Wednesday 26 March 2014

Review: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan - Jessica Sorensen

Ella's best friend Lila has always been a good girl who likes pretty clothes and preppy boys. But ever since the first day she met Micha's best friend Ethan, she hasn't been able to stop thinking about him.

Girls have always flocked to Ethan -- but never princesses like Lila. And until Lila came into his life he never wanted them to. From the outside the two couldn't seem more different, but somehow they have a connection deeper and more intense than anyone could have imagined.

Can two people from such dramatically different worlds really have a love that lasts?

The Secret Series:
The Prelude of Ella and Micha (Novella)
The Secret of Ella and Micha
The Forever of Ella and Micha
The Temptation of Lila and Ethan
The Ever After of Ella and Micha
Lila and Ethan: Forever and Always (Novella)
Ella and Micha: Infinitely and Always (Novella)

Visit Jessica Sorensen's website for more information

I love Jessica Sorensen's writing and am a huge fan of her Ella and Micha books so I was looking forward to finding out more about their friends Lila and Ethan. I have to admit I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with Lila though, she has always come across as a bit of a spoiled, rich, party girl who doesn't have a care in the world but at the same time she has been a very supportive friend to Ella and she was obviously keeping secrets so I was hoping there would be a lot more to her character. I should have known that I can trust this author to give me wonderful, complex and three dimensional characters though and there is so much more to Lila than meets the eye! She may have been raised as a pampered princess and given everything that money can buy when it comes to possessions but her childhood was completely lacking of the warmth of a loving family. I tell you one thing right now I wouldn't swap all the money in the world for the love my parents have given me so I don't envy Lila one tiny little bit.

Lila's parents take the award for the most self-centred, nasty and despicable characters I've come across in a long time. My god I wanted to reach into the book and rip into them over the way they treated their daughters! All either of them cared about was money and appearances, as long as their social circle thought they looked like a perfect, happy family who had everything they didn't care what it cost Lila and her sister. Lila was more of a prize poodle - an accessory who had to be dressed to perfection - than a beloved daughter and it broke my heart that she had never been given the unconditional love we should all receive from our parents. As you learn more about Lila's upbringing you discover that she went through a horrific experience, one that would have any decent parent ready to commit murder on their daughter's behalf but that Lila's parents just blamed her for and used their money and influence to try and brush it under the carpet.

That event completely broke Lila and since then she has used alcohol and drugs to bury her pain and to help her forget. She is walking down a dangerous path but doesn't know any other way of coping. Ethan can see how close Lila is to the edge, he's been through it himself and he only just survived so he will do whatever it takes to help her. Ethan has a few secrets of his own and his childhood wasn't exactly the happiest one, he is wary of opening his heart to anyone but while he can't promise to love Lila he can promise to always be there as her friend. I loved that Ethan is protective of her but that he doesn't let her get away with anything. Lila has never had to do all the things that most people have to do to survive, her family had servants to do the housework and she's never even had to cook for herself let alone had to work for her money or live on a budget. Ethan is happy to show her the ropes but he isn't going to do everything for her and I think deep down Lila appreciates the fact that he treats her like a normal girl. Learning to survive gives Lila a sense of achievement that she's never really had before and it was great to see her start rebuilding her confidence.

I don't want to go into too much detail about their pasts but they are both messed up in different ways because of what they've been through. They both have insecurities and issues that will make a relationship difficult but at the same time they fit together surprisingly well. I'd picked up on the chemistry they have between them in the earlier books but it is off the charts here. No matter how attracted they are to each other they take things incredibly slowly and build a strong foundation of friendship before taking the next step. I grew to love both of these characters and I also really enjoyed the little glimpses we get into Ella and Micha's lives now. This is definitely one of my favourite NA series and I'm looking forward to reading more about both of these couples in the future.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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