Under a Turquoise Sky is Christian Romantic Suspense, usually my favourite genre, but this really didn’t gel with me. I found the characters too stereotypical, and the plot verging on melodramatic. It didn’t help that I kept being pulled out of the story by writing glitches (I was reading an unproofed version of the manuscript, but it wasn’t typos and spelling mistakes that annoyed me, but sentences that didn’t makes sense. I don’t mind the advance review copy having a few typos, but the writing should still sing. This didn’t).
It didn’t start well. In fact, it started three times: Kailyn meets Rafe/Aaron at a party; Kailyn watches her best friend get murdered by her drug lord husband; Kailyn in witness protection where her care is entrusted to Aaron. I didn’t like Kailyn as a character, and that didn’t help. I can’t exactly pinpoint what I didn’t like, but I think it was that I didn’t see any depth to her. She came across as somewhat dim.
Aaron was a more complex character, a half-Navajo child who’d been mistreated by his white stepfather then adopted by a white family. He had rejected God, but this is a Christian romance, and we all know that means the hero and heroine both have to be Christians by the end of the book. This was another big failing for me: I didn’t see any development in Aaron’s faith journey throughout the book, which made the inevitable conversion seem unrealistic.
What was good? I really liked Aaron’s Navajo grandmother. She was brighter than she let on, with a wicked sense of humour and large doses of tribal and Christian wisdom, even if it tended to be delivered as cliché dialogue. But the good wasn’t enough to make up for lacklustre writing and a main character I was unable to empathise with.
As an aside, this book illustrates why I no longer pay any attention to author endorsements. Under a Turquoise Sky has been endorsed by DiAnn Mills, who says, “only lightening can strike faster than the action in this thrilling romantic suspense.” Yes, the same novel I found slow and predictable. I won’t be reading any further novels by Lisa Carter, and I might think twice about DiAnn Mills as well.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Lisa Carter at her website.