Quick review for a quick read. Better than the last installment, but not by much (and I make no understatements given the cliches and flaws in this). This had Rafe and Melanie playing between jealousy games and working their issues out while Melanie’s on the road with the group that Rafe/Storm used to be a part of. Rafe/Storm is apart from her, but has to work through his own jealousy to try to trust Melanie. Some of the same problems plague this narrative as the former part (overuse of “masculine” descriptor, interchanging names on the part of Rafe/Storm, etc), but this is a little better because the character motivators are a little clearer than the last installment. Not so much more palpable though – the biggest problem that I see in this is that it’s extremely hard to suspend disbelief for this narrative, and that tends to throw me out of a story.
Still heavily wish fulfillment, but again – that wouldn’t be a problem as long as the suspension of disbelief could be carried. I found it very hard to believe that the heroine’s pretty much playing between three guys who all vie for her affections – it’s a little too good to be true for the scenario, plus Melanie leaving all of her former employment behind to start an art career that is probably lukewarm for opportunity at best? She’s got it a little too easy for the story’s sense of realism and for the overarching conflict. Even for a quick read, I felt how sluggish the pacing was for the setup. I also think the Travis/Rafe/Diego go betweens are a little too stereotypical/cliche for my liking. Diego is really, *really* cliched for a character of color. He can be funny, I grant that, but it’s hard to really see more of his character here, and even in such a short span of time, I think he could be better established (heck, all the characters could for the scenario).
I still think the conflict’s really hard to believe, though considering this book ends on a cliffhanger, I wonder how things are going to work out given the revelation and the note it ends on. It does not look good for the couple, but I’ll admit I’m curious enough to see where it goes.
Overall score: 1.5/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher St. Martin’s Press.