Dec 16, 2013

Thou Shalt Not By J. J. Rossum

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Summary on Goodreads:

Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly
But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.



7. "Thou Shalt Not Commit...Adultery."

When one of my favorite authors like Tarryn Fisher recommend a book- I take it seriously. That's why I had to read this book as soon as possible and obviously I was intrigued by the title and the gorgeous cover. Adultery is a very sensitive and risky subject for authors to write about, because there're a lot of readers like me who aren't fans of that topic and they usually avoid it meaning the author really has to try his best to deliver an intriguing and engaging story and make us care about the characters involved and give believable and redeemable reasons for adultery, or the book will be doomed from the very beginning. 

In my reading history books with this type of subject usually mean a lot of PRO & CON reviews, mostly more con, and I don't doubt that this will too. There's only one book with this subject that I can remember until now that I really enjoyed and wasn't afraid to read, because it was written by one of my favorite authors and that's Tear You Apart By Megan Hart.

”....You've been the love of my life, Luke, but now that’s coming to an end. It’s time for you to find the true love of yours. I know it won't be easy, and I know you are probably shaking your head telling yourself there's no one else you could love. You might even wish to tell me to shut up. God still has great things for you, and I know He will bring you someone who can heal your hurt and give you the love you need...

....The right one for you will probably have been in front of you the whole time. I know you won't be paying attention. But don't let her slip through the cracks....”

My feelings about this book are CONFLICTED. I liked the way the story was written so that the past and present events are mixed and we are getting some important facts and info piece by piece. The plot wasn't anything original to be truthful- there were some things that I liked, but there were also some things that made me want to rate it even lower than 3 stars from time to time. One of those things is the main protagonist- the collage professor Luke Harper. It's really hard to like a book if you don't exactly like its main character and me and Luke had a lot of those love them or hate them moments, maybe even more those later ones. Why is that? Well, he said or did a lot of things that I didn't approve and was full of contradictions from time to time. There were a lot of moments when he said one thing and then the next minute he totally shocked me when he said or did something completely opposite, but on the other hand, there were some of those moments when he did that and I liked it, because I finally approved of his actions and the book didn't turned so predictable as it seemed it will be- as I already said: CONFLICTED. 

Also, as a teacher, I didn't like how the teachers were portrayed in this book, to be exact- how Luke behaved as a teacher. I mean, is it appropriate for a collage teacher to put his legs on the table and sit with a toothpick in his mouth and text all the time while giving a lecture. I don't know any teacher who does or did that, especially those who work on the university. There were some of them who made me wonder how they got their degree in the 1st place, but they never did smth like this.  I would have my ass fired right away if I ever did something like that. No need to point out that I would never do smth like that. You are a teacher for G's sake who is supposed to behave like an example to your students- have some dignity!

O.k., enough with the lecture and back to the book :). The bright spot of this book was the waitress Holly who was one of Luke's love interests. (Yes, there is also a love triangle in the story. Love triangle + Adultery= not a good formula in my book.) She was a really fun character with a strong attitude and I was cheering for her from the very beginning.

"If he does actually know," Holly said, "he might kill you tonight FYI."
"Yes, I'm well aware of that," I said. "Maybe we should have one last fuck before he does."
"No," she said. "I want you to die fuckless."

 I didn't like April, the married "femme fatale" at all. I saw through her right away, especially after that "show" with the pencil (note: take a look at the cover) , plus the way she was described reminded me on this girl I know and don't like, so I kept picturing her with her face- not a good thing xD.

What I really liked about this book is the emotional side of it, to be exact: the parts with Luke and his late wife Carrie and later with Holly on the bench and I loved the last 20% of the book, because I expected it to end in a totally different way, but, this time, I was so glad to be wrong. The thing that this book taught me is that there are some people who are really forgiving and that I'm not one of those. To be exact- I could forgive with time, but I could never forget. For me, there are just some things in life which you have to take seriously and with which you can't play around like love & other people's feelings. There are some rules not to be broken. Don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself- that would be the bottom line.

"...When you are young, you think mostly good and happy thoughts. You don't see very much bad in the world, in anything. Or at least you refuse to see it. You think all your plans will work out and that you'll live happily ever after. Then you reach a certain point in your twenties and you see the bad that you never thought was there. You see it in the people you've loved your whole life; you see it in the world around you. And I think you start to see it in yourself. And that changes you...."

The book is also labeled as erotica on GR, but I wouldn't label it like that at all. Yes, there were some pretty steamy scenes, but not enough for me to label it as erotica. My favorite one is the one in the park featuring Holly & Luke. That's the moment when I actually started to think that there's maybe still hope for him for me to like him, LOL. I know- how shallow from me ;D, but I don't care- it was hot. But he did kind of redeem himself in the ending. 

The book ended with a cliffe or did it really? Because I don't see anyone mentioning a second book. I guess we'll have to wait and see. All in all- I kind of liked and not liked the book, but I wouldn't be opposed to read a possible 2nd one. Who should read it? - People who enjoy emotional & steamy reads with a little drama.


JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places "home". Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.



  1. Ooo that sounds like one I might have trouble with. Not a huge fan of cheating in my romance stories. The only time it's worked for me was in Madeline Sheehan's Undeniable and mainly that was because of all the things happening it was the minor of the omg these people! things. lol

    Glad he redeemed himself a bit in the end for you!!

  2. Undeniable? I gave up on reading that book, because it just had too many wtf moments for me.
    This is a fairy tale in comparison to that book :D

    I didn't mind the cheating in this book that much as I thought I would. I was more annoyed by some other actions of the main character, but who knows, I read some reviews from people who loved it, so maybe you'll like it too.

    Thnx for stopping by :)

    1. LOL it has some crazy wtf moments. It was like watching a train wreck. I just couldn't put it down. I might give it a try. The cover caught my eye right away and it does sound like it has some potential. One day maybe :) I do appreciate the heads up on it.


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