28 December 2013

Divided, By Livia Jamerlan

Alani LaBelle has it all. A great job, amazing friends, and a loving fiancé. Traveling to Las Vegas for her bachelorette party, she never expects to come across someone who rocks her world the way Ryan Kraft does. Though they only share a few hours together, the connection she feels with him is undeniable. Thinking that her feelings for him may be cold feet she brushes it off and attempts to focus on her fiancé and their impending nuptials.

Heartbroken by her fiancé only days before their wedding, she finds herself needing to escape, needing to hide from reality. Though Alani knows that Ryan lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, she never thought their paths would cross again while she is there.

Their friendship changes to something more with a good night kiss. Needing to be with Ryan, she leaves her old life in New Jersey behind and moves halfway across the country. As they journey together in a new relationship Alani has to adapt to life in a new city, new job, as well as dealing with Ryan's ex-girlfriend Stephanie, who is waiting for the perfect moment to get Ryan back.

But will her fiancé let Alani walk away from him without a fight? Will Alani's love for Ryan be enough for her to stay with him through turmoil? Or will Stephanie’s secret tear them apart?

I wanted to like this book, I really did.  The elements were all there: sweet, romantic hero, sassy and fiercely independent heroine, angst and drama. For me, however, there were just a few things that didn’t resonate and make this a complete story.  It’s not bad, but it’s not great. 
Alani goes to Las Vegas for her Bachelorette Party with her best girlfriends.  Her last night there she meets Ryan, and feels an instant draw towards him.  The feeling is mutual, but since she’s getting married in two weeks it doesn’t go beyond intense flirtation.  But, he leaves an impression.  When she finds out that her fiancé has cheated, she calls off the wedding and needs to get away.  So, she picks the place where Ryan is from: Grand Forks, North Dakota.  She goes there, and eventually runs into Ryan.  From there, they form a friendship that eventually becomes more.  Can they both get past the hurdles that their emotional baggage (and real-world baggage) presents? 
Like I said, there were a few things about this book that just didn’t sit right with me.  First, and I’m sorry but it must be said, it needs editing.  There are several grammar mistakes throughout the book, not to mention a couple of timeline discrepancies, which after a while made it difficult for me NOT to notice.  I mean, I’m ok with self-published books having errors, and I normally don’t harp on that, but in this case it was so frequent that I found it distracting.  Also, I just didn’t feel like the characters had a lot of depth to them.  The attraction between Ryan and Alani I just found a bit confusing.  Especially when she travels to Grand Forks on a whim and learns that he’s told his friends, family, and basically everyone in town about this woman he met for a few hours in Vegas several weeks before.  If that were me, I’d be thinking “RED FLAG!”  It just didn’t seem that realistic to me.  I never fully understood their connection, and since it’s central to the story, it made the entire story a bit lackluster. 
There was a lot of angst centered around misunderstandings in this story.  After a while, that just becomes exhausting, and it makes the story feel plastic and highly manufactured.  Again, another thing that I just found annoying by the end.  It just seems to me that if two people have this undeniable connection that draws them so fiercely together, they’d actually talk about their feelings.  Hence, they’d avoid conflict to this level.
The sex scenes were pretty hot, I will say.  Especially the first one…go Ryan!  Word to the wise, though, “urethra” is a word I would desperately try NOT to work into a sex scene.  Not a sexy word…it need not be involved.  I realize it’s in the general area, but just leave it out.
Even with my grumblings about some of the nuances of this book, it was a still a book I was basically glued to.  I had to find out what happened at the end, as there are a couple of pretty big plot twists that had my mouth dropping open.  As I said before, it’s certainly not a bad book, but it lacked something that made me think it’s great.  3 stars.
 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H1RBVKI/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00H1RBVKI&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://www.amazon.ca/Divided-Livia-Jamerlan-ebook/dp/B00H1RBVKI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386004208&sr=8-1&keywords=divided+livia+jamerlan    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Divided-Livia-Jamerlan-ebook/dp/B00H1RBVKI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386004167&sr=8-1&keywords=divided+livia+jamerlan


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