29 January, 2017

Protecting Alabama (SEAL of Protection 2) by Susan Stoker #review

Pages -  258
Published -  October 31, 2014
Sold by -  Amazon
Genre -  Contemporary Romance, SEALs, Military
Series -  SEAL of Protection Book 2 of 8
Sexual Content -  3.5 /5
Language -  mildly coarse

Alabama didn’t have a good start to life. Emotionally and physically abused by her mama, Alabama spent her high school years in foster care. People let her down, time after time, and she’d learned to rely on only herself. 
Christopher “Abe” Powers earned his nickname because he tolerated nothing less than absolute honesty from the people around him. Finding the bar scene stale and having watched his friend and teammate, Wolf, find the woman of his dreams, Abe was determined to find someone to share his life with too. 
Alabama and Abe had no idea their paths would cross and their prayers would be answered, but like most things in life, nothing is ever as easy as it seems at first. Two words would change both their lives and they’d have to fight hard for their happy ever after. 

My 3-star review means more bad than good, and at Amazon I had no choice but to give it 2 stars because . . . I honestly didn't like it.

I was in the mood for Contemporary after having read a few Historical romance novels and decided to give a Military Romance another try.

The title is a misnomer because zero protecting occurred.

The SEALs aspect was no more than an afterthought, with Abe completing a total of 1 mission in the entire story (that we, the readers, weren't privy to go along and experience).

And, despite Abe's being hot, his character vacillated throughout the novel and had me thinking one way, then another, then another, and then another until I gave up and just read the rest of the words.

There was no story line, no formal plot, and an unrealistic romance that took a decidedly immature and implausible turn for effect that was wasted on me.

I just didn't care anymore that Abe had transformed, yet again, into a whining, sniveling idiot who did and said all of the things he had sworn throughout the story that he would never say or do (which I wasn't allowed to forget because the author kept reminding me of those things over and over and over again until I wanted to scream).

Alabama's having been abused and ending up locked within herself wasn't an issue, but her being 30 yet reading more like early 20's or even younger was.

The author's obvious lack of a formal education in the English language kept sneaking its way into the words on subsequent pages, making me think she is too young or too inexperienced to deserve the title award-winning.

Then the cheesy terms and out-dated phrases tossed about made me think the author was in her late 60's, if not older, which only worked to toss me out of sexy SEAL mode and into WHAT is going on with this story?

No suspense, or more accurately, skimmed over suspense that lasted all of 2 pages or a chapter and then back to more monotonous repetition, flashback, telling, and nonsense.

The author chose to wrap up each occurrence in a nice, neat bow with zero logic involved.

The Real Issue ~

What really threw me off after having read this messed up piece of nothing is that I had read the negative reviews prior to reading the story, and again after having read the novel, and only one other comment mentioned the author's abuse of TELL.

Since I'm always accused of telling and not showing, I search for free novels with negative comments about this topic so I can read their work and try to understand what it is and how it affects a story.

THIS is the first real case that makes total sense, but apparently, only to me.

And, I'm sorry, but I know I don't write half this bad.

The author inserted herself into more than 90% of the story, telling us how the H and the h felt, what they were thinking, why they were thinking that way, and so on.

She let us (the readers) come up for air only when she inserted dialogue.

But then said dialogue read more like a Dick & Jane primer than an actual 'award-winning' novel.

"I like you."
"I like you, too."
"I'll protect you."
"Thanks, I need protecting."
"Can we have sex now?"

I don't like to use the terms one, two, and three-dimensional characters because, frankly, they are extremely loose interpretations based on whatever the reader deems is the correct meaning.

I could picture Alabama and Abe in my head, so they weren't totally undeveloped, but they weren't fleshed out enough to make me really care or understand their motives or attraction to one another, either.

Throughout this novel, I pictured the two leads standing on opposite sides of a dark room, with the author (and me) hovering overhead telling me what is going on in each instance.

I was never allowed to understand either character or be permitted to join them on whatever journey it was the author had in mind when she wrote this novel.

The author just kept telling me why, again and again and again she told me why I should care, why they behaved as they did, and what it was that motivated them to do, say, and feel as they did.

Alabama hated the words Shut Up because that's what her mama had always said to her. Alabama hated the words Shut Up and now looked around to make sure it was okay before she said anything. Alabama's mother had always told her to Shut Up, and now Alabama was afraid to speak to anyone unless spoken to, but even then, Alabama made sure to look around to make sure no one would disapprove.

The same repetitive nonsense occurred with their names.

Alabama this, Abe that, Alabama this, Abe that... in the same sentences and the same paragraphs, chapter after chapter, like I would be too stupid to remember who was in a scene.

Honestly, I should have given up 25% in, when I couldn't take it anymore and knew the story wasn't going anywhere and wouldn't get any better.

And, it didn't.

I just wanted to know what the 'award-winning' content looked like but never found out.

An Aside Thought ~

This is what is written in the author's Amazon Bio:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker

...and like always, I have to shake my head in total wonderment.

I watch a few popular Youtube posters on a weekly basis, and one of them is in the hilarious habit of roasting his fellow Youtubers when they post lies, steal someone else's content, or to bash the wrong side of a trending topic.

He goes after the 'popular' posters who somehow generate 'millions' of views/likes for content that is either in poor taste, pedophilic in nature, or downright ripped from someone else's channel.

He then goes on to explain how it is possible for said Fraudulent Content to generate that much interest, and one way is to manipulate the 'like' feature via hacking.

Similar to why Twitter continues to block me whenever I use my Triberr account to tweet blog posts from other authors.

Twitter accuses me of auto-posting the way Ethan Klein accuses fraudulent Youtubers of rigging their 'like' count.

The bottom line is, it all smells fishy, and so do a majority of these 'award-winning' author's award-winning labels.

The system is broken and needs to be fixed or I'll never regard award-winning anything as significant or worthwhile, and that is extremely sad.

Because those who DO deserve the accolades (see my previous review of Wendy Lindstrom's Then Came You) get lost in the muck & mire that is today's convoluted, inaccurate, somehow manipulated, and downright FAKE world of Award-Winning anything.

Bottom Line ~

There are a total of 8 novels in this SEAL of Protection series, and I would not recommend any of them, nor will I be reading any more of the author's work.

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