Friday, 19 April 2013

"Where The Ivy Grows" by S Quinn

Review: Where The Ivy Grows: Surj

The eagerly anticipated sequel to “The Ivy Lessons” was finally released on Sunday and OMG there was a rush to go out and buy it. We were so desperate for the next chapter in the relationship between Marc Blackwell and Sophia Rose, especially since (at the end of “The Ivy Lessons”), they had decided to go public with their affair. What did the future hold for this couple? Would it be all hearts and flowers or would they fail at the first hurdle?

So the book started as the first one had ended, with Marc and Sophia deciding to tell the world they were together. Their relationship up until now had been a secret, it had been hidden  from all the ugliness being a  Hollywood A-lister could potentially bring:

Marc and I have been in a cocoon. A bubble. All we’ve known is each other,
but now we’re in the real world, trying to hash out a real relationship.
And something tells me it’s not going to be easy.

Marc had lived in a media circus most of his life. He knew the damage the world's press could do not only on a relationship but also on an individual and his basic instinct was  to protect Sophia, to shield her from  the cruelty being in the lime light could bring:

You are in danger now that we’re out in the open. I need to protect you.  
I can’t sit back and watch you get hurt”.

My heart really went out to Marc at times. Being in a relationship was  alien to him. Although his life had been very public, Marc was in fact a very private person so going to the press about the affair and opening his life up to world would always be difficult. Marc’s coping mechanism for this and for keeping Sophia safe was to do the one thing he did well, very well: take control. But this would be the one thing that would either make or break them.
As much as I could see that Marc only had Sophia’s best interests at heart, unfortunately Sophia was blinded by his incessant need to dominate and saw a lot of Marc’s actions as an attempt to control her:

Sophia: “You told them I wouldn’t take the part? Without asking me? 
 Am I hearing you right?”
Marc: “Exactly right. It’s not safe”.

Once their relationship was exposed, there was no going back. Sophia’s life was changed forever. Do I think she thought this through... definitely not. The paparazzi tormented her, stories about a “slutty” student were published, offers of acting thrown at her.

I saw so many sides to Sophia’s character in this book, sometimes very contradictory. Sophia wanted equality in their relationship. She wanted to be consulted when decisions were made and for her opinion to matter but as time was ticking, she knew this was going to be difficult. We saw a very feisty side to her, where she was very vocal,  where she shouted, even got angry at Marc. A side we were not used to seeing. She even disobeyed him.. made her own decisions.

I don’t know what Marc will do if I take the part. Maybe he’ll break up with me. 
Or maybe it’ll make us stronger. Either way, I need to show him I can make 
decisions on my own. Good ones.Decisions that help my future.

We also saw  a very scared and vulnerable side to Sophia where (even when berated and belittled) she was unable to open her mouth and defend herself.

Some of her decision making made me angry. On one hand, she wanted to be successful in her own right, but on the flip side, she accepted an acting role she knew was was only offered because of her connection to Marc:

Sophia, without Marc, you are nobody. You do understand that, don’t  you?  
 You’re no good to us without Marc”.

I wanted to scream at her “Just swallow your pride and leave!! Make it because you’re good, not because of who you’re in a relationship with. This isn’t you!!!!” She had definitely bitten off more than she could chew in this situation.

As their story unfolded, we also got an insight into Marc’s dark past and the reasons for his dominating and controlling behaviour:

“When I hooked into that scene, all the bad feelings I carried around... those worthless,
frightened feelings that came from a life with my father... they left. Just like that”.

 Marc had secrets, secrets that would surface as we progressed through the book. And it was because of these secrets that we saw a very different side to him... we saw  fear and vulnerability. Would he lose Sophia if she knew the past he harboured?

We were introduced to a number of new characters: the slime ball that was Giles Getty. If ever there was a book award for the most hated villain, he would definitely be up for it. He was cruel, calculated and had absolutely no morals what so ever. We were also introduced to Marc’s sister Annabel who was lovely but unfortunately also had a past that had affected her so much she was now a drug addict.  Both of these characters played a major part in Marc’s life, some for the good, some for the bad but both would affect the outcome of Marc and Sophia’s relationship in some way. We also saw the return of the bitch that was Celeste and Tom and Tanya who were just adorable.

This book had me gripped from the first couple of chapters. I really wanted to see the progression in Marc and Sophia's relationship but I had an inkling it wouldn't be plain sailing.

As much as I enjoyed "Where The Ivy Grows", I felt something was missing with the sequel. I found a sense of predictability at times where I could almost guess which path the characters would take. The sex scenes was also much lighter in this book.  On the flip side, there was definitely drama and there were definitely a few curve balls thrown in for good measure.

I have rated this book 4 Hearts

Favourite quote from the book:

Sophia: "We have to do this. I don't want to live in the shadows"
Marc: "You can have a lot of fun in the shadows".
Sophia: "Maybe. But I like the light. Nothing grows without light".

I’m really looking forward to the conclusion to the “Devoted” series by S Quinn. Will Marc and Sophia finally get their "Happily Ever After?"

“Bound By Ivy” will hopefully be released in July/ August 2013

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