Saturday, August 13, 2016
Love Like You've Never Been Hurt - SJ McCoy
I found Love Like You've Never Been Hurt and the next two books in the Summer Lake series, by SJ McCoy, for free on Kindle. Let's just say that had it not been for the fact that the book was free, I probably wouldn't have finished it. I went into it wanting to like it - after all, who doesn't love a little romance in their books? But I was disappointed. This book was not at all what the good reviewers would have you believe.
The plot, in a short summary: Emma was hurt badly in her marriage when her husband cheated on her. Because of that, she doesn't trust men and has not been in a relationship since her divorce. Then she meets Jack, business partner to her dear friend Pete. They find themselves in mutual attraction, and both end up spending some time at Summer Lake. Sex ensues, followed by lots of hurt and misunderstanding, before reaching the final climax (sorry for that pun) and a cheesy ending that made me wonder what the author was thinking.
On with it:
This book started out with promise - girl meets her best friends business partner and a cute romantic comedy ensues. What really happened was that Emma met Jack, then knocked him to the ground when she tripped over him in Pete's office. In her personal life, Emma decided to take a three month vacation to Summer Lake. As luck would have it, Jack decided to go to Summer Lake as well - where he's spending the summer designing a house for Pete. Jack and Emma think about their mutual attraction to each other, but Emma puts her foot down and says that they can only be friends. Jack is persistent, and finally gets Emma to be the friend he has sex with regularly.
After, like, a month - Jack decides he is in love with Emma. But here's the thing - all they ever do is screw, eat, and drink booze. That's it. They have never had any of the getting to know you conversations that usually take place when people are, you know, getting to know each other. They never talk with each other about things they like or don't like, what they want from life, etc. It's just a ton of sex followed by a rather unfulfilling "I love you Emma." It feels hollow and unwarranted. To top it off, Jack then decides he's going to propose to Emma despite her adamant declarations that she is never, ever getting married ever again because marriage just doesn't work!
That little rambling should be a clue that I didn't like this book at all. Let me go into a little more detail about just why:
Emma - She's a whiny little brat who is so scared of falling love that she shuts herself off from any sort of romantic relationship, even if the guy is decent and nice (and has a bunch of proof from people who have known him for years.) It must have been hard to have her husband cheat on her, but Emma acts like that is the end of the world and shuts down, refusing to believe that their are men out their who don't cheat on their women. This seems especially weird considering that Emma is surrounded by examples of people in good, healthy, committed, loving relationships - her grandparents who raised her, for example. Their was also no mention of her parents, who died when she was young, having a bad marriage. That should have been enough to convince Emma that not all men are like her ex-husband. But no- her jealousy and trust issues remain. She even goes so far as to call it quits with Jack after she sees him hugging his cousin on the beach. She went to LA for two days, came back early, and was surprised to see Jack with Laura, but didn't think to ask him what was going on or find out who the woman was. She just jumped to conclusions and called it quits - without even telling Jack. She then gets told by her friend Holly, her grandpa, and a host of other people, that she basically needs to grow the hell up and start acting her age. This was the best thing these people could have told her.
Plot development: There really wasn't much - it was just basically a back and forth between Emma liking Jack, then Emma pulling away again. The story wasn't very well developed, and the author didn't really put much thought into the events of the book. It was like the author just picked out a few things that she thought should happen and threw them into the book to create tension, even if the events didn't make sense for the story.
The actual writing: the writing in this book was weak at best. There were run on sentences, comma's everywhere, and crappy dialogue that made me question whether or not this book was actually written by a grownup? I would expect better writing from someone who writes professionally for a living - an editor could have easily helped with that.
Overall, I wouldn't give this book a single star. Save your time for something else that's actually worth the paper it's printed on.