Ok. I have an embarrassing admission to make. When I decided to read this book, it never dawned on me to read the title and description fully. I can already feel the incredulous looks thru the screen. Allow me to explain. For me, sometimes I like to play Russian roulette with my reading chooses. So l’ll pick a book solely on its title and (shameful glance) it’s cover. Sometimes it’s more fun to be surprised and fall head first into a book you have no perceived notion of what it’s about. Such is the case of Nelson’s Love Gone.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was taken by the dark, muscular and handsome figure on the front cover and never gave it much thought after that. After all, the title pretty much summed it up-love gone. If I had a guy that looked like the cover model, I’d be sad enough to write about it too.
So…..you can imagine my surprise when I actually started reading. The book starts off with a fairly idealistic family in Alaska composed of Faith, Mac and Liam. They seem like a perfect, hardworking, good values and wholesome unit. Faith is a devoted, beautiful wife and mother who also happens to be pregnant with the couple’s second child. Mac is a hardworking and handsome dockworker and Liam is their sensitive but smart son.
Things start to get really interesting after the car accident that occurs while Liam is driving. I expected this book to be an innocently sweet read, only to be jolted from under the covers when it took a shocking and sinister turn. What the #[email protected]&! Confused, I read a few more pages into the novel. What is going on here I said to myself. This is getting dark and scary, fast.
I looked the book up again on amazon.com and realized what the bottom of the book said: a High Intensity Romantic Suspense Thriller. Ohhhh! Well, didn’t I feel silly? No wonder it started to take a menacing turn, it was a thriller! With that understanding, I settled back into the book.
After fully reading the book, I felt that it had slow beginning chapters but it quickly picked up the pace, with the peak of the action happening in the middle of the book. The end was a complete cliff hanger as I felt there was more thriller in this first part than either romance or mystery. In fact, there wasn’t any romance unless you call hugging, kissing gazing upon your spouse romantic. The only mystery was what happened at the climax of the story. What happened to Mac is tragic but it did seem strangely random. There were also some inconsistencies in the details of the book so it did give it more of an amateurish vibe.
What was surprising to me though, was the fact that the story seemed to cut off so abruptly. Granted, the conclusion of the climax forces a complete change of circumstances for the family, but the way the book ends forces you to have to buy the next book in the series, just to have a clearer understanding of the story. (Did that count as a run-on sentence?) Let me clarify, I’m not an anti series reader-in fact, I prefer reading a series. However, with this book, I felt a little cheated at the end as it felt more like the full novel was cut in half rather than this being the first book in a complete series. I generally believe that part of what makes a series so great is that the novels can stand alone. Not everyone chooses to continue a series whether they enjoy the book they read or not. So, I did have to knock some points off for that aspect.
I also felt that it was a bit awkward and uncomfortable when Liam is viewing his parents and their love for each other. It was like, how does an adolescent know how to discern love? How does he even know that his parents are soul mates? Who really wants their parents getting that mushy and lovey dovey in front of them? I can’t say that envy was what i was thinking during that scene. That entire situation was just plain weird to me even though I did understand the point the author was making.
The description and presence of Emily and her father was very haunting and disturbing. You can’t help but keep thinking in the back of your mind-who ARE these people? I would say they were really the main reason why i kept reading. As for the family characters of Liam, Mac and faith, I felt the author did a good job of making a family nucleus that had different types of personalities. It does add a touch of realism to what otherwise might be quite strange circumstances. It’s a short read but I commend the author on being able to cram a lot of different elements into it.
Overall, I felt the characters were ok and with the exception of Emily and her father I wasn’t “thrilled” with this thriller. The lack of romance, plot completion and the overall obscurity of the situation would make me hesitant to continue the series. I wouldn’t recommend reading this one at night or alone unless its inevitable.