A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
Releasing Sept 17th, 2013
Have you ever gone just a little too far?
Lexie Banks has.
Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome. But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.
When Tasty Tours sent out the notice about the upcoming book tour for A Little Too Far, I looked over the book’s description and decided no, I don’t think I’ll read this book. Lexie is probably not a character I’d really like or connect with. She probably likes the allure and danger of pursuing men who are off limits. Perhaps, if I want to be really honest with myself, I thought she’s probably going to be a selfish young woman, only thinking about what she wants and not considering the pain she has the potential to cause others who will be affected by her choices.
I admit I couldn’t help but think…temptress…whose alluring charm will eventually wear down the defenses of two men struggling to do what’s right, who know they shouldn’t want what’s forbidden to them, and who fall helplessly under the power she has to bring them to their knees if and when they find they aren’t strong enough to give into their carnal desires.
So for me, it was no thank you, I don’t want to sit back and watch the devastation that’s bound to happen after a lust-driven tornado tears through the landscape of two men who are just starting out on their journey in life, following a path that seems to be clearly laid out for them.
However, then it seemed that everywhere I looked, I kept seeing some type of promo for this book, and I found myself unable to resist the hype. So I changed my mind and decided to take the plunge, read the book, and let the chips fall where they may.
I’m so, so glad I gave this book a second chance because it proved to be such an enjoyable reading experience. Lexie blew up all my assumptions, and the depth of her character, as well as the inner turmoil she feels helped me see how real she is; she a good young woman who struggles with the guilt over her actions and feelings toward two men who play pivotal roles in her life.
When the story opens, Lexie has just experienced her first major heartbreak. Her boyfriend of three years has betrayed her, and even though she’s scared to let go of him, deep down she knows it’s the best thing she can do for herself. At the age of twenty, Lexie is just beginning to spread her wings and fly, both literally and metaphorically. The only problem with that is she’s afraid of heights, so flying isn’t her strong suit. She’s leaving to spend her junior year in Rome, studying Art History. For the first time in her life, she’ll be away from her family and friends. She’s taking a huge step toward life as an adult. I thought Lexie’s fear of heights and flying were symbolic of the inner conflicts she must face and overcome if she is to to experience emotional growth.
Right before she leaves, though, she turns to her step-brother, Trent, after she has a painful run-in with her ex-boyfriend, who offers comfort and support. Just as the book’s blurb indicates, she and Trent end up having “rock my world” sex that changes the dynamics of the typical “brother/sister” relationship they’ve tried to have over the past five plus years when they began spending time together while their parents dated and eventually brought them all together under one roof once they married. Needless to say, things get awkward around the house after that.
The entire story is narrated from Lexie’s POV and in the present tense, which pulled me in. Her tone is casual, conversational, I felt like her confidant, the one who listened as she grappled with her range of emotions and feelings: desire, guilt, self-loathing, loneliness, fear.
The author does an excellent job of describing how close Lexie and Trent have always been. They are best friends, know each other’s deepest secrets, insecurities, and have supported each other emotionally through all the ups and downs of their teenage years. So, it isn’t that Lexie goes home after seeing Rick, the man with whom she thought she’d found true love, and decides to jump her sexy hot brother to soothe her pain. Their relationship is complex and they’ve been pushed into the roles of brother and sister by their parent’s marriage. They’ve tried their best to fulfill their roles as siblings, but it’s clear from their history that the emotional bond they’ve forged is precious and rare, and the heart wants want it wants, no matter what they try to tell themselves. Unfortunately real life smacks them in the face, and they struggle to forget the incident happened and try to go back to the way things were. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and realistically impossible.
I think it’s great that Lexie leaves for Rome soon the incident with Trent. Being in Rome gives her a chance to deal with the shame and guilt she experiences and offers the chance for her to begin to find herself.
She hopes that time and distance can help heal the fissure that has now emerged in her relationship with Trent. Rome allows her to focus on establishing her own identity, and one thing I like about Lexie is her passion for life. She channels her conflicting feelings into her love of art, and it’s the Reverend Alessandro who helps her begin to find her way.
Over time, she and Alessandro become close, and, just like Trent, he accepts her as she is and doesn’t judge or condemn her when she decides to share her feelings of shame, doubt, and fear with him. Alessandro, too, has had his share of demons to contend with, and their friendship grows after he shares his non-too-perfect past with her. Alessandro is very attractive, and Lexie is drawn to him, but is certain she has nothing to worry about since Alessandro is very close to being ordained as a priest. Again, though, the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes, consequences be damned.
Lexie has some tough choices to make and she’s cognizant that those choices will have a significant and long-lasting impact on her future and the existing world of those she loves. Lexie’s a likeable young woman; no, she isn’t perfect and just like all of us, she wrestles with trying to do what is right on her way to finding happiness. She’s authentic, full of vitality, and she perseveres through the emotional pain she experiences over the course of the story. She has a spark, a vitality for life that draws others to her, including me. I was pleasantly surprised with the laugh-out-loud moments interspersed throughout the book that provide a bit of relief and offer a reprieve from the constant angst and conflict in Lexie’s life.
Lexie’s brassy style and voice along with a well executed plot made for a wonderful reading experience. Forgive me for misjudging you, Lexie. I think fans of NA romance will really enjoy book.
Source: I received an ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lisa Desrochers lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. If you’d told her five years ago she’d write a book, she’d have laughed in your face. As it turns out, she’d owe you an apology. Writing has become an addiction for Lisa and A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of the young adult Personal Demons trilogy from Macmillan. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise. Connect with her online at www.lisadwrites.com, on her blog at lisadesrochers.blogspot.com, on Twitter at @LisaDez, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LisaDesrochersAuthor
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Music to Complement the Book
Thank you, Lisa, for introducing me to Jason Wade and Lifehouse
“You Belong to Me”