I don’t know if there is a more perfect example of never judging a book by its cover than The Price of Love. Honestly, when I first took a look at this dude with his shades, Zac Efron hair-style, and parted lips the first thing that came to mind was: douche monkey! Then I read this book and realized that the male lead was such an adorable puppy of a book boyfriend! Sure, a puppy with possible ADHD, but a puppy nevertheless.
Arden is in her mid-twenties, and almost finished with med school when she decides to visit her sister in Paris for a relaxing summer vacation. Paris baby, yeah! When Arden shows up at her sister’s apartment, she finds out that her sister has trotted off with some friends to another country for an undetermined amount of time. Don’t worry, I’ll be addressing this little issue later on. With gusto. Luckily, Arden runs into someone she knows who is willing to help her: Slayde Price. Good God that name alone screams sexy. Slayde used to date Arden’s sister in high school, while Arden herself dated Slayde’s brother. Arden is therefore surprised when Slayde starts to show her more attention, even desire, than what just an old acquaintance from high school should. Raise your hand if you think this will create an eventual clusterf*%k of problems! Oh, me me me!!
I did sort of feel like this was two books meshed into one. The first half deals with Arden and Slayde beginning their relationship in Paris, and deciding if they should pursue a serious relationship with each other once Arden returns to the United States. The second half of the book focuses on Arden finishing up med-school in LA, and Slayde becoming a famous underwear model and actor. In hindsight, I think I wish that this book had actually been broken up into two novels. The reason is because I feel that we were really only offered a surface glimpse of Arden and Slayde’s relationship, and that a lot of important details were glossed over. For example, while in Paris Arden would mention how she and Slayde would go to the park and talk for hours, all the while developing a deep connection with each other. However, we are never really privy to those conversations. Did they talk about the future? Their hopes and dreams? Whether or not they have a mutual love of The Big Bang Theory? What did they talk about for hours on end?! I felt that this made it rather difficult to connect with either character, or to really understand their relationship. Arden would always say that she couldn’t believe “the” Slayde Price was paying her any attention, and because we as the readers are never given the chance to explore the inner workings of their relationship, it made it seem like Arden really only agreed to date Slayde because of his reputation rather than any deeper feelings she may have had for him. Again, I feel like if this book had been divided in two, then the author would have had much more time to truly develop why these two were so drawn to each other.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved Slayde. He was the absolute perfect book boyfriend. He never hid how much he cared for Arden, and was always open and honest with her about everything. Although, he was a bit too emotional at times for my taste. I mean, it’s nice when a guy can get in touch with his sensitive side, but he cried one too many times in my opinion. I’m not just talking about eyes getting misty, I’m talkin’ full on tears here. Still, loved him in spite of the tears. Arden on the other hand? It was pretty hard to sympathize with her at times. She constantly has trust issues with Slayde even though he’s never ever EVER given her a reason to doubt him, and thinks that he’ll cheat on her at any given moment. Yeah, I get that this doubt has to do with her own insecurities of thinking that someone as good looking as him would never be interested in someone like her, but after a while it’s kind of like, live it up girlfriend! Enjoy him and his delicious body while you can!
And now for that little issue which I mentioned earlier: Arden’s sister Kenedy. This girl is a bitch with a capital B!! I don’t think I’ve ever hated a fictional character more in my entire life, so I tip my hat to Ms. Craft for being able to make me loathe someone so completely. My main issue is with Arden’s hesitancy to reveal to her sister that she and Slayde are dating. Her insistence on keeping their relationship a secret really hurts Slayde’s sensitive feelings (he may have come to tears over it), and causes him to feel like she’s embarrassed to be in a relationship with him. Let me give you some advice Arden: when your sister abandons you in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, then returns weeks later with no apology, proceeds to ignore you all day every day, and on top of everything you find out that back in high school she cheated on Slayde by sleeping with his brother, a.k.a YOUR boyfriend, you have undeniable rights for life to flaunt the shit out of your new relationship. If it were my sister, I would have…well actually that would never happen because my sister is awesome and actually has a soul, unlike Kenedy. I must say I could not for the life of me understand Arden’s relationship with her sister. The two have never been close, and yet Arden is ridiculously concerned about how Kenedy will react to the fact that she and Slayde are now dating. Once the truth comes out Kenedy is beyond pissed, even though she has absolutely no right to be, and can’t believe that Arden would betray her like that. Honestly, you’re better off without the bitch! Move on, and let Slayde console you, all night long…multiple times. I must say that Arden’s unnecessary concern for her sister, combined with the fact that she has serious trust issues when it comes to Slayde, made it hard for me to like her as a lead character.
*An ARC of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: The Price of Love series, book 1
Should you read it? Consider yourself warned that these two travel a very bumpy road before finally reaching their happy ending. You may also have to exercise extreme patience when it comes to Arden and her decision-making skills.
Smut Level: No smut. The majority of the book states that these two “made love”, without giving away any intimate details.
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