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*Download Kindle ñ Unsticky à High Fashion, High Art, High Expectations This Is Pretty Woman For The Twenty First CenturyMoney Makes The World Go Round That S What Twenty Something Grace Reeves Is Learning Stuck In A Grind Where Everyone S Ahead Apart From Her, She S Partied Out, Disillusioned, And Massively In Debt If She S Dumped By Another Rock Band Wannabe, Squashed By Anyone Else At Her Cut Throat Fashion Job, Or Chased By Any Bailiffs, Grace Suspects She Ll Fall Apart So When Older, Sexy And Above All, Wealthy Art Dealer Vaughn Appears, She S Intrigued Against Her Will Could She Handle Being A Sugar Daddy S Arm Candy Soon Grace Is Thrown Into A World Of Money And Privilege, At Vaughn S Beck And Call In Return For Thousands Of Pounds In Luxurious Gifts, Priceless Clothes And Cash Where S The Line Between Acting The Trophy Girlfriend, And Selling Yourself For Money And, Importantly Whatever Happened To Love The characters annoyed me in this book The storyline was basically the same as Manning s other novel You Don t Have To Say You Love Me And it was far, far too long again It dragged and I couldn t wait for it to be over.So, yes, sorry, this review is pretty negative, but I just hate it when authors try to romanticise abusive relationships, because this is what happens in this book and it s just not cool There were bits and pieces that had me frowning throughout the book, but it was page 514 in my edition which made me particularly uncomfortable and here are a few lines to show you what I mean Vaughn was at her side so fast that Grace wasn t sure how he d managed it, his hands wrapping round her wrists in a bruising grip, so he could haul her closer in a parody of every time he d done just that she he could kiss her Further down the page Grace tried to wrench her hands free so she could clamp them over her ears, but Vaughn refused to let her go, pressing down harder so she cried out as he dragged her towards the sofa and forced her into a sitting position Even further down the page Vaughn finally released her wrists, but it was just a momentary respite, so he could sit down next to her and cup her face in his hands Grace could feel the tremor in his fingers, as if Vaughn was just itching to snap her neck Not only that, Vaughn told her what to wear and how to have her hair, and was always chastising her like a silly girl, and, the best part was, Grace just let him do it By the end of the book, in fact, she was actually begging Vaughn to take her back no matter what he demanded of her as Grace says to Vaughn on page 561, If you want to start investing in Young Berlin Artists then I ll learn to speak German You decide that college is where it s at, I ll swot up on that All the while I was thinking where is your self respect woman Plus when does this end So, I usually try not to be so mean in my reviews, but this book just made me mad, so, sorry, but I just didn t like it. I m still just a little bit protective of my feelings over this book Do you ever feel that way after finishing a book that completely threw you for a loop in the very best way I feel distinctly protective of our relationship, the book and I I m still mulling over the way things ended on my lunch break and as I lie in bed waiting to fall asleep Because it took me by such surprise, and because I fell in love with it so fast and hard, I m just not at all sure I m ready to talk about the experience But enough of my book reviewing eccentricities I ve held onto my feelings long enough and it s time to let them see the light of day Because UNSTICKY did a bit of a number on me This is my first foray into Sarra Manning s body of work and I m kicking myself for waiting so long to find out for myself what the rest of you have been going on about For those of you not familiar with her work, Ms Manning is known for her contemporary young adult titles, which have been published on both sides of the pond This is her first contemporary adult title and it, unfortunately, it s only available in the UK I ordered my copy from Awesome Books after reading Sabrina s excellent review over at About Happy Books I seriously ordered it that very day and looked forward to its arrival in my mailbox each day after that A side note I do love reading a novel that s never been edited for an American audience I get lost in the wonderful wording and in the different sensibility that seems to pervade the whole Definite bonus factor here.Grace is having a bad 23rd birthday Make that a very bad birthday Her boyfriend decides it s a good idea to dump her in the handbag section of her favorite department store on her birthday and then storm out in a huff of seriously dubious righteous indignation when she doesn t handle it with the utmost grace and decorum But things get even weirder when she is shortly spirited out of the shop by an unidentified male who seems both appalled at her tears and bent on absconding with her to have a drink Monumentally confused and emotionally wrung out, Grace gets as far as sitting down at a table with the mysterious Vaughn before her common sense kicks in like a champ and she beats a path out of there But it s not the last she s heard of Vaughn He has a proposition for her that involves a six month stint of playing the role of his girlfriend at a series of high profile art soirees in exchange for, well, cold hard cash Appalled and offended, Grace has no intention of accepting his outrageous offer But then she gets to thinking Her life hasn t exactly been coming up roses lately She s massively, massively in debt due to a pesky habit of binge shopping whenever things get too grim And things get grim pretty often, what with soaring credit card bills, her demeaning and thankless job in the fashion industry she loves, and her inability to extend a meaningful relationship beyond the three month mark And so it is with much trepidation and not a little bit of terror that she accepts Vaughn s offer, signs a contract, and enters a whole new world.There s no denying it I just I just could not tear my eyes away from this story for the entire 448 pages of the book Something about Grace and Vaughn immediately dug into my character pleasure center and made a home there They were so real, so horribly, horribly isolated from the world around them And it was incredibly gratifying to watch them come to grips with both the extremely unpleasant and the achingly beautiful aspects of their own realities, when forced to see them through the lens of the other s perspective Especially as they hailed from diametrically opposite worlds and there is little to no incentive to be anything other than brutally honest when your relationship is built on the most unsentimental and mercenary of contractual terms Honestly, there was just so much pain, possibility, and ruthlessly reined in emotion lying between these two that I was an absolute goner All I could do was watch in exquisite agony as they hurt each other and misunderstood each other and loved each other over and over again until something had to give I was so involved it almost didn t matter to me what that something was or how it ended Almost Of course it mattered to me But the ride itself was such a pleasure, I would have loved UNSTICKY for that alone Happens that I love it for its ending as well Though I as always seems to be the case could have done with a teensy bit in the way of declarations But that s me Part modern day Pretty Woman, part up close and personal, present day Pygmalion, it s a winner in my book If you re a sucker for immeasurably flawed characters, blistering romance, and vintage clothing, then this is the book for you UNSTICKY rocked my little bookish world and instantly transformed me into a card carrying member of the Sarra Manning fan club. It s not often that a book takes me completely by surprise When I cracked open the spine of Unsticky, I knew what I was getting into a modern day Pretty Woman if you will And yet, despite knowing what was to come, I was continuously blown away by this novel by its charm, by its wit, by its complex characters, by its intriguing dialogueeverything, from the first word to the last period enthralled me In fact, it s safe to say that Sarra Manning had me completely be spelled Manning s novels are always un put down able, but this story had an ethereal quality all of its own I dare you not to fall in love with this book it s one challenge you won t even want to attempt.I won t lie the premises of Unsticky is, well, sticky Grace, the protagonist of our tale, is massively in debt, working for the fashion world and being massively underpaid , and simply cannot keep a relationship going longer than three months After being dumped yet again on her birthday, Grace is dragged off by Vaughn, a rich older man who tries to make her day a little brighter It s not the last she ll see of Vaughn, though In fact, the smooth talking stranger who is loaded with money , has a proposition for Grace to become his girlfriend for six months, accompanying him on ventures to sell art Grace, initially aghast at the lowly prospect of being paid to both spend her time with and have sex with this man, slowly begins to change her mind on the issue After all, with her life stuck in a rut and her bills only piling higher, what does she have to lose And, just as Grace hopes, Vaughn s proposition does change her life around For better or for worse, she s still not entirely sureI m going to get straight down to it Sarra Manning takes a seemingly taboo topic and makes it work. And I don t even mean the characters For me, what makes this situation so startlingly relate able and downright thoughtful is the fact that Manning leaves no stone unturned on her journey to create this tale Obviously, the most glaringly evident issue that this situation presents is the monetary aspect of it Grace is being paid to spend time with, organize events for, and sleep with a man eighteen years older to her Ick is what we should all be saying, but truly, Vaughn makes you swoon. And even if he does, Manning brings up the ethical question of whether or not this situation is really okay, or even all that fair Vaughn, as the One With The Money and the One With The Legal Contract clearly has the upper hand in the relationship It s a doomed union from the start, only because of this imbalance of power And yet, how utterly fascinating is it After all, these types of relationships are only all too common in the media today, but I love that Manning is able to take such a controversial topic, reveal how love can be found within it, and never brush aside the messy realities this situation brings.Manning continues to bring up the importance of money only because Vaughn has so much of it while Grace doesn t throughout the novel For me, seeing the subtle changes in Grace s life as money comes and goes played huge roles in defining her character Grace, like most chick lit heroines, is utterly endearing refusing to pay her bills, brought up by her grandparents, besotted with the fashion industry, and struck by a terminal illness of binge shopping Although she seems to be relatively shallow from the surface, her intelligence bleeds through the page, coming across in her sharp wit and her fierce determination to win ground when it comes to Vaughn While Grace is naturally intimidated by the opulent lifestyle she now finds herself a part of, she meets each challenge with courage, slowly overcoming her own fears as her relationship with Vaughn progresses Additionally, while she and Vaughn butt heads than once after all, Vaughn demands that his every command is fulfilled theirs is an arc that continues to delight as the story progresses, journeying from stiff acquaintances to comfortable friends It s a slow, but rewarding, adventure, filled with many memorable arguments, inexcusable words, and tender moments Ultimately, Manning truly hits the nail on the head in capturing the complexity of their relationship, from its strange start to its unlikely meaning.And what about Vaughn Where do I possibly begin with this exasperating, enthralling man Vaughn is, I suppose, an alpha male in nearly every regard And yet, I hesitate to slap that label upon him Instead, I find him to be much of a perfectionist, detail oriented and a stickler for schedules Vaughn merely has so many layers to him As we get to know him better, we see sides to him that we ve never seen before, but that never discounts the original angles we met him at either Manning ensures that we are aware, constantly, of Vaughn s mixed nature of his demands, but his charm of his distance, but his insight Easily one of the most intriguing aspects to Vaughn is his utter belief in Grace Grace, whose parent less upbringing has left her a mess Grace, who lacks the backbone to stand up for herself Grace, whose confidence level is at its lowest point And, somehow, despite the difficulty of living with Vaughn, Grace begins to change, discover, and believe in the newer, better version of herself that Vaughn demands she put forward Although their interactions are prickly at best, it works. Vaughn, too, is slowly changed by Grace, the man he hides underneath his layers slowly emerging While Unsticky seems to contain that classic route of a significant other changing their partner, in reality, all the growth that these characters experience comes from within It is never an easy or even a neat path Often, the journey is plain difficult to watch unfold, but it s that brutal honesty that I can count on with Manning and that I come back for, every time.Even if Unsticky weren t a love story, I would have loved it Of course, the budding romance between Grace and Vaughn is tragically beautiful sticky, sexy, and sweet Yet, it is the individual growth it is the people that these characters grow into after they walk away from each other that makes this such a remarkable novel I find that there is no dearth of troubled pasts in literature today, but Manning throws two seemingly normal people into an outlandish scenario and spins their tale magnificently Moreover, I appreciated that the secrets hiding in Vaughn and Grace s closets were not so out there as to be depressing I cannot count the number of times I ve seen messy pasts revealed to be drugs, rape, cancer, or some other form of emotional scarring It s not that Manning s characters aren t emotionally broken because they are it s only that their pasts aren t as shady or different If anything, Manning perfectly portrays that even the smallest of instances a mother in another country, for instance can grow and change a person s psyche incredibly.If you re a fan of real character depth, messy relationships, or even unlikely affection, then Unsticky is not to be missed While all her stories are compulsively readable, impossible to drag out as they consume your life so completely, this one was utterly flawless In fact, I just want to take the day off tomorrow, snuggle under the blankets, and re read this from cover to cover It s that good I just don t know how I m going to possibly get over my book hangover from this one nowYou can read this review and on my blog Ivy Book Bindings. Time s up, Grace Are you in or outDoesn t quite have the same ring as Pretty Woman, does it 2.75 stars Consider Unsticky to be 1 part Chick Lit and 2 parts dramatic Contemporary Romance Confused yet I would have sworn this was straight chick litup until it wasn t And I wasn t a fan of that weird transition Right down to the last 100 pages, I was sure I would end up going with a 2 star rating, but I truly loved some of the character interactions conversations which took place near the end, even though I hated how I never attached to the characters before they got to the growth point Grace is no Julia Roberts, that s for sure Even though Ms Roberts has never been my personal standard for beauty, I will hand it to her that her performance of that infamous hooker is a role which has stayed with me You see, this bookit could have been a fun take on the Pretty Woman theme At first, I sort of had a Don and Megan mental picture for Grace and Vaughnshe s younger and still learning who she is He s older and little bit cranky slash mysterious slash amusing Their first couple of times spent together were super awkward I saw it starting like thisAnd ending up like thisAnd it kind of did But not really Vaughn wants to buy Grace to be his mistress companion, JUST LIKE IN PRETTY WOMAN EPIC, right Not so much Instead, it was fashion, flubs, and the manifestation of inner demons.Grace wasn t a quirky hooker who talked like a guy and knew how to work on cars.Nope She worked in the fashion industry and obsessed over clothes Grace didn t want to know how much she d spent and actually she didn t really care She just wanted to fill up the gaping chasm inside her with pretty things.Buy a pretty vibrator for your gaping chasm It s cheaper.I like to put on cute clothes as much as the next girl, but I don t want to actually READ about name brands and fashion as the base of a story unless we re getting some down and dirty info about the fashion industry or something Vaughn is too obsessed with sweets She could taste vanilla ice cream and expectation.Vaughn was already pulling the bowl closer Are you sure he asked Grace didn t even have time to nod before he brought the spoon to his mouth Every time he swallowed, Vaughn would close his eyes and purse his lips, like he was having these tiny moments of rapture.Can I erase that image from my brain, the thought of a man having a mini orgasm over ice cream What s next, does he put on sweats and cry over chick flicks IT S JUST NOT AS GOOD LIKE THIS Office talk and fashion rambling No No No I ran into exact the same problem again that I usually do with chick lit Instead of it being funny or kitschy to me, the vibe generally comes across as shallow and whiny OH, but waitboth of Grace and Vaughn s mentioned hang ups tied back to the revelation of their inner demons later in the story Wanna know something I absolutely hate to read in books Hint it has to do with people self diagnosing themselves Watching Grace wax poetic about why her compulsive shopping was a problem was painful I d rather stick to Vaughn being the jackass Captain Obvious and have him point out Grace s issues instead, like he was doing anyway.Speaking of Vaughn s jackassery by the time we get to the whole I own you because I paid for you part of the story, Vaughn quit being mysterious in a good way and started being creepy, secretive, deceptive, insulting and controlling instead HIGH FIVE, VAUGHN You re sure to win that douche of the year award after that adrenaline shot scene But the point is that screwed up characters generally change into better people, right Isn t that the buildup of the story, to show character growth yes But I don t like when I don t care if the characters even change or not, which is where I was at before any changing happened However, even though I had complaints, I mostly blame the problem on me, again I should have known better, no matter how much the Pretty Woman theme was calling out Most romance bordering on chick lit is usually of a miss than a hit with me, so I might be the random dissenter in a crowd of people who would genuinely like the book.So if you like dramatic contemporary romance or chick lit or a combo of both, which this seems to be , you will probably enjoy Unsticky much than I did.