Friday, April 7, 2017

REVIEW: "Ray of Time" & "Ray of Heart" by E.L. Todd (Contemporary Romance)

by E.L. Todd

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 4th 2017

Series: Ray, #4 and #5
Standalone: No

Books in the RAY Series

#1 Goodreads

#2 Goodreads

#3 Goodreads

#4 Goodreads

#5 Goodreads
Description from Publisher:
Zeke and I are finally together.

Going from best friends to lovers is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. We do everything together, and of course, the sex is fabulous.

Everything is great until Ryker shows up. He says he needs to talk to me and I think I know what it's regarding. If my suspicion is right, he's in for rejection.

Because he missed his chance a long time ago.

My Rating:
Heat Rating:

This is the 4th book in this series, out of 5, and is the continuation of the pseudo love triangle between Ray, her best friend Zeke, and her boss Ryker. You need to read the firat 3 to begin to understand this one.

As I have been with the previous 3 books, I was torn on how I felt about this one. On one hand, these characters are pretty juvenile for being in their late 20s, hitting up bars and basically having sex on the brain 24/7. On the other hand, they are a likeable group with an easy and fun dynamic that find themselves in entertainingly dramatic situations, making you unable to stop yourself from wanting to know how it all turns out. In previous books, we got a good amount of Rae's brother's story, but his story takes a backseat for the remainder of the series. We still get his point of view almost as often, however, as he is a big part of both Rae and Zeke's lives.

In the last book, Zeke and Rae finally get together. Here, we see how exactly they are faring. I really liked these two as a couple and it was their story that turned this series, as a whole, into a 4-star read. This 3rd book had me frustrated though, because we lose a lot of what makes them great together and really just get a whole lot of sex. These two basically do nothing but hang out with their friends, ogle each other, talk dirty to one another, and have sex. I wanted more of the emotional aspect we had gotten in book #3.

There is also Ryker and how Rae completely mishandles that entire situation. It's realistic, but still make me want to slap some sense into her!!

**** Review continues from this point onto Book 5 ****

After some mistakes and misunderstandings occur, Zeke is left with a desire to tell Rae the truth and put his faith in the strength of their love and friendship. This book had way more heart than the last one and a lot more depth to the characters, giving the story back its balance. I sort of wish that were the case for every book in the series, instead of some of them.

I enjoyed the comraderie more and felt this was a really good ending to the series. Rae, as she has been doing the whole series, has walls up and self-preservation is her #1 goal. There is a nice amount of love triangle and "How does this end??" that goes practically until the last page. Ryker is no longer quite the jerk he was in books 1 & 2, so it's nice, though surprising and a bit out of left field, to see more depth to his character. The ending is satisfying, and there are epilogues that wrap everything up with a nice bow.

All in all, this series was a fun rollercoaster ride, erotic at times (I won't miss the "heavy seed" references though, TYVM). I think that the way both Rex and Rae tell the story is unique and interesting, in such a way that I wish the ending had a bit more of the two of them - this was, at times, as much a story of how each found love as it was a story of the strong bonds of family.

My Source: I received a digital ARC from the publisher to voluntarily review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is unbiased and my 100% own.

About the Author:
Bestselling author, E. L. Todd, was raised in sunny California where she still lives today, claiming it’s the best place in the country. Easily hypothermic and hateful of the cold, she prefers to be warm all year round. She attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but still pursued her dream to be a writer. She’s written several novels and many series’, and her imagination can’t seem to stop. She tries to find the good in people and she exploits that in her writing, proving that people can make mistakes and rise above their past. Her hobbies include sunbathing, swimming, eating at Surf Taco in San Diego, reading, and learning everything she can about hippopotamuses’, her favorite creature. Her greatest dream is to make people forget about the harshness of reality and dive into a good story with lovable people. When fans tell her they love her work, it gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.
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