A Little Too Far
William Morrow / September 17, 2013 / $6.99 print, $2.99 digital
Have you ever gone just a little too far? Lexie Banks has.
Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it's more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he's been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years . . . and is so off limits. It's a good thing she's leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.
But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can't seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt . . . and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon . . . only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro's signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn't know what to think. She's torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn't want and the man she can't have. And she isn't sure how she can live with herself either way.
Worldbuilding is a phrase usually reserved for paranormal romances with complex rules surrounding their worlds or small-town romances set in fictional cities. But worldbuilding is one of the words I would automatically associate with Lisa Desrochers’s A Little Too Far.
It makes sense that Dessochers’s strongest ability is her worldbuilding, since she comes from a paranormal background with her Personal Demons Young Adult series. But there are no demons (unless we’re talking metaphorical ones) in A Little Too Far. The main character, Lexie, is at a pivotal moment of her life, about to embark on a year studying abroad in Rome, Italy. She’s going there to study Art History, but as she is about to embark on a life-changing experience she makes a few life-changing decisions before she goes. The good decision of leaving her jerk of a boyfriend is soon overshadowed by a very bad decision—sleeping with her step-brother, Trent.
Trent is everything you want in a hero. He has the shell of a bad boy with a rock hard body from being a college wrestler and a motorcycle, but inside he’s a truly caring and sweet person. The pair are torn over their actions for obvious reasons—one, that they have loved each for so long and taking their relationship to a physical level feels so right, but they have been raised for the last few years (not since childhood but since high school) to treat each other as brother and sister. This is the first subtle step in the intricate world Lexie lives in. A world definitively divided by her life at home and her life in Rome.
When she goes to Rome she undergoes another transformation. Lexie is 20 years old and is starting to find herself, away from her family, her friends, and most pivotally in this book, from Trent. Lexie’s Rome is practically a living character. It has its own religion, its various mood swings, and is very reflective of Lexie’s own internal struggles and changes. And it is in Rome where Lexie meets a pivotal person in her journey, the soon-to-be priest, Father Alessandro Moretti. Alessandro has tackled his own demons to get where he is, and he utilizes his experience to help Lexie overcome some of her guilt over her attraction to Trent.
Alessandro listens, but he never interrupts the flow of the words pouring from the deepest part of my soul. When I’m finally done talking, everything goes quiet. The world below feels like it’s in a different universe. It’s not until I shiver that I notice that the sun is setting. The air is noticeably cooler, and when I lean into Alessandro for his warmth, I realize it’s just him and me, alone at the top of the world. Everyone else is gone. I’m scared to look at him, but when I do, there’s no judgment in his eyes. Only compassion.
As Lexie learns the cost of pushing things too far, she learns a lot about herself as well. At the end of the day though, she must figure out if going “too far” is worth the price, especially, as the book suggests, when she is “torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have.” It’s up to you to decide which man in her life she’s talking about!
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Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.