Saturday, May 30, 2020

Review: Stranded

Stranded Stranded by Jessica Frances
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews

Review of Book 2(ish) - New Series From Claire Kingsley


Title: Fighting for Us
Author: Claire Kingsley
Release Date: May 28, 2020



 > ABOUT < 
How long would you wait for the love of your life? 

The Asher Bailey who comes home to his quirky small town isn’t the same man who put a ring on Grace’s finger. He’s bigger, harder, haunted. Forced to give up Grace and everything else that was good in his life for a prison sentence he barely survived.  

Now that he’s home, he finds himself aggressively welcomed by his brothers and gleefully gossiped about by his neighbors. He’d counted on both. 

But he never expected to see Grace still wearing his ring. 

Grace’s fairy tale didn’t end. It was interrupted. She’s spent the last seven years living her life while waiting for one man. Now that he’s back, she’s got her work cut out for her. He’s scarred and angry, and stubbornly convinced they can’t be together. She’s more than happy to educate him otherwise. 

Every beer, every prank, every kiss brings him closer to where he’s always belonged. In her life. In her arms. In her heart. 

Asher fears the darkness inside him can’t be contained. But Grace won’t give up on him without a fight. 

Author’s note: A brooding, wounded hero and the woman who won’t give up on him. A pack of unruly, prank-loving brothers. A wild neighborhood rumor mill. Spectacular BFF banter. This is a love story about soulmates that delivers the heat and all the feels. The Bailey Brothers series is meant to be read in order and Fighting for Us concludes Grace and Asher’s happily ever after. 


My Review


Okay let's start with an update on book 1. Which I will now refer to as origin story 0. Because I really feel like you can jump into this book 2 (which is 1 to me).  Although I did enjoy the origin story. It had great set up for star crossed lovers and introduction for world building, for me it's not 'essential'. Meaning you don't read 1, you won't understand 2. I'm probably a very small group of readers and fangirls I can feel the glares. But honestly, this book adds to the readers enjoyment. I will nod that yes, it gives more insight to why the heroine is willing to wait, and proceeds with caution. So to those readers, yes, read book 1 if you want to understand the heroine better. For me, the heart of the story is in book 2 and I feel like there is alot of story in book 2. If you want to skip, okay I'm not one to stop you. 


Now that you have read Protecting Us review update, you are ready for Book 2. It's the chance to get to know Asher and Grace as adults who have a lot of unresolved feelings seven years later. Iron bars and concrete have kept these lovers apart. To protect their sanity and hearts, each has done the 'right thing' for the time when they can be together.

Grace suffers rejection affection from Asher on a repeated basis. But she believes in the power of time and love to heal all things. Grace is a character with the patience in boatloads to help Asher unpack the baggage he carries from the prison sentence.

To give the poor man a break, Asher really is a ship without a sail, oar, helm, or set of flippers to navigate these choppy waters of 'normal' life. Everything that was 'before' is now not on the map. Before he can really love Grace as she deserves, he needs to find a way to navigate this new course.

The couple has the help of entertaining secondary characters that will have their own time as the series continues. Ms. Kingsley has left us with 'just enough' interest and details to get to know them more.

Readers are gifted a story that guarantees a happily ever after that is riddled with a bumpy ride getting there. You may wish to shake or wrap up in a blanket this book boyfriend. However, Grace is not one to stand aside when going gets tough, and pushes back on track when she needs to get them to seeing course through the storm.

Excited for the next in series as this character was deliciously on the fringes to tantalize the reader to ask for more.

Recommendation: Read It   🌟🌟🌟🌟

Review Updated: 
I felt rather "reviewer shamed" in a post over on the book of face. It wasn't directed at me. As a group admin on FB, I do ask myself a question: Is this a post I would have my name on or the person who this group represents, would they post it? I figured, okay they want to know why write a 'glowing' review and not be five-stars.  Let's remember - not every book will hit the perfect notes for each reader.  However, out of the conversation, I did find a few responses with a grading scale that makes sense to me and I'll adopt.

Why the reduction in stars?  Short story version:  I never got my 'swoon moment for the couple'.

Long Story Version: The response may get spoilery so read with caution. 
I felt like the story flow slowed down considerably for me at 70%. I got the reader fatigue with the push-away. spoiler > For me there was one too many scenes of push-away. I get that Asher didn't feel worthy but at the same time, you do learn from repetition. The story stretched at the fire of Grace's house. Rather than yet another push away I would have like to have seen the story move onto seeing the hero have his 'ah-ha' moment early, work on the grand gesture and get to the grand gesture to have those reader swoon moments I'd like to have. I caught a case of reader fatigue and never felt the swoon moment- just happy to reach a conclusion.
There was a secondary subplot that didn't feel as necessary and ended with anti-climatic feelings for me. spoiler> The Reaper subplot felt too long and had a second act peak, but then rather fizzled at the tail for me. I understand the introduction to get for Asher's point for a new normal that worked for him. We got tension moments that ended on a fizzle out.  For me as reader having this subplot line added length to the story without adding some quality meatiness to the story IMHO.

Again this is definitely a story I'd recommend reading as the set up of world-building is intriguing and appears to bring a host of characters.




Start with Protecting You, FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


Read book two, Fighting for Us, today FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. 



Listen to the Bailey Brothers playlist on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3c5hMeP 

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Claire Kingsley is an Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of sexy, heartfelt contemporary romance and romantic comedies. She writes books with sassy, quirky heroines, swoony heroes who love their women hard, panty-melting sexytimes, romantic happily ever afters, and lots of big feels.
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