Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Intoxicate (Explosive #4) by Tessa Teevan

Marry me. Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she's been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn't just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he's treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it's her last chance to finally make him take notice. 

As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier's desperate to keep his family together. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn't love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process. 

Little does she know, sometimes love isn't quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend's little sister is wavering, and it's wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it's a no brainer. 

This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love. Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?
~My Review~

I started reading Tessa Teevan books, specifically the Explosive Series, sometime last year.  When I started reading them, the first three books were already out.  I read all three of those books right in a row, and then read both Combust and Conflagration (Wellington spin-offs) as soon as they were released.  But I somehow totally missed the release date for Intoxicate.  I didn't put it on the calendar, and through a search, it happened to pop up that Intoxicate was already released.  I downloaded the book right away, but before I started reading, I actually went back and reread the first three books in the series.  My reason:  I couldn't remember who Kalli was!!!  And I thought that Xavier was a friend of the trio (Jace, Knox, and Kale), but I couldn't remember the details.  Knowing that the characters carry over from each book,  I went back and read Ignite, Incinerate, and Inflame, and then started up on Intoxicate.

While we were introduced to both Xavier and Kalli in Kale's book (Inflame), they are reintroduced and very well developed in Intoxicate.  Xavier is Kale's best friend from Boot Camp.  Kale is Lily's Godfather, and he helped Xavier to raise Lily by moving in with him when Lily's mother, Angela, left when Lily was only a few weeks old.  Kalli is Kale's younger sister, and has been secretly (or not so secretly) in love with Xavier since she was sixteen.  Right off the bat in Intoxicate, the Prologue tells us that they are married, and a little bit about the deal they made (no falling in love).  The book starts out on the morning after the wedding, and then goes back in time to explain all the events that led up to that day.  It gave us a chance to really get to know the characters, Kalli, Xavier, Lily (Xavier's daughter), and Anna (Xavier's mother), and their situations.  I liked how the story was developed to tell us about each of the people, how they fit into each other's lives, and I got a really good understanding of why they are the way they are today.

One of the things I really liked was the relationship with Lily.  Not only the Lily-Xavier relationship, but also the Lily-Kalli relationship.  Lily is already 9 years old during this book, so while she's not a little baby, she is still looking for that Mother/Daughter relationship that she has missed out on (yes, she has her grandmother, but it's just not the same).  I loved some of the topics that came up between Lily and Kalli, and I especially loved how Kalli not only helped Lily through certain obstacles, but she always remembered to bring everything back to Xavier.  The relationship between Lily and Kalli is a catalyst for the relationship between Kalli and Xavier, and I love how everything really fits together.  I feel like there are so many books about the single mother and child, and I really loved the different perspective of the single father.

There is plenty of conflict in this book.  There was no cliffhanger, so we weren't left with any questions about what happened to anyone or anything.  Obviously there is a reason as to why Xavier and Kalli decided to get married, and it takes quite a while to get to that, since there is so much back information on Kalli and Xavier, and how they grow together to even be comfortable enough to marry each other.  Thrown into that mix is Lily and Anna (and like I said, I loved all the parts with Lily), as well as Kale and Lucy, since they're the closest to Xavier (we do see a little bit of Knox, Charlie, Jace, and Lexi, but not a lot).  Once Xavier and Kalli are married, we have conflict within their marriage, their feelings for each other (not only recognizing how they feel about each other but then telling each other how they feel).  Outside of how they feel about each other, we also have conflict with Anna and Angela.  All of the resolution comes pretty naturally.  However, there were parts that I felt moved really slow (like before they got married), and then there were parts that seemed to move really fast (like some of the resolution with Angela).  However, at the end of the day, I felt like the conflict/resolution was well thought out, and nothing was thrown into the mix just to take up space.

Overall I really liked Intoxicate.  It wasn't too long or too short, and I really enjoyed the relationships that were built within the books.  Just like in the other books of the Explosive series, all of the characters were well developed, the story flowed really well (even though there were a few slow parts), and the conflict/resolution was very good, as well.  Another great Tessa Teevan novel!

I'm honestly not ready to say goodbye to this crew of Jace, Lexi, Knox, Charlie, Kale, Lucy, Xavier, and Kallie.  I know there is a novella coming out, Fusion, about Lexi's sister Sierra, Jeremy, and Ava.  And I read that there will be Explosive #5 about Kaylie, but no details yet.  Also, a potential novella for Ginger and Sven, and another couple of Wellington books.  So it looks like there's more in the pipeline!  (Update!!  Thanks to Twitter, Tessa Teevan said that between the Explosive Series & The Wellingtons, she's expecting about 4 more full length novels...And Fusion is going to be full length instead of a novella!!)

Link to Goodreads
Link to book on Kindle
Link to book on Nook

Other books in the Series:
Ignite (Explosive #1) (Jace & Lexi)
Incinerate (Explosive #2) (Knox & Charlie)
Inflame (Explosive #3) (Kale & Lucy)

Combust (The Wellingtons #1) (Cohen & Andi)
Conflagration (The Wellingtons #2) (Branson & Ari)

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