Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Blissed By Jamie Farrell

Blissed by Jamie Farrell
(Misfit Brides #1)
August 5, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Contains: strong language, fade-to-black sex
Source: Personal purchase

 Welcome To Bliss, the Bridal Capitol of the Midwest

Natalie Castellano practically has it all—beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family’s failing bridal boutique is smart…right? Plus, who doesn’t want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?

With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.

CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he’s in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. Aka the depths of hell.

His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a twenty-something widower. But he doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn’t want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.

But when a dark-haired, wounded-eye beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?

This story drove me nuts because it was so unbelievable. I spent most of the story annoyed and angry and generally disliking everyone. That's not how I like my chick-lit or my sweet romances to go. Because let's be honest. This should have been a silly, fun, warm-fuzzy romance. But when I can't get through a single chapter without cringing at people's actions, becoming indignant, or becoming angry because once again Natalie, or some loser next to her, have done nothing to defend themselves, I simply cannot enjoy myself. And that's really disappointing because I grabbed this book because of the cute cover and the cute blurb. I wanted fun and cute. Meddling relatives sounds fun. But deranged committee leaders hell-bent on your destruction isn't so fun. Sadly, fun and cuteness I did not find until toward the end.

My main problem with this story was the characters, and I include the town of Bliss as a character. The characters in this story just were not endearing. Natalie, the heroine of the story, was a complete doormat. And the few times she grew a spine, she quickly lost it again. Drove me nuts. CJ, the hero, was just meh. I didn't find anything particularly special about him. Now Marilyn, the Queen General, was unbelievably horrible. She was so rotten, and yet these people just cowered in her presence. Arthur, Natalie's Dad, was clueless and insensitive. I was so disappointed in him. Noah, Natalie's 4-year-old son, was cute but weird. Then there's the actual townsfolk of Bliss. They were the worst: cowardly, ridiculous, judgmental, just standing by while Natalie gets bullied. I hated this town. Lindsey, Natalie's sister, was one of the few people I actually liked. She, some of CJs siblings, and the guys at the bar, were the few sparks of light in this frustrating story.

Also, the writing style is also very odd. Sometimes it flows well and other times she throws these odd phrases and word choices in, and they don't quite catch me right. I think she's trying to be poetic or creative or something, but it comes across as odd, and not the good odd that I enjoy. I also found myself skimming a lot by the second half. This was mostly due to my annoyance. But the story also dragged, so that didn't help. I also found it odd that a book with so much cussing in it would be so brief about sex. It felt contradictory to me. Either tone down the cussing, and keep the sex scenes brief and fade-to-black. Or leave in the cussing, and heat up the sex scenes.

This was my first Jamie Farrell book. While I was disappointed, I am willing to give Jamie another chance. I did like Lindsey, and she will be the main feature in the next book of this series, so that gives me hope. Lindsey as the heroine, and the evil QG off the crazy train, gives me hope that the next story will suit me much better.


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