Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4) by R.K. Lilley

It is a distinct feeling. Impossible to mistake. The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable. I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies, and despairingly alone.

It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator. I’d become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.

The third happened swiftly. One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul. Checkmate. I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation, to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.

And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I’d never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.

The Up in the Air Series, with James's point of view.  As well as a bit of Stephan, Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira.
~My Review~

I have had this book on my reading list for what feels like ages.  I've wanted to read it since it was first announced and I felt like the waiting period was just painful.  I absolutely love the Up in the Air books, and my impression from the little that RK Lilley shared on her blog was that this book was going to be great.  In anticipation for this book, I reread the books leading up to this one, including the Tristan & Danika books, and Lana, since we were told that we wouldn't just get James's point of view in this book.  I blogged about these books last week.

This book is technically labeled as "Up in the Air 4" and with that in mind, my main hope was that most of the book would be from James's point of view.  We know about James and how much he loves Bianca, how protective he is of her, and how possessive he is, but since all three of the other books were from Bianca's point of view, with the exception of a couple chapters at the end of Book 3, we really didn't get much at all from his POV.  At one point in the excruciating waiting period, it was announced that we wouldn't just get POVs from James, but also Stephan, Tristan, Frankie, Jared, and Akira.  I have to admit, that when I heard that news, I wasn't all that excited.  I really just wanted to focus on James.  My reason?  Well, in the Tristan and Danika books, they're already in both points of view (Tristan & Danika), so we get a lot of what Tristan is thinking.  We get a chapter from Frankie's point of view, and Jared is a secondary character so we really don't get much at all from him.  And Akira is also a very small character - we really don't know him very well.  I felt like if I got a book with just a bunch of chapters from 6 different characters, I would have been disappointed.

Instead, most of the main book is from the Point of Views of James and Stephan.  We get a bit of the "past" (When James first met Bianca and when Stephan and Bianca were living on the streets together) and then the "present" (after the accident).  I like books that are from both Points of View, but I don't like books where the alternate POV is just a repeat of what happened in the first place.  When you read James's POV, there are some overlapping scenes, but what's repeated is minimal and there is some new information.  I love reading all of his stories from after the accident, since that's all new material for us.  I love reading Stephan's stories because they're also brand new, since they're really only hinted at by Bianca.

I have to say, though, that the story line, in my opinion, was not really there.  Really, I felt like this was just a collection of different stories from a different either James or Stephan (Mostly James.  Stephan's story is minimal).  Don't get me wrong.  I liked it.  And in a way, there was a continuation of the first 3 books.  But the chapters didn't flow.  It was more like Chapter 1 is for this scenario, Chapter 2 is for another scenario, etc.  I did really love seeing James's love for Bianca from his own perspective, as well as his crazy Alpha-Maleness but it was almost as if each chapter was an individual story in and of itself.

And yes, there were POV chapters from Tristan, Frankie, Jared, and Akira.  But it was just one chapter each.  I was happy that we got a little bit from these characters, but also happy that they weren't just thrown into the middle of the main book.  If that were the case, it wouldn't have made any sense at all.  Instead, they were just written in as "Bonus Scenes" and it worked out well.

The book, in total, was 4729 location points long (Kindle Readers).  The James/Stephan part ended around 3100 (It was really mostly .  Then there are teasers from other books by RK Lilley (The Other Man and Crossing Fire), an Epilogue for Lovely Trigger (which was hilarious), then Bonus James POV's.  These are essentially repeats of some of the things that happen in Bianca's POV, but are still entertaining.  This lasts from 3505-4444 and I honestly couldn't really figure out why these weren't part of the actual book.  I'm guessing that since they added no extra content, and they were just the same story from the alternate POV that they were kept separate.  After that, we get the Bonus Point of Views from Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira.

Overall, I liked getting the extra reading from James's POV.  The scenes from Stephan were fun, and the little extras from Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira were also entertaining.  I liked how there were recaps of what happened in the first three books, as well as new scenes from after Grounded, Lovely Trigger, and Lana ended.  I thought it was another very well written piece from RK Lilley that helped feed my addiction of James Cavendish.  It was entertaining, but it lacked.  The overall layout wasn't great.  I felt like the teasers for The Other Man and Crossing Fire should have been the very last thing - They really interrupted the flow.  I felt like Stephan's extras should have been a part of the end extra Bonus Scenes and the main book should have just been left for James.  And I really wished there was more of a plot instead of just a compilation of extra stories.  So likes and dislikes gives this book a 3 star rating for me....

Other books in the series:
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
Lana (A Novella)

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