Review: Reckless by S.C. Stephens

Tuesday, March 19

Title: Reckless*
Author: S.C. Stephens
Series: Thoughtless #3
Genre: Contemporary New Adult romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: print and ebook
Date/Year: March 5, 2013
Reviewed by: Michele

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Can love survive when life gets Reckless?

When the band hits it big, Kiera and Kellan must ask themselves: Can their love for each other survive the constant pressures of superstardom? The friendships they've formed, the new family they've found, and the history they've forged will all play a part in helping them navigate the turbulent waters of the band's exploding popularity. A greedy executive hell-bent on success, a declining pop star looking for an edge, and a media circus that twists lies into truths are just some of the obstacles the lovers will have to overcome if they are going to remain together. Fame comes with a price-but will it cost Kiera and Kellan everything?


My Musings:

This review contains spoilers for Thoughtless and Effortless, the first two books in this series. Although you could read Reckless as a stand-alone, I would not recommend it.

When last we saw Kiera and Kellan, they had taken their tumultuous relationship to the next level, with an impromptu “wedding” in Pete’s bar, complete with diamond edged promise rings and an understanding that while there would be a real wedding in the future, their marriage had already begun. Now that his band the D-Bags had finally hit the big time with a new record contract and upcoming nationwide tour, there would be even more opportunities for other people and their own doubts to lead them astray from one another. After all, when the love of your life is the one you met by cheating on the man who was her boyfriend and his best friend, how much can you really trust that other person not to cheat again? And how can a marriage of the heart survive the attacks of those who stand to profit by its wreckage?

Reckless is the final book in the Thoughtless trilogy, a series which began with Kiera moving out to Seattle with Denny, her first real love. But when Denny abandoned Kiera by agreeing to take a temporary job out of state only weeks after she’d moved across the country to be with him, she betrayed him completely by engaging in a secret affair with Kellan, his best friend. Although it became obvious over time that Kiera belonged with Kellan and not Denny, the fallout from their affair lasted for months and nearly cost both their lives.

The progression of their relationship continued in Effortless, when the two former cheaters had to learn to trust each other to be true while dealing with Kellan’s man-whore past and his possible future as a genuine rock star. And now in Reckless, that rock stardom becomes a reality and all of Kiera’s worries come to fruition as other people do their worst to ensure Kellan belongs to everyone but her.

I have been fascinated by the emotional interplay in this series caused by how the hero and heroine met and how they have had to deal with the chaos their relationship has caused. What I found especially compelling in Reckless is how instead of having to convince each other, they now have to convince everyone else in their lives that they are both being faithful and not falling back into their cheating ways. The machinations of the record company and the aging pop star princess trying to exploit Kellan for their own means were so ruthless and evil that I was yelling obscenities every time something else happened as I was reading.

A couple who hadn’t already been through what Kiera and Kellan had been through might not have survived such an experience. It didn’t help that no one believed Kiera when she told them nothing they read in the tabloids was true, even though she was with Kellan every day and knew that it was all lies. It was unusual to see the Big Misunderstanding trope being between the romantic couple and the rest of the world, but that’s part of what made Reckless such a great read for me. I was so anxious for Kiera and Kellan that at one point I actually flipped to the back of the book to assure myself that everything would be OK, which is something I never do. The way Kiera and Kellan resolve the Big Misunderstanding shows that both of them have grown beyond their previous behavior and learned to think before acting. The Happy Ever After ending might be a bit much for those who despise epilogues with babies, it worked for me because Kiera and Kellan (and Denny and everyone else in their lives) had been through so damn much in the series and had earned the right to all of it.

Reckless is a satisfying ending to an incredibly emotional and action-packed trilogy. It provides the ultimate test of Kiera and Kellan’s love and does it beautifully.

Ratings:

Overall: 4.5
Sensuality level: 4


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