51 Following

Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Again The First Time

Again for the First Time - Raven St. Pierre

I wanted to like this a lot more than I did.


The hero's Luke younger brother Matt, is making a documentary about love and marriage.  Are the chances of a successful marriage more possible for a couple who has known each other, dated and getting married the conventional way or for a couple who just decide to marry the first time they meet each other?


Matt will use his brothers as his subjects.  His one brother Nick is already engaged to be married but his other brother Luke is not involved with anyone.  He persuades Luke to roam the streets of NYC and ask random women to marry him.  If one says yes they'll persuade her to actually go through with it.


Enter Lisette who had been dumped by her fiance and is at the lowest ebb of her life because she finds out he is engaged to be married to someone else. Armed with some sage advice from her dead granny, she says 'Yes' when the handsome stranger asks her to marry him.


What makes both Luke and Lisette go through with this?  Money.  They are both kinda broke and need a quick infusion of cash which their advance and promise of more money to come after the movie is produced.  For Lisette the monetary need is clear.  She is trying to make her new business a go and has no health insurance for a costly medical procedure she needs.


But Luke's money motive is more mysterious and we don't find out why until much later in what I felt was an unnecessarily drawn out plot point.


I thought the set up was interesting, but it was derailed by what I felt was an unnecessary woo-woo component.  Dead granny's letters and advice actual portend something more mystical.  I wasn't on board.


I also thought something felt off about both families.  Lisette's family felt like pieces that were moved onto the scene to fulfill a certain family book quota.  I can't quite put my finger on what was wrong with them, but they didn't feel quite "real" to me. 


Luke's family felt much more realistic in their glorious dysfunction although his oldest brother Nick did come off as a bit of a cartoon.  Frankly, his family was a mess.  Only Luke and Matt seemed at all sympathetic.


And even though I don't necessarily need race to be a romantic conflict, let's be real, the lack of any acknowledgement of race in an interracial romance just doesn't work either.


I did like the romantic conflict that was included though.  Luke and Lisette simply did not know each other and I felt that discomfort bleed through sometimes.  But more interestingly was Luke's old girlfriend who had a bigger affect on Luke's past than we first know.  I thought his handling of her was all wrong, but it made for effective romantic conflict that was sure.


But then I was turned off again by the coincidences that are revealed in the story.  What are the odds?  The connections we find out between Luke & Lisette.  I know coincidences are real, but this many?


It was a pleasant enough story, but yeah a few things kept yanking me out.  Writing was clean and sure, though, it was just the story didn't quite work for me.