Title: Until November
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Category: New Adult/Adult
Series info: Book #2 in the Until series but can be read as a standalone.
November is looking forward to getting to know her father and the safety of a small town. After leaving the Big Apple and her bad memories for Tennessee, November starts working for her dad at his strip club doing the books. The one time she’s allowed there during club hours she runs into Asher Mayson. He’s perfect until he opens his mouth and makes assumptions. November wants nothing to do with Asher but too bad for November, fate has other plans.
Asher Mayson has never had a problem getting a woman, that is until November. Now all he can think about is making November his and keeping her safe.
Warning:18+ sexual content and a strong Alpha Male.
To me, Aurora Rose Reynolds has always written problematic books. The degree of the issues in the books vary, though. The reason I keep going back to her books is because:
- they’re easy to read. I usually finish her books in a day, if not a few hours.
- they always have a happy ending so you don’t have to worry about the characters.
- they doesn’t require much attention. If I just feel like reading to pass time without getting attached, her books are good for it.
But every time I read her books, I always get annoyed because of the characters. Until November is the most problematic book by Reynolds that I’ve read.
I re-read this book (yes, I re-read it) because I thought I liked it and I was in the mood to re-read an old romance book. Also, I frankly did not even remember that I had read it once until I saw that I marked it as read in Goodreads.* Now, I really need to write a rant review to get my thoughts out.
*Goodreads is honestly my saviour.
The book follows November, a twenty-five year old woman who moves to Tennessee from New York after being assaulted near her apartment one day. And by assaulted, I mean she got beaten up. She moves to Tennessee to stay with her dad and to put distance between New York and herself.
Once her bruises are healed, she starts working for her dad. Her dad owns a strip club and she works the books to help. It is during her first visit to the club that she meets Asher.
Oh my god. Asher James Mayson. He is a jerk* right from the start. He snaps at November and they’re immediately on outs. The next time he meets her, which is a few weeks later, is at a place for the elderly. November became friends with Asher’s grandmother without knowing their connection and Asher doesn’t react well on seeing them together.
So November does what anyone in that situation will do. She quickly excused herself and left. BUT. Asher FOLLOWS her out and asks her out on a date for that evening. (Talk about hot and cold.)
This starts off their relationship in which Asher is like a steam roller going for what he wants without accepting a single “no” or argument. November argues at times but eventually lets it go. The book also has a small “danger” element to it to spice up things but it’s mostly about November and Asher’s love story.
*I’m trying really hard to not use curse words.
What I liked:
- I liked November.
Her character was developed well, we got small facts of her everywhere which made her real and wholesome. She’s a strong woman who didn’t have a good life until the beginning of the book. Her mum had kept her separated from her dad and never acted like a mother. November grew up with a neighbour and has insecurities because her mother.
- I liked the families.
The families shown in Reynolds books always make me jealous. Asher’s family is huge and loving. November’s dad’s side of the family are also really good. I like that there is a heavy presence of family in this book. Books where family doesn’t make an appearance at all are weird.
- The dog.
Beast is an absolute cutie. When Nivember was being attacked, Beast found her and attacked her attacker. He basically rescued her. November keeps him with her because he’s her saviour and they become fast friends. She speaks to him as if he can reply and dotes on him. It’s even better than Beast is a Great Dane who comes up to half of November’s height when on his four limbs. He often knocks November over in excitement.
What I didn’t like:
You might want to get popcorn and settle down for this one.
I just could NOT like Asher. You know those alpha male stereotypes in romance? Take ten of them and combine them into one character—you’ll get Asher. He’s such a caveman and an alpha male stereotype. He also becomes angry very fast. 0 to 200 in ONE second.
- Asher did NOT let November make any decisions!
He literally just VETOED everything. If November wanted to do something which Asher didn’t approve of, he would just say no and not let her do it. He doesn’t have a right to say that, even if he were her husband he wouldn’t, but he acted like he was the boss of her.
November would STRONGLY oppose and argue but Asher would just argue more, without a legitimate reason, and won’t listen to her.
- Asher curses in every single sentence.
I barely read any sentences where he did not use a curse word. He would use it literally EVERYWHERE. For no reason. I did not see any reason why he had to use expletives so much.
I use my fair share of expletives but not in every single sentence. Asher curses at everyone, for everything. He even curses at November.
I’ve seen many “alpha-male” characters who use expletives very freely but again, Asher uses way too much. It was as if that was one of his characters traits. Excessive use of expletives is not attractive. I tweeted this while reading the book because it was meant to make him more appealing. I don’t how that works.
- Asher makes November agree with him by kissing her.
Consider a situation where Asher and November are arguing about November’s freedom (indirectly). Eventually, to end the conversation and win, Asher would kiss her with force and MAKE HER PLIABLE.
So basically, by the time they part, November is so filled with lust that she can’t think straight and can’t argue. Asher would then repeat his point, which is basically “no”/”you won’t do this”, smirk and leave.
IF THIS DOESN’T SIGNAL A RED FLAG, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL.
What troubled me even more was that November LETS IT GO. She doesn’t argue further, even after coming back to her senses!
I just… I’m so disturbed by how this is romanticized in the book. The fact that November’s basic freedom of choice is taken away again and again, and it’s sold as a romantic thing.
- “Boys will be boys” is accepted and praised in this book.
Asher would curse, force November to not do something or do something, and would do whatever he wants without consideration of anyone else because “it’s for November”. And he GETS AWAY WITH IT.
He forces her to kiss him in front of her father and uncle, BEFORE THEY LABELED THEIR RELATIONSHIP, and no one says anything. He does this again in front of his mom, and nothing is said again. Everyone who is a witness just smiles knowingly and accepts it. How. Why.
The fact that Asher is like a steam roller, just going and taking whatever he wants i.e. November, is not questioned at all. The fact that he is jealous of every guy who looks at her, INCLUDING HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, and literally orders her in front of everyone does NOT MAKE HIM THE PERFECT GUY. But all of this is romanticized in this book.
Everyone around Asher just smiles indulgently, even his mom. She’s like “that’s how Asher is”. I do not have words for this.
- Even November’s dad didn’t protest or question much.
I found this even more disturbing. The fact that November’s FATHER, who is supposed to protect her and cherish her, doesn’t say anything when Asher literally forces her to kiss him. November’s father barely said TWO SENTENCES throughout the book about Asher bossing November around.
I’m sitting here, trying to process how did I ever like this book. Right now, my reaction is just putting my head in my hands and shaking my head.
What a WRECK of a book. I wouldn’t come back to this even if I was looking for a very easy read. I do not recommend this and I hope that, through this review, lesser people will romanticize this love story.