There is a lot of promise here but the fat needs to be trimmed. I’m excited about these authors and I will be back for part 2.
This is a well written beginning to a star crossed lovers-ish story. The plot is that Hudson from “the wrong side of the tracks” has a summer teen romance with Alessandra from the decidedly “right side of the tracks.” Hudson is scorned by Alessandra who is too young/chicken to tell her parents she has the super hots for a poor boy. Hudson goes on to become a billionaire, Alessandra goes on to become older/still chicken and engaged to a duke or some sh*t. Hudson wants Alessandra but his money is too new to impress “Alli’s” people and Alli is still too scared to stand up for what she wants, or is she? And there you have it.
There’s lots of good stuff here: The relationship between Allie and Hudson is believable, passionate and compelling. The authors are very good at making you feel like Allie and Hudson had some seriously unfinished business from their teens. That depiction avoids the “insta-love” thing that some readers don’t like (I personally don’t have a problem with insta-love since I often fall in insta-hate with people). For the first 50-60% of this book I was in love with Allie and Hudson’s lust…love…whatever it was, I was here for it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
These authors are also master world builders. I hate when I read a book and I can’t get a clear picture of what is being described. I didn’t have that problem with this book because Ms. Walker and Ms. Rogers are fantastic at including rich descriptions of events and locations which allow you to place yourself inside the story. My only criticism in this regard is that sometimes there is too much description of locations which can distract from the actual story of the romance.
The book has a good supporting cast. Harper is the best friend who is appropriately inappropriate. Allie’s mother is predictably shrewd and lacking in fu-ks for someone who is an old money socialite. Nick, Hudson’s younger brother, also provides a good subplot that moves us toward discovering more about Hudson and his background.
During the first 50% of this book, I found myself thinking “wow this is really good” around the 60% mark I found myself falling out of love into more of a “like.” I can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually think this book might be too long. After a certain point there is a lot of sex which takes up a lot of pages. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the extra sex, the problem is that the descriptions aren't as good as you would think they would be from reading the rest of the book. From the build up, I thought it was going to be some seriously hot, knock your socks off, lock the kids out type of stuff but it was just ok and kind of vague. This works for me in a book that doesn't include a lot of sex but after I read these long vague references 12 times, I’m ready to start doing some serious skimming.
The other problem is that there isn't enough conflict throughout the story so the story line starts to go a little flat for awhile between the 50% and 70% mark. It kind of picks back up again after that with the drama over Nick and Allie’s choice but you have to be able to maintain your interest to get there.
The biggest issue, for me, is the actual story line regarding Allie. Allie’s reluctance to thwart her parent’s will for her life is palatable at first but as the book progresses and Allie doesn’t, it gets a little less tolerable. In related news, Hudson’s tolerance of Allie’s weakness diminishes him as a character. I like my alphas really….alpha-ey and Hudson waiting on the sidelines for Allie is just ugh (technical reviewer term there). I especially hated the beginning of the symphony scene for this reason. Now, this is a personal taste issue for me so I don’t think it’s fair to downgrade my rating on that basis and I didn't. But for readers with similar personal preferences, you've been warned.
Overall, this book is going on my recommended reading list and these authors are going on my follow list.
**ARC provided by Publisher**