Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Reads: Been Loving You Too Long by Seraphina Donavan

I’m trying to do something that will help my readers possibly branch out in their reading repertoire, and I’m trying to help the authors whose work I feature, primarily because I like their books. As I’ve said so many times before, THESE ARE NOT REVIEWS. If I don’t like a book, I won’t even give it a place on this blog because, whether I liked it or not, that’s still free advertising. (*This disclaimer has been given because I've been INUNDATED with people asking me to review books. THIS IS NOT A REVIEW, AND I'M NOT A REVIEWER! How hard is that to understand?)

SURPRISE!!!! With that said, I have a book that surprised me when I read it. I received it from the author as a giveaway at a conference last year. I didn’t know if I’d ever get to it, but I saw it there one day, beckoning to me, so I picked it up to give it a try, and I’m certainly glad I did. Today on the blog I’m featuring Been Loving You Too Long by Seraphina Donavan.

As it started out, I was a little worried about whether I’d finish the book or not. It’s a familiar trope: Rich guy who’s about to come into some money (or not) falls for the hired help. Along the way some other familiar tropes fall into the story but, as always, no spoilers here for me. So let me tell you what I liked about this book.

First off, it wasn’t rife with mistakes. Sure, there were some punctuation issues that I would change personally, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t correct, just my personal preferences (and yes, there is more than one way to punctuate a great many things, and none are necessarily incorrect). The rest of the mechanical stuff, grammar, punctuation, spelling, missing/extra words – this was a very clean text. That alone is enough to make me clap.

My biggest selling point on the book was that I found both of the main characters, Vincent and Ophelia, to be extremely likeable. Yeah, there was angst, of course there was angst, but it was realistic and palatable. But what I usually hate about these kinds of storylines is that the leading man is usually a real douchebag. This story wasn’t that way at all. I found Vincent, the main character, to be tragic in his reactions and my heart broke for him and the way he couldn’t bring himself to accept his own feelings. I also loved the fact that, while she had every right to be, Ophelia never turned into a four-door, brass-plated bitch, but instead just tried her hardest to keep her heart and self-esteem intact.

But I also liked the supporting characters. Thomas was likeable, as was Justin, but Kaitlyn was just a scream – I love her. Ophelia’s friend, Brenna, is a hoot too. And the “bad guys,” Claude and his daughter, Melina, are just about as sour and unlikeable as any pair I’ve ever seen. And you know how I feel about characters. If I can’t like them or hate them, if it’s a take them or leave them, I’ll leave the book. This book delivered characters I loved.

I have a rule that no word is too dirty to use in my books. With that in mind, I found Been Loving You Too Long to be a softer read; not cooler, just softer. It’s still plenty steamy. You’ll enjoy that factor. Overall, the writing lent the book a vintage feel, and I loved that about it, especially given the setting (not telling you; you’ll have to read it).

The ending is, as with all tropes, predictable, but there was still a feeling of complete satisfaction. I don’t get that with many device-laden reads, but this one did it for me. I was impressed. If I understand correctly, there will be more books in this series. I’ll be looking for them, and I certainly hope one of them is Kaitlyn’s. I’d love to hear more from her! If you get a chance, buy a copy of Been Loving You Too Long and enjoy it, because I know you will.

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