Title: Hush Hush
Author: Annelise Vandell
Series: Hush Hush #1
Genre: contemporary romance, erotica
Fifty Shades of Grey meets Revenge in this tantalizing new series about a young woman who’s willing to do anything in the name of vengeance.
Something terrible happened to April Morrison when she was eleven years old. When she returns home to New Orleans fourteen years later as “Sophia,” she has only one word on her mind: revenge. She’s got her eye on Charles and Barbara Hawthorne, the crowning jewel of New Orleans’ elite and the ones responsible for turning her life upside down.
Enter Liam Hawthorne, the couple’s successful, strikingly handsome, and irresistibly dominant thirty-two year old son. When Liam makes a provocative proposal, it occurs to April that he may be just the “in” she needs. But what she doesn’t bargain for is Liam’s insatiable—and thrilling—sexual appetite. And as Liam begins to test April’s limits, she realizes that appearances are not what they seem.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Hush Hush #1 by Anneliese Vandell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
2-2.5 well that wasn't for me STARS
So, the premise for Hush Hush was Fifty Shades meets Revenge! And yes, I'm a glutton for punishment, and not the right kind of punishment...unfortunately.
I have this problem where cliché romance tropes just absolutely speak to me and then I feel sorry for myself when it doesn't turn out too well.
Let's just say Liam is in no Christian Grey (I rated those books very poorly as well, so that's not saying much) and April/Sophia is in no way as kick-ass as Emily Thorne! Not even close.
I'm really sorry to say, but this just didn't work for me. The author was so kind to give me an ARC and I had moderately high hopes, but I just can't give this book more stars.
Here is the story in a nutshell:
April Morrison (or Sophia, that's her undercover name) is back in New Orleans for the first time in fourteen years. And she is here to seek revenge against the Hawthorne family, who apparently caused her parents' imprisonment for cheating people out of their money. She is supposed to make first contact at a country club party, but fails miserably, only to run into a good looking guy instead. Turns out he is the family's son, Liam.
You can guess the rest.
**From here on out it gets a little spoiler-ish!
The thing is, the plan to take them down is supposedly so well thought out and researched, but she constantly seems like she has no idea what to do. And she doesn't even know the son? WTF? This is a rich and powerful family, the kind that gets photographed all of the time and she has no idea what these people look like? Yeah right.
Don't even get me started on the sketchy evidence that her parents are innocent. In fact, over the course of the book April herself indicated that something was fishy about her mum and dad. They lead a simple life with very little money, but every once in a while there would be first class trips across the country. But no money to buy April a new bike. Seriously? How? And why the revenge plot if they did it?
Also, where is the evidence that the Hawthornes are at fault? Your gut feeling? At that point I was just lost. I'm not taking this stuff at face value, you have to give me more than that. I've watched so many criminal procedurals over the years...but that didn't work for me.
Did I mention that she is a blushing virgin? At 25! With a tendency to make naive decisions! It just keeps on coming with this one. Honestly, I really tried, but at some point I just zoned out and let it happen. Yeah, Liam and April/Sophia together were steamy, but I couldn't connect with the characters and sorry, but I don't buy the romance. She says no to him the first time they met and then when she finds out who he is and how she could use him, she is all over it. And by 'over it' I mean insta-lust.
The only thing that actually worked for me quite well was the writing. It's a short read with a nice flow and I was done in no time. But even that can't save the book when the plot is standing on wobbly feet, not unlike April/Sophia in her four inch heels.
All in all...
Don't think I will read the next one. :(
**ARC very kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review