Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: WHEN IN PARIS by Beverly Kendall


WHEN IN PARIS (Language of Love, #1)
By Beverly Kendall

Published January 4, 2013 by Season Publishing LLC
GENRES: New Adult • Contemporary Romance • College Life • Life Issues

 TECHNICALLY 3.4 ROUNDED to 3

College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs--in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia's newfound peace, and the feelings she'd thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can't shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile...but has never given her the time of day.

Zach's good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it's the star quarterback's skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where...his present and past collide. And the one girl he's always wanted but can't have--and a class trip to Paris--turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

Recommended for readers +17 and up
New Adult - mature content (language & sex)
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This novel had some fantastic aspects to it... and some disappointing aspects as well.
The cover kept me thinking it was an adult novel. But no, it is technically NA. Ha. The sex may have been but the characters were not.

I was hoping for more developed characters since it was a NA (New Adult) novel. Alas, it was sorely lacking in this department. I felt like I was reading about middle school kids. I could almost see a gaggle of giggling girls with their hands in front of their mouths and annoying boys with their chewing gum about to fly through the air. Sigh. Not what I had expected.
                                         

The storyline was intriguing though. It just wasn't meaty enough. Girl likes boy in high school. Boy shuns girl. (Wait for it...) They suddenly find themselves reunited in college French class and their BFFs/roommates are BFFs too. (Wait... I'm getting to it.) But they end up going to Paris for a class field trip. (Can I get into this class?) The hormones hit the fan. But then they get back home and then the crap hits the fan...and then things get really weird. What makes it interesting are the reasons why he couldn't be with her. But it ended up being weak. There could have been SO. MUCH. MORE. Sigh.


However, there was a lightness to it that was appealing. Kind of like Angel Food Cake or whip cream with strawberries. But it needed more to be really filling. The "darker" elements weren't so dark. It was like expecting hot fudge and getting runny chocolate syrup. The darker aspects were glossed over, skimming the surface so to speak. The cursing was a bit much especially is it wasn't creative. Using the same curse word over and over isn't inventive or enhancing the story. The storyline was slow to build up but it was easy to read anyway.

The sex was more than I thought it would be. Some of you may be doing your happy dance to hear this while others may be wiping your keyboard of possible STDs. Fear not, they DID use protection. (Sorry.. too much caffeine today.) I appreciated Zach's struggles of commitment. However, there were some confrontational scenes, especially in the beginning where she is dealing with her past hurts, that left me really confused.. and frankly... weirded out.



There weren't many bumps in road which contributed to the lower mark. The character development was spotty and didn't really happen until the very end of the book. There was a surprise character that could have really taken the cake, but just wasn't given the amount of material to make it happen. That subplot really could have given the plot a much need boost of adrenaline. Unfortunately it was treated like a match. It caught flame quickly and died out just as fast. This book could have become a thriller very easily if that character had been brought forward and strengthened. 

I prefer books with twists, turns and surprises to keep things engaging and moving. This book while entertaining had a flat plot. The characters could have avoided all the issues if they had been even remotely honest with one another, and that was very annoying. The secondary characters had an interesting core, but again, it wasn't developed enough.

The love never seemed to develop between the two. It seemed to stay in the hormonal/lust level. At the end, it seemed rushed. I didn't feel it. There were no cliffhangers to tie into the next book. It just frustrates me because this book had a great deal of potential that it just never reached. 

IN A NUT SHELL: There was a great idea there but it needs to be enhanced and polished. However, it is a fun and fast read if you are in the mood for a contemporary NA romance.
Since the E-book is just .99¢ (US) it's a good summer read.

  and at BARNES & NOBLE