18 June 2012

Review: Love on Laird Avenue by Cindy A Christiansen

Tatum Stewart has just graduated from University and is looking to escape from the shadow of her over-protective (and rich) father. She plans to start her own computer programming business, seriously look for a boyfriend and renovate the dream house she has just purchased in lovely Laird Avenue. Unfortunately, the house has a secret hidden in the basement that is about to attract some unwanted attention.

Ryan Bulldarren is an expert at all things around home renovation, with all the skills of a builder, electrician, plumber and architect all rolled into one. Unfortunately, he also has a learning difficulty which means he lacks confidence in his professional abilities – and his ability to maintain a relationship. Ryan and Tatum are immediately attracted to each other, but the path of true love isn’t going to run smoothly, between Tatum’s blind dates and the intruders who keep trying to get into the house.

The prologue suggested that Love On Laird Ave was going to be a romantic suspense, but actually it was more romantic comedy with a bit of suspense thrown in. I enjoyed the plot, and Ryan is a really likeable character (although I’d normally be suspicious of any man who can recognise a pair of $500 mens shoes in the dark).

However, I found Tatum to be a little over-the-top for my taste, and found it difficult to believe that she had the intelligence to graduate college. I know she’s meant to be a poor little rich girl striking out to gain independence, but seriously? Buying new clothes every day because she doesn’t know how to turn on an electric washing machine? Wanting to be independent but allowing Daddy to underwrite the mortgage? (Daddy’s obviously underwriting the credit card and the $275 haircuts as well). Inviting blind dates off an internet matchmaking site home to dinner – without a chaperone?

Love On Laird Ave is a self-published novel, and while the proofreading was excellent, there were some editing issues, such as repetition (e.g. twenty sentences beginning with the word ‘she’ in two pages). There are also some issues with the narrative, with too much ‘tell’ and not enough ‘show’, but overall, this is an easy-to-read romance with some nice writing that would benefit from some editorial polish.

Thanks to Cindy A Christiansen and Secret Cravings Publishing for providing a free ebook for review.

P.S. Although most of my reviews are Christian fiction, this one is not. It is a 'clean' read, but none of the main characters have any religious conviction, Christian or otherwise, and it is written by a Mormon. It is set in Utah, so there are a handful of references to the Mormons (specifically, around Prohibition) but nothing particularly 'religious'. 

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