NAUSEATING!! That's how i can describe this book in 1 word! Cope is sexy, sweet, polite and has a great talent. Ella is a wounded bird with NO FLAWS!!! It is so annoying listening to Ella talk 2 her friends & parents. I was skipping those parts because they were so nauseating. UGH!!! All the close friends kiss n hug EVERY 10 secs and its like enuf already! We know u r a close group, we dont need the visual of it every page u meet up. Dane really saddened me. I loved Cope's character, but Ella is just sad. She has no issues except 1 panic attack. I didnt connect w/her @ all. She didn't seem like a REAL woman who suffered from physical abuse by an ex. She put every1 else first, EVERY single time, and its only been 2 years. MAN!!! Even Erin & the boys were played as completely different from Their book. They seemed way off from what i read about in Laid Bare. Just weird stuff. This book was just so fluffy candy, rainbows, & sunshine, when there was actually a very good topic Dane could have played off of, instead we got Ella, the do no wrong, thinks no wrong, easy to please lady. BUMMER!!! i really hope Adrian is next & it rocks!!! 2 *s because Cope's whole story was perfect! & the last chapter is pretty cool :) & that's all.
~ Felt like a novella that went on way, way too long (2.5 stars) ~
Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. After reading Lauren Dane's Making Chase I was all ready to go on a Dane binge. It hadn't been at all what I expected and so I was really looking forward to raiding her backlist and reading the other books that I had so mistakenly overlooked! I decided to start with this one because the summary and main characters appealed to me and the reviews were great.
Essentially, the book felt like a novella that went on way, way, WAY too long. Nothing happens. There are no real obstacles, most of the drama comes from secondary characters, and Ella and Cope are so constantly going gaga over the other in their thoughts and verbally to others that all I was waiting for was for them to carve their names into a tree and getting matching tattoos. Many of the issues I had with INSIDE OUT were ones that I also had with Making Chase, however that book had enough redeeming qualities to counterbalance it. While this one did also have some good points, the negatives far outweighed the positives and will probably PBSwap it.
Let's face it, Cope/Andrew is a delicious hero. Big, bad, and tattooed, but also very sweet, intelligent, and sensitive. I loved that part of his "thing" to overcome in the book was him realizing that he is much more than just a pretty face who can get any girl he wants. He has so much more to offer and has definite hidden depths; I loved that Ella recognized it and that she helped him do so as well. If he had not been so sickening in his gaga-ness of his feelings for Ella in the majority of the book, he would have without a doubt made it on my favorite heroes list.
I thought the beginning started off very well; for that part of the book, I liked both Ella and Cope, enjoyed their interactions, and really felt the chemistry. Dane builds up the tension between them and does so very, very well. I enjoyed it so much, actually, that it made the downward spiral of the rest of the book that much more painful.
LACK OF ANY REAL PLOT:
Nothing really happens in the book. They get together and there aren't any major obstacles to their relationship. The biggest drama that goes on is from book 1's love trio, with Erin have difficulties with her pregnancy and everyone (understandably) freaking out and stressing as a result. The book's climax (if it can even be called that?!?!) with the relationship's turning point is even triggered by everything going on with Erin. I did not at all see it in coming, and not in the sense that I didn't know it was heading in that direction (though obviously that as well), but Ella gives a (not so) little speech, Cope is caught off guard by this ultimatum, she confirms it ... and I'm going back and rereading what I apparently missed because I never heard an ultimatum - was something left on the chopping board by mistake? Anyway, Ella and Cope work it out within a few hours, so it was all very anti-climactic and seemed silly, just an attempt to have some type of dramatic thing to trigger the book's HEA and conclusion.
ANNOYING HERO AND BORING HEROINE:
While yes, I loved Cope, thought he was a terrific hero, and would love to have a guy fall like that for me, at times all I could think was, Enough already! There is so much internal monologue going on with him and always on the exact same subject: Ella. And how amazing Ella is. And how odd that Ella doesn't know she's fabulous because she is. And how had he managed to wait so long to make his move. Because he had admired her for so long. Because she's so amazing. And on and on and on. That and the following criticism had me desperately wanting to skim by the time I was nearing the end of the book.
Ella was okay, but for some reason I wasn't able to connect with her really. While I liked her well enough in the beginning, as time went on she began to seem a little boring and flat. I wanted to like her, because Dane gives her a compelling past and in that sense she comes across as a very strong woman, but in the end I didn't think she was a very well-defined character.
I disliked that Ella was always going on and on - verbally and mentally - about how hot Cope was and what a great body he had. This would have annoyed me no matter what, but in this case it was especially aggravating since it plays into part of his character's "thing" - though the connection is never made and Ella doesn't seem to realize the potential harm in this. Cope is known as a laid-back, fun-loving, (HUGE) ladies' man (get your mind out of the gutter; I'm referring to the large number of ladies he attracts, nothing else) and that is what he shows most of the world; while there are actually a lot of hidden depths to him, he sometimes doubts this and wonders if he has anything to offer other than his pretty face and if that's all people see him as.
NOT GREAT AS A STAND-ALONE:
If you haven't read the other Brown Siblings books (which I have not), you're somewhat lost. A lot of times I knew some of the things in the characters' pasts that were being alluded to because I'd read so many of the previous books' reviews recently, but I was still somewhat lost with some things and would have been completely lost if it hadn't been for that.
Again, not having read the previous books I didn't have a huge attachment to the other characters and found them to be much more imposing here than Chase and Tate's families were in Making Chase. In some ways, the book seemed almost as much about their drama and good times as it was about Cope and Ella's relationship. Also, while I knew the premise of book 1 and so was in some ways prepared for the Erin-Todd-Ben relationship, it was kind of weird to read about. I don't want to be judgmental, but it took some getting used to. And I'm very, very curious to know which one of them is the father and/or if they want to know or care.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE CLASSIFICATION:
One of the reasons I had not read Dane's books previously was because I understood them to be erotica. Just like with Making Chase, I really didn't find that to be the case here and it read more like a regular contemporary romance to me. Maybe towards one end of that genre, because some scenes are more detailed and there are a few crude lines, but I really didn't find anything to take it out of the regular CR category.
Having written out all the things I disliked, I'm realizing how few positives (read: barely any) were actually there to counterbalance them. I did enjoy the book's start and Cope is sexy and sweet, but neither of these things could save it for me. Unfortunately, I would say that if you're dead-set on reading it, get it from the library (if your library has it).