Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: At Last

Reviewed by Shelly
The cover doesn’t do this story justice because Stone’s debut novel is so much more than just a day at the beach. I was completely impressed with the way the writing got me going from happy to sad to shedding a tear. After being unceremoniously dumped at the church on her wedding day, both of Susan’s best friends recognize that the only way to make her feel better is get away and go on the planned honeymoon. Kevin has been in love with Susan since the first day he met her in college, and the last thing he wants is to be alone with her on her honeymoon trip in the beautiful tropical Cancun. Can Susan overcome her past to enjoy a future with Kevin?

While in college, Susan and Kevin (along with Liz) became fast friends and have pretty much stayed that way except that Liz doesn’t like Kevin (not even a little bit). Back in the college days, Kevin let his feelings toward Susan show by asking her out, but she promptly dismissed him and even went so far as to make fun of non-jock-like body. She did concede to friendship and for that Kevin was grateful and happy. After college, Kevin’s moved away. He now lives on the other side of the country, but still corresponds with Susan enough that he considers her his best friend.

This is a hard review for me, because I didn’t like the heroine -- nope, not even a little bit -- but I liked the hero enough that he made the story completely worth it. I thought Susan was shallow, completely self-centered and just plain ole not nice. There wasn’t a lot said about the ex-fiancé, but I couldn’t really blame him for dumping Susan, just the way he did it. Here’s some of my rant on Susan’s callousness towards others: Kevin escorts her down to Cancun and never once did she think to tell him thanks for doing that; she allows Liz to verbally degrade Kevin even after Susan and Kevin share some intimate moments, Kevin didn’t man up either but that’s another story; Susan doesn’t know that her assistant Jill is married with a daughter – how do you miss the photos on the desk and the wedding ring on Jill’s finger? How am I supposed to feel sympathy and empathy for someone who clearly doesn’t care about anyone but herself?

Don’t worry - I’ve not let Kevin off the hook. But I sure did like him a lot more that I liked Susan. He’s the guy next door -- smart with the big heart. You know great things will happen to him, but he has to grow into his hotness. I couldn’t figure out why he loved Susan because her actions towards him were not lovable. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the way he developed from being a doormat (to both Susan’s insensitivity and Liz’s diatribe about his sexuality) into the man that Susan felt was deserving of her affections.

What I liked about the overall story was that it captured my attention and kept it – took me about a day to read. Never once did I think to put this book down and not find out what happens. The storyline was smart and the dialogue was on point. I found myself turning the page to see what’s going to happen to whom, because I just didn’t see it turning out well. But don’t worry HEA fans, Stone has you covered. The sex scenes were well done and I kept hoping for more of Kevin’s shirtless goodness.

If there’s a follow up, I really hope it’s for Liz and she gets knocked on her butt something good.  Something with Lance sounds good because I’m hoping she misjudged him because of his chosen career.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-/C+

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
At Last
by Ella Stone
Release Date: April 6, 2013

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