Saturday, January 18, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Unattainable by Madeline Sheehan


Title: Unattainable
Series: Undeniable #3
Author: Madeline Sheehan
Pages: 338
Pub Date: September 20, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Book Source: My personal collection
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Tegen Matthews is the daughter of Dorothy Kelley, a club whore in the Hell’s Horsemen. A plain little girl, Tegen falls into the gritty world of the motorcycle club. When she meets a sweet, caring boy, she embraces the warmth and affection he shows her. Cage West is the son of the president of the Hell’s Horsemen. Tall and blond with deep brown eyes, as he grows up Cage realizes the power of his dimpled smile and smooth drawl. With one chance encounter, Tegen becomes forever tied to Cage. Following is a wayward journey that is filled with regrets, mistakes, and heartache, pulling at the threads that hold them together. Cage and Tegen fight hard but love harder, and in the end, what matters is where the journey takes one girl and one boy, who have been twined with one another since the beginning. 

This is Tegen and Cage’s story. 

Love doesn’t erase a broken heart, and it sure doesn’t change people. But no matter how old, how flimsy, how frayed the rope of love is, it keeps you tethered to the people you love.

- - -

Where. To. Start.

Let's start with the bad.

 I don't dare call this a “romance” novel because, in my opinion, it isn't one. There is no romance to speak of. This is how it went: Cage takes Tegen's virginity when she is 14, 15, 16? I forget. Then he ignores her. She gets pissed. She moves to another state or town for college. She gets in with a “hippie” crowd. She hates biker club life and curses it. She doesn't miss it. She wants nothing to do with it. Blah. Blah. Blah. But, of course, she goes back to it. I don't even remember why. Anyway, Cage reels her in. At first it's just pent up tension; I-HATE-YOU-SEX. Then the “romance” kicks in. I... don't really see a difference except that the two of them just have more sex. For me, this was all about the sex. I see no reason for these two to love each other. All they do is hurt. I know this series is supposed to be all about finding love in chaos and coming out of a gritty situation with only true love in tact, but I just see lust and screwing. Not that I mind that (I am all about some sexy times), but it's just erotica. There isn't anything romantic about it. So let's please stop saying there is. Ugh.

 Cage. I hate him. I hate everything about him. Shouldn't you find at least one thing attractive or endearing about your male lead? I think so. But Cage? He's a piece of shit. I don't understand Tegen. She got away from the club life! She escaped to college! She could've made something of herself, but she went back. And for what? A guy who has screwed hundreds of women and not even asked their names? A guy who turned into a cocaine addict when life got too hard? Aww, his poor widdle feewings! Let me whip out my tiny violin... Ugh. Friggin' disgusting. I like my male leads tough. Being a biker doesn't automatically make you tough. Killing people and beating some guy's ass in a fit of jealousy doesn't make you tough. Getting through a hard life without turning to drink or drugs or mindless sex? That's tough. Cage fell 100% short for me. I honestly can't remember even one moment where I liked the guy. 

So... my likes?

First thing I have to mention is that I am 100% impressed with the fact that Sheehan made Tegen unconventionally beautiful. She's tattooed. She's pierced. She's got gauged earlobes (which I happen to find very sexy on women). She has dreads (again, sexy!) and she has an attitude to go with the look. Never have I ever read a book where the lead female has such an alternative look and feel. Listen up world: ALTERNATIVE BEAUTY IS STILL BEAUTY. I had Tegen pictured in my head perfectly, and I truly truly applaud this author for making her the way she did. Love love love! :)

Second, while I may have loathed the relationship between Tegen and Cage, I happened to adore the side-story of Dirty and Ellie. They really saved this book for me. If you were to take away Dirty and Ellie, this book would've been a two-star for me.

“I'm sorry,” he choked out, squeezing her tighter.
Her head tilted and her big blue eyes caught his gaze.
“Never be sorry for who you are,” she whispered. “That man saved my life. Twice.”
“And,” she continued, “I'm falling in love with him.”
These two are thrown together in a completely random, but intense way. Ellie is being attacked and Dirty, though very much flawed himself, can't ignore her cries for help. After saving her, Dirty feels an aching need to protect her from further harm. He's SO SO screwed up. He was abused as a child and teenager. Deuce practically saved his life by bringing him into the club. But Dirty was far from caring about his own life. He also thought himself to be incapable of love. He hid himself behind a scruffy beard and dirty, greasy hair. He barely bathed. He kept to himself. All in hopes that no one would notice him and that people would keep their distance. It worked until Ellie came along and turned his world upside down. She saved him in her own way. They are so beautiful together. Loved them! I am hoping beyond hope to see these two get their own book, but it seems doubtful. I want to know more. I want to see them more in-depth. I want to see if Dirty can overcome some of his past and overcome some of the sexual kinks and fetishes brought on by the abuse he suffered. But... again, it doesn't look like Sheehan has plans to put these two in the spotlight. Sigh. A gal can hope, though, yeah?

Overall, this book was good. It infuriated me at times, but I am glad I read it. I do plan to continue the series. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, and I won't deny that. :) Tegen and Cage were a hot friggin' mess, but Ellie and Dirty really redeemed the book. As with the previous books in the series, there is lots of grit and crime. There is abuse and foul language. There is tons of sex. There's drugs and violence. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you can appreciate a hardcore story with elements of lust and love mixed in, you will probably enjoy this. It's definitely a jaw-dropper.