Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.
Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.
The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. . . .
USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life. Ruthie also writes New Adult romance as RobinYork. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop her a line.
In a genre that typically relies on a few tried-and-true storylines, Ruthie Knox delivers something different with Rosemary and Kal’s. I have to say, even more so than the love aspect, I appreciated the driving force behind it all—the sense of empowerment and the burning desire these characters shared in regards to chasing their dreams. I think far too often we let things fall to the wayside and some of us never recover.
The story opens on Everest, not quite at the peak, but Rosemary is on her way. Cold, worn-out and quite miserable, if you want to know the truth, she’s constantly questioning her thought process. Wasn’t this supposed to be the trip of a lifetime; so why is she feeling this way? Having spent the entirety of her marriage as nothing more than “wallpaper”, Rosemary decided the only choice was to get out and chase those pre-nuptials and pre-motherhood dreams of hers—climbing Mount Everest and writing a book about it. Now, searching for her best self, it’s not just one mountain she’s after, it’s the Seven Summits.
In the blink of an eye, everything changes. An avalanche forces an evacuation and shuts down the entire mountain. At that point, with no immediate plans in place, Rosemary’s state of mind is questionable, to say the least. Lucky for her, ‘Doctor Doom’ is looking out for ‘the princess’. Naturally, you have to wonder, if the circumstances had been different—if Rosemary and Kal had not been so close to that deadly force of nature—would they have shared such a strong connection? They might be from two completely different worlds, but the eternal optimist in me would like to think so.
Interestingly enough, what held me back from giving this a higher rating was just how quickly the couple threw out that four-letter L-word. I won’t go so far to say that it felt like insta-love exactly (I wasn’t entirely cringing on the inside), but the timeframe is hard to ignore. With the exception of the epilogue, this story spans a five day time period; so you be the judge.
There’s a lot going on with this story and in some instances the author takes the focus off of Rosemary and Kal together, in an effort to explore their individual goals, growth and familial relationships. I won’t say it was detrimental to the storyline, but had their bond garnered more of the spotlight, I might have found myself wallowing in their giddiness a little more easily.
Again, I adored the message behind the story—go after your dreams—love doesn’t mean compromising who you are and what makes you happy. Thought I'd throw that in, just in case you need a little reminder. *wink wink*
*Thank you to Loveswept and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I really tried to get into this story, but when I got to the 50% mark and I still found myself skimming and absolutely BORED TO TEARS, I decided it was time to call it quits.
I've read a couple of Ruthie Knox books before and really enjoyed them and the cover of this book was calling to me, but the story & the characters were BLAND!
The Heroine is writing a novel about climbing the seven summits with a group of women and they start off with Mount Everest, but an avalanche cuts their expedition short. That avalanche took the lives of twenty-nine people. Rosemary meets Kal who is a Sherpa and was one of her tour guides after they are rescued. They end up having sex in Rosemary's hotel room. I didn't feel a spark of chemistry between them nor did I find any of it to be the least bit entertaining.
Almost the entire first half of the book is spent on the subject of the Mount Everest expedition and avalanche. There was barely any romance. It read almost like a documentary and thus this is how I felt throughout the first half of the book.
I will probably read something else by this author in the future since I know she has it in her to write a good romance and everyone's allowed to publish a disappointing book every once in a while.
I'm a huge fan of Ruthie Knox and the New York series, so that fact that I didn't love Completely was a big blow.
I feel like the first two books in the series (Truly, Madly) were so strong that the author felt pressure to perform with Completely but couldn't quite deliver. It felt phoned in.
I'll start with what I liked. I really liked that we got a non-white male MC, which is fairly rare in romance. I mean, diversity is becoming a necessity these days, not something you get cookies for, but I still was happy to see it. I also didn't know much (anything) about Sherpa culture or the Sherpa people before this book. I actually thought that being a sherpa was just a job title and didn't know that it actually refers to an ethnic group with their own language (also called Sherpa). Wow, that seriously blew my mind. I spent a good hour on wikipedia in the middle of the story just learning stuff about this group that I've never known about.
I also thought that the book was well-written. Odd to say, considering I didn't quite like the story, but the author really tried, and the language and word usages were lovely.
That being said, I had issues with the story overall.
The pacing was slooooow. Like glacial slow. The book felt much longer than it actually was, and I kept wanting to put it down and pick other stories up. The other stories in the series had a whirlwind feel, and this one just didn't.
I liked the MCs in theory, but I didn't get a great sense of them as a couple and as people. We learn a lot about them, but I didn't love them together. There just felt like something missing, some spark, some oomph. I didn't quite get inside Rosemary's buttoned up exterior and I didn't quite get Kal's lack of direction or focus. A lot of the drama felt manufactured, and the love just wasn't there for me.
It's hard to describe why a book works and why a book doesn't, but this book just didn't give me that fluttery, excited feeling. While the concepts and ideas were fascinating, the execution was just blah for me.
3.5 stars A little slow, but very sweet love story, with Knox's usual realistic, wonderfully drawn, and very engaging characters. I'm not sure I give Rosemary and Kal much of a chance, but I'm sure rooting for them.
I think this was a uniquely told story. I didn't expect this to evolve like it did. The characters and their interaction was different from what I've come to expect from this author. Did I like it .. yes. I think I did.
So, we have a climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. There is a catastrophic event that pulls these two strangers together. They, naturally, come together as survivors who "understand" each other, but remember ... they are strangers.
We also have a bi-racial aspect; our H is Sherpa, our h is Caucasian and British. This was interesting to me. Learning a bit about the Nepalese Sherpa culture was interesting. Their economy and how they depend on climbers for their livelihood. I didn't find the description of Kal to be complete though. Or, maybe it was, but was too subtle to catch my attention. I like to imagine my characters and I didn't really. Plus, he is a "brown" person. Look at the cover of the book. I see no brown? I'm browner than the H on the cover. I think this should be changed and more obvious - my opinion.
Also, our h is 7 years older than our H. I thought this an interesting element, but didn't seem to be drawn out, both literally and figuratively. So, then why have it there at all? It was an early distraction because I kept wondering about it. But, nope .. it never showed up again.
These two were a foggy image in my head. Maybe because they were struggling with figuring out their own direction - both individually, as their own person, and then again as a couple. Would they or not? How? I wasn't a huge fan of Rosemary. Not sure you get to almost 40 and not have some kind of personal definition. I can see trying to find the "next thing", but not the whole .. "lack of your own definition" thing. This element didn't play well with me.
I think this book was a struggle for the author. She did a nice job with the mountain climbing aspect - I thought so anyway. I think the actual character development and then the direction of their story, a bit of a struggle. Or, maybe it was just my struggle to anticipate where we were going and how it would end.
So, in the end, I liked the book, but it wasn't my favorite by this author or in this series.
ARC provided by the author and publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for a honest review.
The subtle humor and the underlying search for purpose made this book stand out. The ending was almost too sweet for me, but I can't pretend to not understand it's appeal. Complicated people find love and I just found an interesting new author to read.
This is a different kind of romance for me. It is extremely intense not only in the relationship between Kal and Rosemary but intense in their life struggle. They are both searching for who they are, what they are meant to be and what to do with their futures.
Rosemary was lost in her marriage. She is now determined to climb the Seven Summits and write about her adventures. It’s her plan. She counts every step, every breath, every heartbeat. When a natural disaster diverts her plan, the struggle to find herself returns with a vengeance.
Kal has failed at too many things in life. He had plans. He had aspirations. Not only has he failed those around him, he has failed himself. Resenting those that use Mount Everest as a way to feed their megalomania he struggles to protect the mountain. And again he has failed.
When these two connect there is obvious chemistry but their lives will never sync. He cannot embrace the climber and she has set her sights on reaching the summit.
This book has a lot of information about Everest, the regions around it, the Nepalese people and the effects tourism and teams of climbers have on them. While much of that was interesting, I found myself skimming through some of it. Nevertheless, I found myself really enjoying this couple’s story through much of the book. However, when it got closer to the end I just felt like it lost some of its spark and life. It dragged and I realized I needed something to alleviate the heaviness of it all.
There is much here in regards to the empowerment of women. I know it’s not politically correct, especially being a woman, but I felt like it was too much. And that’s where this was a different kind of romance for me. The message here was about being true to yourself, standing tall as a woman, remaining strong in the face of adversity. I didn’t mind the message. I just wanted a little more romance to go with it.
This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by NetGalley
2.5 to 3 stars. An unusual CR in some ways, and sadly, it didn't really grab me. I really liked the first book in this trilogy, Truly and I so WANTED to love this one too, but no....
Rosemary is aged 39, English, and the ex-wife of Winston who was the H of the slightly lame second book in this trilogy, Madly. And that, right there put my back up a little. I quite liked Winston, and now we were focussing on his ex. He'd been pretty unhappy when he met Allie, the h of Madly, and presumably his prior relationship with Rosemary was at least partly to blame for that. So, I wasn't disposed to like her.
Then there was the fact that she was approaching middle age, and she hooked up with a hot 32-year-old. Yeah, I know it happens IRL, and it can be done well in a novel, although its not my fav trope. But I didn't like it here. In fact, I didn't really like Rosemary.
The book opens on Mt Everest, where Rosemary is approaching the summit, and trying to convince herself that, yes, she does really want to be here and doing this. But a tragedy occurs on the mountain, and the climb has to be abandoned. In the aftermath, still full of shock and grief, Rosemary hooks up with one of the 'ice doctors'/guides, Kal, who is also feeling the same overpowering emotions. Kal is half Sherpa and half American, but in some ways he doesn't fit in either world.
So, after their crazy, passionate, unexpected hook-up, they fly to NYC together. It's home for Kal, and Rosemary is going there to see hers and Winston's 19-year-old daughter. Yup, she has an adult daughter, another point I found difficult to swallow in this older woman-younger man romance. (I found it a bit hard to swallow that Winston had an adult daughter in the previous book as well, actually).
The plot and relationship of Kal and Rosemary proceed from there. We see a different aspect of NYC, with Kal introducing Rosemary to his family members who live in a Sherpa community there. And on one level this was interesting, but I just didn't feel a connection to the characters. Perhaps the secondary characters weren't delineated enough for me? I'm not sure what the problem was for me, actually. But I was starting to get a bit sick of the book by now.
From here on in, things got a little confusing for me. Winston and Allie popped in. There was a road trip to Manitowoc, with Kal's mother. (Yup). There was Rosemary's daughter giving her mum a brusque brush-off, although we were supposed to believe she did care deep down. There was a doco film being made about May and Allie's artist mother. Kal and Rosemary had some hot sex, but then broke up (why? the break-up seemed sudden and pointless). May and Ben (from Truly) popped in. Kal and Rosemary got back together again. I was starting to skim by now. Finally there was a HEA. By this point, I was just, meh.
There was too much introspection and vague talking about, just, stuff, and rehashing feelings and motivations and yeah... yawn. Sorry, but I just didn't care enough about the characters by then. The book needed a crisper plot and less pointless overtalking about their relationships with each other, their families, and themselves.
So, for me, this one was a letdown. Perhaps, sadly, the first book, Truly, which was a charming and a delightful read, was a bit of a fluke. Or perhaps Ms Knox's writing style isn't really for me. Whichever it is, I will think twice before buying another of her books.
I really enjoyed the majority of this book. The beginning and middle were great but the ending seemed drawn out. I loved learning about the Sherpas and mountain climbing even though it's fiction I felt the stories were real. The family histories and dramas really made this book a winner. Learning about what Kal's mother went through and the things she accomplished were amazing. This book was so much more than just a romance. It's about finding yourself and the travels you go through to get there. I enjoyed this book the most out of the 3 books in this series. Thanks NetGalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
I'm a little blown away by how much I connected with this story. Not so much the subject of this book, because I have zero interest or knowledge regarding climbing mountains. But the message behind all of this hit me so hard, that at one point I had to walk away and contemplate. We have our heroine, Rosemary, a near 40 year old woman, who spent her entire life being "wallpaper". She just existed in the background, doing all the things a good mother and wife should do, but waiting to be noticed and to be fulfilled. She's divorced and estranged from her daughter, because she finally took the time do something for herself - and that was a mission to scale the tallest mountain on each of the 7 continents. But on her very first journey, tragedy strikes. An avalanche kills many of the people she came to know, and she meets our hero, Kal, who rescues her and takes her under his wing. A connection is formed. But Kal is facing his own demons. He is a Sherpa/Ice Doctor, but he has spent his life vowing to somehow make things better for the Sherpa, who are treated as nothing more than a means to an end, all in the name of financial gain in an area of the world where their biggest source of income is people who come to conquer the mountain. He absolutely hates that people continue to try to conquer the mountain and that lives are oftentimes lost in doing so. He feels that there are only two types of people who climb - megalomaniacs and the broken. Rosemary and Kal form an immediate connection that neither of them can explain, nor can they proceed until their figure their own selves out. So what really hit home with me was Kal's mother, who spent her entire marriage with a man who was hateful and abusive. She spent all those years trying to manage her husband's feelings, to avoid his hate and abuse for both herself and her children. And we have our heroine, Rosemary, who realizes that she deserves to be loved completely, and not just when her decisions and actions meet the expectations of the people in her life. And we have sweet, beautiful, complicated and tortured Kal, who realizes that it's not a decision for him to love Rosemary. That decision is already made. He's always going to love her. He just needs to figure out how to love her completely. Actually they both need to figure out how to love completely.
If you’ve read my review for Truly and Madly, then you already know how deep my love for this author’s writing runs. Ruthie Knox writes stories about love, family and finding yourself, that may not be unique themes, but they will touch every fiber of your being. Completely was no different. Yet again, Ruthie Knox has expertly crafted a story full of love, passion and hope, one that will speak to many romance readers.
Rosemary Chamberlain is the heroine of Completely. We know her as Winston, hero of Madly‘s, ex-wife. I initially wasn’t sure how to feel about her because from the snippets we got of her in the previous book, we know that she left her relationship with her daughter fractured and ran off on an adventure. But Ruthie Knox does a beautiful job here at building up Rosemary’s character with layers and layers of complexity. She makes you understand her thought process and her motivations. All her life, Rosemary has felt like she was in the background, and married to Winston, she further lost her identity. In an attempt to finally do something for herself, she leaves London and armed with a book deal, goes on an adventure climbing a peak on each continent. Her first stop? Big, beautiful but ruthless, Everest. I truly grew to love Rosemary. I liked that she’s not your typical heroine – for one, she’s older at 39, and secondly, she is much more athletic and goal driven than heroines I’ve read in the past. Completely might be a romance novel, but it’s predominantly the tale of her find her sense of self again, and her trying to figure out how to balance out all the aspects of her life, including motherhood. She’s a gorgeously written character, with every emotion of hers emanating off the pages of Completely. You laugh with her. You cry with her. And most importantly, you root for her.
When a deadly avalanche crashes all her plans, she is left devastated. This is also when she meets the hero, Kal, 7 years her junior. Kal, typical of Ruthie Knox, is another achingly swoony romance hero. He is absolutely wonderful, and I fell for him hard. He is dealing with his own family’s tragedy and secrets, and trying to figure out his own life as well as trying to find a way to better the lives of the Sherpa. What made Kal stand out to me was his Nepalese culture. I loved learning about the traditions and the way of life of the Sherpa through Kal. Of course, Kal was more than just his culture. He is a man who is wholeheartedly devoted to his family, and he is loyal to the core. Then there was the absolute gentleness and patience towards Rosemary that absolutely slayed me. He becomes her rock in many ways in Completely, and honestly, they both deserved incredible people like each other in their lives. The connection between Rosemary and Kal is unmistakable from the beginning. What grows between two people who find comfort in each other after a devastating experience is a sensual and touching relationship that had me on a romance high. I love the way that Ruthie Knox writes about love. It’s effortless, natural, and does not rely on dramatics to make the relationship flow. The bond between Rosemary and Kal will have your heart racing, but also just a little bit green with envy.
There’s a lot more to Completely than the romance between Kal and Rosemary. The whole book is set around the premise of mountain-climbing, which I had never given much thought to before. It was interesting to learn something new, but also quite shocking. While reading the book, I Googled the Sherpa, and other Mount. Everest disasters out of curiosity. It was fascinating and devastating. I also loved the family and friendship dynamics in Completely. I loved that Rosemary was still on good terms with her ex-husband. I also loved how complicated Rosemary’s relationship with her daughter, Bea, was. It’s definitely a frayed relationship, but over the course of the book, they work their way through the issues. And of course, I adored seeing Kal’s family as well. His mother, especially, was so intriguing with her reputation as being the first woman to climb Everest seven times, as well as her heartbreaking life with her husband. Completely is a short book, but it packs a lot, and it’s done exceedingly well.
You know you are completely in love with a book, a series and an author when you want to weep in sadness that you’ve turned the final page of the final book. The New York trilogy is that series for me. It’s full of heart, passion, sensuality and human emotions. Simply put, it’s a series about love.
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This book didn't really work for me. I really enjoyed the other connected books, especially Madly. This has some of the same qualities I enjoyed--strong characterization, detailed depiction of a specific aspect of NYC, hot sex scenes, feminist framework. That said, I'm troubled by some of the core plotting choices, and didn't connect with the MCs or enjoy them as much as the other books.
I liked the relationship between Rosemary and her ex, liked seeing all the core characters from previous books again, liked Rosemary's arc with her daughter quite a lot. The plot drove me along; I wanted to follow it through. I cared about Rosemary's own arc, in particular, and wanted to see where it would end up. The MCs have some lovely chemistry, and some moments together I enjoyed, especially early on.
It fell down for me in a few core places. The first is the feminist message of the book, which is partly about Rosemary figuring out how to be a person who doesn't diminish herself or disappear (yay!) and partly about her new purpose in life (not so yay). The white feminism at the core of her new purpose fell very flat for me, and dragged down the book for me some. It's set up to supposedly be a pure and good thing, but it felt deeply fraught, both politically and also interpersonally, in ways that were basically handwaved away in the story.
I had a hard time with Kal's arc, as well, especially with the way his family history was addressed in the story, and how much of who he is seemed to mostly be reduced to him being a trauma survivor. As a trauma survivor reader, I found his characterization difficult. It was like he was thinly drawn, and Rosemary was drawn in this really complex way. Which is further complicated by the fact that he is a person of color and she is white.
Which brings me to the romance arc, that I found very difficult. They both experience an intense trauma and are thrown together because of it. They get caught in this whirlwind of reactions to the trauma, effectively rescue each other, and hold onto each other through the whirlwind. That's very realistic, and resonated for me as a trauma survivor. What then happens is that they basically reshape their entire lives as a result of the trauma, still holding onto each other through it, and call that love. And that's basically all we see of their relationship: the whirlwind. Yes, trauma can cause folks to reshape their lives. And yes they might get into intense relationships in the midst of that. But the idea that they are going to get an HEA out of that, that as a reader I am supposed to buy that they will be together forever after only watching them in the whirlwind? It just doesn't work for me as a reader who has a trauma history. I get why this might be a fantasy for some people, but these kinds of storylines feel both unrealistic and kind of awful to read, for me, as a trauma survivor.
All told, this book did not work for me, as a romance. I wasn't rooting for them to end up together, and did not buy the HEA.
I love Ruthie Knox, her books defy description. I just wish I could remember that whenever I start a new one as they are inevitably so 'different' that I put them aside where they languish for weeks if not months. So was it with this book. I didn't even start properly reading my ARC until the release day despite downloading it back in June!
So, this book features Rosemary Chamberlain (the ex-wife of Winston from the second book in the trilogy, Madly). Rosemary left her husband and teenage daughter to 'find herself' which involved joining a group of women who intend to climb all seven of the highest mountains in the world. Rosemary is the classic British upper class blonde, the other climbers even call her princess behind her back. Then the camp is hit by an avalanche and Rosemary is rescued by the sherpa the other climbers call Doctor Doom.
Doctor Doom's real name is Kal Beckett, the son of two famous mountain climbers. When he and Rosemary eventually get off the mountain they fall into bed together and strike up an unlikely friendship the following day when Kal discovers his kit and all his money has been stolen. Both faced with the reality of their mortality Kal and Rosemary travel to New York to reconnect with family.
This third book in the New York trilogy cements the move (for me) from romance to women's fiction. Rosemary has to confront what made her so unhappy in her marriage and what she really wants from life. Her plans have gone awry and on some level that makes her happy. But will a relationship with Kal simply lead to another unhappy marriage?
Kal has his own issues. His parents had a very bad relationship, some people even speculate that his mother killed his father, he was once idealistic with plans for the welfare of Nepal but since then he has become disillusioned. He has said that only two kinds of people climb Everest: megalomaniacs and the walking wounded. Why would he want to start a relationship with either?
This was as much about a woman's place in society as it was a romance where opposites attract. Rosemary draws upon the experiences of her former mother-in-law, her daughter, her ex-husband's fiancee, her ex-husband's fiancee's parents, Kal, Kal's mother and Kal's family to see the world and her life through a different lens.
Maybe that all sounds a bit worthy, a bit depressing, a bit dull. But I promise it isn't. It's funny. It's sexy and it tackles real problems without a magic romance sticking plaster which miraculously fixes everything with three little words.
I have loved all three of these books, they are all very different but they are fun reads, this may be my favourite.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
We didn't met Rosemary previously, but we heard about her. She's Winston ex-wife who left him and their daughter because her life was suffocating her and she dreamed of something else for her. She seemed to search for adventures and you doesn't get more adventurous than climbing Mount Everest, right ? She intend to write about the journey and she organized a trip with a team of British women to climb the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each of the continents). But a natural disaster will put the brakes on the expedition and make her experience something else that maybe she wouldn't have find otherwise.
I finished it yesterday, but I needed time to think about what I would say and what I thought about it.
To be totally honest, I don't think I can give a fair opinion for this book just because I was probably too emotional for it. The thing is... I think it's maybe why I couldn't feel sympathy for Rosemary. Or maybe because I didn't want the point of view of the absent parent ? Or maybe because in the end, I feel like Rosemary had to sacrificed her daughter's happiness to find hers and it's damn bittersweet! But I can't say I felt a connection with the hero either so maybe it's not just that, but I don't know.
I said before that I like that Ruthie Knox create flawed characters, it's especially true in this series, but this time it just show that it doesn't always work. I don't think it's because of the author, but just because of our own story.
I will forever be ashamed I didn't read this sooner but I'm also glad I waited until I was totally in the mood for a romance read as this book was a perfect example of romance done right.
I had some doubts. I loved the idea of the book and everything is hears about it but remembering what I knew of Rosemary from the last book I wasn't overly enamoured with her and wasn't sure I'd enjoy a book focused on her and her journey. Turns out I'm an idiot because I loved it.
The thing is, this is a romance. It has an utterly brilliant romance between Rosemary and the slightly younger Kal (yay for an age difference romance which doesn't feature an older man everytime) but it's way more about Rosemary finding herself and who she is it's her journey to who she is and also Kal's journey to regain his focus. Along the way the two just happen to fall in love and I love them for it.
This was a brilliant romance. I expect no less from Knox and I totally enjoyed every page.
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Surviving a deadly avalanche while climbing Mount Everest, celebrity mountain climber Rosemary Chamberlain and her guide Kal Beckett find themselves in shock after living through such a trauma, and share a night together before their respective plane rides home. However, the two soon find themselves thrown together yet again, and begin an affair against their better judgement.
Having read the first book in Ruthie Knox's New York series and absolutely adoring it, I will admit I expected a lot more from this book. It seemed to move at an incredibly slow pace, and I couldn't find it in me to connect with either of the characters. It felt as though Rosemary and Kal had very little chemistry, the two led such different lives, and their conflicting opinions on the sport of mountain climbing was incredibly problematic to me. I honestly found myself actively rooting against the two characters' relationship. Other than Rosemary and Kal's relationship, I also disliked how Rosemary and her daughter's played out. Overall, I am a bit disappointed with this book, but given how much I loved Truly, I would still consider reading more from the author.
I loved the previous book and was really excited to read this one when I learned that it will be about Winston's ex wife. We rarely get romances with older women (she is 39) and I was looking forward to see how her second chance romance was handled. Sadly, this book did not work for me as well I expected. There are some things I liked about the story and the characters but the things that bothered me outnumber them.
This is a kind of opposites attract story, where she is white, older, richer, determined to find a new direction in life, while he is of mixed origin (white/Sherpa), a bit lost and directionless after having given up on his dreams.
They meet and come together under very dramatic circumstances, surviving an avalanche in the en route to mount Everest. It affects them deeper than anyone of them thinks initially and brings them very close together in a very short amount of time. But real life is not that simple and they have to face all the challenges it poses to them actually being together in the long term.
I loved all the tidbits on Everest and Nepal, Nepalese culture, the whole climber's/Sherpa's world we get to see in this story. They did give us a rich background into Kal's (and his family) world.
Still, I felt the story is very much focused on Rosemary and her journey to her new, post-divorce self. her personal struggles overshadowed to romance. As a whole it was Rosemary and the other women (her daughter, Kal's mother, May and Allie's mother) who were at the centre of this story and not the love between her and Kal. I would have loved to see more of the main characters together, working out their issues, overcoming their pasts and exploring their growing feelings for each other.
That said I liked a lot of things about Rosemary. She has a complicated past that has shaped her, wants desperately find herself, to get her life back in track. She acts like an ice queen on the surface, she is very human on the inside, dealing with her own fears and insecurities. She seems to be goign in the wrong direction for most of the story, trying to make a clean break with the past only to come to realise that this is not possible, your past is part of you, it shaped who you are today and can help you become a better person in the future, avoiding the mistakes you have already made.
I found Kal rather interesting but sadly his character' arc felt very underdeveloped to me. He came second to the women in the book and we only got to see bits and pieces of his personality and the motivations behind his actions.
The i-love-yous were a bit sudden, too flashy and they didn't have me convinced of the depth of feelings between the hero and heroine. Overall, I was very underwhelmed with the romance aspect of the story.
My biggest issue beside the ones pointed above, is the white saviour narrative I read into the relationship between Rosemary and Kal's mother. I got the impression it was all about the personal fulfillment and professional success of the white woman who managed to convince the troubled and misunderstood WOC to let her tell her story to the world. And this all didn't sit well with me at all.
Overall, after loving Madly so much (it's one of the best romances I've read in 2017 so far) and generally being a fan of this author's work, I found Completely rather a let-down. I expected a lot more from it but ended up not enjoying it as much as I wanted to.
Ruthie Knox writes some of my favorite adult romances and to say I was excited when I saw this one is absolutely an understatement. I loved the first two books in this series and if you are looking for contemporary romance that is well written and swoony, definitely check out Knox's books...this one included.
This was such an interesting series. Three completely different couples in three completely different circumstances, and each one was interesting. This one was about Rosemary, Will from #2's ex-wife. After the divorced, she decided she needed to climb the Seven Summits and she would write a book about the experience. But her first attempt up Everest is cut short when an avalanche decimates Base Camp. She wasn't there, but she still had to be extracted from the mountain. One of the Sherpa on the trek, Kal, recognized the sort of dazed look in her eyes on the helicopter that extracted them, and he decides to check in on her at the hotel they end up. He brings food and wine, knocks on the door, and she answers completely naked. Still completely dazed from the ordeal. After she closes the door, puts on some clothes, and lets him in, they share the meal and the wine and then screw each other senseless because they're alive.
Next morning, cue the uncomfortable morning after. Rosemary doesn't even really remember Kal's name. But Kal is so cool about everything, he's able to put her at ease and put their dalliance into perspective without making it weird. When he returns to his room, he realizes he left it unlocked and someone has stolen his expensive gear (he's not so worried about that) as well as his money and credit cards and phone (that's a bigger problem). Thankfully, his passport was in the safe. He returns to Rosemary to describe his predicament, and they end up traveling to the US in style on Rosemary's dime. I don't think Rosemary actually expected him to repay her for the first-class transatlantic flight, but they have very posh accommodations. Kal is going to the US because he lives in New York. Rosemary is going there because she thinks that's where her daughter, Beatrice, is.
But when they get there, Bea is in Wisconsin making a film about Winston's girlfriend's mother (the story from #2). After attending a prayer ceremony for the Sherpa lost on Everest (NY apparently has a fairly large community of Sherpa), and after meeting Kal's mom who is famous for summiting Everest eight times, the first time after her ex-husband mysteriously died on the mountain, she decides to switch gears. She won't be able to write the book about the Seven Summits until she can meet with the group of women she had planned this with, but she could interview Kal's mother and find out what really happened to her ex-husband and write about that. Dinner with Kal's family seals the deal when Kal's mom says she'll drive to Wisconsin with Rosemary and Kal will drive. I think Kal's mom saw something special between Kal and Rosemary that they thought was impossible and wanted to give them more time.
I will admit this was a pretty slow love story. It was still compelling for me because I knew they'd make it -- the story was figuring out the details. The rest of the story was Kal and Rosemary coming to terms with the barriers to a relationship between them, coming to terms with how they really felt for each other, Rosemary trying to figure out how to deal with an uncooperative Beatrice, and then figuring out how they could make it work considering location issues, vocational issues, etc. But they figure it out. It's really sweet in the end, and I was glad to find Rosemary sort of grounded finally. It seemed like she'd been forever trying to find herself and she finally found it with Kal.
Although Completely by Ruthie Knox is billed as a romance, it is more of a work of women’s literature. There is a romance between the main characters, Kal and Rosemary, however, it is secondary to the other major events and issues in their lives.
Divorced and estranged from her daughter, Rosemary is focused on her childhood dream of being a mountaineer. The beautiful Brit meets Kal at base camp on Mount Everest. Kal is the ruggedly handsome, Sherpa Ice Doctor—his role is to “diagnose” the condition of the ice for the climbers. Culturally, Kal and Rosemary are miles apart, but an avalanche literally throws them into each other’s arms.
These two characters are very interesting. They are both outwardly strong and calm, but they are emotionally fragile beings. I loved the messages Ms. Knox conveys through her development of these two characters. Kal and Rosemary are both lost and looking for purpose. Rosemary spent years feeling like nothing. She was unappreciated by her husband and daughter, and she was made to feel that she was loved only when she made the proper decisions. Kal spent years being abused by his father, and watching his father beat his mother. He also spent his adulthood wondering if the stories of his mother’s involvement in his father’s death were true. Their issues are quite different, but they both on Mount Everest avoiding their issues and hiding from life instead of living it.
Rosemary and Kal are thrown together multiple times as they recover from shock and reenter life. They end up taking care of one another. While I usually abhor “insta-love” stories, I can accept the all-too-quick use of the term love between Kal and Rosemary given the life-changing catastrophe they experienced together. Living through an avalanche, would definitely make me appreciate the fragility of my life and heighten my awareness of the limited time we have to seize the day.
I appreciated that both Kal and Rosemary question their fit in each other’s life—even more so after their declaration of love. They are both struggling with what they want to do with the rest of their lives, and they are trying to envision how they might accomplish anything while being tethered in a relationship. Kal’s mother, the infamous Yangchen Beckett, is the catalyst for change in both Kal and Rosemary. The two find new inspiration for moving forward individually, and they find that they can love and be loved completely if they live by their own rules.
The moral of this story is don’t compromise on finding fulfillment in your life in order to have love…find a partner who will love you completely while you are following your dream. Think outside the box, and love outside the box.
This is not what I was expecting.. I've loved everything I've read by Ruthie so I've been waiting impatiently for this book to finally release and now I feel so annoyed and I'm not sure with what or who. This book just didn't work for me. It started out slow and kept the pace. I felt disconnected from the characters, the way the story was told, both MCs kept their "walls up" which made them feel distant not just from one another but from me as well. I wanted to see ONE big reaction. ONE extreme outburst or breakdown and just - nothing. Composure and simple gratitude for the other person. I needed more.
We've met Rosemary Chamberlain before, she is Winston's ex-wife. I was intrigued about her story. She gave her life to being Winston's wife but didn't enjoy it much. Now on her own she wants to finally LIVE. She decides to go up Everest (and other mountains after) but things didn't work out.. She was rescued through a helicopter after an avalanche struck. She finds herself connecting to Kal Beckett, an ice doctor who thinks Everest should be closed for hikers even though his parents were known for both getting to the top.
They made a foolish decision right at the beginning, but they somehow keep on going no matter what, clinging to each others' company even if in a way it's very superficial. I stopped at the 32% mark when they finally arrive in New York. Truthfully, I was bored. I've read through a third of the book and I feel as though nothing happened. We get glimpses inside each one's head but it's not enough to keep me. Their "relationship" is unclear. Their feelings in general towards what happened and towards each other is jumbled which makes ME feel numb.
I'm sorry but I can't do this anymore. I HIGHLY recommended everything else by Ruthie. I've read it ALL. This one was different for me. If you're more likely to enjoy slow paced books give it a go, Ruthie is great! I"m just personally not finding what I want and need here.
Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As with the previous books in this series, this is much more of a character study than an action-packed tale, although you would be excused from thinking so since it begins in the middle of a climb of Mount Everest. But it's the aftermath of an avalanche that brings Rosemary and Kal together. They are both 30-somethings who have been floundering in their lives, not particularly unhappy but unable to find their way to contentment. But somehow they fit together. (In my experience, Knox is able to take two seemingly disparate people and dig deep beneath their surface masks to uncover their similarities to understand why they fit together so well.) Despite their completely different lives, their personalities fit. But neither of them trusts that, continuing to bring up issues that could/should come between them. It's frustrating to watch them struggle, although that makes it particularly gratifying when they finally figure it all out. Great characters, enough action to keep the story moving forward, and a nice ending to what has been a very enjoyable series. It was great to revisit with the couples from previous books, providing a satisfying ending to this trilogy.