Thursday, August 7, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Next week I’ll be kicking off a new theme of book reviews. Till then I’m sharing a few of my favorite reads this year, ones that I’m anxiously awaiting the sequels to! If you haven't read the titles I’m featuring today and tomorrow, then make weekend plans with these amazing books…

Hothouse Flower (Callaway Sisters) by Krista and Becca Ritchie

5 Stars

Sex addict, Alcoholic, Virgin, Smartass, Jackass, Daredevil, and Rebel…Wait! Rebel isn't one of the character stereotypes; that’s this reviewer!

Yes, I’m the rebel. At least during this particular reading and review. Browsing books on Amazon one afternoon I came across Hothouse Flower. I was totally unfamiliar with the series but it sounded interesting so I downloaded the sample and ignored all the warnings and recommendations to read the previous books. To be fair, I did read the synopsis for Kiss the Sky, which filled in a few gaps.  Something just attracted me to Ryke and Daisy’s story, and so I went against the rules and conventions, bought the full title and jumped into the series at this juncture. But I suppose if your going to be a rebel when reading this series, this book would be the one to do it with as Ryke and Daisy are a bit rebels themselves, often going against the wishes of their family and society, whether it has to do with their careers, their appearances, or their love for one another. But I’m getting ahead of the plot.

Hothouse Flower (title explained towards the end of the book) follows Ryke Meadows and Daisy Calloway. As background, if you are coming into this series for the first time like I was, previous books have dealt with Ryke’s brother Lo, who battles an alcohol addiction, and Daisey’s sister Lily, who battles a sex addiction. Both families are famous. Ryke and Lo’s father is a baby product mogul and the Callaway girls’ father is the soda king.  In the previous book, Daisy’s other sister Rose had her life filmed for a reality show, thrusting them all further into the spotlight. Plagued by the paparazzi, Daisy suffers a sleep disorder.

Daisy is an eighteen year old model. Ryke is a twenty-five year old athlete/rock climber. The idea of them pairing up has been frowned upon until now because of her age and their close family connections. Despite all that, Daisy and Ryke exhibit a strong sexual attraction (oh man do they ever) and an intense closeness and respect for each other.

Ryke is the guy you want in your corner. He is fiercely loyal and well…pretty hot. He knows how to handle Daisy’s ADD personality, and possibly loves her a little more for it. Ryke is deep and complex. He has boundaries, yet he cares and doesn't care what people think about him at the same time.
“He’s the hero of my story, but he refused to claim any of those moments…” –Daisy
Daisy is adorable. She is a unique mix of innocence and experience that fits her age and lifestyle.  She has a free spirit and holds her own bantering/flirting with Ryke from the very beginning. I felt bad for Daisy the way her older sisters excluded her at times (whether intentional or not), and at how she had to suffer because of their mistakes and poor choices.

Ryke and Daisy are perfectly flawed—as in their flaws make them endearing and who they are, not annoying characters. They are definitely ones to root for, and I’m glad they faced their problems and their families together. They trusted in what they knew about each other and believed in each other. They didn't let circumstances stand in their way. I wish more writers would develop couples that do this.  That is not to say the book didn't have drama, but it was a well developed and well balanced drama that fit the storyline and did not feel over the top.

Told from Ryke and Daisy’s alternating 1st Person POV, the story perfectly balances adventure plot (road trip!!!) and couple time (some very hot and creative love scenes that fit the pair well) as part of the gang flies to Daisy’s “rescue” in Paris and then later all of the gang treks across the country for Ryke’s big rock climb.  The dialogue and inner monologues are also well balanced and flow well as the story unfolds. 

There is no insta-love or insta-lust. Even having not read the previous books that Ryke and Daisy appeared in, I could feel their history and their strong feelings for each other. Their personalities made it completely believable that they would be attracted to and fall in love with each other.  Plus, there was so much sexual tension long before they ever even kissed.
“I wonder if that’s us. Soft to his hard. Sweet to his rough. Wild to his stone.” –Daisy
Daisy and Ryke compliment each other so perfectly, and their story captures all the elements of being young and free. I was continually torn between wanting to see them have their own little “crazy babies” or let their free spirits adventure longer.

Long Way Down (the next book from Daisy and Ryke's POV) is on my Want To Read list. Add it to yours at Goodreads.

Check out Hothouse Flower at the following:
Barnes & Noble

If you are not a rebel and prefer to read the series in order, you can find all the details on previous and future books at  Krista and Becca Ritchie's site. Their latest title Thrive is now available!

All quotes from Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie, 2014.

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