I admit, the unconventional idea of allowing the fans to choose who Anna got her HEA with drew me to request this book. I wanted to see how the author set this up and handled something where both characters would have an equal chance - something that often doesn't happen in love-triangles.
Unfortunately, I didn't make it more than 16% into Raw because of some pretty serious issues that are incredibly personal to me.
At about 9% Anna is walking home after a long night at her new restaurant; she's tired, but alert (supposedly) when she's suddenly grabbed and pulled into an alley and ... saved from being raped by a strong rescuer. Here's my first problem - why do authors feel the need to use rape and near-rape as a plot or character point? It's traumatizing, defeating, and can be so incredibly hard to come back from. Even a rape that you're saved from can have some devastating effects on a person. This portion of the series is only 80 pages, so I didn't have a lot of hope that her recovery from this traumatic experience would be at all realistic, but I pushed on.
So, Grayson turns out to be her rescuer and scares off the would-be rapist. Grayson then offers to walk her the rest of the way home...her response?
"On, that's not necessary."
Really? Not necessary? I don't care if it's just across the street, or down the block, or you're right outside your front door (in fact that all kind of makes it worse). This is independence to the point of idiocy. But fine. I keep going.
Next, Grayson mentions that they should file a report...
"I think that'll be a waste of time...
Look, I do kind of get it, but c'mon! I'm sure as Grayson was fighting him (especially as he's an FBI agent based on the book blurb) he got a decent look at him. It's just a good idea to file a report - it will likely never lead to anything (as most of them don't), it's still something that should be done. But okay, moving on...
Anna finally relents and lets Grayson walk her up to her apartment, and he starts crowding her space, and she starts getting turned on, disappointed when he doesn't kiss her. Look, I also get the whole reaffirmation of something that feels good, I get that not everyone reacts in a horrible way to such an attack, but it's now like it NEVER HAPPENED. In which case I'm left wondering why the hell was it included in the first place?
If this stuff isn't a hot-button issue for you, I freely admit it is for me, then the writing is good and I do think that the story has potential. I can't get past this though.