I have been having a heck of a time writing this review and I think I've figured out why. I usually don't edit myself, instead choosing to write 100% honest words from the heart, always endeavoring to explain the things that I did not like, or how amazed I am with a book, or whatever the particular case may be. I always make sure that I include, when I post my reviews on the review sites I frequent, that these are my opinions based on my perception of what I've read, and it's opinions like mine that help people decide whether they want to read the book or pass it up. My opinions may be very different from other people - as it seems with this book and this author - so instead of continuing to try to edit myself, I'm just going to write what I have to say and let you, the review reader, decide whether you can ignore the things I found fault with.
Let's start from the beginning - I feel I need to explain why I chose to read this book in the first place. I was contacted by Sage (of Sage's Blog Tours) with a request for both this book and another of Elena's books (His Wants Her Needs). I figured 'What the heck' - I mean, they're short books and what could it hurt getting dating and relationship advice, right? I didn't even read the book descriptions, a bad habit I am working to rectify. Had I read those, at least on HWHN, I would have passed it up completely.
To be honest, the first book I read (HWHN) really left a bad taste in my mouth, and it's because of this book that I didn't even want to pick up the book that I am reviewing now, but I made a promise and I always try to stick to my promises. Throughout the entire book, I kept comparing it to the other book, and that's been happening during this review writing process the last two days. (I've actually never had this problem before and have so much to say on that other book that I haven't even written the review yet, choosing to post a book spotlight on my blog instead.)
I must say that the author comes off much less angry in this book. I actually found her to be helpful, in some parts, in this book, which is the complete opposite of what I found her to be in the other one. She made some sense, made me do some thinking (the other book had that same effect, but instead of opening my brain to possibilities, her anger and attitude that so clearly seeped from the book actually made me question anything and everything people have said to me, and I have since heard that I am not the only one who felt this way), and helped me to see a few things that I do wrong.
For that, and that alone, I am giving this book three out of five stars.
I found the way she broke the book up interesting, the fact that she shared her personal stories (even though she was very clear at the beginning of the book that the "advice" she was passing on was in no way emotionally charged) and those of her "clients" (the "case studies") made you feel like maybe she knew what she was talking about. But does she? As she goes through the book, she explains that she was a (possibly former, it doesn't actually say) burlesque dancer and that her "advice" is based on personal experiences, reading and observing (the men she danced for), an apparent "epiphany" moment, and the aikido she learned from her aikido master boyfriend. There is no educational background that shows that this person is a person that I should be taking advice from. And after reading the other book, it was really hard to believe the stuff she was saying, for the reasons I have noted above. (Note: "...studied extensively with Dr. Pat Allen" is mentioned in her author bio. I had never heard of this Dr. Allen until I looked her up on Bing. Apparently she does relationship seminars, has some books, appears on radio shows, and you can schedule private appointments with her.)
There are some editing issues in this book that the author really should take a look at - some of them hinder readers like me, who catch those things without trying, and make the book flow less smoothly.
Would I suggest the book? Yes and No. I did take a few positive things from this book, and I would hate to take that away from the next reader. But I don't think everything in this book is correct, especially after discussing things I read in both books with some very close male friends (who have no reason to lie to me because sex is not an option, something Elena feels makes men lie to us in the first place). Not all men are the same, just like not all women are the same, and to lump them all up in one giant boat and post a sign on them really isn't fair. Just like it wouldn't be fair if they did it to us.
A few interesting bits:
"The woman's brain has a better chance of being stimulated by what we hear. Words and sounds can have a great impact on how the woman feels about a man. Aural as opposed to visual, but not exclusively of course."
"Love happens when a man captivates you with his charm and seduces you with his words and his actions without you realizing you are being seduced. That's what love has become for me: something bigger than our logical mind and beyond our logical control. ... Real love takes you over, and that's exactly why it doesn't happen every day."
"The problem is not the wound itself. The problem is when you become wounded you make a decision (consciously or unconsciously) not to open up your heart again. If you are guided solely by your brain and cut off from your heart, you lose the ability to be vulnerable and cherish your own feelings."
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Please remember that this review is my opinion based on my personal impressions of the book.