By Ju Ephraime
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. But I’m afraid the author, Ms. Ephraime may not like what I have to say very much, however it is honest and honest doesn’t always equal pleasant to hear.
The Complaisant Lover is a story about two people yearning for one another, with a chemical attraction they cannot deny. One is single, one is married…neither wants to cross that line. That should make for good reading, right?
Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The Complaisant Lover isn’t a “bad” story as far as the plot goes. All of the components that do often make for good stories are present and accounted for: single alpha male, gorgeous woman, mutual attraction and instant chemistry, an ethical/moral conundrum. Check! Check! Check! And, Check! It just doesn’t work for me though and that is because of Ms. Ephraime’s writing style.
I notice Ms. Ephraime has published several books and I have not read any of the others to date to be able to compare this one to any of them but the writing in this particular story just felt…awkwardly bloated. I have another of her stories coming up to review though…hoping I can write a better review for her then.
It is evident that this author has talent, I do not mean to imply otherwise at all. It is just that much of the time I felt she was aiming for making this story longer than it needed to be. There seemed to be quite a bit of filler material that I found myself unintentionally skimming over. Many times I had to stop and force myself to go back and fully read what I realized I had just skimmed. After all, I did promise to review this book. What type of reviewer would I be if I didn’t truly read the book? A bad one, that’s what I would be.
There are points in this story too that an editor should have caught; such as the ending of Chapter 2 and the beginning of Chapter 3. The last couple of sentences of Chapter 2 have one of the main characters over-sleeping. There’s a pretty big deal made over it as he is really unhappy with himself. Then, within the first few lines of Chapter 3 he is again waking to someone knocking at his door with no other action taking place between, he simply woke up twice. That stopped me in my tracks and furrowed my brow as I was reading. This continuity error was totally missed in the editing process and should have been caught because it’s pretty glaring and it’s very early on in the book. There are also a few spelling errors and missing words…but that’s no big deal. To date I have rarely read a book that didn’t have a few of those issues, those pesky buggers are so much harder to catch.
So, here we are back to the story-line. The plot does touch on a subject that many are going to empathize with, being in a less than satisfactory marriage with a spouse who is simply not interested in a physical relationship. This seems to be on the rise in our culture today unfortunately. It is easy to empathize with Cassandra. She loves her husband but she cannot deny her attraction to Warren. That would be a difficult position to find oneself in, right? I could see how it would certainly test one’s fortitude. But the belabored way the story is laid out in the first half of the book made it difficult for me to stick with it until Chapter 15 rolled around. It was then that the story finally began to pick up for me. That’s a long time to wait for a story to grab you. Most readers aren’t going to wait that long before putting down the book.
Would I recommend it? Wow, this is difficult. With the story as it is now? No. Sorry, I wouldn’t. If the author goes back, tightens up the story-line, gets rid of filler material and shortens this book (because there’s no need for it to be this long)…then yes, I probably would and my rating would definitely go up. As it is, I rate it a 2 out of 5 Stars. There is potential here, but it needs work.