Monday, December 26, 2011

ARC Review of Xavier's Loving Arms by KT Grant

Review of Xavier's Loving Arms by KT Grant

This story looked appealing to me for a couple of reasons....1.) a multi-cultural couple (I'm part of a multi-cultural couple) and 2.) Xavier has a goatee (I like goatees). Anyway, I really had no idea what this book was about when I started reading it. In fact, I wasn't exactly sure who the hero was supposed to be. We are introduced to Dev, who kept wavering back and forth between being a good guy and a douche. I wasn't sure if he was going to end up being the hero or not. Grant keeps the reader guessing, and does an excellent job making Dev a complex character, with both good and bad qualities.

I finally figured out that Xavier would be the hero, and what a great hero he is! A kind, thoughtful, sexy family man who is protective and loving of Rebecca, the heroine. I'm not usually a big fan of beta heroes, but Xavier is perfect for this story. Rebecca is incredibly vulnerable....she has a borderline abusive ex-boyfriend, a devastating eating disorder, financial woes, and a sick grandmother. She needed someone kind and supportive, not a caveman ready to drag her off to the mountains.

Even though this seems like a lot of problems for one poor heroine to deal with, they don't seem unbelievable in this story. There are plenty of people dealing w/ financial difficulties, emotional difficulties and self-esteem issues. The great part of this book is how Becca survives all these things, determined to do it on her own, but learning that love and friendship can ease her burden.

As a former eating disorder patient (I had anorexia when I was younger), I found Grant's portrayal of Becca especially heartening. Women suffering from eating disorders have control issues. They need to feel like they are not totally powerless about their lives. Dev (who is alpha-possessive) wants Becca to quit her jobs, let him pay off her mortgage and take care of her. On the flip side, Xavier helps her get a job interview for a better position. In spite of Xavier's overprotective streak, he understands that Becca needs to help herself, not be babied and coddled. That is a huge part of recovering from an eating disorder. This level of understanding made me really fall in love with Xavier.

This book packs it in. There are numerous secondary characters, story lines involving Becca's grandmother, jobs, ex-boyfriend, and home. And of course, there is a highly lusty relationship going on, as well. (This is an erotica after all). The sex part of the story was the weakest didn't detract from the story, but it wasn't really necessary either. This book would have done just as well, if not better, as a romance instead of an erotica. The meat and potatoes of this story is the emotional journey for Becca. Xavier was sexy because of his caring, compassionate nature.

After experiencing this bumpy journey with Becca, the HEA was a wonderful ending to the story. She finally found hope for her future, a chance at recovery, and a man to share her life with. (I teared up a bit at the!)

To be honest, I was not expecting such an emotional and touching story. Most erotica that I've been reading lately has been about spanky elves. This book takes some very real and troubling issues, and handles them perfectly. The girl gets the guy and a happy ending. Every woman who has struggled with body issues or an eating disorder needs this message of hope.

Grade: A-/B+

(This is an ARC review; Xavier's Loving Arms will be available for purchase on Friday, December 30.)

Pleased As A Peacock,