Friday, 4 September 2015

Switch (Spark #5) by Jennifer Ryder - ARC Review

Released: 20th September 2015 


With an ex fiancé leaving her in debt, breaking up with her girlfriend and struggling to find a place she can afford, Sophie McKenna has hit an all-time low. Everyone thinks she’s a lesbian, and she likes it that way, but her estranged parents know better.

The foul-mouthed motocross mechanic, Rocco De Luca, only has his incarcerated brother left. Every day is a battle of the mind and of the bottle. Tequila and easy women soothe the pain, but they never fill the void.

Rocco doesn’t mind offering his spare room to the hot lesbian he refers to as ‘Suds’. She won’t be clingy, far from it, and he’s keen on the idea of getting to see a bit of girl on girl action.

With such volatile personalities under the same roof, and being in April and Spencer’s wedding party, they both have to learn to get along, even though they can’t stand each other.

He never thought he might actually grow to like her.

She never thought she might actually hate him less.

*Contains content for over 18 years of age. CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE*


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Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: September 2015.

Having the absolute pleasure of beta reading the Spark series from its inception I've seen Jennifer Ryder go from strength to strength. I knew there was something special about Sophie from the moment she graced the pages in Strike, I loved her snarky wit and her strength, I adored that Ms Ryder didn't make her some two dimensional bimbo, Sophie has had a tough run, that much was eluded to in Strike, her sexual orientation was just one part of her larger than life personality and she drew me in almost instantly. Rocco had an almost sleaziness about him that should of been a turn off, but his honesty about his main loves in life, patron, pussy and being a mechanic was somewhat refreshing. I wanted to be disgusted by his manwhoring ways but I couldn't, his character intrigued me, not because I expected the stereotype, that the bad boy player just needed the love of a pure, innocent woman to turn him good, but because he intrigued me, I wanted to know not why he bounced from woman to woman, but what made him tick, what was it that lurked in the background of his mind that he was so eager to forget, to drown out with a steady stream of booze and women.

The moment Ms Ryder mentioned Switch would be about Rocco and Sophie I was giddy, because well... Sophie has a girlfriend in Strike, she for all intents and purposes Sophie appears to be a lesbian, so I wondered how this would translate to a story where the hero and heroine were male and female, I shouldn't have questioned Jennifer's ability to tell this story, it was barely even a blip on the radar once I dove in, I devoured this book, I couldn't put it down, there was so much more here than I expected, so much more than a man with a penchant for living loud and woman who dealt with heart break and anger by turning to women. I should mention that the author doesn't gloss over anything here, she doesn't play it down, nor does she make light of sexual ambiguity or orientation, nor does she focus the entire book there, Switch is very much about two people struggling to keep their heads above water, two people who have had very different tough lessons thrown their way, who are just trying to survive.

Ms Ryder tackles some extremely confronting topics here, from deception and heartbreak, to alcoholism, to prison, there is nothing flippantly thrown in for the sake of angst, and every moment, every soul crushing, thought provoking moment propels the story, the author uses her characters as a  vehicle to pose important questions to the reader, it challenges you to ask yourself when the world seems to be stacked against you do you submit and be crushed by the rising waves or do you find a way to break the surface and keep on swimming? As someone who has seen the effects of alcoholism first hand this was a refreshing take on someone's journey of hope and healing, often times irreverent, extremely sexy and funny as hell, Switch had me not only invested but desperate for more, there were moments I cursed myself for my speed reading ways, wanting instead to slow down and savour the words, I wanted to soak up the characters and live in their world for just a little longer.

There was a beautiful contrast within Rocco and Sophie, on the outside they both seemed like a match made in heaven...and hell...funny, brash, direct, neither spared a second thought for the other's feelings, and yet as we peel away the layers, we realise they are both more alike and yet different in some ways than we expected. Despite the horrendous run Sophie has had, there's a hopefulness to her, her fighting spirit shining through despite the numerous times she wants to throw in the towel and give up, and Rocco may be arrogant and crass, but beneath the cocky exterior is a man who genuinely cares for those around him, the tender and touching moments may not be frequent at first but their appearance in the story soothed my erratic heart. I was hoping for something sexy and fun, and with Switch I also got an at times poignant and heartfelt story about over coming past hurts, living through pain, and finding a way to live not just survive.

About Jennifer Ryder:

New Adult and erotic romance writer, and author of the Spark series.

A sexy imagination, a life-long love of books and a sucker for romance, Jennifer Ryder couldn't stifle her creativity any longer.

Writing steamy adult romance has become her new focus. Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country.

Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don't see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.

Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for such an incredible review. I am speechless right now. Incredible x