Paradise Fought: AbelParadise Fought: Abel by L.B. Dunbar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Paradise Fought: Abel (Paradise #1) by L.B. Dunbar is the first book in her brand new series Paradise and I liked it a lot! This is my first read by this author and I definitely plan on reading more from her in the future.

Paradise Fought is the story of Abel, a broken shell of a young man who felt unworthy of love and my heart broke for him. As I learned of his upbringing I could completely understand why he felt the way he did. I absolutely adored and cherished Abel from the start, he is downright genuine, right down to his core and I couldn’t help but love him fiercely. I loved that I was immediately able to connect with his character as well as visualize him in the most sexy way possible. His insecurities dumbfounded me but yet also didn’t come as a surprise either considering the way he was treated throughout his childhood. He was kind, caring, loving, sensitive, he was loyal to a fault and he had one of the biggest and most sincerest hearts that I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. He loved with every fiber of his being and oh my gosh, he was just in a nutshell, totally swoon-worthy. His feelings for Elma were straight off the chart hot, sexy, sweet and I never doubted his feelings for her, ever!

Elma, hmmm, I liked her a lot but then there were times she frustrated me. She was a complete enigma to me during the first half of the book but slowly but surely she completely grew on me by the end. I wasn’t completely connected with her during the first half of the book, I didn’t quite connect with her “revenge” plan, it confused me. Yes, I understood her anger, the wanting of revenge BUT her plans to go about it left me questioning her character. The latter half of the book was when her character finally came “alive” for me. I was finally able to see more of the “real” woman underneath the facade. It also helped that the author made her inner dialogue clear and relatable and I finally got a true sense of her feelings. She may have started off as just an ok character for me but I loved seeing her grow and mature into a beautiful butterfly and it warmed my heart to see her finally face her truth and embrace her new beginning on life.

I really liked this story a lot and I thought the writing was very good. The execution of the story was where it fell a tad bit short for me. At times, I felt like my head was spinning. I felt that Abel and Elma were all over the map with their actions due to a lack of “communication” and it frustrated me. There were also times this felt like more of a YA book, granted they were college age BUT they weren’t teenagers either, I wanted more maturity. I felt that the storyline could have had a bit more angst and drama inserted here and there as there were definite parts of the story that for me would have been even better if “amped” up just a bit. The sexual build-up between Abel and Elma was great and when they finally got together, the sex scenes were very hot, I loved it!

All in all, this was a very good read for me and I will be anxiously awaiting Cain’s story for sure! L.B. Dunbar has a great plot going here and I hope it will continue to grow to an even higher level in Cain’s book. There are great secondary characters as well that I hope we get stories on in the future. I want to also add that I hope to continue to get my fill of Abel and Elma too as I am excited to see how their future plays out:) This has started out as a promising new series and I look forward to reading more about all of these characters in the near future.
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