Official Review: Seely's Shoes by Gail Heller

Please use this subforum to discuss romance or erotic books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2320
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2021 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Pretty Place by Laura Leslie

Official Review: Seely's Shoes by Gail Heller

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

[Following is an official review of "Seely's Shoes" by Gail Heller.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Finding love after divorce can be difficult, but Carol managed to find Speed later in her life. She loves everything about him and can't wait to be his wife, but first, she needs to meet his elderly father. The pair head to Parma, Italy, for a long-overdue visit.

Speed's dad, Mr. Arnilido, welcomes Carol with open arms. Despite the familial tragedies he's faced over the years, it hasn't hardened his heart, and he is keen on showing Carol and Speed a good time. During their stay, Carol is visited by the ghost of Speed's sister, Seely, who was murdered as a child. Carol feels deeply connected to Seely but wonders what she is trying to communicate.

The murder was never solved, but Carol has an inkling that Seely is trying to tell her something.

Seely's Shoes by Gail Heller is a novella comprised of about seventy pages. Because of the short length, readers will find themselves quickly thrust into the book's main conflict. It's a story about love, tragedy, and forgiveness. Told from the first-person perspective, it follows Carol as she tries to make sense of her new ability.

After reading the blurb about Seely's Shoes, I was excited to dive deep into this book that boasted elements of mystery, romance, and a taste of the supernatural. I had visions of myself voraciously reading every word. Instead, I was more interested in putting the book down. I was quite disappointed in the lack of character development—especially in regards to Carol. For a woman who abruptly started seeing a dead girl's face, she didn't seem to react the way I would have expected. She simply welcomed the visions and didn't seem phased by them. If I suddenly started developing a sixth sense, I would be experiencing a cluster of feelings—fear, instability, etc. I would definitely be questioning my sanity, but the author never dug deeper into how Carol was feeling.

Another thing that I disliked about the novella was the author's tendency to change Speed's name. In the beginning, he was introduced as Speed which is a nickname. Then, once they arrive in Italy, the author starts calling him Spano, which was his name given at birth. Throughout the next several pages, the author keeps flip-flopping between the two names causing unnecessary confusion.

While I did find myself pining for more character development, the story's redeeming quality was the emphasis on family and community. Family members with volatile relationships were able to forgive one another and bond over food. There was also a strong sense of support between the Arnilidos and the citizens of Parma.

The book had no spelling and grammar issues and seemed professionally edited, which was another redeeming quality. With that being said, I have chosen to give the book a rating of two out of four stars. A book with no character development is a deal-breaker for me, and that is why I couldn't award the writing with a higher score.

While the novella was found in the romance section, I would not recommend the book to readers looking for a conventional love story. The book is less about the relationship between the two characters and more about an unsolved crime. Readers who love books with a bit of mystery, Seely's Shoes may be a palatable choice. The book has no profanity or explicit content and is suitable for readers of all ages.

Seely's Shoes
View: on Bookshelves
User avatar
Posts: 31
Joined: 12 Mar 2021, 15:23
Currently Reading: Morning Star
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Greatest Game Ever Played...Maybe by Otto L. Wheeler

Post by kridz21 »

I agree with your thoughts regarding the downplay of Carol's reaction to her visions, I would expect a much larger array of feelings and emotions to be described. Thank you for your review, I would not have expected a novel like this to contain these unfortunate factors by reading a summary or looking at the cover.
User avatar
Posts: 607
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Neptune's Window by L L Lewin

Post by KristyKhem »

From the summary, the story seems really interesting. I'm sorry that it had poor character development. And from what you have said, it really doesn't seem like it belongs in the romance section. Thank you for writing an honest review.
User avatar
Posts: 20
Joined: 05 Sep 2020, 13:06
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Favorite Book: Kalayla
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Kalayla by Jeannie Nicholas

Post by Sejall7_ »

Initially, I was interested in this book but after reading your review I have changed my mind. I planned on adding this book to my shelf because I found it in the romance section but thank you for informing us that it's based on some unsolved crime, which doesn't appeal to me. Thank you so much for giving your honest opinions on this book!
User avatar
Precious Naiti
Posts: 222
Joined: 29 Jan 2021, 05:36
2021 Reading Goal: 25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 5
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by Precious Naiti »

Im very curious to know who committed the murder and why. For those two reasons alone, I would read this book.
Post Reply

Return to “Romance and Erotic Books”