Very disappointed. Right away the first chapter was familiar, so after checking I discovered the author had cut and pasted a chapter from Book 1 to begin her sequel in the Salty Key series. This is cheating and so lazy. In my forty+ years of reading and my 15 years of reviewing books, I have never seen this done. What was the author thinking?
The proof reading of the book was non-existent or at best, slack. In order to have the book seem to be full-length, 1.5 spaces was implemented, (instead of the industry standard 1.0 space format) causing the book to be 305 pages long, when in fact it is a cozy of about 175 pages.
Any good sequel stands alone with its own story line. This is not a stand-alone sequel. There is too much repeating of Book 1’s story. The author has chosen to write each book from another sister’s perspective. The first sister, Sheena, had a somewhat interesting story line. In the second book it is from Darcy’s perspective. And she’s not a very interesting character. She brags about the novel she is going to write but doesn’t do much about it. Thinks that writing a restaurant review will hone her craft as a fiction writer. Huh? And she is ‘man-hungry’. Every man she meets in the story is either boyfriend/husband material or not. That’s what she leads with and it gets boring after a while.
Near the last 50 pages the author takes an unfortunate right turn. For no apparent reason, she introduces a severely disabled long-lost cousin. It was so out-of-the-blue! After that chapter he is never mentioned again. She would have been well advised to develop the characters already on deck. ‘Gavin’s people’ for instance. (lots of good stories there) The many boyfriend-material guys of Darcy’s. The editor/writer who is giving Darcy a chance to write for a local newspaper. (His illness/death is glossed over.) Sheena’s son’s friend, Randy. The list goes on and on.
Sadly, she is not comfortable writing about the married physical love between Sheena and Tony. It’s stilted and I didn’t believe it.
Ms. Keim needs to stay in the ‘voice’ of each of her characters. The writing bounced around and was frequently clunky . Sentence structure was a distraction.
I was hoping that the author would grow in her craft with Book #2 but sadly this was not the case. It’s a shame because the story premise is a good one. I do not recommend this author’s books.
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