I am so disappointed in Lisa Kleypas. I love her books and I love her contemporaries with their background stories behind the romance. This book has none of that. It seems like an outline of a book that maybe was written by a 15 year-old and was never fleshed out properly.
There are several tensions in the book that are unexplored, as if you're reading an abridged book: there is no complexity in the development of Holly, the 6-year-old who lost her mother at the beginning of the book; there is no explanation for the way Shelby/Mark's relationship develops; and the treatment of Maggie's late husband is too superficial for words!
Yes, it's a sweet story, but there is no proper development of the relationship to convince the reader how this has moved from attraction to love... no reason why Mark or Maggie's reservations suddenly evaporated for them to end up together... no tension... no story... no depth... nothing!
Kleypas should have made this a regular length novel and explored the depths of the characters, their backgrounds and their relationships to make this a more believable and worthwhile story. As it stands, it was a waste of time to listen to and ends abruptly.
To top it all off, I hated the narration. Tanya Eby has a nice voice, but she puts emphasis on every single sentence, even if it's something as simple as "she was wearing a red sweater" (seriously, if you've heard her before, you'll know what I mean).
this is a surprisingly good short non-fiction story, and actually contains a few twists! thinking back, no one ever writes about happy marriages unless it is self-help!
no, but i plan to!
I feel some of the reviews here and on Amazon have been a little unfair to the book...
It is not one of the best I have ever read BUT it was interesting enough to keep me listening and awake. There were a lot of characters, but I could follow the story even though I had never read any previous books on the Trouble Shooters series (why doesn't audible make them available for listeners outside the US?)
In response to some other reviews:
1. I am not much into gay romance, either, but this one was not too explicit, and the rest of the storyline surrounding that part of the story was quite good [I know very little about how "authentic" it sounds,though]
2. Yes, the author has agendas, and they are not hidden (same as in many of her other books) - I don't mind that, although I guess if one disagrees with her agendas, one might get a bit upset
I thought the narration was OK but not the best (the female narrator sounds a little like she has a stuffy nose or something... and them male narrator screeches a bit)
I could not put this one down! I bought it despite mixed reviews because I was curious about the idea of letters (no email, no cell phones, I think the book was writtin the mid-90s). Judith Michael did a great job of developing the relationship gradually and convincingly and building the suspense, and the narrator delivered with feeling (and a little help from technology in the editing!). There were a couple of unconvincing secondary characters and the narration in the second half was a bit annoying (very difficult for male narrators with deep voices to sustain 2 female characters' voices for long). I found most of the surprises predictable, though, unlike "Deceptions" which I thought was an exceptional book when I read it more than 10 years ago.
I love Kristin Hannah's writing style, and the combination of that and the good narration kept me going in this book. There were a lot of genuine emotions in it that I could relate to and I cried a couple of times. However, I could sooooooooo predict the way the story was going, and some parts dragged on forever, to the extent of being repetitive. Still worth reading if you like a book that will make you sad then lift you up gradually! And again, writing style and narration were great
This is one of those books that is so well-written that even though the first part of it is a bit slow, it is interesting enough that you KNOW something good is going to happen - and you will NOT be disappointed (I listened to the first half of the book over a week and the second half in one day)! The way things evolve and the threads come together in the book is really impressive, even though a few of the surprises were predictable (were they meant to be?). Funny enough, the book is somehow understated but overly dramatic at the same time!
On a side note, it was also really interesting to learn about the life of a deaf-blind person and her family.
I loved this book when I read it a year ago, and I loved the audiobook as well.
If you like Crusie, it is very different from, and nowhere near as good as "Bet Me" but it still deserves 5 stars! It has humor, likeable characters and lots of excitement!!! More passion and less romance than "Bet Me".
The narrator did the secondary characters' voices really well, too, although not so much the male lead
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