2 out of 4 stars
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In the opening scene of Survive the Fall by Julia Bright, Kelsey finds herself in Wyoming for the funeral of her brother and father who are killed in an explosion overseas. The alcohol on tap at the hotel bar isn’t doing enough to dull the pain, but it is effectively lowering her inhibitions. She spies a handsome stranger and propositions him to spend the next few hours distracting her from the pain of her loss. Adam’s reluctance turns to enthusiasm as he obliges her request. Under the guise of anonymity, they refer to each other as Angel and Brick and assume they will never see each other again.
Fate has other plans for the pair after their passionate night in the hotel. Kelsey ends up staying in Wyoming while she is working towards avenging the deaths of her family members. She puts out word that she needs a private security guard and Adam answers the call. After a whirlwind mission overseas, the pair continue to grow closer as they both deal with their individual hardships and discover that weathering the storm together is preferable to being alone.
Julia Bright starts off with a bang in the opening chapter, giving readers a window into the thoughts running through Kelsey’s mind as she surveys the bar for a distraction and then acts on her impulses. The point of view switches back and forth between the two main characters, allowing the reader to view the plot from the male and female point of view. This is one of my favorite aspects of romance novels, and Bright does it justice with predictability and clarity. Overall, the interactions between the main characters were written in a believable manner and had the reader pulling for them to succeed throughout the story. While the book does not end in a cliffhanger, it is obvious that the author is setting up for a series involving other characters introduced late in the novel.
This novel advertises all of the exciting elements of a new adult, action packed romance. Take one mourning woman out for vengeance, add the hunky alpha male veteran, stir in a little international terror cell and you should get a compelling novel full of steamy scenes and redemption. Fans of Jodi Foster or Suzanne Brockmann would gravitate towards this style of romance novel. Unfortunately, the similarities to those authors end pretty swiftly. One gets the feeling that Bright is trying to fit ten gallons of water into a five gallon bucket. The improbable denouement of the main plot occurs midway through the novel, leaving the reader to wonder what the rest of the book is going to focus on for the remaining eighty pages. Small sub plots are hastily and predictability thrown into the mix, incorporating most romance genre tropes into a novel that had real promise.
In addition to the cliché ridden subplots, the level of writing and lack of solid editing is distracting. Minor plot holes and continual repetition of statements or concepts was noticeable enough to be annoying. In one instance, the main characters are traveling by ferry but they stopped at a café, “on the ways towards the airport.” At some points, entire sentences are repeated just a few paragraphs apart from each other. There were numerous instances of improper punctuation and incorrect word usage (e.g. tire instead of tired or wed instead of wet). Capitalization of proper nouns and apostrophes denoting possession were also apparently up for debate at different points throughout the book.
While Survive the Fall was an entertaining and fluffy romance read, the issues encountered with the plot and technical editing have me rating it 2 out of 4 stars. I removed one star due the occurrence of plot holes, overall pacing, and clichéd elements hastily included in the last part of the book. The sheer volume of errors that are a direct result of lack of proofreading automatically took another star off the score. If there was an additional round of thorough editing after the advanced reader copy was published, I could see the star rating increasing. This book has the potential to be a fun beach read, but as it is currently written, I was looking forward to simply getting to the last page to be able to dive into a different book.
Survive The Fall
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