Sunday, November 19, 2017

Just the Way You Are by Anita Louise

Just the Way You Are is what I would call a true romance. While there are some very well written sex scenes, the relationship between the man characters is about more than sex. The story follows Aaron Adler, an author who does speaking engagements, and Jane Barloc, a social worker who has always of thought of herself as "Plain Jane" as discover their affection for each other.

The story pulled me in from the very beginning and the storyline kept my interest the entire book through. It is a refreshingly believable relationship for the most part. The continuation of the series was well thought out as secondary characters were introduced who will likely have their own stories. Even though this seemed fairly obvious within the book, the author felt the need to add a prologue which focused solely on the second book rather than a better ending for the first. It is an HEA, but it felt incomplete.

The book is not edited well. In multiple places, there is no distinct understanding of time or location. They start an activity in one location but end it in another without any plausible reason or explanation for the move. They don't even specify to the reader that they had moved. This happens multiple times and it always brings me out of the story as I'm trying to figure out how they magically relocated. I am a visual reader so I see the images that are described, not the words on the page so when the action doesn't make physical sense it breaks the flow of reading. Things that are assumed to happen in a few hours, we find out chapters later happened over the course of a few weeks. Again, continuity is an issue.

Another issue is that some secondary storylines are not developed or finished out. By the end of the story, I found myself wondering if the character will make another appearance in a future book since the arc isn't over. I am torn by hoping they will so that the storyline can be wrapped and hoping they won't because it wouldn't make any sense for them to be in another book that doesn't have the same two main characters. As it is there are secondary storyline cliffhangers even though the main story is not a cliffhanger ending.

The ending of the book feels rushed. Like there was a deadline that had to be met. The characters suddenly start talking as if they were in an after-school special from the 80's. There is alot of the characters saying that things are happening rather than having actual actions to show who the character is. It's weird because the rest of the book does not have this same issue.

This book as a good base structure and a unique way to approach the genre of romance. However, this is obviously a first published work and as such has issues.

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