Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. And it was in no way, shape or form awful. It was a decent book but it didn't blow my socks off. I just felt like this was the first draft of a book that was going to be amazing, but that wasn't quite there yet.
I'm no professional reviewer and I've had no real or formal training in literature or anything like that. All I'm going to give you is how this book made me feel and what it didn't make me feel. From there, do what you like with my opinion. Go out and get the book and try it! Read other reviews to get a more rounded view point. Anything. I guess I'm re-iterating this point because this is a tough book for me to review. But instead of pussy-footing around the issue, let's jump in...
First, let's talk about the heroine. The heroine is usually what makes or breaks a novel for me. I have got to love her, or at least like her. In Undying Love, I felt like we didn't get a complete picture of our heroine, Allee. I'm thinking that this is one of the reasons that I felt like I couldn't connect to her. Sure, she was sassy, just like the description says. But most of the time, she was less sassy and more just bitchy and rude. We get next to nothing of her background but we get paragraphs about her "ass" and her "tits". Ugh. I understand that when writing a romance novel or an erotic romance, that eventually, you're going to run out of polite euphemisms for a man's member, a woman's lady bits but its less jarring if its used properly. You can't just throw out "tits" like you would "blouse". Anyway, I wanted to like Allee because she seemed like my kind of heroine - she's got a dry sense of humor and doesn't pull her punches. She knows who she is and for sure knows who she isn't. I think I could have absolutely adored Allee if she had been a little bit more fully formed. One of the great things about the book was that Allee has a secret. Well, she has two secrets. But I'm talking about her second job. The secret truth about her second job is HUGE and has a serious impact on the characters but I figured out what it was pretty quickly. I think that it was dealt with in a very real and honest way and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I don't want to give any details because I want you to go through the honest emotions as you read it.
Next is our hero, Ryan Madewell. I had a tough time getting past his last name. Why would you call your character such an obvious name? Why not give up all pretense and call him Scotty Lotsacock? Or really go out there and name him Cockpump McGee? I mean, come on! But that's just me and I'm nick picking a little TOO much. Ryan was probably a pretty ok guy. He's filthy, stupid rich and he doesn't really work for his money. He has a job as a managing editor at one of his father's magazines but he even says that he works just to stay sane. It's not really a passion of his and he doesn't really need to do it. Ugh, save me from rich Manhattan-ites. I don't know a lot about the wealthy and well-to-do of New York City and to be honest, I couldn't care less. They all seem pretty pretentious to me so it was hard to warm up to Ryan at first. But he does eventually win you over. We get plenty of information about Ryan but I still feel like we're just scratching the surface with him. The main thing about Ryan is that he wants to be a writer. He writes these short stories in his spare time and he's hoping to make it his full time gig, someday. Despite some of the issues I had with character building, I found myself really rooting for Ryan. He seemed like he was a decent, normal person who happened to be born into this world of privilege and false pretenses. I felt awful that his parents were so crappy and I was glad when I saw that he was going to be happy with Allee! Another cool thing about the book is that its written entirely from Ryan's POV. I think that was one of the main reasons that I kept reading Undying Love, when I wanted to quit several times. I figured that I owed it to myself to read something that is so unique in the romance genre.
Now, there is TONS of Sexy Time in Undying Love. So we get plenty of opportunities to see Ryan and Allee together. They may be opposites in the real world, but in the bedroom, they are perfect for each other. But I also think that they're kind of perfect for each other outside of the bedroom too. Allee does NOT give Ryan even an inch of wiggle room! If she thinks he's BS'ing her about something, she calls him on it. If she thinks his short story is crap, she tells him so. I think that Ryan needs someone like that in his life... someone who can tell it like it is and not mince words but at the same time who also loves Ryan like crazy. And that person is definitely Allee.
Undying Love is Book 1 in a series but I don't think its going to be a series that travels in a linear fashion. I bet this is going to be very unique. The end of the book isn't a cliffhanger, per say, but I think you're going to want to check out the next installment. Be sure to bring along a box of tissues when you read this because its going to rip your heart out, throw it on the ground, stomp on it, set it on fire, pick it up and throw it at you! LOL! Seriously, it was a major tear-jerker. I can't imagine how devastated I would be if I had fully connected with both characters.
Although I only gave this book 3 stars, I didn't hate it. I just wanted more from it. It wasn't bad. I really liked the story. I think that it would have been better if we had been able to see not just from Ryan's POV, but from Allee's too. If you connect with these characters even a little bit, this is going to be a book that stays with you for a long time to come. Even though I didn't love it, I still have to recommend it because of the unique male POV and for the emotional impact it will have on you. I guarantee it!