My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I’m torn on how to feel about this book. I received a copy of it for free, through a Goodreads giveaway, so I want to be generous, but it just didn’t resonate with me.
I think that part of the reason I disliked it was because it’s not my genre, and it’s not the genre I thought it would be. Based on the blurb, I expected more of a media-shitstorm-worthy event. But the bad event, once it’s fully described, is just not that impactful, despite sounding scary. I really thought that this was going to be the tale of how a woman got herself into the witness protection program after a huge celebrity scandal or something like that. But while her backstory scary event was admittedly scary, it wouldn’t make her the focus of national media for months. It just wasn’t there. Also, the book seemed mostly to be about the romance that develops between Zoe and Miles, who she meets on the first page. This is a mushy book about the ~perfect guy~, it’s not a thriller about national media attention.
When I read through the Twilight series (stay with me here, people) I thought the biggest problem was that there were no real problems. Stephenie Meyer wasn’t willing to go out on a limb and give her characters real flaws. I felt the same thing with these characters. They don’t have depth. The first real conflict or tension that comes up with Miles (dreamy, melty, TOTALLY HOT main character, who has no other characteristics other than being a collage of everything every lonely woman has ever dreamed about, basically) is that he reacts in a totally predictable way to a situation that admittedly was very misleading. And then it’s sorted out instantly once someone decides to actually do something about it. The problems that come up in the book are non-problems. She has to figure out how to open up to him. He has to forgive her for something that is totally expected, and forgivable. But she’s so self-effacing. She doesn’t think she deserves him. She thinks that everyone would hate her if they knew her secret – when in fact, other characters’ reactions to it are OBVIOUSLY to admire her for it.
(I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free, but – what employer would fire you for doing what you can to protect the children you’re caring for, in a dangerous situation? That, by the way, resulted in some emotional trauma for the heroine, but no physical injuries? What parent would keep their child away from you, after hearing what you would do to protect them? How on EARTH could this be a bad thing?)
The villains are also so one-dimensional. There’s a town gossip who wants Miles, and is awful and petty about it. I’ve made some enemies in my life, and you know what? I can say nice things about every one of them, without ever wanting to see them again. Lacey was just nothing but a gossip who wore five-inch heels to the library. That’s all she was, in the whole book. Even bad eggs can show a little depth. She was important to Miles once; the book could have paid her a little justice as someone who might have at least been appealing at some point. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Miles ever dated her, or why anyone at all EVER listens to her about anything. She’s written to be such a dis-likable character that it doesn’t even make sense. She does two things: spread hurtful gossip, and throw herself at Miles. That’s all there is to Lacey.
Overall, I think that this book partially could have used a good editor, to help balance some of the plot points and figure out where the holes are, character-wise. But partially, I do have to give the author credit; this may just not be my genre. I get so bored with hearing about how totally hot someone is, or how I melt when he holds me, or how dreamy he is. I don’t care whether you gasp for breath when you come out of a kiss (do people do this? Kiss without breathing?) or how your playful, cliche, flirty banter plays out. We are all nauseating when we are falling in love, and really dumb. It’s not a subject of interest for me. Maybe this just isn’t my book.