When I redid the re-captioning of Wayne Jordan’s book from the Uncyclopedia definition of romance, the book itself caught my eye. The synopsis sounded very interesting, so I ordered it.
Mason Sinclair is recovering from a terrible injury sustained in the line of duty when his mother tells him that the man the thought was his father was not, and that he has three brothers he never knew about. Lianne Thomas is undercover protecting a little boy and his mother. They’re both in Barbados. Could this potentially rock? It seemed to me that yes, oh yes, it could. Caribbean setting? Law enforcement protagonists? Multiple plots of family history, intrigue, suspense and pretending you are someone you’re not while discovering you’re someone else entirely?
Oh, yes yes yes.
Unfortunately the book itself didn’t live up to my expectations, and despite my attempts to keep reading, it never caught my attention. The clumsy development of characters, the klutzy plotting, and the narration undermined my anticipation of the plot itself to the point where I didn’t finish it.
The biggest problem with this book is way too much telling, heavy-handed, broad-sweeping telling, with so little showing, it’s a wonder the character doesn’t break the fourth wall and tell me directly: “I’m a sensitive man! But no one understands me! But I value my family! But I’m all alone!”
The book starts with Mason recuperating in the hospital bed by doing some serious navel gazing and dropping backstory in two ton segments into the reader’s lap:
Mason wished his father were still alive. It was moments like these when he wanted his father. Sure, he was forty years old, but his heart ached for the man who’d be there for him for as long as he could remember.
Whew! What’s that smell? Foreshadowing?
He had been unable to imagine life without the man who’d been there for him. The pain had lessened over the years, but memories of the times they’d spent together were still vivid.
Ok, got it. Father = important. Moving on.
At least there was something to look forward to today. His mother was coming. A visit from his mother had become one of the highlights of his life. She had been in England or Europe when he’d been shot. He hadn’t wanted to take her away from her latest young lover, and he knew there would be one. His mother was never without her latest boy toy.
Wha? Ok. Father = important. Mother = dilettante ho!
His mother had also been devastated by his father’s death. She had, however, chosen to bury her sorrow in working with her charity organization and roaming the planet. While Mason didn’t approve of his mother’s lifestyle, he reasoned that she did so only to ease the pain of losing his dad.
Mason was looking forward to the visit. He needed someone to talk to and, despite everything, he loved his mother.
She’d make everything all right.
Dude, you are 40 years old, your mother flits about Europe with boy toys working for “her charity organization” and while you don’t approve of her “lifestyle” you want her to make everything all right?
This is not a hero I want to read about, not at ALL. Anyone working through a horrible injury is entitled to navel gazing and maudlin self-pity, but COME ON NOW. Confusing infodumping descriptions does not a complex character make. At this point I’m tired of his whining and have no interest in the mother or whatever the “everything” is that despite it he still loves his mom.
After reading more than a few categories, I’m pretty accustomed to the degree of info dumping that setups up a plot within the category format. This went beyond mere infodumpery into backhoe-shovel sized wallops of confusing detail that made me like the narrator less and the additional characters not at all.
The heroine isn’t much to entice me either, despite the potential of a plot that could have been amazing.
Her partner, Brent, was due back tomorrow. Returning to work a day early had been a good idea. She wanted to be re-acclimatized before he returned. Leanne prided herself on always being prepare, and even though they had been partners for several years, she’d only allowed him in to a very small part of her life.
Anyone miss that? She’s annoying but more importantly Brent is NOT competition for Whine Mason and his Gazed Upon Navel.
At this point I stopped reading. I could barely take their own ruminations; I didn’t want to endure them potentially speaking to other people. I was more annoyed and frustrated than curious, and most of all disappointed that a plot setup that could have featured a strong, capable woman and a complex man faced with a family he never knew about was in practice compromised by awkward development and contradictory, confusing description. It’s a rare thing, but this is a DNF/F.