Paula's Reviews > Stiffed

Stiffed by Joanne Schwehm
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Having read countless 2nd chance romances & 99% of time came out always disappointed, I went into this one cautiously & hopeful because the childhood/first love trope is my own go-to. So for the first 30-35% I was sure that this would be a winner, but as always these days, the Author had to go and use the old cliché & tiresome trope (more on that later) and ruin it for me!

This review will contain some MAJOR SPOILERS, so for anyone interested in reading it, please stop now or don’t click on the spoiler tag…..

Backstory:

Jack & April met when they were both 7 yrs old. April & her family moved next door to Jack and there is an absolutely cute epilogue on the first chapter in which we get Jack & April’s first meet. Jack at the time was hoping it was a boy moving in next door whom he could play with – only to find out that it was a girl, April, whom he fell for right on the spot and became besties and more. (They were each other’s “first”).

At 16, Jack gave April a heart pendant and promised her that someday he would give her a ring & “Forever”. Only two years later at 18, April’s family had to relocate and Jack ended up breaking her heart (and his!) by calling it quits with her! This was a douche move on his part because at the time he thought he was doing the right thing, only he ended up regretting it each and every day.

When they meet again 10 years later, they are both 28 now and he has (unbeknownst to her) invested in her family’s business and is her boss. This sets up the plot for their reunion, but April won’t make it easy for him because in the intervening years, she went through some tough times and has a secret she is keeping from Jack. She also has another BFF (he is gay) that she tries at first to hide behind so that she can push Jack away, but Jack is one smart cookie and he didn’t let anything get in his way to win back his soulmate!

“Jealousy doesn’t look good on you, Jack.”

“Jealous? You think I’m jealous of another man?” “The only thing I’m jealous of right now is your panties, because they get to touch what’s mine. But you’re not mine yet. As much as I need you back, I refuse to kiss you until you tell me you want it because like I said, a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t thought of you.”


I would have easily given this a hands-down 5 or 10 stars because it was truly a sweet romance in which the Author took the time to develop the characters and show us how they fell in love and formed an unbreakable bond. So why not the 5 stars? (view spoiler)

“Every time April was in arm’s reach, I wanted to hold her, kiss her, and make love to her from the inside out. It didn’t matter how many women I’d been with, because none compared to her. None held my heart in their hands, and none would ever hold mine in theirs… only April”.

This story gave me all the “feels” I look for in a romance, even with all the plot points that I hate. So if you can put those things aside and enjoy it for what it is, I think you may end up liking it..

“Do you believe everyone has a purpose?”
“For example, some people were born to turn ingredients into masterpieces. Some were born to defend or lead countries. Others were born to be athletes or role models.” I placed my hand over my heart. “I was born to be yours. I don’t care about my houses or cars. I don’t care about money or my companies. None of it matters because I don’t have you. All I want is to love you… just you, April. I know I hurt you. I know I broke us, but please let me put the pieces back in place. All I want is for us to be together… to be happy… to love… because that’s my purpose. You, April, are my purpose.”


SIDE NOTE: ****This is for the GR person who PM'd me & is following my reviews ***

I will not PM you to answer your questions because I don't need to explain my reasons why I like or don't like something. I will nevertheless tell you that as a woman & human being, I have personal respect for myself. I have values & principles that apparently you lack and that is fine because to each their own.. . That said, just because I don't like or accept cheating in my fictional romances or in real life, does not mean that I have personal "experience" with cheaters/cheated on or being a prude. Quite the opposite in fact, but that is none of your business. So I leave you with this:
You ever hear of "Self Respect", Diseases, etc.?
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Reading Progress

January 30, 2019 – Shelved
January 30, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 1, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 2, 2019 – Started Reading
February 2, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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message 1: by Cyndi (new) - added it

Cyndi Terrific review! I will never read this! If the H loved the h so much he wouldn’t have had so much sex with OW! And bringing OW into the house he bought with h in mind- no thanks!


Paula Exactly Cyndi! That's how I always feel too. I am mad because if you take all that crap out, this is really a beautiful love story with likable characters. Why the Author incorporated is beyond me because it totally ruined it.....


message 3: by Dilek VT (new) - added it

Dilek VT Awesome review, my friend. I don't want to read this because I would be frustrated by his actions. Nope, he can't be my hero...

Thank you so much for all the insight... And I am now hating this cliché explanation more and more: "It didn’t matter how many women I’d been with, because none compared to her. None held my heart in their hands, and none would ever hold mine in theirs… only April”. So WTF were you doing with them, you as*? Pardon my French, Paula, but I am hating such guys more and more... Obviously, I am not a believer in second chances...


Paula Dilek VT wrote: "Awesome review, my friend. I don't want to read this because I would be frustrated by his actions. Nope, he can't be my hero...

Thank you so much for all the insight... And I am now hating this cl..."


Trust me Dilek, I had worse to say! I wish for once Authors would listen to readers and stop with this nonsense. I don't know why I bother with 2nd chance romances anymore! I really wanted to like this one because the 1st chapter was awesome! ... oh well...


message 5: by Dilek VT (last edited Feb 02, 2019 12:59PM) (new) - added it

Dilek VT Paula wrote: "Dilek VT wrote: "Awesome review, my friend. I don't want to read this because I would be frustrated by his actions. Nope, he can't be my hero...

Thank you so much for all the insight... And I am n..."


I try to avoid second chance romance now, Paula; 99% of them are frustrating. I only read if my trusted friends have all approve it. Otherwise second chance romances are now a big No for me.

And also friends-to-lovers romance. I have started to avoid them too. They don't want to spoil their friendship so they sleep with so many other people and then, years later they decide they should be with each other. That leaves a bitter taste in my mouth as well...


message 6: by Cyndi (new) - added it

Cyndi I agree with Dilek about friends to lovers - it isn’t romantic to me when the h and H have seen each other with other people for years! Thanks again for the info on this book Paula!


message 7: by Rejane (last edited Feb 02, 2019 03:42PM) (new) - added it

Rejane I have one gesture ‘cause I lost my words: 🤦🏻‍♀️
And I am with Dilek: 2nd chances and friends to lovers are definitely in my ‘not reading’ list. It’s just exhausting with all the cliches, lame excuses and op involved.
Thank you again for the info. The book is definitely ruined.
(For someone who had mo words I quite found some. Lol)


message 8: by Sannia (new) - added it

Sannia Fantastic review Paula. You always address the issues with these recurring plotlines and don't gloss over anything. As for me, I have little patience for second chance romances these days. They all seem to morphed into the same and hardly meet my expectations in the end. Hope your next read is a good one. ;)


Paula You guys are killing me! Lol.

I should know better by now then trust 2nd chance & friends to lovers tropes because they never work out for me, but I keep hoping that one day someone out there will surprise me and do it right! What can I say? I'm a hopeless optimist!


message 10: by Nova (new)

Nova  Brantley Paula I’m hopeless too. lol. Oh well. Maybe we just have to give up. Sorry this started so well and it does sound so but then it just went downhill. Hope you come across a 5 ⭐️


message 11: by AvidReader (new)

AvidReader Wow!! Loved your review. I would’ve been same as you if I also got that revelation hero became a manho in the middle of the story. But I clearly won’t be generous with this much stars as you.
Hate this twist in all romance.


message 12: by Sometime (new) - added it

Sometime Great review thanks for the heads up!

Having the H become a manwhore is bad enough. But what really burns my biscuit is that the author always has him say those words, "It was only you. I loved you all these years". I call BS!

I feel lied to as a reader. It's dishonest and makes me lose all respect for the H, h and author.


message 13: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa I was really hoping this book would be different. Thank you Paula for your fantastic review, I would have been annoyed and disappointed if I read it. You saved me lots of frustration. Really wish authors would drop this horrible manwhore trope, I am definitely tired of it!


message 14: by Rejane (new) - added it

Rejane Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a secret baby. Lol. That would be the cherry on top. 🍒


Paula Nova wrote: "Paula I’m hopeless too. lol. Oh well. Maybe we just have to give up. Sorry this started so well and it does sound so but then it just went downhill. Hope you come across a 5 ⭐️"

Thank you Nova! That is why I am so p***ed! Just when you start to like & get into a story, these Authors have to go and ruin it - EVERY-SINGLE-TIME!
Wishing an awesome read too!


Paula AvidReader wrote: "Wow!! Loved your review. I would’ve been same as you if I also got that revelation hero became a manho in the middle of the story. But I clearly won’t be generous with this much stars as you.
Hate..."


I spent 2 days going back & forth on the star rating! At the end, if you take away the references to his Manho ways, it really is a sweet love story so I was split because I really loved the beginning but hated the middle & disappointed somewhat of the end.

Come to think of it now, I SHOULD have given it 1 star! Oh Well...


Paula Sometime wrote: "Great review thanks for the heads up!

Having the H become a manwhore is bad enough. But what really burns my biscuit is that the author always has him say those words, "It was only you. I loved yo..."


I never read anything from this Author before but I so agree with you there! It ticks me off when Authors do that as well! The Hero's reason for breaking up with her in the first place was so lame and the fact he said he never stopped loving her for one minute, yet spent 10 years screwing around with others just enrages me! Just once I would like to see a heroine tell them to go stick it elsewhere! Oh well!


message 19: by Paula (last edited Apr 16, 2019 05:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paula Rejane wrote: "Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a secret baby. Lol. That would be the cherry on top. 🍒"

No, Rejane it wasn't a baby. (view spoiler)


Paula ✴ Cindy ✴ wrote: ""

Thanks hon!!!!


Paula Melissa wrote: "I was really hoping this book would be different. Thank you Paula for your fantastic review, I would have been annoyed and disappointed if I read it. You saved me lots of frustration. Really wish a..."

You & me both Melissa!!


message 22: by Rejane (new) - added it

Rejane Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a secret baby. Lol. That would be the cherry on..."

OMG... just ott drama. Thank you for answering


Paula Rejane wrote: "Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a secret baby. Lol. That would be..."

Very OTT! It was like Author had to redeem his douchery by incorporating that crap so that they never addressed his womanizing! And who by the way "inherits" that thing that I told you about? I'm no medical expert but children don't "inherit" that! Stupid writing! IMO.


message 24: by Rejane (new) - added it

Rejane Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a secret baby. Lol..."

I am no md either but the drama about she could die in the future is a little too much imo. Didn’t Selena Gomez had the same issue?! If the kidney doesn’t work out there is always dialisys and I know for sure that we can live with just one kidney. My aunt has s shrank one that has no use and she’s fine in her almost 69 years. And the one that’s healthy always get some stones. 🤨


Paula Rejane wrote: "Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula wrote: "Rejane wrote: "Paula, I forgot to ask. In the blurb it’s mentioned that heroine was hiding a secret. Please tell me among all the cliches there isn’t a se..."

Exactly! That's why the HEA at the end was so disappointing because she said they would never have any children unless they adopt! Stupid writing!


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