Monday, March 11, 2013

(Review) I Only Have Eyes for You by Bella Andre

Title: I Only Have Eyes for You
Author: Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans, #4
Published: February 22, 2012 (Oak Press LLC)
Rating: Lunch Break Read
Format: Digital copy, purchased
Summary: Sophie Sullivan, a librarian in San Francisco, was five years old when she fell head over heels in love with Jake McCann. Twenty years later, she's convinced the notorious bad boy still sees her as the "nice" Sullivan twin. But when they both get caught up in the magic of the first Sullivan wedding, she knows it's long past time to do whatever it takes to make him see her for who she truly is: the woman who will love him forever.

Jake has always been a magnet for women, especially since his Irish pubs made him wealthy. But the only woman he really wants is the one he can never have. Not only is Sophie his best friend's off-limits younger sister...he can't risk letting her get close enough to discover his deeply hidden secret. Only, when Sophie appears on his doorstep as Jake's every fantasy come to life, he doesn't have a prayer of taking his eyes - or his hands - off her. And he can't stop craving more of her sweet smiles and sinful kisses. Though Jake knows loving Sophie isn't the right thing to do...how can he possibly resist?
I first heard about I Only Have Eyes for You back in early 2012 when it was a pick for the Sizzling Book Club over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I bought it...but then wound up not reading it for a long time. Then I picked it up on a whim, meaning to just read the first couple pages to decide whether or not I was really in the mood for it. 30 pages later, from my position sitting cross-legged on the floor and surrounded by books, I looked up and decided that I was, in fact, in the mood for it.

When I read the blurb for this book, I immediately thought YES, PLEASE. I am a huge sucker for the "loved you forever" plot. She's a librarian! He's her older brother's best friend! There are so many elements of this book that should have made me love this book. And they did, to an extent. But at the same time, there was a lot that didn't work for me.

Obviously, I was a fan of the dynamic between Jake and Sophie. They had some great mutual-pining-induced chemistry going on, but things came to a head with them pretty quickly. Sophie showed up on his doorstep, and then the majority of the book dealt with the aftermath. I wasn't super happy about that, because I figured it would lead to a lot of not-so-fun drama. Which turned out to be right. Jake had a big "secret" he could neverneverever let Sophie know. He had massive self-esteem issues in some areas. He was so down on himself all the time. It got really frustrating after a while.

As for Sophie, I wanted more of her in the beginning. I just had to take her word for how she "normally" was, and how people viewed her. Yet she acted different from both of those images a lot of the time. Which is fine, because she was supposedly stepping out of the shadow of her bazillion older brothers and twin sister (all of whom I loved, by the way; I enjoyed the family scenes so much!). But I think I would have understood her more as a character if I had known her more the way she "used to be" before her transformation.

The relationship development was nothing new, but the way it came about was fun and unique to them. Watching them work backwards into a caring, equal relationship was enjoyable. But once there was sex, there was sex. It got pretty old, honestly. I would have liked to focus more on other aspects of their relationship, or even their individual character arcs. But then again, if they would have spent more time talking and less time sexing it up, the book probably would have been substantially shorter. So, there's that.

The book was a weird mixture of compelling and boring. Some parts, like the beginning, totally sucked me in, but at other times, I found myself skimming because I just didn't care. It was inconsistent throughout. Basically, there were some things I wasn't super crazy about, but there were a lot of things I enjoyed. Overall, though, the positives mostly outweighed the negatives. It was a cute story.
She’d never felt anything like this, had never known what it was to step inside a bolt of lightning and become light and flames.

I’ve always loved books. I love being around them. I love getting lost in a story, a world. I love that I can become anyone, that I can live any fantasy.

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