Naked - Megan Hart I have to decide if I want to try more Megan Hart. In Naked, the female main character, Olivia, was half-black, adopted into a half-Jewish, half-Catholic white home. At the age of 5, her parents split and both turned back to their faiths, which left her feeling guilty for attempting to embrace either one. In college, she met her best friend/soul mate... she thought. Turns out he was in-the-closet gay, and told her two weeks before the wedding and STILL wanted to marry her. When she refused, they stayed friends, but his story for why no wedding was that she cheated on him. And he now keeps her in his life, sort of like throwing crumbs to her every once in a while -- she never stopped loving him and he knows it. And uses it against her sometimes.

In a way, she was a perfect fit for Alex, who never really could figure out where he fit either. He's bi, for those who haven't read the books. Self-made millionaire who literally came from nothing, but he was "pretty" and charming. He realized he fit with her. And then she had to take a blind leap of faith to embrace that. And THEN it was heart-wrenching! I kept waiting for "it" to happen -- Alex to fuck it up royally -- and it happened, not because of something Alex did now, but something Alex did then and hadn't told her. But then Alex salvaged it somehow. She was so broken, but he salvaged it because he loved her so much. And yes, this was one where it ended on an up-note, but anything could happen after "the end" to fuck it all up. Ms. Hart's stories are really good and so layered, and the characters so well built, you just bleed for them. I bled for some of the characters in The Help, but I didn't feel so drained afterward! I think if I'm gonna read Megan Hart, I'll have to definitely do it in moderation. But this is one of those stories that will stick with you, too. It's not fluff to dismiss when you move to the next story.

There was also an interesting tie in to Stranger with Sarah and Jack. Had I not read Stranger, I wouldn't have recognized it. I might not have recognized it if I hadn't read Stranger first, but I got it immediately, which was fun. :-)