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Thursday, November 28, 2013

ARC Review: Undeniable by Shannon Richard

I really wanted to love this one. Going into Undeniable I had such high hopes. Not only is this one of my favorite tropes (Guy falls for best friend's little sister!) but I had read Undone and fell in love with Jax and Grace in that book along with their friend Shep. I was really looking forward to seeing Jax and Grace get over themselves and watching them fall in love. Unfortunately for me, despite Jax and Grace being likable characters who do eventually get their HEA, this book just didn't work for me. Undeniable is the second book in the Country Roads series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Jax is a small town deputy who has grown up with some crappy parents. He grew up being told that he was worthless and wasn't good enough. He formed a friendship a group of guys young and their families did their best to take him in and give him as much as they could. From the time Grace was born, Jax made it his job to look out for and protect her. Not only because she was Brendan's little sister, but also because he always had a connection to her. Grace fell in love with him very young and wanted nothing more than to be his. Jax wanted Grace too, but felt he wasn't good enough for her and forced himself to stay away. Things come to a head though after the two share a passionate kiss. Jax still doesn't think he is good enough for her though and continues to try to push her away. As time goes on, they both realize that their feelings are only getting stronger for each other now that they know what it is like to be more than friends. But can they possibly be together when Jax continues to think that Grace deserves better?

I liked Grace from Undone, but I really loved her in Undeniable. She is spunky, fun and sweet. Despite growing up as the subject of a lot of town gossip, she never let it really get her down. She wasn't afraid to live her life and be who she was. I loved what a great friend she was and it was really cute how all the guys looked after her. She was just so sweet, and I thought it was great that she was always looking out for Jax and making sure he was fed and taken care of. I liked Jax. He was perfect for Grace, even if he couldn't see it. I loved how he wanted to protect her and make sure that she was always happy. He was sexy and they had a lot of chemistry together. One of the things I didn't care for about them though was the back and forth. I just felt like it was a little too much. It got to the point that it just felt like the author was almost forcing the drama and it just didn't seem as though what was happening was how things would naturally happen. I just kept waiting for them to wake up and it took way too long for that to happen.

I felt like the robbery subplot was extremely drawn out. I found myself wanting to skim several parts because I just didn't really care what was happening with it. This whole book felt like it could have been shortened and you wouldn't really miss anything. There were parts that just absolutely drug and I think that really just took me out of the story. I felt like I was forcing myself to continue reading at points as there was so much going on. For me, there were times when the book seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with our hero or heroine and I think that just really took away all my interest in this story. There were just too many things happening, and quite a few were about random characters. I also think that there were too many characters being mentioned, and that was really confusing at times. Not only that, but I felt as though I didn't really care about the extra characters with a few exceptions. I was really hoping to enjoy this story and that we would get the trope with an original spin on things. But for me, this was just the same thing with different characters in a different town. I found the story to be predictable and most of the characters to be the stereotype you would normally find in a small town.

Overall, this story was not what I was hoping for. I felt like there could have been so much more done with these characters and there was so much promise going into this one. But unfortunately it just fell flat for me. The next story in this series, Unstoppable is Bennett and Mel's story and I wish I was more excited to read about them. I just don't seem to be that interested in getting to know either of them better. I was hoping that we would get Shep's story next, as I really love his character. I think that there are plenty of small town romance fans that will probably like this story better than I did. For me though once I sort of lost the connection to Jax and Grace, it sort of just killed the whole story for me. I am not sure if I will read any more of this series except for Shep's story. But I really hope that the rest in this series focus more on the main characters, with less of the random small town people that really don't have anything to do with the story. I think it just detracts from the story and really sort of makes the reader lose interest.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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