Why I changed my rating of Until Lilly from 5 to 3 stars

Until Lilly cover

Let me begin with saying that, at first, I rated Until Lilly by Aurora Rose Reynolds 4 stars. Later, I made it 5 stars after realizing that it’s one of the few books in which the secret-child trope is done well. But during my third read of the book, I couldn’t ignore the problematic elements anymore. They nagged me and I eventually changed my rating down to 3 stars.

I wrote a review on the book after my second read, talking about everything I liked. You can read it here. I recommend reading it first so you can get a proper low-down on the book.

What the book is about, in short:

Cash and Lilly dated for a month. One of the girls he used to have a casual fling with tells him she’s pregnant and that she will have an abortion unless he puts her first. He breaks up with Lilly. Only, later Lilly finds out that she is pregnant too but receives a bad text from him when she told him. She ends up having the baby. Years later, they meet while out with their kids and wade through issues to get to each other.

But today I’m here to talk about why I dropped my rating down by 2 stars.

[1] The alpha-male, possessive male main character

Honestly, I’m far too done with alpha males in romance books but Reynolds takes it a notch higher. This was the first book of hers that I read but I noticed in EVERY book of hers that the male character is almost the same.

They take decisions without asking the female, they are VERY possessive and jealous, and they’re quick to pursue what they want. Which is the girl.

What irked me is that Cash, the main character, immediately thought of Lilly as “his”. At their first meeting, she was skittish and he smoothly typed his number in her phone, taking hers as well, without asking her. I would have just found that creepy.

[2] The amount of cursing

Cash cursed way too much and almost none of it was warranted. I’ve noticed this across Reynolds’ books and it irritates me every single time.

Don’t get me wrong, I use curse words myself, but I use them to embellish or emphasize something and not every 10 sentences. Cash used the curse words A LOT. And he didn’t have to!

[3] “Push her”

Cash’s brothers BET on how long it would take Cash to get Lilly to move in with him. They actually bet on it. And they also tried in their own ways to influence Cash with their “advice” so he’ll act in their favour.

Not like it’s an important relationship, right?

Later when Cash said that he does want Lilly to move in with him soon but doesn’t know how to make it happen, one of his brothers actually told him to “push her”. Meaning pressurize her with his “love” and the circumstances until she caves in. That is NOT how you move up a step in your relationship! NO.

They don’t even consider her taking that choice on her own because she loves Cash and I’m just??? Indignant??

[4] Lilly deferring to Cash

In the epilogue (it’s a romance book, obviously they’ll end up together) (not much of a “spoiler”), Lilly doesn’t weigh in on some parenting thing, letting him handle it since he’s the one with the problem, and Cash argues with her on it. He says that she has to support him on these things and that they have to be a unit when it comes to the kids, which I completely agree with.

My problem is that Lilly just shrugged and agreed. She didn’t say a word or defend herself or even argue with him on his parenting choice—she just agrees nonchalantly! Woman, have a spine! She’s the exact opposite of the alpha-male that Cash is and it unsettles me. I don’t feel like their relationship is balanced!

So I’d like to conclude saying that I was biased when I gave it a 5 star rating. I read many other books with the secret-child trope and most of them were HORRIBLE. Comparatively, this is really good but I need to judge it on it’s own and it’s a little problematic, so I changed my rating to 3 stars.

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Do you rate books? Have you ever changed your rating of a book? Was there a time that you lowered your rating later, like me? Tell me about it in the comments! 

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