I am a slut. No worries. I've come to terms with it, and you will too. I’m not one of those girls who thinks she’s too plain, too fat, too skinny, too shy … no, I don’t have that kind of luck. I’m the girl who knows she’s just right for everyone. — Denver
A reputation as a manwhore–with–a–heart–of–gold tends to precede me. But, I don’t do girls with issues, that is until this girl. It's this girl I want to fix. This girl I want to protect. And maybe … more. — Ransom
Being in love with the same girl your entire life isn't all it's cracked up to be. She uses me in every way imaginable. How does she see me? I am her perpetual one-night stand. No strings, no attachments. Just mind-numbing sex ... for her anyway. — Greer
Feeling like the life is being choked out of her in the small town of Anaconda, Montana, Denver Dempsey craves the escape that college offers … even if that means leaving her “best friend with benefits” and looking for a new way to forget. Thinking she's found the perfect hookup in Ransom, Denver's outlook on college is bright. That is, until Greer shows up looking for a second chance, and Ransom's interest turns to hatred.
Love. Hate. Triangle.
Who's using who?
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I have sat on this review for two days…..I couldn’t formulate it. I had so much running around in my head. So much happened, so many questions and so many feelings. I want to preface this entire review with this: this book was written so well and so convincingly, it just worked. Really. Worked. I liked it. A lot.
The synopsis drew me in from the minute I read it. I truly love a good love triangle, and this one was written a little differently than I am used to, and I enjoyed it. I wish I could just spit out what I was feeling….but to wrap my head around it is just HARD! This book was mind-numbing….it literally stopped me. I am still shaking my head….I can’t process it! It is driving me nuts. I had to message a friend of mine that had also read it just to get the words out of my brain so I could try and make sense of what I was feeling. It helped….I think.
Learning about Denver’s personal feelings about herself and how she sees herself was the entire journey of this first book, with a little love triangle thrown in for good measure. We learn of the non-family life that Denver has and how her family is seen by the small community. We learn about Denver and Greer’s relationship and how it came to be, where it started and how it progressed. The story revolves around the rodeo as well….I learned a lot about a subject I knew nothing of. It set the stage for many of the situations in the book and it gave it a sexy edge to me. Who doesn’t love a strapping, hot sexy cowboy?? (or two….or three….or more?)
We get to toggle between “then” and “now” chapters…..we jump back and forth between the past and the present, learning about Greer and Denver and who they are. To say that this wasn’t your conventional relationship would be putting it mildly. They started out as really good friends….the best of friends, and moved into the ‘relationship’ field. The route taken was definitely not…..normal? Greer is hesitant, but Denver is sure it’s what she wants. It’s something she feels she needs to do.
“Relationships ruin friendships. We’ve seen enough of that.”
I shiver with that truth. “True. But we’re different. We’ve been together since before we were born. I can’t live without you, so I won’t hurt our friendship.”
“I just want you to know that I don’t take this lightly. You’re the most important person in my universe. And I’ll do anything to protect us.” ~Greer
Greer is such a sweetheart. He is so caring and ‘available’. Weird word to describe it, but they are the best of friends. Always hanging out, always with each other and he will never leave her. No matter the circumstances, he is always there to protect her and love her. He really embodies the meaning of best friends. I really loved seeing all he did to make sure she was happy, taken care of and protected. He was such a good guy. But she constantly pushes him away…..because she feels she is toxic to him and he deserves so much better. But she loves him, with all her heart and doesn’t want to live without him.
When they decide to journey over into a relationship, things change a lot. Denver realizes something about herself that she doesn’t like.
I don’t feel like me anymore. So what does that mean? If I’m not me, who am I? ~Denver
This goes with the understanding that she hates her mom and what she stands for. Denver isn’t too sure she likes how she felt after they took that next step. This sets up the ENTIRE story for me…..as to why she called herself a slut and why she felt the way she did about herself. Their relationship was not normal. They ventured onto many different descriptions for their relationship, and they all boiled down to one thing. They were the closest of friends….with benefits. Now, the adventures they have and the sadness that is felt…..there were emotions in here I wasn’t too sure how to process.
I can’t be his when I’m not mine to give. I’m a slave to my emptiness. It’s stolen into every aspect of me and owns me so thoroughly. ~Denver
I want to state that Denver was probably one of THE strongest characters I have read, a different kind of strong. Not because she called herself a slut. Not because she dealt with opinions of others mocking her and calling her names. Not because she fought off sexual advances from older men….FOUGHT OFF. It’s because she grew to overcome and accept what others were saying about her and kept her head up. She graduated with awesome grades, went to college with AP courses and overcame some serious crap in her “family” situation….if you can call it a family, all the while running her ranch. Ok? STRONG! She thrived!
Going to college was going to be a change for her….Greer wasn’t going to be there since he was going to a different college, and she was away from the rumors of her home town. She was going to get a fresh start. Well, let us all swoon, drool and meet Ransom. HE was hot sex on a stick….at least, that’s the impression I got from him. There was something mysterious about him and something he kept very close to his chest. I found him very tempting and so delicious. Like, I really wanted to get to know more about him! Denver found him at a party and went over to meet him….and I think she felt something the minute she saw him. The way it played out, it really led me to believe that she was seeing something different with him. Denver went to go meet him….but lo and behold, in walks Greer. Huh? Yes….he switched colleges because he wanted to be near Denver and continue their ‘relationship’.
With Greer back in her life, she has some decisions to make…..does she want to make a go of her relationship with Greer, or does Ransom intrigue her enough to test the waters? Now, the rendezvous that Greer and Denver have are definitely steamy. But the verbal jaunts and trysts that Ransom and Denver journey on together are so full of sexual tension and intensity, the stage is being set for something HUGE. They have such discussion and communication that isn’t always on the verbal level and it is palpable. AAACK!! All these feelings and thoughts that are running through my head! Seriously….I am still shaking my head. What a roller coaster. Ransom and Denver have such a connection that is so sexy….I was really glued to my iPad while I was reading it. I couldn’t stop. I highlighted SO much…..but only want to say so much. Over time, he sure felt something about her.
Her chest rises and falls against mine. I can’t help my eyes as they fall from hers to her breasts. I swallow hard and lick my lips as I see the tops of what I can imagine are the most perfect breasts known to man. When I glance back up, I catch her running her tongue over her bottom lip. I want to suck on it and bite it simultaneously. I want to fist her hair in my hands and have my way with her. I want it like I’ve never wanted anything else in my whole life, which gives me the strength to do what I know I need to do. ~Ransom
THAT right there, looking back….oh man, he is freaking sexy!!!! The sexual tension between them is so goooood. Yes….that good. I loved seeing it and it was so hot to read. But Ransom has a wall around him so thick, nothing penetrates it. He has such control issues and he doesn’t like the fact that Denver is seeping in….she is getting to him. But he also has it in his mind that she is really a slut….he has heard “stories” and sadly believes them, but she doesn’t deny them either. The push and pull between these two makes the story that much better….it really heightened the feelings on this book for me. The feelings and emotions were so evident between the two of them, yet they were determined to fight them.
“You want me. Slut or not. Asshole or not. You. Want. Me. And I want you more than anything to see that precious control of yours crack when you finally take what you want, what you’ve been fighting.” ~Denver
“I’m tired of fighting this.” He smiles against me before he lays his forehead on mine. “But I’m not tired of fighting with you. When you get bored fooling around with those little boys, you know here to find me. Until you’re mine, and mine only, I won’t touch you again.” ~Ransom
Sadly, there is a HUGE betrayal of the utmost proportions…..one that had me shocked. Well and truly shocked. The story really takes off from there and we start to see a deeper, more serious and honest side to Ransom. I think I really do want him. Just for myself. Move along. The rest of the story builds up to an epic ending…..setting the stage for the next book.
I feel like I crammed for the SAT’s in two days….I have SO much information in my head and I don’t know how to process it all. The book spanned a few years’ worth of time, so we learned a ton of stuff, but it ended in the present. I want….no, I NEED, the next book to get here like yesterday. I really want to learn more about Ransom. This book left me at such a stand-still. I am not too sure how to move on from this. I don’t know if this is a book hangover, or I am just still….confused/intrigued/stuck? Oh My Gosh! I am so ready for MORE. I NEED IT. I feel like a junkie looking for my next fix!! This book really left me in a spot….I will be honest. It was a real cliffhanger for me….but don’t let that stop you from reading it. I think your head will spin too. Give it a go….enjoy the ride. I think I met my favorite sidekick ever in Austin, Ransom’s cousin. He is funny as hell!!!
This book was full of intrigue and curiosity; I know mine is piqued. 4 stars for this book….but that is subject to change the more I think about it and the more I WANT from it. I have so many questions that I need answered….and I hear I will get that from the next book. Lynetta did a great job with this book. This was my first read of hers and I am very much a new fan of her writing. I feel I need ‘an awakening’, Lynetta.
“Instant gratification is highly overrated, and never underestimate the power of anticipation.” ~Ransom
About the author:
Since the dawn of time, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written innumerable stories and plays. A lover of good books, bad boys, and kickass tunes, she'd always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember. She also has a secret penchant for wringing the emotions out of unsuspecting readers, and she collects reader's tears in much the same way that wine connoisseurs collect their favorite vintage.
Her first novel, Every Rose, was the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing, effectively burrowing her way into the hearts and minds of readers throughout the world. Everything I've Never Had was her follow-up adult romance novel. Now, she has penned Used, a New Adult Romance that she hopes sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go.
Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a Master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also minored in snark and interpretive dance. She lives somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. When she's not writing riveting stories, she likes to focus on her macramé art and her scouring of eBay, where she buys locks of hair from her favorite rock stars, most especially Bret Michaels and Dave Grohl.
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