Rachel Thompson's Reviews > Love Me If You Must

Love Me If You Must by Nicole Young
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's review
May 07, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: christian, mystery, romance
Read in May, 2012

I downloaded a free copy of this book for my Sony e-reader.

Tish travels the country (or maybe just the state of Michigan) fixing up old houses and flipping them for a profit. Sounds like an awesome way to make a living, but really she's just running from her past, hoping that no one finds out the truth she's trying to avoid. Right off the bat she meets sexy neighbor, David. With a British accent and handsome looks, what's not to like? He's smooth, sophisticated, and just getting served divorce papers after his wife took off a year ago. There's also a hunky cop living on the other side of the fence, but Tish doesn't deal well with cops since she spent three years in the joint.

Where to start? I didn't even know this was the first of a series until I'd finished reading the book. The plot started off well enough, but lost me completely about halfway through. This is, at first glance, a mystery. Right after moving into her creepy new Victorian, Tish thinks she sees the outline of a body cemented into the bottom of her cistern. Her contractors and neighbor cop, Brad, just think she's plain batty. When they take a look, they only see concrete. Still, Tish can't shake the feeling that there's a body buried in her basement. That's all well and good. I liked Tish's jumpy personality -- this is a mystery that read more like a paranormal novel. Tish's house isn't really haunted, but it still manages to give off that creepy vibe. I don't think the author was skillful enough to pull off the scary moments at the beginning of the book, but she did try. I still enjoyed the writing enough to read through this book quickly -- I found it difficult to put it down.

However, the romance angle that was thrown into the book was terrible. Just awful. (view spoiler)

Also terrible: the Christian angle, but I'm not a big fan of Christian books to begin with. This part just felt tacked on and added absolutely nothing to the story, other than as a way for Tish to start forgiving herself for the things that happened in her past.

That reminds me of one of the biggest annoyances in this book: Whole paragraphs explain the guilt Tish feels for what happened in her past, and the fact that she spent three years in jail, but the author doesn't even reveal the circumstances behind this trauma until close to the end of the book. This is really something that would have served the book better towards the beginning, maybe as a way to explain Tish's character a little better. I didn't like the big mystery hanging over her head throughout the book, especially since the book is told in first-person. So it feels like even the character is intimately involved with these memories, they were deliberately kept from the reader in a way that felt unnatural.

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