Monday, May 07, 2012
Addicted To You by Bethany Kane
But Katie Hughes, his best friend’s sister, is not the type of woman to give up on a man like Rill. She blazes into Vulture’s Canyon determined to save him from himself. Instead, she finds herself unleashing years of pent-up passion. In a storm of hunger and need, Katie and Rill forget themselves and the world. But will Rill’s insatiable attraction to Katie heal his pain—or will it just feed the darkness within him?
Came close to reading this book in one sitting. Just utterly captivated. What a gorgeous, gorgeous story. (Blurb is not worthy, just saying.)
Kane stunned me a bit. I've read Kery, with mixed results. Was crazy about Wicked Burn but couldn't finish Daring Time. I chalked the latter up to my aversion to time travel and confidently selected Addicted To You from my TBR list, expecting to like it. Did not expect to be knocked flat by her prose, voice, characterization. All of it. Stunning.
Addicted To You is the story of the relationship that grows between Ril and Katie. They are not strangers. But they are not best friends in the typical friends-to-lover stories. I don't like those, BTW. Always filled with too much secret pining on one or the other's part. Here, Ril and Katie have not seen one another in awhile. And before that, he was married to her best friend. I imagined--with Kane's help--their years as friends. Honest and real, and without a boatload of secret pining. Katie does admit to a long-time attraction to Ril, crushing on him. But it didn't offend or annoy because I never had the sense that it consumed her. This is a woman who has lived her life and loved her friends.
When Ril's wife--Katie's best friend--dies in a car accident, Ril removes himself from their high profile life and commences a year and more long relationship with a whiskey bottle. Addicted To You starts when Katie arrives, unannounced, to save him from this self-imposed exile. And POW, Kane grips her reader--without backstory, or setting up the scene, or introductions. Like I said, stunning.
Kane goes on to deepen their relationship--in the same manner. She doesn't tell us, she shows us. Invites us in, to live with characters that, for all their emotional struggles, remain true to themselves and surprisingly responsible. Ril is grieving, though not for reasons we'd expect. He is also resisting an attraction to Katie that he fears will tip him backwards, into behavior and need he has ruthlessly denied for years. Neither of these emotional ditches keep him from moving forward. I appreciated that as it had the overall effect of showing us that Ril is in fact, a grown-up--an experienced participant in his own life. That was likely the strongest tug on my attention--Ril and Katie's self-possession.
Kane adds to the layers of Ril's maturity by giving him a sexually dominant nature and by making him a bit older than Katie--and physically, significantly larger than her. Sexy beyond words (for this reader anyway) and effective only because Kane infuses Katie with her own power and tenacity. Again, Kane defies stereotype and expectation here. This book is about their emotional relationship. It is not erotic romance convenienced by a nice love story. Their boundaries--or lack thereof--in the bedroom do not lend any more or any less to the story than do their mutual and individual emotional journeys. It's powerful stuff.
Against a backdrop that includes quirky rural folks, Kane manages to keep the camera primarily on Ril and Katie. Aside from one outsider visit (Katie's brother, Ril's best friend), this is a tightly contained telling. That visit, BTW, emotionally powerful. To match the rest of the pages in this book. Like I said, just gorgeous. And funny. I couldn't tear myself away from Ril and Katie. Pretty much one sitting. And now I think I may have to buy a copy of this book to just have nearby.