The third thing you need to know is this:
Bridget meets a boy. And Spencer meets a girl.
Each of the circumstances of these relationships is very…unique.
Neither Bridget nor Spencer arrived to the ranch expecting to bond with anyone or find friendship, so when they did it was a pleasant surprise. It was even better when they found that everyone welcomed them with open arms and they found friends in pretty much everyone there. But the real surprise was when Jonah Hunt took an interest in Bridget. At first Spencer, being the protective older brother, was very guarded and nervous about that relationship – but once he found out that Jonah’s intentions with his sister were nothing but pure, good, and noble, he approved and encouraged them.
The minute Spencer saw Cricket Hunt, he thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen – which is saying plenty because he thought he was still hung up on a girl from his past. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He couldn’t stop thinking of her. He found himself interested in every movement, every word, every little thing about her. The problem: Cricket has a boyfriend – Ethan Moonsong. The other problem: Cricket seemed to be just as interested in Spencer as he was in her.
Also interesting: Cricket’s interaction with Ethan seemed…a bit off. Spencer feels like there is some sort of mysterious secret that is keeping them together, and this is confirmed by Cricket herself. What is going on and why can’t she give him her heart?
In truth, Spencer knows that he has secrets too and he wonders if Cricket would even give a guy like him the time of day if she had any idea the kind of guy he used to be…because since he’d arrived at Hunt Ranch, Spencer knows his life has changed and he’ll never be the same. He’ll never go back to the life he had before.
After reading VAIN by Fisher Amelie, I knew that I’d love GREED. In fact, this has been one of my most highly anticipated books since I found out that it was actually going to be a book. And for the record, the rest of the series are some of my most highly anticipated books for the future. JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR. Fisher Amelie has this way of writing these extremely powerful stories that mean something. They have real life issues – social issues – but they have romance in them too. And the great thing about these romances is that they’re so absolutely filled with romantic tension and extremely realistic but they’re not overly dramatic or sexed-up and I feel no need to give any age-appropriate warnings at all. Basically, this is absolutely amazing and wonderful New Adult Contemporary Romance with Issues and I want to stand somewhere very tall (on top of a mountain? a tall building?) and SHOUT to the world that they need to hop on the The Seven Deadly Series train.
Okay, so I met Spencer Blackwell in the first book, VAIN, which is the story of Sophie Price (and if you haven’t read that one GO GO GO NOW! Hurry!). Spencer was one of my favorite characters in the book BY FAR, so when I found out that this book would feature him, I fangirled with one of my reading friends and she and I have pretty much held our breath like crazy people. NOW IT’S SPENCER’S STORY. OH MY GOSH.
Spencer Blackwell has lived a privileged life, as have the rest of his friends. They are among the extreme elite in Los Angeles, wanting for absolutely nothing and knowing nothing but the finest of the fine. They waste money like some of us waste paper towels and think nothing of it. They’re rich, beautiful, and incredibly snobby and they typically don’t care who they hurt to get what they want. To Spencer and his friends, people that live differently than he does pretty much do not exist.
Spencer attends Brown University – a choice that wasn’t his own but was made for him by his father. It was decided that he would major in business, and although he does very well in school, he does not enjoy it. As I mentioned earlier, the book opens as he arrives home for Christmas break – his father is waiting for him with a job to do – Spencer doesn’t even get the chance to greet the rest of his family before his father has him cornered. He hates being his father’s “person” – the one that does the dirty work for his father. Still, he does it and he makes an extreme amount of money for it. So, I goess one could say that Spencer doesn’t hate it as much as he needs to. Yes, it makes him sick to the point of vomiting. Yes, he feels guilt and turmoil and is tortured about what he does. But still, he does it.
Spencer is GREEDY. And excessive. And spoiled. And basically, not as great a guy as he could be. He isn’t the worst kind of guy, but he has had the privilege of learning FROM THE WORST KIND OF GUY. So Spencer has a lot to learn about life. He gets the chance when things take a strange and crazy turn after he has dinner with his sister and she reveals a secret to him that changes both of their lives forever.
Life on Hunt Ranch is initially so hard for Spencer – he isn’t used to the kind of physical labor that keeps a ranch like that running. But you know what? He does it anyway. He does it because that’s what he needs to do to keep his sister safe from their father and because the kindness and generosity of the people on the ranch astound him. Spencer isn’t used to people being nice for no reason at all other than just to be nice. After a while, he realizes that he actually likes the work – working with his hands – and he likes the feeling of completing hard tasks and being so tired that he quickly falls asleep at the end of the day instead of not being able to sleep because of the guilt from the other jobs he used to do.
It’s just this girl, Cricket Hunt – he knows he’s falling for her. He’s falling hard for her. And he’s trying SO HARD not to because he realizes that she has a boyfriend. What he doesn’t understand is that he can tell that she feels similarly toward him. He has tried to talk to her about it, and those talks have been a little awkward and have often ended up with Cricket upset and running away. Clearly there is something tying Ethan and Cricket together that he just doesn’t know, and Cricket isn’t talking. Try as he may, Spencer CANNOT keep himself from falling in love. He cannot. And he doesn’t think she can keep herself from falling for him either. Before it’s all said and done, someone will have to come clean and tell him what’s up.
And…before it’s all said and done, Spencer figures it all out. And it is NOTHING like he ever imagined. NOTHING. Around the same time this information is revealed, tragedy strikes the ranch – not once but twice. And WOW.
The old Spencer wouldn’t have even batted an eye at circumstances like these. The new Spencer rolls his sleeves up and dives in to help.
I could talk for days about this book, just like I could’ve talked for days about the preceding book, VAIN. I think the reason for this is Author Fisher Amelie has this amazing knack for taking characters that are at their worst and – over the course of a story – weaving them into new people, making them into their best. Beginning-of-the-book Spencer is nothing like End-of-the-book-Spencer and YAY don’t we all love that perfect character growth? Sure we do! Y’all know that I do. I’ve said before that I think Sophie Price from the first book in this series is probably the best example of character growth that I know, and now Spencer sits comfortably up there near her.
I never thought that Spencer Blackwell was 100% “bad” – however he just wasn’t “good” enough to stop doing all of the awful things he was doing. He knew that everything he was doing for his father was not only wrong but highly illegal and morally loathsome, but he did it anyway and for what? To put money in the bank for himself. THAT IS ALL. (Nevermind the fact that his father would’ve forced him to had he refused.) The thing that makes me think that Spencer was redeemable from the beginning (vs. Sophie Price in VAIN, who had to work harder for her growth and change) was the fact that he would become physical ill when he would commit these crimes. Still, it did not change the fact that he did them and that he was consumed by greed and manipulated by money and power and tons of other icky stuff.
Even so, I liked Spencer from the beginning. I saw enough in him that I felt he could change and BOY when it was time for him to man up and change, it took him exactly zero seconds to decide to do exactly that. THAT’S how much he loved his sister, that he would give up everything, everything, everything for her. How scary that must be! To go on the run, running from someone that could destroy you without a second of remorse – and believe me, their father did try. But Spencer continued to persevere and protect his sister, and then he continued to protect the rest of his friends and new “family” out at the ranch when he felt like his father might try to pose a threat to them. Remarkable growth and change, this Spencer Blackwell. Well written. I loved him.
As far as the relationship/romance factor goes: I think that people may read this and be concerned that there is a triangle, and I can certainly see where one may think so. BUT! I don’t really see it as a triangle because I never believed in my heart that Cricket loved Ethan – reading the book reveals reasons why, but I feel like the relationship between Ethan and Cricket was shaky to begin with, and odd, and a wildly mysterious. The relationship with Cricket and Spencer, however, was filled with perfect romantic chemistry and tension, and it was obvious that they were the ones for each other. The fact that Cricket was “with” Ethan but clearly didn’t feel much for him absolutely tortured Spencer because he DID feel so much, so very much, for her – and that was one of those things that was both a pleasure and a pain to read. And then the ending!! GAH GAH GAH, Fisher Amelie!
Ah, this is a case where you have to trust the authors you love, folks.
And I do love this author.
I highly, highly recommend GREED by Fisher Amelie to everyone that has eyes to read. It is an absolutely perfect and wonderful example of fantastic and great New Adult Contemporary Romance with some Issues. Readers that enjoy ranches and horses and art will likely enjoy this one, as well as readers that enjoy those tortured boys, forbidden romances, and absolutely amazing/perfect/remarkable character growth. There is a reason that this author is among my favorites and is auto-read/auto-buy for me and it is because her work is stellar, friends. If you do choose to read GREED, I suggest you read VAIN first because it is just as fabulous and you meet Spencer Blackwell for the first time there. I dare you to read these books and not fall in love with them.
GREED will appeal to fans of:
New Adult Contemporary Romance
with Realistic Fiction/Issues
Romance: Instant attraction but slowly developing relationship. I contend that there is no triangle but have read where others may think there is. No way! This romance is wonderful.
GREED by Fisher Amelie
is currently available for purchase.
Has anyone read VAIN?
Did you love it?
Do you plan to read GREED?
Because it is incredible.
I highly, highly recommend.
Author Fisher Amelie shared the awesome PLAYLIST for this book
– IT’S SO GOOD –
and enter to win a really great set of prizes.