My small publishers always want MORE people to read and review their titles. They also offer the opportunity for their authors to read any book for free in exchange for an honest review. By now, they know my truthful reviews aren’t generally worth five stars.
I volunteered to read an advance copy of TRUTH by Avery Woods because the blurb was appealing.
A few weeks before the release, the author emailed me to thank me for promising to review the book. I emailed her back to say that the review would be for three stars and that I would wait to post it if she wanted.
She told me to post it right away. I loved her confidence, and I think you’ll find that as you read her story.
Cori Winters life seems to be going according to the plan. While completing her PhD in Chemistry, Cori is offered a Research Fellowship, by one of the most accomplished Chemists in the Country. In addition, Cori has finally agreed to marry her long term boyfriend, Erik.
Abandoned at a young age, Cori has been told growing up that her biological mother has been MIA due to a severe illness. After a visit with her father, Cori discovers her dad sending a large amount of cash to an unknown woman. Cori decides to take matters into her own hands where she finally seek answers regarding her mother. However, sometimes secrets are better kept hidden…
After a childhood incident ruined any shot of Jesse having a relationship with his parents, he is finally glad to be living on his own, where he isn’t constantly reminded of what happened. That is, until his seventeen-year old step sister, Bethany, confides in him that she’s pregnant. Jesse vows to help Bethany, but what is the right choice to make when she wants to keep her pregnancy a secret? The truth is bound to come out….
Cori and Jesse grow closer, when Cori’s fiancée attends a wedding in Italy. Cori and Jesse relate to one another, when each confides secrets of their own. However, when each reveal their secrets, will the other be able to handle the truth?
Cori and Jesse didn’t engage me. I didn’t buy their motivations.
This is a common complaint for me in romance novels. Many authors believe they’re telling the story of the romance, but if I don’t connect with the desires of the characters, the story–no matter how incredible–falls flat.
Much of this was the story of Cori discovering she didn’t truly love the man she was with and that she wanted to find out the truth about her mother, who she assumed was dead. I will give Kudos to Ms. Woods for adding a twist to the “true heritage” for Cori. It wasn’t your average, “mom died when I was young” or “given up for adoption” background.
Jesse’s story with his sister didn’t compel me in the least. Yes, it’s a common issue and the author handled it gracefully. But I felt like the events were relayed to the reader. How did Jesse feel? Why did he feel that way? What made him bond with Bethany so much?
And when we discovered Jesse’s wound, the opportunity for deep connection with him had already been lost. A powerful backstory didn’t engage me because Jesse never felt anything. Or I should say I was never invited to experience anything along with him.
The actual romance between these two felt rushed. My favorite romances are friends who become lovers, and that’s one of the reasons I picked this book up to read. But even their friendship developing happened before the story began and I was expected to believe they were friends when all I really saw was Jesse’s crush and Cori’s distance (because her boyfriend was the jealous sort).
The story earns three out of five stars from me.
Romance readers will likely enjoy this story. I expected more character development based on the blurb and then I didn’t truly connect with the characters.
Readers who like the slow reveal of an unexpected secret might find more here than they bargained for. While the story and characters didn’t engage me, it wasn’t because of poor writing.
You can grab a copy of this book from the publisher, Amazon, Amazon UK, B & N, Bookstrand, Kobo and Smashwords. Ms. Woods would appreciate if you would leave your own review at the retailer of purchase and Goodreads.