Loving Riley, Liz Durano – Book Review

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29068839To his legions of fans, Ashe Hunter is perfect – the classically trained British actor taking Hollywood by storm with his devastating good looks and old-fashioned charm. To his American girlfriend, Riley Eames, he is the man of her dreams, a gallant Prince Charming come to life.

But to someone from his past, Ashe Hunter is the Yorkshire boy she groomed for the world stage – and now, her ticket to Hollywood fame. And she’ll do anything to get what she wants, even if it means tearing apart the image he’s built for himself ever since he left her.

 

 

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*ARC received in exchange of an honest review. The thoughts are my own and in no way biased.*

Let it be said that I am a complete Liz Durano fan and LOVE HER WORK. I’ve been following her work since she was on Wattpad and I am so happy that she’s making a name for herself in the published world too, because frankly, if you’re a romance fan, you absolutely need to read Liz’s books. There’s no two ways about it.

I read the first book in this trilogy, Loving Ashe, sometime early last year and absolutely adored it. In case you need a reminder, here’s my review – Loving Ashe.

In the sequel to Loving Ashe, things have really come together for both Ashe and Riley. Ashe is making a name in Hollywood and Riley is learning to let go of her past. They’re building a life together and both of them are extremely happy in their relationship. All is good for the couple until a blast from Ash’s past threatens to destroy everything that they’ve tried to build together.

I loved that we got to see more of Ashe and his demons in this book. The first one was all about Riley and her past, but this one also included Ashe’s with hers. I liked how in the first book, Ashe seemed kind of invincible, always the pillar of support, immaculate man but in this one, we learn of his flaws and his mistakes. He really is just a normal guy, trying his best. The way that is portrayed through the story is really beautiful. I fell more in love with him as I saw him grappling through his salacious past while still trying to be the man he wants to be for Riley and his family. It makes him so much more endearing and lovable. I adore him and I admire his resilience. Such a great, great character!

I didn’t like Riley as much as I did in the first book. She still had her own past to come to terms with and suddenly being bombarded with Ashe’s was a little too much for her. I liked how she tried her best, given the circumstances and her character grew and developed throughout the story. But, she was awfully indecisive throughout the story and it made me mad that she couldn’t just make a decision and stick to it. I understood that she was dealing with a lot and she was having a hard time keeping her head over water, but it really frustrated me a whole lot.

I loved that despite everything that was going on, Ashe and Riley held on to each other ans supported the other as best as they could and finally, in the end, they come out of it all a whole stronger than before with a lot more trust and love between them.  The romance was still as swoony as the first one in this, but it had a lot more angst and lot more depth than the first one as we learnt more about Ashe.

I also loved the whole mysterious plot that went hand in hand with the drama. It was so well executed and the twists and turns were really surprising and unexpected. I won’t say much on this because I think that it is best experienced while reading the novel, but let me tell you, it is amazingly written.

Loving Riley is a great conclusion to the love story that started in Loving Ashe and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

 

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Loving Ashe, Liz Madrid – Book Review

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Three years after her ex-boyfriend left her to pursue his Hollywood dream, Riley Eames’ love life is still on hold, hindered by questions only he can answer. So when he asks to meet her for a booty call while he’s in town, she reluctantly agrees, only to find herself stuck in the hotel elevator with charming British actor, Ashe Hunter, who’s in town to promote his latest movie.

But even as sparks fly between them, Riley realizes that to fall in love again, she has to move on from the past, even if it means letting go of the questions she’s been seeking answers to, and uncovering secrets meant to be hidden.

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Okay. So, Ashe. Where can I find one of him for myself?
Liz, you’d know where, right?
Because I really, really need an Ashe Hunter for myself. With the looks, the body, the accent, the personality – entire package.
As you probably gathered, I’m absolutely smitten by this one man. Ashe Hunter is really a force to be reckoned with, you know? He’s so honest and real and persuasive and not ready to let go that you just can’t help but give into him. I mean, which girl can turn down noodles in a crowded restaurant, coffees, talks and lots of flowers and texts? Certainly not me and definitely not Riley.
Okay, so maybe I should backtrack a little, help you understand, right?
So, I’ll start from the beginning. Riley Eames is a hardworking girl who loves to read and work at the book cafe she partly owns. She adores her three nephews and looks up to her sister and brother – in – law in every aspect in life. Riley Eames is also nursing a broken heart from three years ago when her childhood friend/long term boyfriend left her to make a career in Hollywood leaving her with nothing but a mattress and $20,000 in the dead of the night.
She’s reasonably not over the break up yet, especially the way she was abandoned. So, when said ex, Gareth Roman, hunts her down on social media and asks her to come see him while he’s town, she agrees. She knows its probably just a booty call and she might not get answers to the questions she has, but she can’t help herself. So, she goes. But, she can’t find it in herself to actually knock on his hotel room door and turns back to the elevator, where she’s stranded in with a handsome stranger.
Riley and Ashe seems to hit it off instantly and spend time getting to know each other while stuck in the elevator together. They have dinner after they’re out and Ashe even drops her home and sends her flowers the next day.
It’s all the beginning of a happy romance until Riley’s sister, Paige butts in. She thinks that Ashe is in it just for one thing and is afraid that he’s going to break Riley’s heart, just like Gareth did. The fact that Ashe and Gareth are long time co – stars who have been working on a movie together doesn’t really help matters. However, Riley is absolutely smitten by Ashe and against her better judgement and her sister’s protests, she continues to see Ashe and their relationship progresses.
Things get even worse for the couple when Gareth actively starts seeking Riley out and denies everything she accuses him off.
As Riley turns to her sister for help in her troubled times, she learns of past secrets that have the power to make or break her life. A betrayal that runs deep in the family, a brother – in – law who is more manipulative and selfish than she could think of, a sister who might have been out with her own agenda and a father who wants nothing to with her leave Riley with important decisions to make.
The question that remains is, is she strong enough to love Ashe even after everything?
Riley is an amazing and strong protagonist. She has a lot of her own demons that she’s fighting, but the way she appears to the world – happy and normal – shows just how strong she is in dealing with everything. Yes, she’s been sheltered a lot by her elder sister and she’s done a lot of stuff she’s not proud of, but she’s learning and growing up. She’s trying to stand her own and to fall in love again. I love that she isn’t perfect and that she misses things easily. It makes her character more real. She’s smart and honest and passionate about anything and everything she does. The love that she has for her nephews is amazing. I love her.
As we all know by now, I’m absolutely smitten by Ashe. He’s handsome, has a posh English accent and knows exactly how to woo a girl. If that’s not enough, he’s caring, understanding and supportive. He stands by Riley as she goes through a lot of ups and downs in her life. He’s always there for her, supporting her and holding her. He’s her shoulder to cry on, her ear to listen, her mind to give advice and her mouth to kiss. He’s grounded and real. He loves his family very much and absolutely dotes on his niece.
Yeah, you see why I’m smitten with him, right?
Loving Ashe is a really heartfelt story that will leave you reeling and wanting for more. The way that Liz describes her characters and brings them to life is amazing to witness. Each and every word of this story is beautifully written.
The characters are real, deep and flawed. People make mistakes. They lie and they manipulate. But, what matters in the end is that they try to redeem themselves and that they love.
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P.S : Photo credit goes to the uploader, as always! 🙂
Happy Readings! 😀