After reading (and loving) How to Misbehave
, I was ready to be swept off my feet with the first longer novel from Ruthie Knox.
And. Well. I wasn't.
And I'm trying to put my finger on why that was, exactly. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy
the book; I did. Three stars to me means I liked it. But, well, 3 stars for a book by Ruthie is rather low.
Let's start with what I did like... The plot was interesting and engaging. I always enjoy small town stories, and the setting of Camelot, Ohio was no different for me.
And, of course, Caleb. If there's one thing Ruthie does well it's writing a strong, unfy, swoony male lead. He was hard in all the right places (*ahem*), but still soft as well. She balanced him beautifully. Almost too
beautifully, and I think that maybe why the spotlight shone so brightly on Ellen (and, unfortunately, not in a good way).
Ellen. Hmm. Well, I didn't like her. I thought I was going to at first. She was all big brass balls and sharp wit and strength. And then that started to get old. At about 50% in, I started to wonder when she'd give a little. At 75%, I was ready to lead Caleb by the hand to the nearest bar and find him someone else. She grew as a character too little, too late, in my opinion, and even though by the end she'd balanced out nicely, it was not enough in my eyes.
The rest of the characters, though, I enjoyed. Ruthie's secondary characters have a way of coming to life right off the pages. Nana. Caleb's younger sister, Katie. His dad. Even Henry, though I'll admit to not loving the addition of the child in this book. However, after reading How to Misbehave, I was rather disappointed that we saw virtually nothing of Tony and Amber. Instead, we got this odd side-plot of Carly and Ellen's brother Jamie. I'm not a fan of the multiple romantic-story line plots, and this one was no exception. I want my books focused on two people, that's it.
The only other thing that didn't quite sit right with me was the three day time-span. In all honesty, it didn't feel like only three days while we were reading, but still. Three days and you're singing the happily ever after song? That was a little hard for me to swallow.
Finally, the steam in this was way way
low as compared to Ruthie's other books, and even as compared to the novella that started off this whole series.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a few hours, but nowhere near her best work. (instead, see: About Last Night
, Ride with Me
, or the first in this series How to Misbehave