Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I love confessing my sins in author reviews. For Rich Prick, Tijan’s newest book, I must admit that I have not yet read the Fallen Crest Academy books nor the Crew books. Tijan is so lovely in her note into the story that you don’t need to read those books to read Rich Prick, which is very true. That being said, you do feel like you are missing out when you haven’t read them. There are allusions in this book to acts that have occurred or will occur that definitely makes you feel like you weren’t invited to the party. However, the story of Aspen and Blaise is fully contained, and you can fall for them in the current state of Rich Prick.
So here is what you really must know about Tijan’s characters: nothing is really as it seems. On the surface, Tijan’s hero, Blaise, is a “rich prick” and carries a certain amount of pride in it even though there is actually more to him than that identity. Her heroine, Aspen, is also carrying secrets like Blaise. These facades are rife with cracks, and it takes much of their story and its entanglements for them to be revealed. It also takes a portion of the book to then remedy the situations around them, and I think it’s that struggle that, honestly, keeps you engaged in the book. There is quite a bit of action: fights, disagreements, internal monologues, complicated relationships, and Tijan exposes every single moment in this story. Sometimes, this can be tedious. For example, the “rich prick” Blaise is quick to fight. His threats (in some instances) and his actual fighting occurs over and over again. This can be frustrating. Yet, it’s also a sign of a bigger issue, one related to one of Blaise’s secrets. Therefore, as his constant ire unfolds and you find yourself annoyed with him, as a reader, you stay engaged because you’re curious to see how Tijan will expose and evolve him. The same is true of Aspen. By the end of the story, you are treated to a sweet and sexy happy ending that feels perfect for two people whose story is one of strife, anger, and sadness.
As I haven’t read Crew and the Fallen Crest Academy books, I am not sentimental about the ancillary characters. However, had I done so prior to reading Rich Prick, I know I would be excited to find their characters in this story. As Blaise’s story unfolds, the broken relationships in his life must also be acknowledged and healed. Thus, if you’re a Tijan fan, you’ll love this book for the sentimentality of seeing characters from her other books.
Now, I will say that, at times, there is an unevenness to her storytelling. There are moments that can feel disconnected. It is in those moments where the story felt slow. There are parts of the book that made reading Rich Prick onerous at times, but, then, Tijan would craft a moment between Aspen and Blaise, engaging us in their story.
For my second Tijan book, I left Rich Prick wanting to know more about this world. I will read the Fallen Crest Academy and Crew books. I will read more of her standalones because there is something insightful in her storytelling. At first glance, it is easy to write off her characters as entitled, rich, and selfish. Yet, as we see with Aspen and Blaise, there is always something more psychological in their depths. We find in Rich Prick that our pasts can have a profound impact on our present while shaping our future. If we aren’t careful to acknowledge that impact, then we might miss out on a deep abiding love. Rich Prick is Tijan’s compelling story about finding love when you don’t feel loveable.
In love and romance,