Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Book Review: Hothouse Flower

By Sara Steven

Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.

And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.

Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets.

As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Having read the first book in the Calloway Sisters series, and learning about the forbidden relationship between Ryke and Daisy, I was interested to see what would unfold between the two characters. A big issue between them has always been the perception others have in regards to their age difference, and I felt the author did a great job of showcasing that, but also ensuring that there is a delicate balance between what is perceived, and what is real. Ryke and Daisy have been friends for years, with Ryke choosing to do what is right by Daisy, while also towing the line with his brother, Lo. Lo does not support any sort of relationship between the two, even when it is obvious that Ryke has always had Daisy’s best interest at heart.

Daisy appears to be dealing with a lot of repressed fears and emotions, growing up fast in the limelight. Her mother peddles Daisy’s career, regardless of the type of effect it may have on her youngest daughter. Ryke also deals with parental issues, choosing not to have a relationship with his parents, providing another source of contention between himself and Lo. It’s obvious that Ryke feels he has something to prove to everyone–yet with Daisy, he doesn’t. What she sees is what she gets. I really enjoyed the two of them together, despite the age difference. 

So far, I think I enjoy their relationship the most. Within the characters, initially, we learn about the addictive qualities that tie Lo and Lily together, and with Rose and Connor, there is a blockage there that didn’t feel as connective. Ryke and Daisy have built a relationship on friendship, first, and the reader can feel the depth and sincerity to that.  

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase Hothouse Flower here.

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