I was first intrigued by this book by the title, then I read the sample, and finally purchased it. However the story premise began to fall apart quickly after the sample portion. I tried to stop reading but I felt like a bystander to a train wreak. I'm not in the habit of writing book reviews (I've maybe written 3) as I'd rather be reading but I'm puzzled as to why this book is rated in the top 10 and did Dreamspinners Press actually think this was worthy of publishing for adults.
Let me explain--cause I did purchase it. The premise of the story is that Kipp must marry Hyde to keep his father's buisness. I wondered why I was fascinated with such a topic but being a longtime romance reader--it later dawned on me that the story reminded me of a Harlequin romance. With the exception, Harlequin does it better.
(A) The year of the story is 2017 and yet the author is talking about mixed raced couples living in segregation or forced to live on the other side of the tracks. And Hyde being concerned with Kipp marrying a half-black man (who really doesn't look black).
B) The main character Kipp reads as if he is a woman from the 1950s. Pure, virginal, removed from the world until he/she meets a worldly gentlemen. A purely Harlequin formula. You forget at times that Kipp is a man. For 3/4ths of the book, he constantly worries why no one loves him. And was he the only one who didn't see how gorgeous he was?
(C) So why doesn't everyone love Kipp--again, the reader gets intrigued (cause this seems interesting) but this is a drama puzzle worthy of a 1980s soap opera--Young and the Restless. There's drama, more drama with secondary characters, more drama with secondary characters who are weirdly connected to the two main characters that make it sort of incestous, and then there is easy forgiveness. Seriously (and I'm not jaded) there is not that much forgiveness in the world. Most emotional conflicts are discussed at pages on end and then resolved in 2 paragraphs It wore me out. This mess was generational and at times you forget who's with who.
(D) Hyde's other first 20 years(and don't want to spoil it) colliding with his next 20 years--left me saying YIKES!
(E)At the end you realize you really know nothing about Hyde other than basic character infomation: he's businessman, who is ruthless and likes to say to plenty of people, "don't you know how ruthless I am" or "I'm the wealthiest, most powerful of the town." (Again, a formula for Harlequin) In the end, you realize Kipp has the emotions of a 15-year old and is seriously too young for 40 year old "worldly" Hyde. Let it be said, I've read books with wide age-gaps and usually don't have a problem with them but you have to keep imagining Hyde being 20 to make this story work.
Tinnean writes well but this seems like a dated piece that was weirdly/hastily updated for publishing deadline. It might have worked if she had made this a LBGT YA novel. It has a weird simplicity but for the adult market, it just doesn't work and that's unfortunate. I wanted to like this book. I did! I read it all the way through even when I knew this story was far too unbelievable.
Tinnean would do better writing about a time period that comforts her and doesn't conflict with her storyline, she should enjoy her characters instead of seeing them as a different distant people (let them have nasty sexy sex, after all that drama the reader gets embroiled in, the characters and the reader deserve to know that they were at least compatible in bed--esp. after Kipp's father tells him to lay still and not move until the sexual act is over--very Harlequin) And lastly, the author must learn that emotion doesn't equal drama. It's just too much.