Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Review: It Started With a Kiss (Sequoia Lake #1) by Marina Adair

With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.

As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.

Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.

This is the first book that I've read by Marina Adair. I'm not totally for sure if I'm a fan or not ... something just missed the mark with me on this one and I can't quite put my finger on it. 

When you start reading, you're dropped into Avery's life after she's had this life-altering kidney transplant. It's made abundantly clear that Avery has a new lease on life. And that's great! This chick is learning to live in the moment and more power to her. But even knowing that ... her character didn't seem consistent. I imagine going through something like Avery has, it really changes your perspective on things and maybe you do start to honestly change. And maybe with that comes some wavering within a persons character. Even still, Avery didn't seem like a complete character. Something was just off about her and it lasted the entire novel for me. It does make me think that maybe it was intentional on the author's part for Avery to come across like that but it didn't sit well with me. 

The story itself was ... okay. For being an outdoorsy book with this hero leading male, I thought that he would have a personality that was larger than life to go along with it. And he did sometimes. But it wasn't consistent. While I liked most of the characters in the book, none of them really stood out as people I will remember in the coming months. I won't be reading my next book and then still thinking about the characters from this book. And that's okay, I just prefer to have characters that stick with me. I want to WANT to know more about them and miss them when I've moved onto something else. 

Unfortunately, I didn't think that the plot was any more engaging than the characters were. It was okay but it didn't grab my attention and refuse to let go. There were parts where I felt like I should have been empathizing with the characters or at least feeling some sort of sad emotions for what was going on but that didn't happen. I think that feeling emotional while reading this was the intention but apparently, my heart is made of stone. And then the ending ... for the love of all things fluffy. The ending was sugary sweet and it was a tad too much. The rest of the book hadn't been that way and it just felt odd and ill placed. 

While I didn't hate the story and/or author, I don't know if I will read another book by her. There are tons of awesomely high ratings for this book right now, so I apparently missed something. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: January 31st, 2017

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