Decidedly Off Limits (Stina Lindenblatt)


Best Friend Rule #1: never want the guy’s sister.


Trent Salway is one of San Francisco’s hot up-and-coming-under-thirty bachelors. A highly successful mutual fund portfolio manager, a workaholic, and a ladies’ man, he’s got everything he could possibly want… except one thing.

Physical therapist Kelsey Quaid dumped her ex-fiancé six months ago because she was tired of not even being a distant second to his career. Which is why despite secretly crushing on her big brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember, there’s no way Kelsey can go there. One workaholic in her life is more than enough, thank you very much.  

Before Kelsey’s brother leaves on his Navy SEAL mission, he asks Trent one simple request: make sure Kelsey isn’t dating any assholes while he’s away. As Trent does his best to do just this, he and Kelsey spend more and more time together. Sparks fly, as do a few items of clothing, and the next thing they know things are getting physical between them. Now, Trent has to decide what to do about the woman he’s falling for — the one whose brother would take him down faster than he takes down the enemy. And Kelsey will have to decide if Trent is just another workaholic or if he’s decidedly off limits.

Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so head to her blog in the next few days to check out her review of this book.

As soon as I read that blurb I WANTED THIS. Why? Well, I just love the best-friend sibling thing, and this book promised me that. In spades. So I requested it and I was oh so excited to read it.

By the way, I think I should let you know that this romance is a romantic comedy, this is clear on the internal monologues both main characters have, and how it reaches to the reader. It felt like the characters were talking to us sometimes, and I really liked that, I thought it was a clever way of writing. For the most part, I liked the writing and the pacing flowed well, but there was something off for me. I felt that somethings were told too abruptly?! Maybe?! I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something kept me from enjoying it wholeheartedly.

I did like both main characters, Kelsey and Trent, though because of the story and the way it’s written, I thought they weren’t totally fleshed out. I did like that they both evolve a bit during the book, with Kelsey finding her confidence and her passion, and Trent learning how to trust again and to make room in his life for more than work.

As I said before, I do love this trope, and this book had it in double, because Kels’ brother is Trent’s BFF, and Trent’s sister is Kelsey’s BFF, so the couple has 2 siblings going against them for several reasons. I did like that both of them had feelings for each other from long before, though I would have liked to see their previous friendship explored a bit more. The connection was there though, and so was the chemistry. I liked it, but again, I wished we had more of them being friends, talking, communicating, because I felt that that was their major issue.

Some of the things that happen in the book, and some decisions didn’t make complete sense to me and I thought they were a bit silly, though they worked in the comedy side, so… Some of the conflicts didn’t totally work for me either, but everything was solved rather easily. Also, as Cátia so wonderfully put it a moment ago, it lacked drama!

Ultimatly, the fast pace and easy read made this an enjoyable book. Also, it was super funny. But for me, it lacked depth and something else too.

Also, without spoiling anything, there’s a sex scene in this book that was just too weird for me, in the sense that I wasn’t 100% positive that it was consensual! Don’t worry, it wasn’t between the main couple, those were all 100% consensual, but this particular one… I don’t know… it felt weird. Too weird.

The Mortal Instruments and why I’m glad I read the spoilers

I have no problem in reading spoilers… I do it all the time! And warning, this post will be full of them…

But never in my life I was so glad to read them than this one time (if you don’t count the HIMYM finale). As soon as I finished watching the movie, The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones, I went online to clarify the whole business of Clary and Jace being siblings. And again, so glad I did. Why?! Because otherwise I think my head would be utterly screwed up!

city_of_bones_the_mortal_instruments_cassandra_clare_book_cover-398x600Many authors play with the concept of incest, of siblings separated through their whole lives falling in love and loving each other somehow. But honestly, I don’t think someone went as far as Cassandra Clare when she played out Clary and Jace’s relationship. They find out they are brother and sister and the end of the first book, City of Bones, after some hot and steamy make out sessions. So far so good, they are utterly repelled by the thought, although it’s hard for them to ignore their feelings, but unlike the movie, in the book there is no doubt that this is true, they truly believe they are siblings.


In book two, City of Ashes, is when the shit hits the fan! Jace has no trouble telling Clary that he wants a relationship with her, but not as her brother, that they could be secret lovers and have an incestuous relationship, because he wants her so damn much – this is a very screwed up moment, because here you are, reading, super repulsed by the thought of what he’s proposing and at the same time, wanting to smack Clary on the face because she refuses him!!!! Worst, is when one of the most amazing moments of the book is their kiss in front of the Seelie Court (and Simon, Clary’s “boyfriend”) and one of the worst moments is when Jace lies and tells her that he just wants to be her brother!!!!

Screwed up, right?! I mean, I can only imagine what a 14 year old teen, reading this without knowing what’s coming… wow! =/


Book three isn’t any easier! In City of Glass, Jace says the worst things to Clary, to push her away, and all the time you can only think “GOD DAMNIT JACE! STOP IT! YOU LOVE HER!!!!“. Then, he apologises, so far so good, but then they find out about the whole demon blood stuff and all hell breaks loose, again, and there they are, making out and undressing themselves on the hill near the Wayland manor!


Luckily the nightmare of mixed feelings – shipping a couple that are siblings – ends in the end of the third book, when both of them find out that it turns out that they aren’t actually related!!! Thank God, because, seriously, not that we shipped them any less because of it, but at least it stopped being wrong! So yeah! I was so glad that I read the spoilers =D !!!