Hayat's Reviews > The Beginning

The Beginning by Ranay James
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This book had so much potential and I was excited to read a historical romance story set in medieval times with a time travel theme but the content did not live up to the synopsis of this book. I found myself skimming through parts of the story and I couldn't wait to reach the end.

Here are some of the issues I've found:

Plot/language

I was looking forward to the the time travel theme but it turned out to be a small aspect of the story that was thrown in at the end of the book as a plot device for the next book in this series. so I'm a little disappointed about that.

The language used here was too modern for a 15th century setting.

Some of the actions of the characters/context did not fit in with the time period. (view spoiler)

There was too much angst based on too many ridiculous misunderstandings between Nic and Morgan making it difficult to feel sympathy or connect with the characters. It felt like I was reading a Mills & Boon romance or one of those annoying angsty YA books. The plot device was too formulaic making The main characters go through the same scenarios in a never ending cycle which made the story mind numbingly boring after a few chapters.

The main characters

Nic McKinnon is described as being a hot alpha hero, at least physically, but I didn't feel it because he was unbelievably thick. And being stupid is not sexy. Everyone knew he was making serious mistakes and doing things that were contrary to his upbringing/culture that could lead to potential disaster, but again he was the last to know this! He was supposed to be the right hand man of the king of England and a legendary knight for crying out loud! How can someone with so much responsibility and political negotiation skills be so dim-witted! (view spoiler)

Nic started out as a cool guy but by the end of the book he'd turned into a weakling with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde split personality. I found him annoying and at times overbearing and clueless.

likewise, Morgan Pembridge, the Seventh Duchess of Seabridge started out as an intelligent, strong, courageous and daring woman with and interesting background. She was a firecracker but, somewhere along the way, she turned into another weak and indecisive medieval damsel in distress. (view spoiler) I found Morgan's character to be very contradictory, sometimes she can decisive, fearless and even bloodthirsty while the rest of the time she is as timid as a kitten. I wanted her to stand up for herself, demand/earn some respect, face the facts with courage, just like she did in the beginning.

As for her appeal...I can't even fathom why the other knights are infatuated with her because there is nothing special about this girl except her status and hight. She is a tall girl, at least 6ft.

The romance

There was a lack of chemistry and emotional connection between h/h. I did not feel the love here. I'm not convinced at all. I can't for the life of me remember a passionate scene or even a satisfying kiss between h/h. The bedroom action is non-existent as everything fades to black before it even got started making me puzzled and unsatisfied with the whole 'romance' of it.


I really wanted to like this book, I mean it had all the right ingredients: a Tortured, emotionally scared damsel in distress escaping an evil greedy uncle who imprisoned her for seven years, a hot and powerful alpha knight coming to her rescue, an inescapable decree by the the king which complicates things. And lets not forget, both destiny and fate stirring up trouble. With all this drama taking place in a medieval setting with a bit of time travel thrown in...it should have been both exciting and entertaining story but alas that was not the case.

Although I didn't enjoy reading this book, I'm thinking of give this series a second chance and reserve judgement until after I've read the second book, since this is the first book and they sometimes get off to a shaky start.
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Reading Progress

January 1, 2014 – Shelved
January 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 1, 2014 – Shelved as: time-travel-romance
January 1, 2014 – Shelved as: science-fiction
January 22, 2014 – Started Reading
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: angsty
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: assassin
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: emotional-rollercoaster-ride
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: freebies-and-bargain-books
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: heroine-naive-babe-in-the-woods
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-romance
January 22, 2014 – Shelved as: medieval
January 22, 2014 –
100.0%
January 22, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Patricia I totally agree with you. I do feel let down because so many highly recommended this with 4 to 5 star reviews.


message 2: by Beth (new) - rated it 1 star

Beth I feel like I don't need to write a review, you've written mine for me! Shallow, cookie-cutter characters, predictable plot. I didn't realize it was a historical (sort-of) romance. But there is no chemistry. And not even any good sex scenes to make up for it! I feel like it's an Outlander wanna-be, even down to the time-traveling female healer!


Hayat Beth wrote: "I feel like I don't need to write a review, you've written mine for me! Shallow, cookie-cutter characters, predictable plot. I didn't realize it was a historical (sort-of) romance. But there is no ..."

Thank you so much, Beth! You are right about this book trying very hard to be like Outlander but it failed to reach that potential. I have no desire to read the sequel either. :)


Hayat Patricia wrote: "I totally agree with you. I do feel let down because so many highly recommended this with 4 to 5 star reviews."

Sorry I missed your comment, Patricia! I just had a quick look at GR reviews and can't believe this book has 4 and 5 star ratings. The GR hype must be working overtime. I hope you've found more satisfying read after this one. :)


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Awww, I hate when you find a book that's just meh :-( But, there will be those unfortunately. Great review hon ♥


Hayat Melissa wrote: "Awww, I hate when you find a book that's just meh :-( But, there will be those unfortunately. Great review hon ♥"

Thanks, Melissa! I guess the one good thing about bland books is that I get to rant, express my annoyance and feel a little better afterwords. :) xo


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin lol.. :-) xo


message 8: by A. (new)

A. Fab review, Hayat! Sorry it wasn't better. xoxo


Hayat Anna ☘ wrote: "Fab review, Hayat! Sorry it wasn't better. xoxo"

Thank you, Anna! <3


message 10: by Sa (new)

Sa Huh, guess the only thing this book has going for it is the fab cover to trick suckers like me into thinking I'm missing something good.


Hayat Sa wrote: "Huh, guess the only thing this book has going for it is the fab cover to trick suckers like me into thinking I'm missing something good."

I've been tricked by great book covers and enticing blurbs too, Sa. That's why I still read books with awful covers because, a few of them turn out to be gems and those make up for the disappointments. :)


✦❋Arianna✦❋ Awesome review, Hayat! Sorry it wasn't better for you! :( xx


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