I’ve read the first two books (Bad Rep and Perfect Regret) in this series and I can’t help but compare the three. I thought Bad Rep was okay and I LOVED Perfect Regret. SEDUCTIVE CHAOS falls somewhere between the two. There were aspects that I liked about it and some that I don’t. Which is only natural, I guess. But all in all, I thought SEDUCTIVE CHAOS was a great addition to this series.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Cole Brandt was the self-centered and philandering lead singer for Generation Rejects
Vivian Baily was a flaky, attention seeking drama queen.
Apart they were challenging…together they were complete and total chaos.
Cole and Vivian were two people who should never have been together.
Yet they crashed into each other at every turn.
Their relationship was anything but stable. But it was passionate. It was messy. It was hopelessly seductive. And it might possibly drive them both insane.
They fought. They made up. They screamed. They made love.
They hated and they loved in equal measure.
And now that Generation Rejects are starting to hit it big and the band is on the road, temptation and massive egos could very well spell the end of their roller coaster.
If only they could stay away from each other.
But Vivian has finally reached her breaking point. Tired of their endless cycle, she is ready to say goodbye to Cole for good.
Yet Cole isn’t one to go away quietly. Particularly when he is starting to realize exactly what he stands to lose if Vivian walks away.
As his world begins to turn upside down, Cole realizes that the one person who can hold him together is the girl who may no longer want him.
Love can be a comedy of errors, particularly for two people who never seem to get the timing right.
And In the crazy world of rock and roll, the hardest lessons to learn just might be the ones with the sweetest rewards
It starts out a few months where Perfect Regret left off. Cole Brandt is living the rockstar dream. The Generation Rejects’ career is skyrocketing, and what’s an up and coming rock band without a devastatingly hot frontman. And Cole? He’s DEFINITELY devastatingly hot. And like your garden-variety rocker, Cole is aware of his panty-melting good looks and appeal and he knows how to use them. Unfortunately for Vivian Baily.
Vivian is as perfect as any girl could get. She’s got a loving family. She’s a decent student. She’s got great friends. The only wrinkle in her perfect life is her disastrous pattern with Generation Rejects’ lead singer, Cole Brandt. She’s been in a very physical relationship with Cole for the past two years and what does she have to show for it? Utter humiliation and cut-his-balls-off rage at every turn. But Viv cannot help but go back for more. She can’t resist his charm, much less the way he makes her feel.
So, what’s the deal with Cole and Vivian? Well, they get off on pissing each other off. They (Cole, mostly) intentionally stir up trouble just to set the other off. This leads to meltdowns and public fights of epic proportions. But even after the anger and the hurt, they always find themselves in bed. Cole and Vivian think they’re using one another. How long will it take for one of them to become used up? How long will it take for one of them to break?
Cole and Vivian are drowning in their delusions. They’re forcing themselves to think of ways to justify their crazy relationship. They keep telling themselves they don't care over and over again in an effort to somehow make it true. They’re destroying each other little by little. Vivian knows how Cole can be a manwhoring asshole but she can’t help but care for him in a deeper way. She’s still a girl, after all. And Cole, clueless and egotistical as he is, tramples on Viv’s emotional attachment to him without even knowing it.
It was painful to see these two self-destruct. As a reader, I found their relationship emotionally exhausting. I swear. It was so tiring to feel that much pain and anger over and over again. I can’t help but feel indignant on Vivian’s behalf but at the same time, I can’t help but blame her, too, for putting up with Cole.
Cole isn’t ashamed of who he is. He gets what he wants when he wants it and says fuck off to anybody who might say otherwise. Right from the very first page, it’s evident that Cole is the guy your parents warned you about. He’s a grade-A asshole of epic proportions. And surprisingly… I just LOVED him! I think it’s the way he is so comfortable in his own skin that got to me. He isn’t sorry to be who he wants to be. His take-no-shit attitude only adds to his appeal as a character. But as the story progressed, I also appreciated how we see more to his character than the author initially let on. I love a good redemption story, and this is Cole’s.
Vivian’s character flaws revolved around her relationship with Cole. She can’t get him out of her mind no matter how hard she tries which ultimately affects the rest of her relationships, including all potential ones. Cole was way more complex. We get to see him as the Generation Rejects’ frontman, as Vivian’s paramour, as a friend to the guys, and even as a shunned son. I thought that last one could have used more development. I would have liked to see more resolution on that end of Cole’s already crazy life.
A. Meredith Walters breaks her characters down in the most painful and heartbreaking ways only to redeem them in the most beautiful. I can’t fault her at all for creating such multidimensional and complex characters. There are so many layers to each and every one of her characters and it was amazing as we peel each layer throughout the course of the story in order to get to the core of each character. And as she builds them back up, we see how the characters mature emotionally, how they reconcile all the shit in their lives in order to become a better version of themselves. I saw that in Cole. I saw that in Vivian. I even saw that in glimpses of the rest of the gang. That’s good character development for a redemption story right there.
A. Meredith Walters is an entertainer with words. And entertain me, she did. I particularly enjoyed how she presented the whole Vivian and Cole drama. Their constant back-and-forth and bickering was fun to read but I must say that it gets old after a while. It’s like all that Viv and Cole do is fight and I was dying for the story to progress to some kind of moment of enlightenment. There were times when the story flowed too slowly for me. The pacing could have used a bit more work.
Her writing is very emotionally-laden. She knows how to invoke emotions in her readers. Each one of Cole and Vivian’s face offs were intense and I felt myself bristling. Then there were the funny and laidback scenes like Vivian getting high on her anti-histamines while on a date AND, of course, the “providential son” moment. Oh my God, I was seriously laughing out loud at that one. The comic relief was tasteful and did not distract from the over-all tone of the story. It lessened the tension without disrupting the flow. These strategically placed ups and downs provided a very nice dynamic to the story.
Another thing that I like the most about her writing is how well she sets up future storylines and characters. She does not just focus on one couple or pair. Even though Cole and Vivian were on the foreground, the rest of the gang aren’t that far behind. I’m seeing a Mitch-Gracie on the horizon and I’m dying to get my hands on the next book.