Seriously HOT Story!!!
There are not enough superlatives in the world to tell you how much I love this trilogy! The writing is mostly fabulous, the characters are relateable and enjoyable (even the antagonists!) and Paige does not resort to the common mistake of making her hero and heroine too good nor her villains all bad. Flawed people with real personalities and good and bad character traits! Imagine that! Remarkable work for a new novelist, or for any of the current crop of New Adult authors, really, seeing as how so many fail so spectacularly at doing just that.
The books aren't flawless, of course. For instance, at one point. Alayna throws her phone on the ground and it breaks, but two pages later, she's using it again. I'm not going to say much about the teeny, tiny imperfections, though, for two reasons:
1. They're so small and insignificant as to be completely irrelevant,
2. I don't want to detract from the gushing I'm about to do.
Hudson Pierce is a hot, sexy, dominant, rich, well-built, successful captain of industry and, he claims, unable to love. Alayna Withers is a young, beautiful, relatively innocent young woman with some past legal troubles and a newly minted MBA, although she continues to work in a nightclub. Which is where she and Hudson lay eyes on one another for the first time. Or so she thinks.
Thing is, Hudson has had a history of playing head games with women, hurting them just to see what happens; he calls these little games his "experiments," and when he's had his fun, he leaves the woman. Just a rich, incredibly good looking guy messing around and breaking hearts, right? His occasional partner in this mental and emotional mayhem is Celia, a girl he's known all his life but claims never to have been involved with. Some time in counseling has helped Hudson realize that the games are a sort of addiction and he's given them up.
Alayna is a young woman looking for love, having been orphaned at a young age. She's been obsessed with the men she gets involved with and took it so far one time that the guy took out a restraining order and filed charges against her. Only her lawyer brother, Brian, and a stint in therapy kept her out of jail. Alayna's been "clean" of obsessing for a while when she meets Hudson.
The premise here isn't that new or unusual; Hudson wants Alayna to pretend to be his girlfriend so his family will stop badgering him to marry Celia. He'll pay Alayna well, buy her any clothing she needs to fit in his life, and will give her opportunities and connections in the business world that could really help her make a career.
Hudson also wants to sleep with Alayna, who is completely into the idea. He tells her up front that it's only sex, has nothing to do with the fake relationship, and warns her he won't fall in love with her.
From that point on, the story moves along well. There are some subplots having to do largely with Celia and with Hudson's family. There are secrets being kept, suspicions harbored, pain inflicted and endured. There is happiness and food and dancing. At some points, everyone's crazy comes out; there's a lovely and subtle parallel between Hudson's "experiments" as he calls them, Alayna's obsessions, and other addictions. It makes it easy to see that these two people are dealing with forces they have to work to control and that they are doing their damnedest.
I am NOT going to put any spoilers in this review. It's an evil thing to do. But let me ASSURE you that watching Hudson and Alayna and his parents and sister and Celia and Alayna's co-workers and Brian and a bunch of tertiary characters move through this storyline is a pleasure. I read through this entire trilogy in about two days. Maybe three. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m., on a work night, to finish it. The last quarter of the last book in the series had me wrecked. It made me cry, made me laugh, made my heart pound; I dreaded what I knew was coming and then I looked forward to what I thought was coming. The entire story was like that, really, but the last part was just amazing writing; not many writers can put the reader through those paces so well and so completely.
The sex in this story? Oh, my goodness! Hot doesn't even cover it. But it's good hot. There are no physically impossible positions, not one whip, flogger, or handcuff, and it's clear throughout even the wildest ride that these two people care immensely about one another. Even those who aren't normally into explicit sexual detail in their books will enjoy at least some of this, I think. And it certainly doesn't take up the whole series.
I love the way this whole thing ended, too. I thought it was a realistic, given the characters and the situation, and that it was very human. If you've ever been in love with someone who made you nuts, you'll completely understand it.
I cannot recommend this trilogy, and this author, highly enough. It's unfortunate that when I recently visited an author event in Seattle, and Paige was there, I had not read this series. If I had, I might have embarrassed her with my effusive praise and adoration. This woman has talent, ideas, and an apparent knowledge of exactly how to move her audience. I am really excited to go read everything else Laurelin Paige has ever written. Or will write. She's really good, this story is really epic, the trilogy is worth whatever you pay for it, and you are not going to regret the time you spend reading the Fixed series. Trust me on this. Click below to buy this set: