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Reckless  - S.C. Stephens WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I have been in a post-Reckless funk from the moment I finished it. I can't believe that this trilogy has finally reached its conclusion. :(

For the record, this is one of the most stressful book series that I have ever read! I wanted to pull my hair out of frustration on several occasions. I wished death on several characters even though I knew that they were fictional. I just wanted very badly for the stars and the universe to align and finally let Kellan and Kiera get their "happily ever after", dammit!

Reckless picks up immediately where Effortless ends. The day after they got "married" at Pete's bar they come home to find an unpleasant surprise - Kellan's old roommate. Joey has something that could tarnish Kellan's reputation, especially now that he's on his way to stardom, and she has an asking price for it. The newlyweds are barely even married, and they've found themselves another problem already.

"I'm really sorry, Kiera. I never meant for you to find out about that."

"I don't want you to hide things just because you think the truth will make me unhappy. We've gotten into trouble way too many times that way already."

The fights were plenty right off the bat, and even I questioned their decision to get married. Kiera could be such a child sometimes! And Kellan is hot-headed one moment then needy and insecure the next.

So the plan was for Kiera to sort some things out in Seattle, pack up, and leave for LA to join Kellan and the rest of the D-Bags while they finish recording their album and prepare for their upcoming promotional tour. Not even a few hours after she is reunited with Kellan, another challenge presents itself unto them. Sienna Sexton, celebrity/sex-tape star/fellow artist (who also happens to be signed in the same music label as the D-Bags), has taken an interest in Kellan and insists on a collaboration with the D-Bags. She convinces them that the duet will be beneficial to both parties but Kiera isn't sure if Sienna's interests are entirely professional. In addition to their duet on a single, the label now has this grandiose idea to market Sienna and Kellan as a couple to boost publicity and album sales. This obviously does not bode well for Kellan and Kiera but they decide to go along with it and keep their relationship a secret from the public for the sake of the D-Bags. To top it off, Sienna takes advantage of the situation, making moves on Kellan despite his protests and Kiera feeling helpless to do anything about it.

"Kiera," he pleaded. "I don't want this, but if I have to do it, then I want you as far away from it as possible...I don't want to hurt you, and if our roles were reversed, I couldn't handle watching you with another man."

I gave him a sad smile as I whispered, "You already did."

Once again, in true S.C. Stephens fashion, we are given that gut-wrenching love triangle (a non-love triangle in this case, really) that we can only watch from the sidelines. Kellan and Kiera keep coming across hurdle after hurdle and at one point while reading I just wanted to pick a fight (with no one in particular) and dare, "Is that all you've got?!" Seriously! The amount of conflicts in this book is ridiculous. HOWEVER, the funny and sweet moments definitely make up for all the angst and stress.

I am not anti-Kiera, just so you know. I mean, true, she annoys the crap out of me at times but I love her for Kellan and I loved the growth of her character in this book. I felt all her insecurities. I can't imagine how tough it must be to be in her position.

And Kellan, oh Kellan. *sigh* I don't know of any male protagonist who is as romantic, as sweet and as devoted to his girl as Kellan is to Kiera. If you think that the love notes in Effortless was the end of it then you are in for a treat! So much SWOON in this book, I tell you. I don't want to violate any copyright laws here by posting the entire thing (and taking a sentence or two is not enough) but that part when they said their vows? Oh yes, I completely lost my shit. It was soooo beautifully written. I guarantee no eyes will be dry after reading THAT.

Other parts that warmed my heart were the scenes with Kellan's dad and siblings. I also liked how we got to read about the other D-Bags members and their significant others, as well as Justin and Deacon from the other bands. I'd love for them to get a spin-off series or book!

I've read of other readers who are annoyed every time Denny enters the picture but honestly I never saw him as a threat post-[b:Thoughtless|13517535|Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1)|S.C. Stephens|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331254339s/13517535.jpg|14321512]. I thought he and Abby were perfect for each other! If anything it was Kiera who annoyed me by reading too much into Denny's actions. Get over yourself! *cue eye roll*

But I'd have to say, Kellan and Kiera aside, it was truly Anna and Griffin who stole the show. Griffin is, in fact, the epitome of what a douchebag is and yet I grew on him and found him endearing even, towards the end.

"We're fucking rock stars. When did we start caring about the rules?"

The story is not without imperfections. Inasmuch as I'd like to fantasize about the whole thing I found some parts unrealistic, like their "coming out" on live radio. I'm pretty sure Kellan has violated some part of the contract or broken the non-disclosure agreement by saying stuff against his label. I think [b:How to Kill a Rock Star|113791|How to Kill a Rock Star|Tiffanie DeBartolo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348314742s/113791.jpg|109560] has set the bar too high for me. Every other rockstar book I've read since seem mediocre in comparison in terms of "realness." There was also a Love Unscripted/Unrehearsed vibe to it that I couldn't help comparing if with. I also felt that some scenarios were thrown in just for shock value :( but what the heck! This book still gets 5* for me for the redeeming ending alone. Overall I found the book to be a fantastic ending to the trilogy. LOVED the Debbie Gibson reference! ;) I will definitely miss Kellan and Kiera and the rest of the D-Bags :')


Happy tears. So much happy tears.