What starts as a seemingly lighthearted story of 3 long term friends letting off steam after graduating from university, before they start to think of more ‘adult’ responsibilities soon shifts into another gear as Mia finds herself challenged and daring more than she ever had before.
Mia, Harlow and Lola are wonderfully drawn with that ‘friend shorthand’ that suits and fits them and gives readers a sense of being present in the moment. Alternately challenging, supportive and even just a shoulder: these three start the character development with solid reactions and interactions that show just what role each friend plays in their group. Of the three, Mia is the one who is most removed from the excitements to come: she dreads her upcoming move and graduate school, feeling pressured and unimportant in her father’s grand plan for her life. Reserved and more quiet, stuck in the “good girl” trap that she feels confines her, and her loss of a long-held dream to be a dancer leaves her somewhat hopeless and depressed.
Ansel is in Vegas with two friends that are celebrating after a long bike trek across the states. After ‘meeting’ Mia in the bar, the two come face to face after their all night party kept her awake – and she went across the hall to demand they quiet down. Ansel is French, he lives in Paris and works as a lawyer, and he cannot get over the fascination he has for Mia. The two talk and reveal secrets, and soon Mia’s expectation of a one night stand has broadened, feeling things she never felt before with a man she can’t explain. When she wakes from a hard night of partying to find a wedding ring on her hand, she realizes that they ARE in Vegas – and she isn’t sure about what to do next. Next arrives in the form of Ansel, unwilling to dissolve the hasty union, he invites her back to Paris where they can continue their introduction and she can make choices for her new life.
Here is where the story took a turn – and for me – for the better. Both Mia and Ansel are forced to deal with situations and issues that they had not faced before: Mia with her decisions about her life and her self-esteem that was all entangled in her lost dancer dreams, Ansel with his ex and being open and learning to trust in the life that was before them. Her jealousy and perception that he was ‘hiding’ important information from her, and then running to avoid what she feels certain is a painful end is childish and very much an “I’ll get you so you can’t get me” attitude, which she had slowly been removing from her bag of tricks, until she left. Her reconciliation and recognition of her mother’s struggle and dreams that were ignored by her father, and her realization that she had to find a path that both suited and excited her, courtesy of Ansel, showed true growth and development of her character and felt realistic and honest.
Narration for this story is provided by Shayna Thibodeaux and she presents a wonderful performance that is subtly nuanced, using tone, delivery, and a facility for accents to delineate the characters to make following the story easy for the listener. She imparts the emotional emphasis that was in the text without ever becoming overdone. Christina Lauren has written a story that is filled with hope and growth, understanding and heat, and Thibodeaux brings the story to life with her narration.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Sweet Filthy Boy
Author: Christina Lauren
Narrator: Shayna Thibodeaux
Published by: Gallery Books, SimonandSchuster.com/Audio
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 11 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio ♦Direct from Publisher
One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.
But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.
When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.