Far From The Usual

Avril Ashton
Far From The Usual
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Evernight Publishing
Release Date
March 2012
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Multi-cultural/Multi-racial Romance

He's her ex's brother, yet Arden Windham aches to be in Cam Mercer's arms. The man is rude and obnoxious, his blue eyes cold and unfeeling, but he makes her body melt. Being with ex-con Cam is nowhere in her plans, not if she wants the affection she's worked so hard to gain from her overbearing father. Still, Cam's touch is unlike anything she's ever felt and Arden finds herself having to choose between her wants and her needs.

Cameron Mercer is his family's black sheep, a man apart. For six months he watched Arden waste her time with his twin and now she's free, he's not waiting another minute. He's on a campaign to get her off the tight rope she's been walking. There's a rebel behind that smooth façade and he's on a mission to set Arden free. Too bad she insists on putting up a fight.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Aug 06, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
194 people found the following review helpful
FAR FROM THE USUAL is one of those books that really should carry a warning label for the heat it packs. Though I had some issues with some plot element, there is no doubt that its emotional honesty and irresistibly spicy lead couple made for quite a fun and steamy read.

Arden Windham has been adjusting a lot lately. After moving back in with her rich, emotionally distant father and her demanding stepmother, her philandering boyfriend Clark Mercer decides to end their relationship. Arden is willing to take a lot in stride with a sassy smile, but when she gets a flat tire one rain-drenched night and has no one to call but Clark's brother, Cam, everything in her life begins to change.

Cam has always made Arden a little uneasy, whether it's the stigma of being an ex-con and the black sheep of his family, or the intensity of his stare whenever they've met. But now that they are face to face, Arden realizes there is so much more behind that gaze.

For six months, Cam has watched Arden, and for six months, he has wanted and fantasized about nothing but having Arden as his very own. Now that she is single again, he isn't about to waste a single moment letting Arden know how he feels, and all that he has to offer. But even if he succeeds in getting her into his bed, what hope does Cam have that Arden will be willing to stand up to both their families and fight for a future with someone like him?

It's hard not to root for Cam's unlikely love with Arden. I have an enormous soft spot for bad boys, and Cam is a wonderful blend of tortured, tempting and rebellious. He is utterly genuine about his feelings for Arden and ready to risk everything he has for a chance to make her happy. I also really respected him for demanding honesty in return from Arden.

Arden has been hiding behind so many masks, it seems she's started fooling herself. Constantly under pressure from her father and stepmother to be someone she isn't, Arden comes across at first as someone rather shallow and selfish. With a little prodding from Cam, however, she finds the courage to show the strong, determined woman Cam saw from the beginning.

The chemistry between Arden and Cam is shocking, spicy and irresistible, but the lack of build-up kept me from getting involved in the plot for longer than I would have liked. Because Arden's real history with Cam isn't revealed until much later in the story, when they met, I didn't assume there was anything much between them. Hence, Cam's reaction to Arden and his subsequent pursuit of her felt out of place. Looking back, these scenes made much more sense, but taking some time to build some tension and or give some back story to our hero and heroine before their affair began would have been helpful. Similarly, I liked that some of the conflicts between Cam, Clark and Arden were revealed over the course of the book, as it kept the plot moving nicely, but sometimes, knowing a bit more of what the characters knew would have enriched the story a bit more.

However, as I got more involved in the story and its characters, the more I enjoyed watching Arden and Cam come to terms with each other and face the world together. Though I'm not into Cam's more colorful language or dirty take, it seemed to work between him and Arden. The emotional and sensuality in this book certainly kept the plot moving, and the final, intense scene together certainly guaranteed this book ended on a high note. I'd be interested to read more of Avril Ashton's work in the future, especially since meeting such a complex character like Cam!
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