Ray of Light by E.L. Todd
E.L. Todd has a good thing in her repertoire with Ray of Light. She’s created a mix of good, relatable characters. The main group of characters feel like they could be people you hang out with on a regular basis. They don’t feel too overdone or too perfect. They actually feel human. The main character, Rae, is fun, witty and smart on her own. She’s not a ‘woe is me’ character and she’s not the perfect bombshell character either. She’s real. What’s also real are her interactions. The relationship between Rae and Ryker is steamy yet fun. They’re not perfect, but they are perfect for one another. The dynamic created between Rae and her brother Rex is fun to read and convincing. It could be anyone’s brother/sister relationship. The entire read has a strong storyline that is practical and pretty believable. The romance is descriptive but not over the top. It flows well and is just another part of the story. I found only one error in the text about an age difference (Rae tells Ryker she and Rex are five years apart, then mentions how he was eighteen when their mother died and she was fifteen). Overall, I would highly recommend E.L. Todd’s Ray of Light. It was a great read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Spoilers will begin.... now.
Well, let's begin with the first look. The cover is pretty. I enjoyed the spectrum of colors that make up the cover. I like how the male model on the cover isn't front and center, taking over everything. I'm not sure how I feel about the Rom-Com: Book One up there, I think it would have been better with just Book One. But that's me. The tag line is interesting. Where the hell are you, Prince Charming? Sounds like whoever is speaking it is looking for some type of a fairy tale. Let's hope they find it.
Alright, so our main character is Rae. She's quite smart, seemingly successful and doing fairly well in life. She's housing her slob of a brother, Rex, since he won the lottery and then proceeded to blow all the money on a bowling alley. Wait, what?! A bowling alley? Who in their right mind just decides to buy a bowling alley? Rex, that's who. I enjoyed the back and forth between the siblings. Reminded me of my own sibling squalls, made it more believable and human.
Anyways, on one of her morning runs, Rae runs into Ryker, thanks to her German Shepherd, Safari, who always behaved, running away from her to the sexy, smoldering, hot as hell, Ryker. Apparently our author likes names that start with the letter 'R'. And like most romance novels, our lead character is falling stupid over herself because of how hot Ryker is. Luckily, she seems to keep it fairly contained. The two take a walk together, getting to know one another, trade a few quips and he invites her over, the unspoken invite for sex. Rae denies because her best friend has set her up on a date. Long story short, the date sucks. If I were on the date, I probably would have up and left. Cameron was a Grade A creep.
Rae works for a recycling company and has a successful career. She gets along well with her co-workers and her boss, Mr. Price. It is revealed that Mr. Price is retiring. Immediately, I knew that Ryker, who had said he moved to town to take over the family business, was Mr. Price's son and would be taking over his father's job. Duh.
The dynamic between Rae and her friends, Jessie and Kayden is fun. I enjoyed reading their scenes together and if they actually existed, I could imagine hanging out with them, having a great time. Then we meet Zeke, Rex's best friend, who is totally in love with Rae, by the way, which only Ryker seems to be aware of. As it turns out, Ryker is a friend of Zeke and Rex's from high school. Totally small world, isn't it? But again, that part was a bit predictable.
Zeke and Rae offer up their money and their time to help Rex make his bowling alley into something worthy. Though I'm not sure the idea of a 'Groovy' Bowling Alley is something that would be too popular, at least to me and where I'm from. Maybe it's different in this world. Rae seems to have business sense to go along with her environmental science degree and I think without her, Rex would be completely lost.
On another note of painfully obvious, is Kayden's attraction to Rex and Rex's complete oblivion. Poor Kayden. And again, the only one who seems to be aware of the attraction is Ryker. Apparently, he is great at picking out the emotions of others, just not his own.
Eventually, Ryker and Rae go back to his place and do the deed. The sex scenes were descriptive and explicit, but nothing unexpected of a romance novel. That is the beginning of a very intense, very sexual relationship, despite a few hiccups. Rae seemed to, in the beginning, understand the type of person he was and didn't want to get involved with him in that way, but despite her protests, that's exactly where she ends up. Ryker got exactly what he wanted from her and that was sex. Nothing more, nothing less, at least that's how I saw it. She thought he was changing, that he really wanted their relationship, despite the fact that he never wanted to get to know her or do anything that actually resembled a real relationship. I really wanted to punch him towards the end of the book. He was so possessive.
The story ends with Zeke and Rae having a nice heart to heart and everything is seemingly well in Rae's world. As the reader, we know a little differently, and I think that's what makes it such a good story. This group of friends has a whole lot going on, but as the reader, we know a bit more than the group does. It's fun and it's great to see the reactions of the characters as these things come to light.
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