Crazy in Love by Crystal B. Bright Release Date: October 17, 2017 Publisher: Lyrical Shine Contemporary Romance Book #1 in the Love & Harmony Romance series Number of Pages: approx. 248 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Rating: NC-17 Read 10/12/17 to 10/14/17
I am going to do my best to keep this review from jumping all over the place. That may be hard because, although I enjoyed the overall story of Truman and Chantel, I feel this book was all over the place.
First, some of the good. I really liked Truman from the start. He seems like a guy just trying to do what’s best for his friends and his family. He really cares about making a name for the band…not just himself. He realizes the sacrifices they are all making, that it’s not just him. And although Chantel (aka Shauna, but I’ll be calling her Chantel for this review) did some things in her first scene that had my back up, I also sympathized with her and could see the scared young girl underneath it all. Plus, when Truman and Chantel are together I definitely felt their chemistry. That’s always a good thing in a romance book.
Chantel was hard to get a read on. I think part of that was intentional, she was coming into her own and learning to be independent. But some of it was just disjointed. Until about halfway through, it was hard to see her true heart. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that’s about the same time Truman’s son Gage starts playing a more significant role in the story.
There is a big, crazy family that is part of Chantel’s world. And to be honest, sometimes it confused me. I got the cousins…no confusion there. But sometimes I wonder if Chantel’s manager Craig was an actual uncle. Maybe because I’m not part of that same world, but I didn’t quite understand everyone living there when they didn’t need to (I only understood Chantel living there) so that’s where a lot of my confusion came into play. Craig was not a great person (although his wife is wonderful!) and he was the most confusing of characters for me. I had a hard time figuring out if I should hate him or not. That would be fine if this book was a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel. But it’s not any of those so I feel his character had to be more clearly defined.
Some of the word usage was so stilted and unusual for me. This time I am sure it’s not a cultural thing…it is an editing thing. There is word usage that is downright wrong and makes no sense. I could tell the difference between words and phrases that just are not part of my regular vernacular and those that were just stilted and out of place. It really didn’t help with the flow of the story. Especially since that flow was already a bit choppy.
There are times Truman’s band mates make a big deal out of trivial things, and times they let something that seems like it should be huge just drop. There’s a particular character, Sully, that is a real jerk and nobody calls him out on it until it explodes into something major. It just doesn’t make sense. Especially with the rest of the band being such great guys and some of them being family men.
It’s a real shame there wasn’t a better flow to this story. It has a great premise and an important message. Like I said, there is chemistry there. But overall it fell flat for me since I kept getting pulled out of the story by stilted language and changes in character personalities. I’m not sure I’ll give the next in the series a chance or not. Especially because it seems to start out with a woman falsely accusing a man in power of sexual misconduct. This is bad timing for something like that.
I was excited to read an interracial love story and was disappointed I couldn’t like it more. Now, that has nothing to do with the couple being interracial, but there are so few of these stories out there in the grand scheme of things that it’s a shame this one didn’t play out more smoothly. I see this author has other books and series dealing with interracial love and think I may check one of those out in the future. When I read a book by a new to me author that has promise, I don’t like giving up after only one try.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**