Having your cake and eating it too – that phrase always seems like a bit of a weird one. If I’ve got cake, why am I not eating it? Cake is awesome. What am I, a masochist? Unfortunately, at times I felt a little bit like a masochist while reading Thoughtless – it is, at times, fairly frustrating. But you still feel oddly sated by the end. Like gorging on a big-ass birthday cake. Kind of sickly, but hey, you’ve eaten it now. And it tasted pretty good. I’m labouring this.
Anyway, technically having her cake and eating it too is what the main chick in this story, Kiera, is trying to do. She’s moved to Seattle with her Australian boyfriend, Denny, while he starts a much-sought internship and she finishes up at uni. (We are not allowed to forget this guy is Australian. Kiera lets us know about his accent and how it “slides over” things constantly. Yuck.) But over the course of the story, she starts an affair with broody local rocker – and new housemate – Kellan Kyle. Yes, that’s actually his name. Kellan is, of course, impossibly hot and generally causes panties to drop wherever he goes, but Kiera convinces herself that their increasingly tactile behaviour, especially once Denny conveniently has to go out of town for a while, is purely platonic. Until, of course, things go too far…
This has all the ingredients of a great guilty-pleasure read, and to an extent it is that, but I did find it rather incredible that the storyline was dragged out as much as it was – Kiera belabours the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go-with-the-sexy-rockstar debate for what feels… like… an… eternity. It’s a no-brainer, honey! Your boyfriend’s accent slides over stuff! Ew! Overall, she did not feel like a chick I wanted to spend too much time with. Willfully naïve, sappy and boring, it often felt like a wonder two blokes were so doolaly over her at all.
And yet… I have to admit. Some of the scenes, some of Kiera and Kellan’s hand-wringing over what they’re doing, and yes, some of the sexy-time, was pretty compelling, in spite of all that. When Stephens allows the characters some time to just get down to some good ol’ fashioned guilty boning, the story does work. It had a lot of potential, but I found a lot of the characterisation and narrative distractingly unrealistic. You might feel a little queasy after devouring this one.
Cringe Factor 4/5
Is it Hot in Here? 4/5
For the Love of Feminism! 2/5
Overall Tasty Goodness 2.5/5
If you’re so-inclined, Kiera & Kellan’s story continues in the sequels Effortless and Reckless…