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Saturday, August 2, 2014

ARC Review: Rented by Barbara Morgenroth

I am not even really sure where to begin with this review, except to say that Rented is the first book that I have read by Barbara Morgenroth. This was not the book that I expected from the cover or the blurb, and I am honestly really confused by what I just read. I really hate to be negative, especially when the author is kind enough to give a complimentary copy for review. But I honestly was really disappointed with this book and had been hoping for more.

Cressida "Cress" Avery lost her mother and her father, and now only has her stepmother and her best friend. She helps her step-mom run the family realty business that her father left to them. She is tired of "the weekenders" who come into her small town buying up property and destroying the old and historic homes just to build new modern and boring white buildings. Then they return to the city when the weekend is over. When her step-mom asks her to show a historic home to someone, Cressida fears that Garrison Light is just another weekender. But when Garrison sees the house and what Cressida thinks, he buys the house and begins to renovate it to return the house to its former glory. The more that Cressida learns about Garrison the more she begins to wonder if he is just another weekender or if perhaps she was wrong about him. But when Garrison has a party at the house, his ex shows up and threatens all the progress that he has made with Cressida.

I liked Garrison. He was a good guy and he seemed to genuinely be interested in Cress. He took her input and ideas and cared what she thought. He also did his best to open up to her and let her see the real him rather than what she assumed he was like. I personally thought that he put more effort into trying to please her than he should have. She continued to make assumptions and be judgmental regardless of how many times he proved he was different. I just didn't see the draw after awhile, and wasn't buying that he could already feel that strongly about her in order to keep trying so hard. Cress really irritated me. She was judgmental and close minded. She was so rude at times, and always assumed the worst. I felt like she never gave Garrison a real shot and she thought that she knew it all. I personally did not understand what her problem was. Every time that they would make some progress, Cressida would just end up reverting back and I got tired of the constant hot and cold with her.

I also felt like this story was kind of all over the place. The dialogue between the characters was strange at times, and seemed extremely formal. Cressida and Garrison seemed to flip flop and everything was happening really quickly. The biggest problem was that things just happened out of the blue and the reader was left to wonder what was going on. I have never felt like I said what the hell just happened so many times as I did while reading this book. Things were just bizarre at times and I didn't understand what I had missed. I would go back and realize that I hadn't missed anything but that the author just decided to randomly throw things into the story. Then there was the absolute bomb of an ending and we are left scrambling to try and figure out once again what happened. The author did recently listen to readers that were asking for more and has added an additional two chapters to the book since this will be a standalone and the story will not continue beyond this book. I was expecting to feel better after reading the extra chapters, but honestly they left me feeling as though the story was still unfinished. While things are left in a better place after the new chapters, I wasn't satisfied with the ending and it just made me wonder what I had just read. I feel like all the questions were not answered, and I just didn't believe that Cressida and Garrison's relationship was believable. I was hoping for more, but I just didn't feel like this was where their story was finished. I wish that I knew what happened beyond this point for them, and I wish that I could believe that things wouldn't immediately run cold between them again. This story just wasn't for me is what I have come to realize and I am not sure what it would have taken to get me there.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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