My Rating: 5/5 stars
A Native Romance Novel
Joseph Chattoche is tormented by guilt, haunted by the recent death of his wife, while Shannon Gallagher is content living alone in her family home as she searches for the last of her relatives. Both are unsure how they will overcome their tragic pasts, opening up their hearts to love again, until they meet each other.
I beta read for Ada Austen’s work-in-progress, Better Late Than Never, which is another stand-alone similar to this romance novel. I’ve enjoyed following the different characters through their hardships to find and accept love in both books, and I love Austen’s writing style. Though there are places throughout the book that could benefit from minor edits or proof-reading, the story maintains a good pace, the dialogue moves the story along with the action, and the characters keep you engaged and blushing.
It was exciting to see a small glimpse of the characters I already knew from Better Late Than Never. I think knowing Austen’s writing style, and the similarities between her characters, helped me overlook some of the distracting point-of-view shifts in the scenes. However, I think the structure of the book would be greatly improved by separating Shannon and Joseph’s points-of-view into their own chapters. Having both of them telling the story at the same time is confusing. Separating the characters’ stories would also cut down on the long-winded chapters, which could use some reorganizing.
I would have liked to see a stronger emotional response from Shannon when she interacts with her mother. Her story builds toward this moment from the beginning, and though I liked the direction it ultimately took, her initial reaction could have been more emotionally gripping.
Overall, this book kept my eyes locked in place until I had finished it in one sitting. I’m hooked on Austen’s characters, and look forward reading more of her books to come!