Anna's Reviews > When Morning Comes: A Family Affair Novel

When Morning Comes by Francis Ray
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's review
May 01, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Best friends Sabrina and Kara live on the same street and work in the same hospital. However, they have completely different viewpoints on love and the pursuit thereof. Sabrina is physically scarred from horrific childhood abuse and Kara is emotionally scarred from an abusive adult relationship with her mother. However, Sabrina sets her sights on Cade Mathis, the brilliant but emotionally reserved (stunted?) neurosurgeon who ALSO has a history of childhood abuse, and Kara is pursued by a wealthy and highly attractive writer/blogger/house flipper.

Things I liked about this book: 1) The heroines weren't awful. Kara really needed a backbone, which she eventually found but watching her dealing with her mother throughout the book was just painful. I wanted to throttle both of them, for completely different reasons. However, her love story (b story though it was) was more interesting to me than Sabrina and Cade's, although that really comes to the kinds of romantic relationships I prefer, rather than the actual writing. Despite that, she's a decent enough character, and so is Sabrina. I have a real pet peeve when the female character is illogically nasty, all in the name of creating resolvable conflict for plot.

2) The writing wasn't flawless, but Francis Ray is proficient. While that seems like faint praise, I promise, it's not. There are so many terrible writers out there, proficiency makes me do a happy dance.

Things I didn't like about the book: 1) Kara's mother. On the face of things, she's just awful, but looking beyond the obvious awfulness, she's rather one dimensional. Oh, there's some explanation for her attitude ("I grew up in a house with 14 kids and I never got what I wanted, but mostly in the form of material possessions....") but frankly, that wasn't enough for me to explain her pervasive and unrelenting, damn near insane behaviour.

2) Typos. There were a few. I know I read an ARC, but god, I hate typos. At one point, Sabrina answers her phone and identifies herself as Sabrina Mathis. Mathis is the HERO's last name, not hers. It's not even supposed to be a Freudian slip, because HE was calling her and they could have had a marvelously awkward conversation about whether she's been doodling his name in her Trapperkeeper or something. Nope, it's just a mistake.

3) Sabrina seems a little.... inconsistant to me. She's horrifically scarred, and both of the her previous boyfriends (in high school and college respectively), are so turned off by the scarring that they immediately dump her and as a result, she doesn't date and she enters her relationship with Cade as a virgin. At the same time, we're supposed to believe this strong-willed, otherwise totally beautiful and obviously determined woman would let that put her off? Evidence: she ardently pursued the one doctor in the hospital that didn't want to date her, even when he rejected her at first..... Seems to me like Cade Mathis couldn't have been the one and only man in the world who would have appreciated her for what she is, not if she's everything she's supposed to be. Maybe I'm oversimplifying this, but I feel like the virgin card is overplayed and unrealistic in contemporary romances.

4) The all-too-convenient plot tying itself together. Sabrina and Kara are best friends. They start dating two men Cade and Tristian, but it turns out 1) Cade is Sabrina's adopted mother's biological son, who she gave hiim up rather than raise a child out of wedlock and 2) Cade's long lost, recently identified half biological brother on his father's side is actually... Kara's boyfriend's (Tristian's) buddy. What next? Will one of them discover an evil twin? Perhaps someone will fake their own death, only to be discovered later in Figi, living a secret life..... So soap opera. I like connections between characters, but this was just too much.

Bottom Line: I like the book better than several other contemporary romance novels I've read lately, but there are still some things that didn't quite fit. While I won't say that it's my favorite, I wouldn't have a problem recommending it to other people.

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