THE SOCIAL MEDIA SERIES
FOLLOW, LIKE, BLOCK, STATUS
BY J.A. HUSS
On a whim I picked up J.A. Huss’ Follow, book 1 in her Social Media series. Despite hundreds of books on my “to read” list, I’d had a bad week and needed something to just get lost in. And, let me tell you, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun reading a book. I flipped between being hot and bothered and snorting through my nose while laughing. And even though I started off not really liking leading lady Grace, by the time I reached the last page I absolutely adored her. She’d found the strong, sexy, sure-of-herself woman that existed deep inside instead of the dirty minded tweeter we met at the beginning of the book. As for Vaughn, the sexy but not-very-likable leading man, well, he had much to make up for in book two.
*In case you didn’t guess from the preceding paragraph, this series is an Erotica series. I haven’t included the summaries because, well, they were a little too smokin’ hot for this review site*
Like, the second book in the SM series (Ha! Were the initials intentional?) took a serious turn. We learn a little more about Vaughn as Huss begins peeling back the layers of her headliners. The reader gets a peek into Vaughn’s desire to take care of those he loves and see how that might-might-translate into his sexual desires. I’ve read a few dom/sub books, and there’s always a reason for the lover’s choices. As a woman, there were times I was seriously disturbed by his sexual demands of Grace despite the fact he always had a quick and reasonable explanation. Certainly the reader might assume that the things Vaughn demands of Grace are based on assumptions he made after reading the very public-and let’s face it-overtly sexual tweets she’s directed at him over the years.
Throughout Like, Grace’s character continues to be on the receiving end of my adoration and I love knowing that Vaughn is falling in love with her. Sure, I’m lying in a huge bed of hypocrisy because even though I’m put off by Vaughn’s demands, at the same time I want him for Grace because Huss makes it clear that Vaughn is the type of man who will take care of her heroine like he does everyone else he loves. And even though we don’t know Grace’s full story, it’s easy to catch on to the fact that Grace needs that desperately.
As I quickly read my way through the Social Media series, the author’s diabolical plan unfolded. She lured me in with book one, which was fun and sexy. Book two was a reality check. In Block, book three of the series, Huss finally reveals the characters we’ve fallen in love with. As Huss shows her hand the reader now see who Grace and Vaughn are; we meet two people who come from very different places, yet share the need for secrecy for survival and who clearly need each other to get through their imploding lives. At the root of their disaster in the making is Vaughn, who is so totally out of his element in Block as he falls in love, that he’s making mistakes every time he blinks. Grace has him stumbling along blindly, leaving devastation in his wake. If it wasn’t so heartbreaking to watch Grace fall apart it would almost be funny.
But Grace is falling apart as her secrets are stripped away, leaving her perfectly constructed life torn apart. She loves Vaughn, craves him physically, but bit by bit he’s destroyed her image of the Prince Charming she thought he was. And, that’s what makes their story so compelling. Grace won’t find her HEA until she’s completely naked, metaphorically speaking. Vaughn won’t find his until he comes to terms with the fact he can’t control everything.
And despite Grace’s flip-flopping regarding Vaughn and Vaughn continuing to make life altering mistakes, you can’t help but root for this couple to pull it together and have their HEA.
Book 4, Status, is the most recent addition to the series. This one was the toughest to read story-wise and so far removed from the laugh out loud fun of book one. Grace’s secrets are finally revealed and her past was definitely not the stroll in the park she’s been telling everyone. Murder, kidnapping, and heartbreaking accusations left the girl Grace was broken in two. Huss truly steps her game up in Status as the series delves into a mystery/thriller that is horrifying for the characters and readers alike. Vaughn, though his secrets are yet to be revealed, is all in with Grace and will do anything to keep her safe. This book has twists and turns this reader didn’t see coming and truly makes the Social Media series a well-rounded novel and not the erotica novella I picked up a few days ago for some fun reading. And I couldn’t be happier.
Book 5 of the series, Profile, is available for pre-order now at the sale price of 99 cents.
Summary: All the best fairy tale princesses have the most horrific pasts. Mine just happens to be more horrific than most. Fantasizing over Vaughn Asher was a dream. Meeting Vaughn Asher was a fairytale. Loving Vaughn Asher was my downfall. The past is always there. Waiting. Waiting to expose you. Waiting to ruin you. Waiting to take you back. Sometimes not even a prince can save you.