Friday, June 6, 2014

{Review} Compliments by Mari K. Cicero

Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Publication Date: March 18th 2014
Pages: 132
Format: Mobi/Kindle
Source: Provided by author for review

Robin Lewis is a brilliant college student who did a truly stupid thing. Trying to escape the consequences of a forbidden romance, she enrolls at prestigious Manderson University, and decides that the only way to avoid making the same mistake twice is to have no social life at all. All good and fine, until she literally falls into Hawk Stephens' life one late night at the office. Hawk is more than just a pretty face and a brilliant mind. He's also the night janitor. Robin wants to resist the attraction, but it's hard to ignore the way he seems so perfect for her. But when she finds out Hawk is so much more than he seems, embroiled by the fallout of his own regretful decisions, she questions if two such broken people can ever add up to a whole.

First Impressioin:

 My first thoughts about Compliments were that it sounded like it would be really good. The cover is very soft and inviting so I figured it would be a sweet romantic love story. With the synopsis and the inviting cover I was looking forward to reading it.

The Story: 

The young woman in the story, Robin, is in a new town and a new school. After a scandal rocked her world at her previous university she's looking to start fresh and get serious about her goal. As a mathematician major Robin is trying to work hard to get an advisor to accept her into a program where she can eventually get a job. She doesn't have time for any kind of relationship and due to the scandal she was involved in she has no intention of getting involved with anyone who works for the school again. 

When she meets Hawk who moonlights as the night janitor she can't let herself be attracted to him no matter how good looking he is. Plus he's a janitor and ew! He ends up befriending her though and helps her work on her people skills for teaching and she finds out he's more than just a janitor, he's actually a professor at the math class she comes in to teach. They end up building a relationship but keeping it to themselves and when a particular professor takes a liking to her in more than an academic way it causes problems between Hawk and Robin. Against Hawk's warning's and her better judgement Robin gets herself into a somewhat scary situation when this professor makes an aggressive move on her.

The Characters:

Robin was a young woman who made mistakes in her past and is determined to make better choices. She was incredibly intelligent as far as books and learning go but she was a little naive when it came to reading people. She frustrated me when she put herself in situations with her professor that I knew would be bad for her. Robin came across as a smidgen judgemental in the beginning when she found out Hawk was the janitor and wrote him off immediately but I was happy to see she warmed up eventually. I didn't really connect with Robin though at all in the story. I related to the fact that she was a female trying to make it in a male dominated career field but that was all. To me she came across as slightly uppity and snooty. Some might think she was just a confident woman, I just felt she acted like she was better than everyone else.

Hawk was a fantastic guy through and through. He wasn't just the janitor but actually a smart guy with big goals set for himself, going after his PH.d. He wasn't ashamed of what he did to make ends meet and didn't hold Robin's prejudice against her like he could have. Hawk was such a loving and attentive boyfriend without being suffocating. He cared for Robin but gave her the space she needed to grow into the relationship with him. Plus he didn't put pressure on her for anything physical and was actually the one to put the brakes on several times and that is something I love in my book guys. Hawk had a little mystery to him that intrigued me outside of finding out he was the janitor. He's not just doing it to put himself through school but there is a very valid reason he deals with trash on a daily basis.

Together Robin and Hawk made a great couple and I enjoyed watching them form a connection little by little. He cared for and protected robin, When she let him, and she took the time to get to know the guy beneath the mop. There was hardly any conflict between them except for Robin's crazy drama with her sleazy professor but for the most part they were a solid, amazingly sweet couple. They meshed really well together and that was the main aspect of the story that worked the most for me.

What Didn't Work For Me:

There were a few things that didn't work for me sadly. I'm not a big math fan, in fact, I HATE Math. Period. It's my worst subject and my brain tends to shut down immediately when math is involved so that aspect of the book fell flat with me. With both Robin and Hawk being proficient in math the basis of the story centered around the subject. The chapter headers were even done in mathematical equations you needed to solve to figure out what chapter you were on. Yeah. I was basically clueless to my position in the story at all times because of it. 

Something else that irked me repeatedly was how the author used abbreviations sprinkled throughout the story. Shortening the word professor down to Prof. whenever speaking of the many professors Robin encounter. It may seem like a small nit picky thing but while reading "Prof. Harrison said this" or "Prof. Ferris did that" it just struck me as lazy in all honesty. You wouldn't address them in reality as Prof. So-and-so and say it like that so it just didn't sit right with me. There were other times through the story where the author used abbreviations in her dialogue almost like you would when sending a text message while her characters were speaking. I like when books make me stop and think, not make me stop and think "WTF?". When you throw in a series of letters during a character conversation that I have to stop and decipher because you couldn't write it out fully, I'm sorry, I call that lazy and it bothers me. Plain and simple. 

With the story heavily center on the subject of math I found myself skimming a lot of of the content and mainly reading the dialogue between characters. It got a little long winded at times and I felt a disconnect between myself and the characters when they went into their math mode. I loved Robin and Hawk as a couple but when they teamed up and started discussing math related things I felt like that one friend who is on the OUTSIDE of an INSIDE joke. Lost and confused basically. The way they used big words and the tone of their conversations felt too rigid and too serious. I loved that they bonded over their similar interests but to be a young college couple they didn't feel relatable when the big words started flying around.


Compliments was a decent little love story. Despite my issues with it I enjoyed watching these characters slowly fall in love and enjoyed it for what it was. Some people may enjoy the math aspect and some might not. I still found things to enjoy even though math isn't my thing. Not every book is going to win over every reader and this might be the right fit for you. I encourage everyone to read it for themselves and take my opinions with a grain of salt.


"I'm going to kiss you now," he declares, "deep, hard, and long. And I'm going to kiss you like that every time I see you, so you might as well get used to it." Mobi/Kindle 25%

"we're two equations, you and I. Arranged different, each with our own set of variables, but somehow, we add up/ You and I together equal each other." Mobi/Kindle 99%

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  1. I kind of think the equations for chapter titles is neat. Glad you liked Hawk!

  2. I love the quotes. Glad you liked it overall.


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