Sunday by Kaia Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I surprised myself by really liking this book despite it being heavily erotic. Every chapter has a detailed sexual encounter; it got boring, BUT the author writes in an evocative manner that weaves emotions and thoughts into the scenes so it’s more than thrusts and groans. I would have liked to skim past many of the sexcapades, but there were some poignant exchanges tied in (once they stop grunting). I read every word.
The last book I read struck a sore nerve with me, so I was a bit nervous to continue reading “Sunday” after Flynn showed some of the same type of so-called “Alpha Male” behavior that wavered very closely to sexual assault early in the book. I kept reading because Flynn recognized what he was doing and so did Gia. They toed the line dangerously close. Shortly after their first tryst, both Gia and Flynn laid awake worried about if they had gone too far and what the consequences were.
Gia and Flynn are college students, stuck together to work on a project. At first, I thought Flynn was working a little psychology experiment on Gia with his behavior. The narration quickly revealed he felt more for Gia than frustration and lust, and Gia felt the same about Flynn. It was a bit repetitive, though, the constant internal narative questioning why the felt the way they did and acted on it. The remorse on Gia’s part got a little stale, and I was left wondering why she felt so strongly for Flynn and was willing to move so quickly with him. I don’t feel like that was ever truly resolved. Although, there are just some people who ‘do it’ for you. I guess Flynn made her feel EVERYTHING. I can understand that.
Flynn’s a real jerk to Gia and most women, but the author does not make excuses for his behavior. His backstory isn’t revealed until well into the book, and Flynn more or less shrugs and says it doesn’t matter.
Gia tried so hard to be perfect. Although Gia suspects her long-time boyfriend, Lucca, has been cheating, she has no real proof. She doesn’t seek any either. So when Flynn breaks down all her walls, she’s rubbed raw. Everything is surface-level, but she tries hard to maintain her ‘good girl’ facade. Flynn knocks her mask off whenever they share the same air space. She essentially becomes split in two: Lucca’s woman and Flynn’s woman. Both men think they have her pegged, but Gia kind of surprises them both and herself.
“Sunday” has some well-nuanced characters and a deeper story than miss-matched study partners and their weekly, forbidden trysts. I would have LOVED to have more of the actual story and a whole lot less sex.
This book would have held my attention without the 30 chapters of almost nonstop sex. However, this book is labeled as erotic romance, and it does it’s job well.
I appreciate Ms. Bennett not making Flynn and Gia instantly become a couple. When they finally say their ILYs, it is after a near fatal blow to their already fragile ‘relationship’ (if continual boots-knocking is a relationship). They are sweet together, though, despite the rocky start. There’s a fire between them that is genuine, like the song says, “It’s a thin line between love and hate.”
There’s the standard scorned ex-boyfriend, bitter bestie, and wacky free-spirits who make appearances and offer tension or wisdom at appropriate times to move the story along. They all were fairly forgettable, though. That’s okay. This is Gia and Flynn’s story.
Okay, ladies, I now see what the fuss is about with the Alpha Male talk. Flynn is hot! He’s self-assured and unapologetic about going after what he wants. He’s a bit of a brute, but he’s not an animal (unless the situation calls for it). Accustomed to going at life alone, he has little use for people, so he is short and to the point in most of his dealings. He knows the power he wields and uses it expertly to get what he wants with minimal repercussions. All of which infuriate Gia who tries to be accommodating to everyone she deems worthy, and in the beginning, Flynn’s not worthy.
There are a few missteps in “Sunday,” but this book shows the author has a promising future. I found minimal errors early on, towards the end, however, things got a little sloppy with some dropped words. No book is perfect, though.
I would have liked to see more evolution of the characters and their relationship and less sexytimes, which quickly became repetitive and dull. I’d like to believe there’s more to Flynn and Gia than sexual compatibility.
“Sunday” is a good read. The author has solid writing chops. I look forward to what comes next from Ms. Bennett.