30 December 2014

Review: Love Overcomes by Angela Schroeder

It's the last week of the year, so I'm burying the reviews of the books I didn't manage to finish in 2014 in the hope that you are all too busy recovering from Christmas to notice.

Amazon Book Description

Single mother Arabella Mackenzie never imagined that going to California with her sister Clara would have such a huge impact on her life. Since the end of a disastrous relationship, Arabella has been wary of wanting or needing anyone other than her family. But when she meets hunky actor, Jeremy Fowlis, she begins to have feelings for a man for the first time since her three year old son was born. Now, she needs to try to overcome her past and learn to trust again.

Jeremy is not used to women who don’t want to date him, or at least show him off to their friends – he is an in-demand actor, after all. He is tired of the shallow, avaricious attention that he gets from the public, but when he meets intelligent, cautious Arabella, she doesn’t even know his name. Arabella’s grounded beauty captivates him instantly, but, he is wary of getting involved with a single mother with a complicated past.

Can Arabella and Jeremy both overcome their doubts and fears in order to find love?


I managed to make it a third of the way through Love Overcomes before I gave up. I simply wasn’t engaged in the plot or the characters, and I was finding the writing didn’t flow well, which made for awkward reading. This was mostly because of the excessive use of adverbs, creative dialogue tags (“Jake offered quickly”), floating body parts (her “eyes darted away”—did they come back?), redundant language (“she nodded consent”—when do we nod in dissent?) and a lack of contractions in dialogue. It didn’t help that the plot was a rehash of others I’d read and enjoyed more, such as Firstborn by Karen Kingsbury, and Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann.

It didn’t start well—it wasn’t explained why Arabella, Liam and Clara were going to LA (or why Arabella and Liam had to accompany Clara). The characters all seem to be holding back. It's one thing for a character to have secrets and hold them back from the other characters, but enough has to be revealed to the reader to get us to like the characters. It's not that the characters in Love Overcomes are unlikeable, more that I never felt I was given enough information to know enough to like them.

Overall, the unplot, uncharacters and awkward writing combined to ensure I had no emotional engagement in the story, and therefore no reason to finish it.

Thanks to Anaiah Press for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Angela Schroeder at her website.