When I read romance books I tend to drift more towards romantic suspense more so than the basic romantic fiction but I found this book to be a nice change from my typical choice. I prefer to read stories that has romance blooming between two characters but also one that brings some wonder as to what is going to happen next, has a lot of excitement and mystery to it. This particular book doesn’t have that suspense factor but it does have a love story that actually feels like one that any regular person could have and that’s what I like most about it.
I wasn’t able to really get a connection to the characters, I felt more like I was watching from the sidelines which is one of the bigger reasons as to why I gave only three stars for this read. I like to feel as if I am there with them, going through every step, every hardship with the characters and this story lacked that bond. I couldn’t really feel the hurt that they were feeling, the love that was blossoming between Ally and Owen, and even though I was glad for the happy ending, I was unable to feel true excitement for them. I like being able to fill in some of the blanks when it comes to characterization as it allows me to envision the person as I see fit, but I do like to have a good view as to how the author sees them and there wasn’t much of that either. There was a slight description of how their eyes, their face, their hair looked, but that was about it. And even then it was difficult to really see in the mind what the characters truly looked like which is one reason for the disconnect. Another reason as to why I didn’t get much of a connection to the characters was because there wasn’t much detail as to anything with them, such as their living spaces, their lifestyles, their actions; it was more of a telling rather than a showing of the characters. I needed more.
Another reason as for only the three stars is how the story is written. Well, not the plot itself as it was a good storyline and I really loved how normal the characters are. Even though I couldn’t get a true connection to the characters themselves, I really liked how they were so much like a normal person; they had normal jobs with normal life issues. But the sentence structure bugged the shit out of me. If a lot of the periods were replaced by commas and semi-colons it would have made reading it go a lot smoother as I’m one, that when I see a period, my mind stops for a second before moving on so it became quite choppy as I was reading through.
Another thing that I look for in a book is a good, catching title and book cover and both confused me with this one. I could slightly see the title fitting in with what the story was about but I think there could have been a better option. I can’t really think of a more catchy title at the moment, but I’m sure there’s one out there. The part that confused me the most though, between the two, was the cover. I don’t get what was about the chocolate covered strawberry as there wasn’t a single one mentioned within the entire story. A chocolate bouquet was mentioned a few times throughout, but nothing about strawberries.
Another thing that caught me off-guard, and in this case it was more me than the author, was that I didn’t realize it was taking place in Australia. Because of this, some of the words and their spelling threw me for a loop for a moment as well as how they describe the jobs of the characters, particularly that of Ally. Ally is the lead school coordinator for what they call junior school and she’s also the food tech teacher. I can easily understand what a food tech teacher is but the coordinator made me confused as that’s something I’ve never come across before. This is one thing I liked about the book, with it being written by an author from somewhere outside the States, as it allowed me to learn how things are handled in different ways than what I’m used to.
This is a good book to read if you want something lighthearted with a few tense situations thrown in, but don’t expect any surprises or too much excitement to happen. I wouldn’t mind reading the others that will be in the series, however, they won’t be at the top of my TBR list.
About Before You Were Mine
Ally McVeigh has landed her dream job at Woodbury High. But when single dad, Owen Davies walks into her office with a tragic past and anxious daughter in tow, he threatens more than just her career plans.
Struggling to distance herself from the rugged father’s promise of romance, Ally’s fear of commitment turns to hope; maybe she can have her cake and eat it.
Especially when Owen craves more than one bite.
He wants Ally in his life, in his bed and as the mother of his child. But in pursuing a relationship with the Food Tech teacher, old wounds and even deeper secrets begin to surface.
When his daughter becomes a pawn in a vicious custody battle, he stands to lose not only his child, but the one woman who could make his family complete.