Addicted (Outlaws Series, #2) by Elle Kennedy
From the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed comes the second enticingly erotic novel set in a world on the brink of chaos.
Lennox used to live in a paradise on earth with his best friend Jamie, in a place where visitors came and went, allowing their desires to run free. But everything changes when a deadly attack forces them to take up with Connor Mackenzie’s band of Outlaws. Lennox knows Jamie is hung up on someone else, but he’s always believed he’s the man for her—and won’t let her go without a fight.
Even though Jamie is well aware that Lennox is one hot specimen of a man, she refuses to let sex ruin the most important relationship in her life. But when the object of her interest spurns her, she indulges in a little pleasure-filled revenge with her very magnetic, very willing best friend. One thrilling night with Lennox is enough to awaken Jamie’s unexpected desires for him. And now that she’s had a taste, she’s not sure she can ever give him up…
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My Review of Addicted …
According to Vocabulary.com, “…’Utopian’ describes a society that’s conceived to be perfect. ‘Dystopian’ is the exact opposite — it describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.”
You need to know this definition to appreciate the post-apocalyptic world Elle Kennedy creates in her Outlaws series. These are not the types of outlaws you see in old movies about the wild, wild west. The heroes and heroines of the Divergent Series, and even the Hunger Games, have it easy compared to these characters. This story is about some seriously desperate fugitives from a rigid, futuristic society. Characters who have never known true freedom, and have little hope of changing their society in their lifetime. Once you absorb yourself in their world, you understand what drives them and can truly appreciate their ‘sins’ as well as their struggles. In many ways, it’s frightening to contemplate – but at the same time, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that such societies already exist in many parts of our world. The things we take for granted could change with the push of a button or the pandemic spread of disease that could send our world into anarchy.
With that in mind, I found Addicted, #2 in the series, to be thought-provoking, suspenseful, and thoroughly entertaining. I read it in one day – actually, in one cross-country flight – and was completely absorbed in the story from start to finish. Yes, as other reviewers have pointed out, there is a LOT of sex, explicitly but realistically described, involving LOTS of partners. The refugee ‘outlaw’ society is sexually hedonistic, to say the least; but again, they’ve rarely, if ever, had even a glimpse at a different life than the one they have. These are consenting adults who are, of necessity, living in the moment, always looking over their shoulder, targeted for death as enemies of the state. Even the basic necessities – much less the comforts of life – are few and far between. It is no wonder that booze and sex serves as their means of escape from the horrors they’ve witnessed, and their ever-present, life-or-death struggle.
As in all societies, relationships matter in the Outlaw world. Some are based simply on the need to survive; alliances that are tenuous, forged reluctantly in a relentlessly cruel world. However, even in the darkest moments, love happens – because if nothing else, the rules in this society show its inhabitants that life is short, and time is precious. Above all else, Addicted is a friends-to-lovers romance, a coming of age story of two best friends who take their relationship to the next level, struggle with the consequences of their actions, and learn to respect and love each other in a more powerful way. It instills hope, and it takes courage.
Fans of Elle Kennedy’s lighter romance and romantic comedy series should expect something completely different in this dark, futuristic series. I admire her for her ability to write two completely different genres so authentically, alternating light and darkness, while retaining her clean, fresh writing style and incorporating passionate elements of love and romance in a starkly different setting. If you’re looking for a light read – this is not the book, or the series, for you. But if you like strong characters in a struggle for survival, can keep an open mind and an open heart, and are entertained by frank, thought-provoking drama, you will truly appreciate the value and uniqueness of this story.
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