howdy, this book is HOT! Spicy hot with the sexytimes. While I hadn’t quite been expecting that level of heat, I was totally on board with it. As I said when I reviewed Rock Her last year, the way Rachel Cross incorporates the intimate scenes into the story never gives you the feeling that they are there purely for voyeuristic or titillation purposes. The physical connection between these two is quite intense, so for Amy and Shane to disappear behind closed doors would have been totally out of place.
I loved the fact that the author chose to write these two as incredibly flawed and imperfect people with deep-seated issues. We do tend to install the well-known among us on pedestals of perfection, so it is good to see a bit of reality reflected.
Unfortunately, it was the extent of their personal issues and the actions of some of the characters that made it a little difficult for me to believe in a happy-ever-after for them. There was so much going on in this book, so much drama, that I often found myself feeling a little drained. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the goings-on were integral to their story, but maybe there didn’t need to be quite so much of it. I think that it was because of all that was going on around them, I just didn’t quite connect with the emotional side of their romance.
I really did want to enjoy Spiraling more than I did, as I really enjoyed the previous books in the series.
My rating: 3 out of 5 (I had originally graded it 2.5, but the writing style pushed it back up for me)
Release Date: 27 January 2014
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Crimson Romance via NetGalley in return for an honest review.