Behind His Lens is a contemporary romance by R.S. Grey. This review will be spoiler-free. (Other than the trigger warning.)
Twenty-three year old model Charley Whitlock built a quiet life for herself after disaster struck four years ago. She hides beneath her beautiful mask, never revealing her true self to the world… until she comes face-to-face with her new photographer — sexy, possessive Jude Anderson. It’s clear from the first time she meets him that she’s playing by his rules. He says jump, she asks how high. He tells her to unzip her cream Dior gown; she knows she has to comply. But what if she wants him to take charge outside of the studio as well?
Jude Anderson has a strict “no model” dating policy. But everything about Charley sets his body on fire.
When a tropical photo shoot in Hawaii forces the stubborn pair into sexually charged situations, their chemistry can no longer be ignored. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to break their rules and leave the past behind or if they’ll stay consumed by their demons forever.
Will Jude persuade Charley to give in to her deepest desires? (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Deep. Heavy. Sexy. A romance that will pull your heartstrings.
R.S. Grey has a very specific writing voice, but this book was so different than most of her books. It was deep and heavy, instead of funny and light. I went in expecting a certain voice, but I was not disappointed by the direction this book took.
This book tackled important topics and did it successfully. I love when authors take on hard topics, but there is a fine line that the author has to walk. They need to do the topic justice while they put a unique spin on it. Grey did a really good job of showing the truth behind these topics. (There will be a trigger warning at the end of this review. If you want to avoid spoilers, do not read it.)
There were several powerful lines in this book.
“Drunk minds speak sober thoughts, right?”
Charlie and Jude. Both of these characters have a rough past and they have chosen to deal with them in the same way. Charlie is trying her hardest just to get through the days and be happy. Charlie is strong, compassionate, and just a bit unstable. Jude has settled into a normal that leaves him wanting more without him even realizing it. Jude is protective, determined, and just the right amount of arrogant.
The chemistry between these two characters is instant. The “love at first sight” trope is one that I go back and forth on, but this book did it so well. I could feel the tension between these two. They worked so well together and made a great team. They were each exactly what the other one needed.
I was a little disappointed by the epilogue of this book, but it still did what it needed to do. I just wanted more from it. I wanted a little bit more insight into the lives of our characters.
I had a really hard time deciding on the rating for this book. I was stuck between four and five stars, but I finally settled on 4 out of 5 stars. It was really close though.
TRIGGER WARNING: Alcoholism, Depression, PTSD, Suicide