24 July 2014

Review: Done Being Friends by Trisha Grace

It had potential ...

I’m always a fan of friends to lovers plots (this is Christian romance, so I mean ‘lover’ strictly in the Victorian sense), so I was keen to read Done Being Friends. Zac and Faith have been friends since they were children, each with feelings for the other, feelings they have each kept secret for fear of ruining their friendship. In Done Being Friends, a series of events along with the interference of Zac's best friend, Dylan, force them to address their feelings.

I liked both Faith and Zac, which is always a good start in a romance novel. They are both the children of rich and privileged upbringings, but are pretty normal despite that. Zac now runs his family construction business, while Faith spends her time on short-term missionary trips. I also enjoyed the suspense subplot that came into play in the second half of the novel.

However, there were a number of writing issues. There’s a view that few novels benefit from a prologue, and this one proves the rule. I get the impression it was meant to show how protective Zac felt towards Faith, but he came across as possessive and arrogant. And it was unnecessary backstory, as it was covered perfectly well in a single sentence in the first chapter.

The writing was an issue throughout the novel. There were a lot of typos (he had his hand on her "bareback"), creative dialogue tags (her father stated, her mother voiced), and too many adverbs, as well as commas in the wrong places, run-on sentences, and some sentences which were almost unintelligible ("I took a couple of paper from Jessica's house"). The book description says this is the reedited and revamped version, but it's still not ready to be on sale, at least in my opinion.

I was also concerned by a couple of aspects of the plot for a novel I was told was a Christian romance, although this wasn't obvious in the story apart from a few mentions of Faith's missionary trips. First (and don't read this if you don't like spoilers), Faith and Zac share a bed many times during the course of the story. It's implied they are merely sleeping together (rather than, you know, Sleeping Together), but that's not made clear. And while I see Faith has a Christian faith, I never had the same assurance about Zac. Specifically, he says to Faith at one point, "You've always told me how good God is". You mean Zac doesn't know for himself?

Overall, while I liked the characters and enjoyed the story, I can't actually think of anyone I'd recommend Done Being Friends to. People who would enjoy the Christian aspect wouldn't like the "sleeping together" or the lack of clarity around Zac's beliefs, and readers of general market romance wouldn't like the Christian aspect (although some would like the chaste storyline). Overall, it's only okay.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

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