I’ve been meaning to try out one of Megan’s books for a while now. I think I decided to try one when Collide came out. I just loved the cover. Then, I read some reviews of her books over at Under the Covers. They sounded delightful. Though I usually like historical romance, I do enjoy some contemporary romance every now and then. I also don’t usually read erotic romance, but I’ve found that I can enjoy those just as much when they’re well written. It’s just funny to think about the fact that a year ago I would never have picked up this book. I’ve just opened up so much to romance that I really enjoy them. They’ve become my fun reads. When I get too bogged down by YA lit or other genres, I can pick up a romance book and devour it. That is exactly what I did with this audio book. I listened to the entire thing in one day.
Olivia is a great character from the beginning, but I really enjoyed witnessing her develop. She’s so cautious. She almost never gets involved with anyone after being burned by Patrick. Yet, she keeps Patrick in her life, allowing him to hurt her over and over. Patrick isn’t ignorant to how she feels about him, and he constantly uses those feelings to manipulate her. It was such a relief when she finally stood up to him. Her relationship with her mother is strained. That was another part of development that was nice to witness. Though there will probably always be issues between Olivia and her mother, at least they began working through them a little bit. I think Alex was a big help in that department, too.
Olivia’s relationship with Alex is captivating. It was difficult for me at times because I would never be one to hold back asking questions I wanted the answers to. Olivia spends half the relationship without asking a lot of questions that she should. I know it’s hard to find the line between asking questions and prying, but I would have been pushing a little for some answers. Though Alex claims he never lied to her, sometimes withholding information is just as bad. I still have to give him credit. He does answer truthfully when she asks him questions. I do like that they’re not perfect. Both Alex and Olivia make mistakes and have to work at their relationship. It’s so obvious they want to make it work and they’re willing to do what it takes. Most of the strain comes from Olivia’s previous experience with Patrick and from Alex’s reluctance to lay out his past for Olivia to see. I have to say Alex is the one to step up in the end. He’s exactly right. Olivia can’t punish him for what someone else did to her. And no matter what he’s done in his past, what really matters is that he loves her now and that she’s the one he wants to be with.
Something Alex says in the book really stuck with me the rest of the time. He and Olivia are messing around, and he’s talking to her about control. Having control can make you feel exciting and sexy, but sometimes losing it can make you feel all the same things. Either way, there has to be trust. And I just got to thinking about how in a relationship both parties have control of each other. There’s vulnerability, and where there is vulnerability there has to be trust. It made the title make so much more sense to me. For things to work, both Alex and Olivia have to lay everything on the table. They have to strip themselves of their secrets, feel naked and vulnerable, and trust that the other person will love them for who they are and will stay true to them. That’s what I got from it anyway. There’s a lot more to it, but I don’t need to make this review any longer. I’ll just throw in that I really enjoyed Lauren Fortgang’s voice acting. I absolutely loved her voice for Alex. It can be really difficult for women to pull off good voices for men, and I think she did a great job.