29 December, 2015

Kathryn Shay's Begin Again #BookReview

Pages: 166
Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Ocean View Books (April 15, 2015)
Published: April 15, 2015
Goodreads Link: Author
Series: The Ludzecky Sisters, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Second Chance
Sexual Content: 3-5


BEGIN AGAIN tells the story of Paulina Ludzecky who, since her husband died three years ago, runs a contracting business with her twin, Antonia. She’s ready to dip her toes in romance when she meets Adam Armstrong, the architect on the new music hall her company is building. 
For Adam, opposites attract and he’s drawn to this no-nonsense, down-to-earth girl next door. She’s equally interested in him though he’s too different from her to settle down with. But alpha male Adam has other plans for Paulina and isn’t about to let her go, even when Paulina has trouble with committing to him. Sex, yes! Love, no! This second chance at love story will tug at your heartstrings. 


This was a free (not just Unlimited) copy which took me three nights to finish reading, and the Amazon blurb (above) says it all.

It started out fine, but as I continued to read, issues kept cropping up to help make my interest wane.

The author did manage to make her male lead seem sexually enticing, but neither lead read well enough or was fully developed to the point where I felt comfortable with them, could picture them fully in my head, or to where I hoped for the best for each of them.

Yes, this is a 'family-oriented' series of stories, but this still felt crowded to me anyway. Too many aside characters that, again, weren't completely developed to the point where I understood them and their reasons for being in the picture; who they are as humans and how they tick.

It isn't necessary to read about the oldest brother's or any of the other sister's stories to be able to follow in this series, but gathering from posted reviews at Amazon and Goodreads, one gets the feeling that Luke's story set the bar, and you'll either love the rest or be extremely disappointed.

For me, the real issue boiled down to emotional impact and its overall lacking throughout the story.

There were no climaxes (outside of their steamy, fast-track romance), and any time that a possible antagonist made an appearance, they were quickly erased so that the story could move forward.

As for the emotional aspect of her having lost her husband and brother-in-law three years earlier, it is an entirely personal experience and one that affects everyone differently. Her twin sister is stuck in that past while Paulina is secretly wishing to move on, but it is her twin who tries holding Paulina back, and while we are supposed to believe that Paulina is a self-made woman with balls, she continues to allow her twin to hold her back, which is out of character in my mind.

The whole premise was Paulina's refusal to believe that she could fit in Adam's wealthy, country club world, or that he could tolerate her humble background.

That was about it.

The sexual encounters were more thought than action, although the author did use the anticipated mechanics to describe each scene. They were all over in a flash, and sometimes we heard about the feelings afterwards, but not all the time.

And, speaking of mechanics . . .

While this story was well written in the technical sense, with there being only a few type-o's throughout (illuded for eluded), the odd word choices and slang were annoying.

Remember my post about repetition?

The word wend  was used every time to describe their walk  through a garden behind the music hall being built.

She also used table this  twice, and I'm still not entirely certain about her intended meaning. I first thought cards on the table, but that would mean lay it out or set it straight or get it out in the open when the author clearly meant the opposite, so I'm still confused.

There were also a few Public Service Announcement passages that irked me, but I understand that most readers appreciate being reminded of the fact that while they are reading fiction-fantasy, that they need to be aware that reality has it's place in those types of instances.


Anyway, it all started with Promises to Keep, which introduces us to the oldest Ludzecky, Luke.

If you like sisters in love stories, New York City romances, and family saga romances, try the rest of the books in The Ludzecky Sisters series: PRIMARY COLORS, RISKY BUSINESS, THE WAY WE WERE, HANDLE WITH CARE and LOVE STORY.

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