Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mini-Review: Home to Wickham Falls
I have a devil of a time DNF'ing category romance.  I mean, they're short books, right?  Surely I can suck it up and stick with the story for 200-some measly pages and just finish it, can't I?  Well, no.  Sometimes that's just not possible - even in category romance.  I mean, first off - do you know how big just my category romance TBR is?  Second, as much as I love category romance, I've read a few that have been rage-inducing and I don't enjoy hate-reading, as a general rule. 

I'm happy to report that Home to Wickham Falls by Rochelle Alers is not rage-inducing.  No, it commits the other sin that will make me DNF a category romance:

It's boring.

Sawyer Middleton is a fabulously successful software engineer living in New York City.  He left small town Wickham Falls after a final falling out with his headstrong father and his visits home have been infrequent, much to the pursed-lipped annoyance of his mother and sister.  But Dad has had a heart attack and Sawyer realizes he cannot stay away any longer.

Jessica Calhoun is a single school teacher and BFF's with Sawyer's sister.  She's positively perfect in every way.  She's a dynamite teacher, a fabulous cook, and has an amazing vegetable garden.  She's the sort who shows up with a picnic basket full of food when someone in town has a crisis / medical emergency / relative to bury.  She's also the perfect hostess - because OF COURSE she is.

Look, I get that this is my baggage - but the whole shorthand of heroine being a fabulous cook/hostess/Mother Earth-type and OF COURSE the hero is attracted to her for those qualities - this tends to get on my last good nerve.  But I hate to cook, am as crafty as a rock, and hate gardening because eww, dirt and bugs.  And really, you know what a good hostess is?  Someone who makes sure my wine glass stays full.

Wait a minute, where was I?  Oh yeah...

Conflict?  What conflict?  There is literally NO conflict.  At least for the first 43% of the story which is where I'm giving up.  Basically what you're reading about is two people going about their daily lives - which hey, is true to life but boring as hell in fiction.  It just is.

I literally had the same reaction to this book that I did with my recent foray into Robyn Carr territory.  Like the Carr, this is very Small Town Cutesy and seems to be catering to the readers who WANT that sort of thing.  Look, I read cozy mysteries for a lot of years - so I get it.  But what's disappointing here is that Alers includes some serious underpinnings by way of character development and then just...doesn't do anything with it.  So what could have added richness and depth to the characters is just sort of left there, floating on the surface.

I was going to persevere and finish this because it's not bad, per se - but I was getting to the point where I was unmotivated to pick it up and turning to my audiobook TBR instead.  Yeah, time to move on.

Final Grade = DNF

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