Friday, November 20, 2015

Paper Dolls - Ketley Allison

I hosted a blog tour for Paper Dolls just last week, but I hadn't read the book quite yet. I wanted to take it along with me during my vacation, so I could just jump right into it and give it my full attention. I'd heard my fellow bloggers giving advance praise, so I had high hopes it would be a winner for me and I was definitely not let down. Paper Dolls isn't your run of the mill contemporary New Adult novel, it's got a new twist you haven't seen before. If you're anything like me, a change of pace is welcome when it comes to books. I highly suggest Paper Dolls and if you've read it, please let me know, I desperately need people to talk to about it! If you're on the fence, check out my review below and even read the first chapter right here on my blog.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Published: November 2015
Many thanks to Netgalley and Ketley Allison for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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The very first thing I did when I finished this book was login to see how long I had to wait for book two. I know, I know, it just released, but it was so good! This will absolutely be a book I will have to revisit a time or two, because I had so many feelings! For now, I will just go ahead and one-click buy all of Ketley Allison's other books. Ah. Okay, I owe you all a review, a proper review, sorry about that.

Scarlet has no fears; if it looks ominous, sounds ominous, is probably ominous, she's running towards it. She's left behind her previous life of happiness and friendship after a terrible trauma and turns towards the underbelly of New York to find her new self. There's more than just poker taking place in the underground world of New York, there's crime, hustling, and the handsome face of Theo Saxon, mobster's son. Theo thinks he can scare Scarlet away from the savages of his life, but each savage task he puts her through just draws her into him. She seems him for what he really is and she's willing to push the limit for him.

Scarlet is an excellent character; Ketley Allison did a great job of creating a MC you can't help but like. Sure, she's pushed away her friends, but you feel the pain she's got trapped inside and if the ugly side of New York brings her back to life, then you're absolutely 100% behind it. I really enjoyed reading from Scarlet's perspective as she studied poker, encountered less than lovely people, and found herself feeling for the least likely person. Her slow development as she moves from traumatized Scarlet to alive and emotional is definitely one of my favorite parts of this book. Which brings me to Theo, our alpha male, I felt like I could see his facial expressions. I just want to see what he really looks like, I mean he sounds ridiculously attractive. He has the whole bad boy thing going for him, but Scarlet sees right through him and pushes him past his comfort zone. Their interactions were sexy, dramatic, and totally swoon worthy. The volatility of their relationship brought so much to this book, it felt normal, the pull of wanting someone so much and wanting to save them from heartbreak as well.

The story line of Paper Dolls is totally new for me. It isn't just a mobster style book, but a look from the outside in at the good and the evil that make up a family of criminals and the growth of a character after finally facing the trauma that has affected her for so long. The poker room subplot brings a lot of depth to this book, because it takes the readers out of the romance and into the world of New York's secret thrills. It allowed the readers to focus on who Scarlet is individually, brought a lot of great minor characters to life, and provided a backbone for the story of who Theo really is. The twists in this books are so good, especially as the Saxon family gets involved. I didn't expect any of it, though I feel like I should have, and that is definitely what keeps me turning pages in a book. I won't give anything away, but when I say I had feelings, I mean it. I full on cried when Scarlet cried as she found herself again and gasped as the events unfolded between Theo and Scarlet.

If you're looking for roller coaster romance, look no further than Scarlet and Theo. I finished this book with an empty hole in my heart, because I want to know what happens right now. Yes, it has a sort of cliffhanger, but this book is a complete story and I wasn't left feeling upset with the cliff, like I so often am. I hope Ketley Allison is banging away on her keyboard on book two, because I am not sure how long I can wait.

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