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Friday, March 28, 2014

ARC Review: Stroke of Love by Melissa Foster

Stroke of Love is the second book in Melissa Foster's Love in Bloom the Remington's series. It is the story of Sage and Kate. I had really enjoyed the first book in the series Game of Love and was curious to get to know Sage better. These books do not have to be read in order and can be read as standalones, but I think that they are better when experienced in sequence. You really get to know the characters and family better that way and it adds a lot to the series since the family is so close. While there were plenty of things I liked about this story, I will admit that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first one. I ended up having mixed feelings, and this isn't exactly what I had been expecting.

Sage is tired of the empty feeling his life has been giving him. He has everything he could want, and he appreciates what his life has provided for him. But he is looking for a way to fill the emptiness and help others that don't have as much. He decides to join AIA, a program that helps artists give back to developing nations through volunteer work. He heads to Belize with a few other celebrities and goes with the intent of helping young children with learning more about art in their school. When he arrives he meets the woman in charge Kate. He gets off on the wrong foot with her and she immediately assumes he is just like the rest of the celebrities that show up. She thinks that he is all about good publicity for himself rather than being there to really help out. Sage is determined to prove to her that she has him figured all wrong, and proceeds to offer up ways to help the community. Kate is not receptive at first, but the more time they spend working together the more she realizes that she might have pegged him wrong. She begins to see that he is sincere and is really there for the right reasons. The more they get to know each other the more their feelings and relationship grow, and soon they are both wondering what will happen at the end of the two weeks when Sage is set to return home.

I really liked Sage. He was a great guy and he had really good intentions. He was so thoughtful and caring, and was genuinely interested in doing something important and great with his life. I loved that he was always thinking about the community and the kids as well as Kate. He was smart and giving, and pretty much unlike any hero I have ever read before. I loved how he was always so honest and open even when Kate wasn't the easiest on him. Kate on the other hand was not an easy character for me to get behind. She was extremely judgmental right from the start and continued to be that way pretty much the entire story. Despite the numerous times that Sage showed her he wasn't the way she though, she continued to question his motives and was always thinking the worst of him. Even at the very end when someone would state her fears right to her, she would begin to question Sage again. I just wasn't ever able to connect with her character at all. She was a good person, and I loved her selfless nature. She was dedicated to helping others, and she really cared about the community as well as the others before them. But as far as the heroine of the story, I found her lacking. I think that she did have chemistry with Sage and their attraction was clear, but honestly due to her actions I just found it hard to get behind their relationship. I didn't really buy into the reality of them meeting and falling in love in under two weeks when she spent the majority of them constantly judging.

My other criticism with this book was the fact that the story didn't really seem to go anywhere. Besides the fact that they had a limited time to get to know one another and Kate was trying to get a well put in for the people in the community, there really wasn't a whole lot that was going on. The story tended to drag for me, and at times it was so slow that I lost interest. I would have to put the book down and walk away for awhile because I found myself wanting to skip whole pages. I think that it also didn't really help that I didn't like the heroine. It was hard to get interested in a story that I just never connected to the heroine, and I think I just wasn't really invested in the outcome despite how much I liked Sage. I really liked the first book in this series, and I am curious to get to know the other Remingtons better as well. I am sure that a lot of people will really enjoy Sage and Kate's story, especially those that are fans of the series. This one just wasn't everything that I had been hoping for and didn't end up being my cup of tea. Sage is great though, and he is worth the read. I will still continue this series and just hope that I am better able to connect with the characters in those stories.

**ARC provided by AToMR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


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