Bare Devotion by Geri Krotow Release Date: September 11, 2018 Publisher: Lyrical Caress Book #2 in the Bayou Bachelors series Number of Pages: 235 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: XXX Read 9/4/18 to 9/7/18
There is a huge level of frustration I’m having with this series and this author. In both the first book, Fully Dressed, and this book I really love the concept of the stories. The characters and their personalities are people I want to read about. But there always seems to be something missing.
Let me get into what I really like about this story. The author really tries to take bigotry head on. Henry knows his parents are racist and maybe haven’t treated Sonja as an equal, but he doesn’t know the extent of it because Sonja has kept a lot of their interactions from him. For her part, Sonja has a deep-seated fear that Henry can’t really be so far removed from his parents’ views since they did, after all, raise him. This all leads to the real root of their problem…they don’t talk to each other. At least not about things that matter. Which has led to a rather large lack of trust on both sides.
I like how Sonja and Henry’s relationship looked great to all of those on the outside. And even from the inside; if they didn’t look too deep inside themselves, the couple was able to pretend all was great. They could have lived their whole lives happily together. But happy does not necessarily equal satisfied. Although Henry and Sonja probably do belong together, they had a lot of work to do before they should have been walking down the aisle.
Of course, this brings up all my frustration. This storyline is a bit of a different angle than I’m used to reading in a love story. There was potential for so much complexity and emotion. But something gets in the way. The writing tends to be choppy and the conversations can jump around a bit which breaks up the flow of the story. There are also a lot of repetitive bits that are just downright annoying.
I also want to address the character of Deidre. I’m going to try to do this without spoilers. I think the fact that it is mentioned over and over and over that the characters in this story do not believe Deidre has a mental health issue is a great disservice to the readers. Deidre absolutely DOES have a mental condition, whether it’s by nature or nurture it does not matter. To dismiss her actions as those of someone who was “just spoiled” growing up is dangerous.
So here’s my quandary. I truly hate to keep reading this series if it forces me to give this author a bad review. She must be doing something right since I really want to learn more about Jena and possibly Jeb…which I assume will be in the next book. Reading the author’s bio I am really impressed with her and respect her. It makes me think her stories that have more to do with the military life would be a smoother read??? I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to see where my head is at when the next one in this series comes out.
One last thing. I am not hanging all my dissatisfaction on the author here. There is a reason there are editors in the publishing world. This is not a self-published book so I’m quite confident an editor has gone over this story before it was put to print. Since the storyline and ideas are all there and my biggest issue with the story is the flow and some missing pieces, it is absolutely the editor’s job to work with the author to fix these things. Rant over.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**