I truly loved Chain Reaction! Although after thoroughly enjoying the first two books of the perfect chemistry trilogy, I had no doubts that this third and final book would be an equally fantastic read. With romance, bad boys and a little bit of action thrown in - this book makes a perfect summer read!
Unlike his two older brothers, Luis Fuentes has always been the golden child of the family. Handsome, smart and charismatic he keeps himself out of trouble by funnelling his excess energy into extreme sports and loose girls. But then he meets Nikki Cruz. A girl who is beautiful, sarcastic and keeps her heart locked safely behind a steel plated door.
Instantly Luis feels drawn to her but Nikki isn't interested in Luis' flirtatious, playboy ways. However just as Luis' charm begins to win her over, dark secrets start to unravel and suddenly Luis finds himself the newest member of the Latino Blood -the violent gang that nearly killed his brother Alex and terrorized the neighbourhood. But as Luis is to learn, the gang is more than an obligation, it's his birthright - and it will cost him everything he has ever loved and worked for, including Nikki...
I really have loved this series! The characters are all amazing, the drama is intense and I think its brilliant how Alex and Carlos got to make cameo appearances in this last and final book. The romance and relationships are just so well written and even though the books all tie together, they are each uniquely their own story.
As with Simone Elkeles other books, Luis and Nikki come from two very different backgrounds and each lead very different lives. Nikki growing up in the suburbs of the rich upper-class while Luis and his family stem from the hardworking poorer neighbourhoods where every penny counts. However watching how their relationship developed was both very sweet and highly entertaining. Nikki is a girl who likes to take care of herself and unaccustomed to girls turning him down, Luis loves the challenge that Nikki brings.
Yet I also enjoyed how this book had slightly darker roots than its predecessors - its plot thick with intrigue caused through Luis connection to the Latino Blood Gang. However the story also touched on themes of trust, friendship, loyalty and family which woven together paved the way for a great ending, not just for this book but the trilogy as a whole.
Naturally it made for a really satisfying read and I whole heartedly recommend this series to everyone! Although I have to admit, the first book remains my ultimate favourite (what can I say - I've been team Alex all the way) however Chain Reaction was a brilliant read chocked full of steamy goodness! 4 Stars!
About the book
Chain Reaction is the third book in the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. It was published by Simon and Schuster on 5th July and the book is 320 pages long.
Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?
What I thought
I had been waiting for this book for a really long time. For some reason, unlike the other two books, this one hadn't been picked up in the UK and it took until this month for it to be published over here. I didn't actually know about this though until I went over to a blogger friend's house and raided her shelves.
As this is the third book, it follows Luis, the third and youngest Fuentes brother. I loved getting to know both Alex and Carlos in the previous two books and I couldn't wait to hear Luis' story. He's a big risk taker just like his older brothers and an adrenaline junkie. However, unlike his brothers, Luis has goals and a plan for his life. He's clever and he works hard for his grades and does all kinds of extra activities at school. These were things that set Luis apart from Alex and Carlos as they didn't think their lives could go anywhere. I really liked the fact that although he was a true Fuentes brother in his sense of adventure, he had a lot more going for him and he wanted something better for himself.
Nikki was another fantastic character because she wasn't like Brittany or Kiara from the other books. Where they were the total opposites of the boys, Nikki has Mexican heritage and her world isn't too far away from Luis' whereas this was the case in the previous two books. Although Nikki has Mexican heritage, she is far from being like other Mexican girls that Luis is used to. Nikki goes through quite a lot in this book and I could definitely sympathise with her which made me like her so much more. I could see why she was so torn about liking Luis and how she compared him to her ex-boyfriend.
Together, Luis and Nikki make for a smoking hot couple. There is plenty of tension between the two and the banter is entertaining and fun. I loved watching the two get to know each other better and to see their relationship develop. Chain Reaction sees Luis act in a completely different way than his brothers, knowing that not admitting your feelings won't get you anywhere and I liked this change. The relationship dynamics are different in Chain Reaction than in Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and it was nice to see that Simone Elkeles could change it up and still please her readers. Although generally, I knew where the story was heading, I enjoyed the adventure of getting to the end outcome.
Something that made me love this book was the fact that the whole Fuentes family are a large part of the story. Alex, Brittany, Carlos, Kiara and mother Fuentes all play a very large role in Luis' story. These extra characters add a lot of fun to the situation and it was nice to finally see them all together. Not only did they add fun but they also show how important family is. What I wasn't expecting was to see the girls of the story band together and be as close as they were. Obviously the Fuentes brothers are close but their girlfriends treat each other like family and that was good to see.
While Perfect Chemistry is still my favourite of the three books, Chain Reaction not far behind it. This book has everything that I loved about the first one - great male and female leads, funny dialogue, steamy scenes and an intense story. The whole Latino Blood gang aspect is brought back into this story and is nearly as harsh as it was in the first book but this was something that I found extremely interesting. The only reason why this didn't beat Perfect Chemistry is due to Luis not being quite as amazing as Alex. A brilliant read and a highly recommended series.