The Particulars: Contemporary romance, self-published, available as e-book and in print
The Source: Smashwords
The Grade: B
All her life, Grace Ryan was the “fat girl.” Taunted and teased and ignored by her peers, she tried every diet ever invented to no avail. Desperate to change her life as her twenties slipped away, she decided it was time for drastic measures and had lap-band surgery. More than a year later, she’s lost 130 pounds and is venturing into the dating world for the first time. During a boat trip to Gansett Island with the new guy in her life, Grace refuses to have sex with him and finds herself abandoned without a dollar to her name at McCarthy’s Gansett Island Marina. At home for the summer awaiting the launch of his debut CD, music star-in-the-making Evan McCarthy is performing at the Tiki Bar when he notices Grace looking lost in a sea of happy people. Evan comes to her aid and quickly finds himself smitten. But the last thing Grace needs after all she’s been through is a guy who “doesn’t do relationships.” Will Evan change his ways to win Grace’s heart?
I picked up this when Marie Force discounted the Gansett Island novels recently. And I am glad I did. This book is Marie Force at her best.
Gansett Island… It felt so real. I loved how Marie Force described the upside and downsides of living on an island, with a quaint town, although not all of the buildings are old.
I loved the friendliness the Islanders showed towards strangers, although at sometimes it felt like they were almost gullible.
But what I enjoyed the most was the characters. I loved following Evan and Grace
developing romance. From their first meeting, to their first date. Both of them struggled, since things moved fast between them ( Sometimes it felt like it moved too fast). I also liked how Grace was determinded to move on with her life, and take the next step.
But so much more than Evan’s and Grace’s romance happened in this novel. Tiffany’s marriage hits the rocks. ( And let me tell you: Jim is a jerk). I loved watching Owen and Laura, you could almost feel the growing romance between them.
That said all, no matter how much I enjoyed the other romances,it is the weak point of this books . Since there were secondary romances, it never felt like it the focus of the novel was the romance between Evan and Grace. Also one minor quibble: The lack of the final formatting touches, in the shape of more professional chapter headlines, and scene breaks. The lack of it made me feel like I was reading an post edits, but pre-formatting manuscripts.