Usually when we go out of town, I don’t get to read much, but this weekend was an exception. We visited my in-laws near Wichita, and they’re pretty low-key. Also, I tend to let J go do stuff with his brother while I take some downtime, so after we watched the new Avengers movie, they went gaming and I went back to the house to read (btw, Avengers was awesome!). This was one of the books I finished. This one comes out in just a couple days, and while it wasn’t one of my favorites, it wasn’t bad. It also seems to have some really good reviews over on Goodreads, so give it a shot. And if you’ve read the first one in the series, let me know how it stacks up.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review will contain minor spoilers.
After catching her long-term boyfriend cheating on her, Sky quits her job and returns home, using the planning of her uncle’s wedding to distract herself and figure out what she wants the next step of her life to be. This proves difficult, however, with a mother who wants her to date a plastic surgeon, a bunch of meddling family members, a jealous cousin, and a friend who is in desperate need of rehab. On top of that, her ex won’t stop calling, the plastic surgeon won’t leave her alone, and she’s afraid to let herself pursue the guy who really does it for her…Hayden, the roofer who literally fell through the roof while she was trying on her bridesmaid dress.
I found the first part of the novel boring, but it got better when I started reading it as woman-finding-herself novel instead of a romance novel. Because while there is a touch of romance here, the first part of the book is Sky dealing with her own issues, mourning her lost relationship, and trying to get her head and emotions together. The romance is kind of an afterthought. Once I stopped waiting for the romance, I found that it read well, though the end turned into kind of a jumble of thrown-in minute conflicts. I like there to be romantic conflict, but other than two minor issues between the main characters, there was very little.
While Sky is fun and Hayden is likable, I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between them. The meddling/disapproving family trope is one that always carries with it some of the worst secondary characters, and this was no exception. The mother’s actions are justified with “she just wants what’s best for her daughter,” but that doesn’t make her any more likable. While Sky’s friends are better and more willing to accept what Sky wants, the one friend is a hot mess. I have a feeling this might have been a set up for a later novel? I didn’t care much for her. The ex and the plastic surgeon are complete jerks, which serves to highlight how great a guy Hayden is, which is fine, but again, I prefer there to be a little bit of romantic conflict to build up some sexual tension, and there was none of that.
Romance Factor gets a score of 2/5. There was no romantic conflict, not enough romantic chemistry between the characters, and only a secondary relationship story. The romance was there, it just wasn’t enough to make me feel warm and fuzzy. The Sex Factor gets a 3/5, because while not very frequent, the author didn’t shy away from detail when there was detail to be told.
Overall, I liked the story, but there was one part I really didn’t like. Sky has an unsettling run-in with one of her pursuers, one that involves her getting physically hurt. Yet later, instead of telling her mother what happened and insisting she not be put into a dangerous situation again, she says nothing and goes along with what her mother wants. It drove me nuts to read about someone acting like that sort of behavior could be easily overlooked and handled with no further repercussions.
This book is technically well-written, with good dialogue and good flow, though the romantic pacing seemed a little unsure of itself. It was good for a light and quick read.