Some months ago whilst browsing the bookish section of Amazon (as I tend to do far too often) I stumbled across this. I fell in cover-love so damn hard that this became my most anticipated release of 2016. The second I knew it was available for pre-order: BLAMMO! In the basket, through the checkout, take my money, I have no time for your shenanigans today, Sir.
When I was finally able to pick it up, I paced quite easily through the first 40 pages. The Prologue was beautifully descriptive followed by the introduction of violin virtuoso Etta. Having played the violin myself, I loved this element of the story.
Unfortunately, this is where I carve out a small RIP headstone for my interest in this novel. By the time we actually hit a plotline and our two main characters meet with flashing neon signs overhead promptly stating “They fancy each other, by the way” It was far too easy to put the book down and find something else to do with my time. That is why a) It took me close to a month to finish this book and b) took a further ten days for me to write this review. Now, I won’t place all the blame on this book. I have spent a considerable amount of time immersing myself in Skyrim in recent months and as a result my reading has taken a hit. But dammit, maybe this book is the reason why my interest has shifted primarily onto gaming again.
I have nothing against a good slow building romance. And the romance in this books is actually slow to build in terms of them admitting their attraction to each other. But it is clear that Bracken abandoned the plot in favour of trying to create a slow-burning romance between two characters whose only common interest is describing each other’s bodies with inner monologue. If I had to read another description of Nicholas’ ‘broad muscled back’ one more time, I was gonna stab a bitch.
Oh! And speaking of describing bodies, can someone please explain to me how Etta has been out of her own timeline for two to three weeks and we get this:
“Nicholas had a perfect view of the lower half of her bare legs. The women of his time kept themselves covered from the tops of their heads to their ankles, and it had taken every ounce of his will and honor not to dwell on the devastatingly smooth skin that had been revealed to him over the past two days.”
…I’m sorry, what? It is mentioned numerous times throughout the novel that Etta is desperately in need of a toothbrush, but she manages to keep her legs devastatingly smooth?! Are you actually kidding me?! I guess she must wax her legs then. For some reason, this irked the hell out of me.
“There was nothing quite like getting a lungful of a fruit vendor’s sour breath to remind you how many days had passed since you’d stopped trying to find a toothbrush.”
After wading through possibly the slowest paced book I have read to date, we get to the final sixty pages. The climax. The part we’ve all been waiting for. On this broken-down disappointment of a rollercoaster journey. The final sixty pages actually managed to resurrect my interest! Bracken managed to put the romance aside long enough here for the plot to crawl out of whatever cave I thought it had died in and give me something to think about. And now I need to know what happens in the next installment. I think at this point, I’m going to say that I will be picking up the second book but I’d like to see what the reviews have to say beforehand.
As a final thought, here are a couple of quotes that did give me a much needed giggle whilst reading this:
“Well, you weren’t supposed to try to rearrange his face with your fist.”
“I wasn’t,” Nicholas protested. “He lunged up into it several times. I was only in the way.”
“Somewhere at the end of a long line of hazy gray days, Nicholas woke at the first touch of shell-pink morning light, the devil’s own hammers at work inside his skull. Bloody rum. Bloody dead captain hiding the bloody bottle in a place Nicholas could bloody well find in a moment he needed to numb his nerves. Good ideas had in the dark, he thought with a groan, were generally best left there.”
Rating: 2/5 Stars