Monday, November 20, 2023

Book Review: Thrive

By Sara Steven

When rumors spread like wildfire—like having three-ways with her boyfriend’s rock climbing brother—Lily Calloway spirals into a dark place. Her bedroom. Loren Hale is more confident and determined to keep their sex life private, even from their friends, and he helps Lily in the only way he knows how. But how much love is too much?

Their lives are filmed, watched, and criticized. And through it all, Lily and Loren have to face enemies they never thought they’d see, demons they don’t know if they should bury, and setbacks they didn’t think they’d meet. Not this soon.

And one rumor could be too much for them to handle. It will test their greatest limitations, and if they don’t hold onto each other, someone is going to drown. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

I really appreciate the Addicted series, and Thrive is a great addition to it. It focuses on both Lily and Lo’s perspectives, and from what I understand, it’s a bit of a recap and a more in-depth look into what happened behind-the-scenes from books Hothouse Flower and Kiss the Sky. There were familiar scenes and I remember the filming that takes place for their reality series, but those experiences had initially been given by other primary characters within this series. Since the series began with Lily and Lo at the center of it, it made sense. 

It’s nice to see that Lily is trying hard to manage her addiction. The struggles to do that can be perceived by others, but it means more coming from her. Lo has his own addictions as well, so we get to witness that, as well as the relationship issues he has with his brother Ryke, who he has had struggles with for years, and with his best friend Connor–who totally hates Ryke. There is anxiety and frustration, and he continually feels as though he needs to shield Lily from potential harm. It’s a lot to pile onto his plate.

As with the other books in this series, there are steamy moments that really draw the reader in. I like how blunt and direct the writing style can be, particularly for those moments and with the inner and outer dialogue provided. The writing never strays from who each character is. For Lily, she is shy and introverted, but when she is with Lo, she comes alive. Lo is all hard angles and is perceived and soulless, yet Lily reminds him of his capacity to love, despite his past. They are a beautifully flawed couple, which makes them all the more endearing.

This really is a friends to lovers experience, which I think can be some of the best reads. It was nice catching up with “Lilo,” despite so many familiar scenes and events that I remembered reading about in the other two books. 

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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