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The Filipina Booknote

Hi I'm Ella! A piano teacher and a bookworm who found solace in fiction books and music. 

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect - Elisabeth Grace Originally posted at The Not So Literary Heiresses

Though this book belongs in a series and is the second book, it can be read as a standalone novel. Understand that I haven’t read the first book, and I am reviewing this book relying solely on what I’ve read from the second book.

Picture Perfect was the classic case of two hot people meeting at the bar, feeling drawn to each other, and next thing you know, their making out at the bar’s hallway. It was an obvious example of instant lust between Landon Steele and Skye Summers that should be blamed on humidity and alcohol. But being drunk and held by a hot male wasn’t enough for Skye to forget her life as a politician’s daughter and the responsibilities that come with it. Leaving Landon hard and hanging, these two didn’t really have the best first meeting. They thought they won’t be seeing each other again until next morning when they discover that Skye would be Landon’s new executive secretary. Extreme sexual tension and awkward office moments slaps them in the butt because Landon, day by day, keeps on discovering how amazing this woman is and he can’t help but be more attractive to her, but Skye wasn’t the perfect, confident woman Landon thought she was. Skye was a victim of relationship violence, and his ex-boyfriend will do everything in his power to get her back, even ruining everything Skye has worked hard for.

I like you. A lot. More than I’ve liked anyone – ever. At first, I thought it was just the physical attraction between us. Figured it was left over from our first meeting and it would die off over time. But that wasn’t it. Don’t get me wrong, just seeing you at your desk every morning pretty much gives me blue balls all day, but I didn’t expect to become so taken by your intelligence and your grace. I want to get to know you even better and I want to explore this thing we have between us.

Seriously, if I am to meet a guy as good as Landon in expressing his I-like-you thoughts I am grabbing him and I’ll immediately make him my man. The blurb may have said that Landon was a playboy, but the story never really emphasized that side of him, except for a few mentions of his hook-ups(and those were totally forgivable). All I saw in Landon in this book was how dedicated he is to work, to his mother, and to love. He admitted that he wasn’t good in relationships and all he knows are the basics. Admit it that sometimes in a relationship, what people mostly forget are the basics, and Landon isn’t like that. He’s honest, holds on to his word, and never breaks his promises. He would do everything to protect those important to him, and although he had trust issues(because of his dad) he managed to get over it and learned to forgive. He was a bit of a control freak but it was not a hindrance to his personality. Though he did remind me of Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey, but a milder version.

Hmm, how do I even begin with Skye. I’m sorry but I didn’t really like this girl. I was expecting a strong, confident, I-can-do-everything-you-throw-at-me woman, but this book only showed a glimpse of that personality in Skye. I mostly saw her as needy, weak, and helpless. Yes, she was a victim of violence but I think the lack of emphasis with how extreme the violence she have gone through was the reason I had a hard time empathizing what she had experience. I was expecting more from her character and unfortunately the way Skye developed throughout the story was like seeing a firecracker gone AWOL in the sky. You’re expecting it to explode and show sparkles in the sky but instead all you see is a small dot popping in the sky and then poof, it’s gone. Don’t even make me start with how she faced personal conflicts thrown at her. She was the perfect example of a heroine I wouldn’t mind not getting a happy ending if it meant making her character more meaningful.

The story was interesting and it seemed more adult rather than new adult, not because of sex scenes but because of how mature their situation was. My line of career is not on PR or politics, but it was nice seeing a peek of what it’s like to live under the limelight, as a politician’s daughter. The glamour and the pressure was both weighing on Skye’s shoulder and it was good to see that side of her personality that managed to carry on this kind of life.(Which was one of the reason I expected more from her.) The parties, interviews, and the pressure of maintaining your “camera smile” just to get the public’s approval. Honestly, at the beginning I thought this was a retelling of 50 Shades of Grey. There were points in the story that were comparable to the other book, but come to think of it, a LOT of books does have similarities right?

The romance was, believe it or not, slow building. Yes I know that I mentioned them having instant lust in the beginning, but can you blame them? They were both hot and drunk, not to mention Skye was practically naked when they first met. Oh my, seeing this control freak Landon slowly cracking his vulnerability and letting himself fall for Skye was enough for me to forgot her stupid and weak moments. (No, I take that back, I won’t forget those, she’s still helpless to me.) When finally they gave in to each other they actually had “the talk”, which I think was very mature for both these characters. Tell me, how many NA characters have you met actually had the talk first and admit what they really are to each other first before stripping each others clothes? lol I think this was what made the steam level more appealing to me. They weren’t just having sex. Yes sex is driven by bodily urges, but even if that’s the case I liked that Elisabeth Grace gave the couple a relationship that had a foundation, or something that had a future

I have to say this book had ups and downs and it is hard for me to see which one outweighs the other. The conflict was foreseeable as you read the book and there were hints pointing to what would happen to the couple, but there was this one bump I didn’t expect. Honestly, I did think it was unnecessary and that the author just added it to make the story unpredictable, but sorry, didn’t work for me and it didn’t also helped intensify the drama of the story. It was like a fish bone stuck in your mouth. Once you remove it, you forget it and it doesn’t really leave a mark on you.

Overall, it is still a bit hard for me to tell if I liked this book or not. I did like Landon for sure, but the whole story? Hmm, not really sure. There were a few things that I think was a bit off for me, especially the conflict and Skye’s inconsistency, and I’m guessing it was also my slump that caused this uneasiness towards the book so I think I have to give this book another chance when I am in better reading mood. I also have to make sure that I read the first book because I am reading a lot of good reviews from that one as well. Anyway, I recommend this book to those who loved 50 Shades of Grey but wanted a milder version, or a version that centered more on a couple actually talking and not just having sex. You know.