on 9 May 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Series: Until Him #2
Published by self-published
Sage Mayson had Kimberly Cullen once, and the memory of that brief encounter has tortured him since the moment he pushed her away. He should have followed his gut, but he didn’t, and now he’s left watching the woman he wants more than anything from afar.
Kimberly vowed to protect her heart from Sage, but when her sister is murdered and her world starts to fall apart, he’s the one person she finds herself leaning on.
Getting a second chance is something Sage knows is rare. He’s not going to squander the one he’s been given, and he won’t take no for an answer when it comes to making Kim his.
But what Sage doesn’t know is Kim has a secret that could leave them both devastated and heartbroken.
I have very mixed feelings about self-published authors.
On one hand, I watched a friend struggle through receiving over 50 rejection letters from book agents before finally getting her big break. For whatever reason, she was determined to have her book published the traditional way. When I think about all the great books I may not have ever read because the process of getting an agent, and then a publisher, is so demoralizing, it makes me very happy self-publishing is alive and well.
But the ugly side of self-publishing is sometimes things get “published” that probably shouldn’t. Sometimes authors amass such a fan following that no matter what they put out, dozens and dozens of readers will defend them – and their book – to the death (and that’s only a slight exaggeration – some of the arguments on Goodreads are vicious!). Many of these authors are great at storytelling, but the actual writing itself would cause their junior high English teacher great shame. It’s not that I expect everyone to know the difference between to, too, and two, or their, there, and they’re – but what I have a harder time forgiving is when an author doesn’t utilize someone who does. What many self-published authors need is someone to tell them that sentence, that paragraph, that chapter you wrote is crap and you need to fix it.
All that to say…Aurora Rose Reynolds is one such author I feel is really in need of one of those people. She does a great job with storytelling (usually), but I had major problems with her last book. The story wasn’t good, the writing wasn’t good, the editing was terrible. The whole book was missing the usual heart that’s present – which is the reason why I read ARR books. She’s never been the best writer out there – technically speaking – but her strength is in the feeling of the stories, and if that’s missing, what’s the point in spending my time and money?!?! And with all the typos/errors in that last book, I was about to give up on her.
But after reading a teaser chapter a while back, I was cautiously optimistic about reading Until Sage. I am pleased to report that this book was almost completely free of typos/editing errors! There were a few awkwardly worded sentences, and some random capitalizations in the middle of sentences, but otherwise, I was impressed. Which brings me to the plot…
Ms. Reynolds has a pretty specific formula for her Until Series books. They are all based on the Mayson family “BOOM” – wherein each member of the family is immediately struck by overpowering, everlasting love when they least expect it. It happens for Sage Mayson when he rescues Kim Cullen on the side of the road. They spend a memorable night together, but then a “misunderstanding” causes Sage to blow up at Kim and walk away from her. He quickly realizes he made a mistake, but Kim isn’t too eager to let her guard back down. After not enough groveling (in my opinion), they get back together, only to have Sage get really angry again…
Remember how I said I read ARR books because of the feelings in her books? Yeah, there really weren’t many in this book. I liked the heroine, but the hero…not so much. He acted like a big fat jerk too many times, and not in the typical alpha-male, too-bossy type that is typical of Ms. Reynold’s heroes. And while I’m glad she skipped her usual plot line where the heroine gets kidnapped or put in great peril, there really wasn’t much to Sage and Kim’s story. Kim’s big secret could have been turned into some really dramatic things, but instead, it was almost a non-issue (other than a chance to show how poorly Sage can control his temper).
I don’t know that I’m ready to quit on Aurora Rose Reynolds. But the last couple of her books have definitely left me underwhelmed. I’m thrilled she cleaned up her writing, but that’s not enough for me to recommend this book. I really want to be a champion of indie authors, but I don’t think that means I have to lower my standards. There are several of her earlier books that I still enjoy rereading from time to time. Unfortunately, Until Sage just didn’t do anything for me.