REVIEW: SAMANTHA YOUNG ✭ FIGHT OR FLIGHT

REVIEW: SAMANTHA YOUNG ✭ FIGHT OR FLIGHTFight or Flight by Samantha Young
Published by Berkley on 09 October 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Berkley, Netgalley
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two-half-stars

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

by Samantha Young

The saying to never judge a book by its cover has never been truer. This stinkin’ cute book cover is a little misleading as it promises lighter literary fare like a rom-com and that’s definitely not what we get with Fight or Flight. My expectations may reflect in my rating. So please make sure you read other reviews before you decide not to give this story a chance.

Ava and Caleb definitely are complex characters. Both of them marked by their pasts they are still dealing with the fall-out. Ava is a beautiful young woman with a stellar career. You know, some of us might think that being too pretty, too beautiful is not a problem but when you’re treated like it’s the only thing people see and otherwise you’re just a body without depth…that will do a number on you. So for that Samantha Young gets brownie points – it’s an issue you don’t see all that often in books.

Anyhoo, when Ava and Caleb meet they get off on the wrong foot. In the beginning I found their encounters funny – although Caleb was extremely rude most of the time Ava served up the comebacks he deserved. I loved to hate his arrogant, judgmental, bitter ass but at some point it just became obnoxious. Not saying please and thank you, refusing to be polite, that’s childish and a major turn-off because it means you don’t have manners.

“Can we just ignore this tiny, angry person and upgrade me now?” the deep, accented voice said somewhere above my head to my right.

Burned by their respective pasts, a relationship is nothing they want or need but there is a reason they are attracted to each other so of course at some point they become more than fuck buddies. As they got closer I started to see Caleb’s sweeter and softer side but I have to admit I never really warmed up to him, there was always a disconnect that I can only explain with his bitter, cruel attitude that he kept for almost the entirety of the book. A shrink would probably say that’s an unhealthy relationship.

“It’s sex with a guy who somehow manages to make me feel this small”— I gestured with my forefinger and thumb—“ every time he opens his mouth.”

Not only once did Caleb say something only to admit that he regretted it the moment he’d said it. I get how some people don’t have a filter but when it becomes downright mean then maybe they should start working on their self restraint. At some point Caleb hurt Ava so badly, reduced her verbally to the one thing that could hurt her the most and honestly, I didn’t know how they’d come back from that. Ava’s best friend Harper even told her.

“A man who knows what you’ve been through, who knows what saying that to you would do to you, doesn’t deserve you.”

But I soldiered on and was hoping for Caleb to get his shit together which he ultimately did.

Now, everyone knows I love a good grovel but that only works when the heroine MAKES the hero grovel. And this is where the rating dropped under 3 stars. Caleb hurt Ava so much and I expected it would take a minor miracle for him to make her forgive him.

Even if he does care about me, I couldn’t be with someone who would choose to inflict that kind of pain on me just to protect himself…

Well that didn’t last long. He said sorry, she said fine and that was that. WHAT???? After all that heartbreak, the cruelty, that’s all we get? BIG FAT NOPE, NO WAY! I was offended on behalf of the sisterhood.

In general I thought that Ava’s tendency to drop everything when Caleb was rather off-putting. I got that she felt irresistibly drawn to him but show some pride, dammit.
Now I think that this story would have worked much better for me if it had been told from both point of views. We only learn about Caleb’s heartbreak in the last 20% and it just doesn’t give you the chance to feel compassion for him because I never really found a lot to like about him to begin with.

However, this story wasn’t a complete loss. Some things really stood out, like Ava’s friendship with her best friend Harper who I really hope to see in another book. The banter in the beginning of the book was top notch and I loved how Ava gave as good as she got. I adored her when she put her ex in his place. The angst in this story is definitely something that will keep some people glued to the pages and in that regard Samantha Young is a master – I did gobble this book up and it makes me want to read Harper’s story.

two-half-stars

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