Off the Rails – book review

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Off the Rails
by Jill Sorenson
Release Date:  December 13, 2016
Publisher:  Loveswept
Standalone *see review for some notes on this
Number of pages:  none listed in Goodreads or Amazon and my e-book doesn't have a page count
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Romantic Suspense M/F
Rating: NC-17
Read 10/31/16 to 11/6/16

Let me start out by saying, going into this book, I was unaware the characters were offshoots from another book.  Reading the book(s) that came before this one may have helped a bit, but most of my problems with this book have little to do with the back story or holes in the story.  And, to be fair to me, it is in no way touted as part of a series or a spin-off of another book.  That leads me to believe the author felt it was strong enough to stand on its own.

The overall vibe Ian and Maria, the hero and heroine, give off is very anti-law enforcement and that was one of the things that bothered me.  Ian is a federal agent, for goodness sake!  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are bad cops, agents, and military men and women out there.  So maybe a reading of the other book would have helped me to see where Ian was coming from.  But it wasn’t just mistrust; I know that would be natural for Maria and her family.  At times it’s downright disdain.

Maria is quite young and her experience with men is rough, but I thought she was too childlike in other ways.  After what she has been through in her life and the things she did to survive, I wouldn’t think she’d seem so young anymore.  She would seem innocent one minute and then be throwing a tantrum the next.  That’s not fiery and strong, that is immature and petulant.  And sometimes I felt Ian wasn’t much better although I understood his motivation much more clearly.  Really, the issue was that these characters didn’t seem fully fleshed out to me. There seems to be a lot of telling and not enough showing. Oddly enough a side character, who is important but by no means a major player, named Caitlyn was far more interesting to me that the main characters.

Something that I did like was Maria has a little sister with William’s Syndrome.  I have a dear friend whose son has William’s Syndrome and it seems to be such a little know disease.  Anything to get the word out and get more funding for research is fine by me.  I wish there would have been more than a quick mention, but I’m still hoping that piqued some interest where maybe a reader will look into it and be inspired to help.

It wasn’t until more than 75% into the book that I actually got invested and cared to keep reading.  That’s far too much of a book to have to skim and force yourself to pick back up.  But because the action was great in that last portion of the book I’m notching my rating up by a star.

I don’t feel I can totally give up on this author because there were good things in the book, but I’ll be sure the next time I try out one of Jill Sorenson’s stories it will be a true standalone of the first in a series so I won’t wonder if my lack of enthusiasm has to do with some missing element.

2 stars

**I received and ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.**
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About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is 23 and living at home while working. He just finished trade school for media arts and is looking for a job that will be a career so he can get out on his own. In the meantime he's got a steady job with benefits. Our youngest, Griffin, is 19 and in the Army. He just got married so I have also gained a daughter. Unfortunately, he is stationed in Washington so they're across the country from us. I was lucky enough to have the option of leaving the work force a few years ago. Since that time I've been slowly trying to get our house in order and catching up on a lot of reading.
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