With or Without Him

With or Without Him - Barbara Elsborg I had such high hopes for this book and it just failed on so many levels. Frankly, I'm surprised I even finished it. I had to keep putting it down out of frustration over the stupidity. And skimming sex scenes? That's when you know its bad.

OTT drama, TSTL characters, unbelievable situations, repetitive, boring sex scenes, soap opera type bullshit around every corner, several cardboard cutout villains (yes, more than one) and on and on and on.

I'm not sure why BDSM is even mentioned. There really is none in the story. I almost died laughing when Haris explained he had been into it to 'have control and power over his emotions'. lol...whut? Dude had zero control over his emotions, acted like a teenage girl most of the time and was either over-reacting or misinterpreting everything. Worst. Dom. Ever.

Tyler's 21 and has been doing sex parties for three months to pay off his student loans. He has to pay them off because of his OTT tragic past that I'm not even going to get into. Don't worry though, Haris has an equally OTT tragic past to match so, it's all good.

Haris is, uh, older. Don't know how much older because we're never told. And he sees Jared play the piano and falls instantly into lust and just has to have him. He follows him, saves him, then, naturally, offers him 20k plus 10k for clothes and sundries to be his for 4 months.

Tyler complains often that Haris isn't buying his personal life while simultaneously whining about why he doesn't want to snuggle. Haris overhears, comes to conclusions, makes assumptions, misunderstands, has Tyler followed, does background checks and basically throws temper tantrums and acts like a little bitch throughout. Oh, and whines about why the dude he's paying to have sex with him doesn't want to snuggle.

There are continuity issues as well. (At one point Tyler worries about the guy he's worked for for 3 months having years worth of photos and video of him. Whuuu?) Characters seem as though they are in a TSTL competition and their lives are on the line. No, seriously. It's like they all were trying to out stupid each other the entire time. People are raped, pushed in front of buses, almost killed and of course they react to these events like any good TSTL character would.

So, yeah. Stupid, reallllllly stupid. I almost quit several times but I somehow managed to struggle through till the end. And I'm not sure if that was necessarily a good thing.

I think this was even more of a let down since I happen to be a Barbara Elsborg fan. If you're looking for something along the lines of Strangers or An Ordinary Girl, this is not the one.