SO GOOD. SO GOOD. If you’re anything like me and really love a hero who is a jerk, you are going to fall hard for The Failing Hours. Zeke and Violet are about as opposite as it’s possible to be in terms of temperament and joy of life. At least so it first appears. Don’t worry, there is a lot more to Zeke beneath the surface.
Violet is supposed to be tutoring Zeke but she purposefully misses their first appointment after seeing him in the library because his size and his scowl intimidates her. When she finally gets up the nerve to have their first tutoring session, Zeke is much as she expected. Sarcastic, snappy, and angry. There is no way love is going to blossom between this pair.
That is before two young kids, a meddling wrestling coach, and Violet start to win Zeke over, slowly but surely. That isn’t to say that Zeke does a complete 180 in this book because he definitely does not. Even at the end, Zeke has some things to work through. But his heart does soften and he does realize he is in love. This is a big deal for a guy who has been the forgotten child of his parents all his life, shuffled between relatives. He’s never had a family and to say he has a chip on his shoulder would be putting it mildly.
Violet actually comes from somewhat similar circumstances as Zeke. Her parents died when she was four and she too was shuffled amongst adults. But her attitude is a lot different. She is determined to make a success of her life, to have close friends, to find happiness. I hate to say it, but kindness exudes from her pores. I was a bit worried that she would end up being somewhat spineless but no worries. When Violet needed to stand up for herself, she did with resolution and grace. I particularly appreciated how she took a stand at the end. I won’t say much more but Violet proves that she holds herself in great esteem, as she should.
Sara Ney does a fantastic job at crafting the love scenes too. I almost feel like Zeke had a few purple prose moments in how he felt about Violet during their sex scenes. It was somewhat comical in that respect, seeing this angry man becoming rapturous over a woman.
I don’t think I ever actually reviewed the first book in this series, The Studying Hours (it is fantastic by the way, thanks Andi for introducing me to the series). The characters from The Studying Hours make appearances in this book but it’s quite nice because it shows how deep the stakes are for Zeke if he doesn’t moderate his attitude a bit. And it was just nice to see Oz and Jameson again.
I truly felt like Sara Ney wrote this book purposefully for me because she hit all my reading sweet spots. A somewhat introverted heroine, an angry, douchebag of a hero, and a wonderful love story that unfolds between them. (And while I say Zeke is a douchebag, make no mistake, he is not truly CRUEL or god forbid, abusive in any way. He just has a bit of a mean streak that needs tempering).
Also, I have to mention how much I loved Zeke and his little, the boy he is paired up with for a mentoring program. This kid gives Zeke so much crap but man oh man, they really learned to like each other. And there is a part at the end, oh goodness, where Zeke explains how much this boy has influenced him and it just the sweetest thing.
So yes, I loved Zeke, A LOT. I loved Violet too but I guess for me, Zeke turned out to be the star of the show so to speak.
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About the author:
Purveyor of all things witty & romantic, I love: iced latte’s, traveling, and bright, bold colors. On any given day, you can find me in my office, lovingly gazing at my bookshelf or shuffling my Bic felt-tip pen collection. I love hand writing letters, and sarcasm.
I live in the midwest, but “Will Write for Travel,” and believe everyone should follow their dreams, no matter how big or small. My favorite authors include Cindy Miles, S Walden, Suzanne Enoch, Tessa Dare (to name a few). I am a glutton for Historical, RomCom, Sports and MC romance.
One husband. Two daughters. Plenty of chaos.
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