Review: Eruption (The Hunted #3) by Ivy Smoak

Print Length: 301 pages
Publisher: Ivy Smoak (April 11, 2016)

From  New York was supposed to be our fresh start. Our happily ever after. But James is hiding something from me.

Secrets from James' past, his scheming ex, and unsupportive parents make it hard to breathe in this city that barely feels like my home.

I thought I wanted to marry him. I thought he was the man of my dreams. I thought we'd be happy as soon as we got away from all the rumors. But now? I don't think I ever really knew Professor Hunter. And I can't walk down the aisle until I know the truth.


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I just.... what the heck did I just read? 

To begin with there were suddenly a lot more characters than I remember being in the first two books, all friends of the engaged couple which I assume were meant to expand the world, however they quickly became jumbled as I tried to keep track of who was who. 

Next - for a group of older people (James, his parents, Isabella, and Mason) and young adults (everyone else) all of these characters were extremely immature to the point I kept forgetting they were supposed to be adults with jobs and kept expecting them to talk about their day in high school. 

But what really killed this for me were the main characters themselves. James is a manipulative, emotionally abusive asshole and Penny is so damn pathetic that I spent the majority of this novel wishing I could reach into my kindle and smack the pair of them. Seriously - what is it about these two that people find so endearing or attractive? 

At one point Penny even admits that he uses sex to manipulate her, and that she allows it, but she does absolutely nothing to stop it or even question him about it. In fact, she does nothing about anything that he says or does (some examples? He sabotages her chances of getting an internship at any other company by telling them she's working for him. She talks about having to take the subway which she knows he doesn't like, but - and I'm quoting here - "he also refused to let me drive any of his cars while we were in the city because he deemed it unsafe. Which didn't bother me at all. However, Ian was our only driver, which usually resulted in me saying James could take the car." And then there is my absolute personal favorites (note the heavy sarcasm here), when Penny thinks to herself "Every now and then I found James' behavior frustrating. But for the most part, I liked that he always knew what he wanted and what was best for me." What was best for her? Sabotoging her chances to work for a company he doesn't own, not allowing her to drive a car, not liking her to wear certain things or talk to certain people is all what is best for her? Get the fuck out of here. 

While we are on the subject of Penny - has she always been so horribly pathetic that even when provided with photographic "evidence" that James is being unfaithful, not only does she NOT want to confront him about it, but she also starts blaming herself with thoughts of "Was it something I did? Of course it was. I had been stressed out for weeks. I hadn't had sex with him in days" and crying herself to sleep thinking even more pathetic thoughts of "And I certainly didn't want to confront him about cheating on me. There was no way I could ever let him go. If he was cheating on me, we could work through it. I couldn't live without him. And I couldn't let him end it with me." SERIOUSLY? CAN YOU PLEASE GROW A DAMN BACKBONE AND STOP LETTING HIM WALK ALL OVER YOU? 

Of course, when her so-called friends treat her like shit and she won't stand up for herself with them either what did I expect? For her bachelorette party, they take her to a bar where they proceed to bully her into doing a bunch of shit she doesn't want to do (including touching a strangers abs). During this her "best friend" Melissa starts acting like a major bitch and freaking out because the friend is jealous that Penny had sex with Tyler THREE YEARS AGO when she (the friend) now is banging him. One of the things the group made her do was rank the men she had sex with. Penny purposely doesn't say Tyler because she doesn't want to upset Melissa. But of course, instead of just letting it go, this happens:

Melissa: "So, he's not as good as James? You're such a bitch."
Penny: "No, Tyler's really good in bed. I just...I'm in love with James."
Melissa: "So, you think Tyler's great in bed? What, do you still fantasize about him or something? You're the worst friend ever."

I'm sorry, what the hell did you want her to say?

The final straw in this debacle of bullshit was finding out that somehow his ex-wife has managed to slip the world's smallest camera/recorder onto her phone (it apparently looks like a piece of tape) and is now blackmailing her. Which of course, Penny gives in and does absolutely everything she says not even thinking that HEY I CAN'T TELL JAMES BUT I CAN TELL HIS BROTHER - which backfires in her face like I knew it would. 

And when James finds out (because apparently Penny didn't realize that liquidating twenty-MILLION dollars worth of his stocks wouldn't warrant a message from his stock broker) - he thinks the worst and won't even give her a chance to explain before he is calling her names, breaking her spirit even more, and kicking her out of the apartment. Because that's a totally normal reaction. 

*sighs* ONE MORE BOOK. I just have to make it through ONE MORE BOOK and then I can forget about this series forever. 

                                        Eruption is available from
                                           (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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