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1 out of 4 stars
Review by yayramabel
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The main premise of a woman surrendering completely (mind and body) to a man is sensual and intriguing; as a reader, you think: "hmmm, what will he ask her to do, what does the submission entails?" It has the makings of any good erotic romance novel, so as I started reading I could appreciate the potential. But, unfortunately, the book doesn't deliver the decadent, mature story expected with such a proposition. On the contrary, at certain moments, the storytelling appears immature. When reading a romance novel, I want to be enveloped in an adult, seductive story. At times, it seemed like the author was going in the right direction, setting up a sultry scene; but, then, the writing would become cheesy and even puerile.
More to the point, we get this "dear diary" concept throughout the book, which didn't work for me. Having your main character write her issues and fantasies on a diary is just too juvenile for my taste. If this was a Young Adult book, sure! But, not when the main character is supposed to be a grown woman. I mean, as a woman in my 30's, it really turned me off. Sometimes the story was going well, and then she would start "talking to" her diary: "Dear Diary: It has been a while since I wrote... Well, I don’t know where to begin with him. This man who I wanted to just have sex with has woven his way into my heart... I want him. He has changed the chemical balance of me, without even penetrating me... Juicy smells like him." It made me cringe every time, because it felt childish and it broke the erotic, adult vibe the author had achieved thus far, every time.
In addition, the characters felt a bit one-dimensional. Maybe the author means to explore them more in-depth in the following books, but in this one, they were flat. The main characters had so much space to develop and, in my opinion, they were stuck in just one emotion about the different issues they were facing. For example, Coy kept talking about how afraid she was of her ex, over and over again, but there was no real depth to the emotions beyond that, it just seemed to skim the surface. I mean, I know it's a romance novel, but that doesn't mean that the characters can't have some essence. There really is enough fabric in this story, but it didn't develop sufficiently. In the end, I thought that these characters had remained practically unchanged, except for the blossoming relationship between the two principals.
Furthermore, the writing was inadequate. Instead of the refined writing I would expect from a published work, the grammar was not always accurate and the editing was poor; actually, it gave me the impression that the book was never revised or edited. On top of that, the author introduces Coy as a bilingual character, so she speaks Spanish. Being Latina myself, that little attribute always catches my attention and I automatically feel connected to the person or character it relates to. However, in this instance, it didn't help the book but instead made me even more frustrated with it, as a reader. The translations to Spanish were terrible! They seemed to have come out of a digital translator and, I'm convinced, nobody revised them -well, at least not a Spanish speaking person-. At times, I found myself re-reading one sentence a couple of times because I couldn't understand what it was saying, and Spanish is my first language. I had to read the same passage in English (which she always includes) to make sense of what was being said; and, alas, it happen too often.
I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars. Candace Michelle's first book in her The Gift of Submission series didn't deliver the present of the mature, sensual story it promised. In all honesty, I really wanted to like this book, since I enjoy a good romance book; you know, the kind of book where you sit back, relax and delve into reading it mindlessly. However, the shallow characters and "dear diary" passages, bad translations and sloppy editing, made it impossible for me to acquiesce to this novel. The story line has potential and her writing isn't bad when she achieves a womanly voice, but I hope her next books are better edited and translated, and that she channels the grown woman we want to read about, in-depth, flaws and all.
The Sound of Acquiescence
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