Top critical review
on 19 September 2014
I have to say I am sad to be writing this review as I absolutely loved the other books in this series. I pre-ordered after reading the other 4 Rose Gardener stories so by the time I received it I had read many other books. When I started reading I thought something must have changed with my taste during the break between DGS books but once I finished I checked out other readers’ reviews and see that other people also noticed the change in style to the detriment of the series.
I found much of this book tedious to read and found myself scanning much of it. There is constant repetition not only of the events of the previous 4 books but also of conversations taking place at the time. Rose will have a conversation with Mason then Nealy Kate will arrive and the entire conversation is repeated for her benefit. I imagine if you take out all these repeats you would have around 2 pages per chapter.
I admired DGS for having created a couple (Rose and Joe) that had you rooting for them all the way through to then in an instant make you change your opinion about Joe and have you hating him. In contrast, the relationship between Rose and Mason doesn’t seem to have any momentum. Any piece of dialogue that isn’t a repeat of the page before is ruined by unnecessary innuendo so the relationship never shows any depth. Add to this that the book is based only 2 weeks after the end of book 4 (despite months of waiting for its release) makes their apparent love for each other very difficult to believe.
None of the characters were very likeable throughout the story. Joe now seems like a creepy stalker and Violet is just a bitch. The story has you questioning the point in several of the minor characters like Nearly Kate, who has lost all of her quirkiness and now seems to be just a weird friend whose purpose is just to fill pages with unnecessary words. At one point there is at least one paragraph dedicated to Rose texting Nearly Kate to tell her 'if I haven't called you in 30 minutes then text me' . Firstly what use is texting in that situation and secondly nothing even comes of this so how is this book worthy? At another point Rose leaves Masons take away lunch in the cafe then she goes back to pick it up. No value whatsoever to the storyline. She may as well have just taken the lunch with her and saved another 2 paragraphs of my time. There are many points like this that left me utterly frustrated at the end of the book and even though it has been several weeks now since I read it they still stick in my mind.
I still like to think I would give the series another chance based on the standard of books 1 - 4 but unfortunately the value has gone down for me. If the price is right for book 6 I might give it go but I'll be waiting for the reviews before I order this time.
Despite this negative review I would strongly recommend books 1 - 4 as well as other DGS books like The Gingerbread Man, Bad Ass Brides and The Texas Brand Series. She’s a great author. This book just seems a little rushed.