There are times when I am reading that I am conflicted. I am unsure how to review the book. The reasons include the quality of the work but also my mindset when reading. This was a good book, not a great book. However, I would recommend it and the series. There were a few nuances to the writing I found a little lacking. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I found my mind wandering at times. My attention was not 100% through the entirety of the book. It was entertaining but a little predictable.
The characters of Zane and Brina were spot-on. They were both written vividly and with great attention to detail. Brina is a widow who has had a difficult time since her husband passed. Her grief and stages of mourning she went through were believable and realistic. I loved her independent nature and her inner strength. She had the moxy and fortitude to stand toe to toe with Zane. Zane was a rake with no desire to be an Earl. He was thrown into the role expecting to fail. Going through all the trials he faces throughout the book, he earned my respect. He was flawed and outrageous at times. A free spirit not wanting to conform to society’s strict rules. Zane was just an all-around lovable character. The book received a four-star review because of the strength of these characters. Their personalities carried the brunt of the book.
The connection between Zane and Brina was a little shallow and coerced. I didn’t feel the passion strongly between the two during the romantic moments. Their interactions seemed a little staged at times. The romance between the two improved three-fourths into the story. By the end of the book, I felt that they cared for one another.
The plot was multifaceted and intricate though characters felt forced into situations at times. The conditions, although true to the story, came across as being contrived. The plot moved at an even pace and held a lot of content. It was a fiercely strong storyline; it just fell through with the delivery sometimes.
After reading this review, I hope you understand my conundrum with this book. There was nothing terrible or boring that stood out; it just didn’t shine as brightly as I wished. It was a good, strong story. I felt with a little more focus on character and plot connection; this could have been an outstanding five-star book. I can sense the greatness that these books could be, and I feel that future books could be stellar. The plot needs a little sprinkle of passionate, soul-searing connections. I am hard on this book because I see its potential. All that being said, I liked the authenticity of the book and will read future works to come.
I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press. This is my honest, voluntary opinion.
Well, fellow readers, this was a tough one. It was a slow-reading book. I didn’t feel the realistic complexity the plot required. The characters and plot premise were perfect. These properties made a lackluster book exciting and readable. I don’t particularly appreciate it when my expectations for a book and the book’s reality do not coincide. I feel that this is the prime reason I did not give this book five stars. It is the third book in the First Comes Love series. I love the premise of these books. I can’t say they were excellent. However, I genuinely liked them. Also, as at the beginning of the review, I feel some of this might have been my mindset and expectations. My best recommendation is to read these books but know what to expect concerning what is excellent and lacking.