Sunday, September 6, 2015

Book Review: Stubborn Love by Wendy Owens


I thought twenty-three would be the year I reclaimed my identity. Ashton decided to give me a new one. Widow. A woman so cold she could drive her husband to suicide. - Stubborn Love

 When Emmie Hayes’ life is rocked by tragedy, she heads to New York City in hopes of finding herself again, but second chances aren’t easy for a Stubborn Heart.

* Contains mature content including death, romantic situations, and some mature language.


I haven't really stepped out of my comfort zone with books lately. I tend to not get excited about a book unless there are promises of new worlds, magic, and adventure. I wanted to broaden my horizons so I decided to go to the New Adult section in the Kindle store and find the first free book that didn't have two half-naked people embracing on the cover. That is how I found Stubborn Love. (Although, later I found an alternate version of the cover that does, in fact, have two half naked people embracing on the cover. Go figure.)

This book is very lucky that I have a "two chapters" rule because I almost stopped reading after the first two pages. The prologue was not engaging at all. "I looked at him" was the first line, proceeded by a mess of a back story that I really didn't care about because I had no impression of the main character yet. I like to get to know the protagonist first, find a reason to care about them, and then learn about their scarred past. How are we supposed to engage with the character if we don't even know them? It's like when someone sits next to you in the doctors office and just all of a sudden vomits their life story all over you. It's much better if I can make small talk first, be introduced, and get a sense of their personality before I'm expected to care about where they came from. But maybe I'm just cold and my opinion isn't the norm.

*****Vague Spoilers*****

As you can tell, that didn't make a great first impression on me. But I kept reading because I, too, come from an emotionally abusive relationship and I wanted to know how Emmie was going to handle it. There really wasn't much originality to the story. I'd heard most of it before: Young, naive girl moves to the big city to start over and pursue her dreams. She is completely focused on her goals and has no intention of finding love until a smoldering hottie falls in her lap. She spends about seven chapters playing emotional tug of war between her head and heart until she finally gives in. It is a sweeping romance until the first misunderstanding threatens a split that could have been avoided if they would have just talked to each other. But, several chapters later, all is forgiven and love wins. Then finally, an intriguing conflict arises, but it comes with no shock value since we already learned Emmie's secret on page 3. I really feel like it would have been more interesting if Emmie's tragic past and backstory had waited until the end to come forward. It could have been a hook through the whole book that would have kept the pages turning.

The saving grace for Stubborn Love was Wendy Owen's writing. Written in first person, every paragraph felt like I was catching up with an old friend. I'm going to keep an eye on this author. If she ever writes a book that seems more up my alley, I'm definitely going to give it a shot. For now, I'll stick to my warrior princesses and mythical beasts.    

3 Stars
 * * * 

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