RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Compassion Can’t Wait by Carly Phillips


Title: Compassion Can't Wait
Author: Carly Phillips
Publication Info: Harlequin 2011
ISBN: 978-0373837632
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Two feet on the edge of a dock, touching toes. This review was written by Phyllis. This story was nominated in the Best Romance Novella category.

The summary: In Carly Phillips's Compassion Can't Wait, two high school sweet hearts are reunited years later, as if by fate, and discover that if you believe in yourself and each other, anything is possible.

And here is Phyllis' review:

This is a nice, sexy story of old flames reunited.

As a kindness to a teenage boy whose brother's suffering from advanced leukemia, the heroine, a hospital social worker, contacts her ex-boyfriend, now a star baseball pitcher, to meet the boy.

Neither the hero or heroine had an easy childhood. The hero's mother left and his father was an alcoholic. The heroine's had been normal until her sister got sick, but then she was all but forgotten in the focus on her sister. Both acted stupidly when they were eighteen, each perceiving the other's actions as abandonment. Both are basically good people who are written as a little too noble at times.

The writing is awkward at times and the whole section in the beginning where she talks about the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation – which provides monetary and logistical help for single parents with critically ill children – is extremely stilted. She talked about the foundation at length in the introduction, so she really didn't need to spend so much time on it within the story.

I also felt that while the focus was on the boy who was not ill, some mention should have been made of his feelings about his critically ill twin brother and some hint given of what happened. I felt that the boy was “rescued” by the famous pitcher and there's no more mention of the family.

Overall, I give the story a C for clumsy writing and pounding us over the head.

This novella can be found at: Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo.

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  1. 1
    SuperWendy says:

    My own personal grade was a smidge higher than Phyllis’ but yes, yes, yes to the lumpy writing.  Frankly, I was a little surprised that out of the anthology that this was the story that got the nod (the Shalvis entry is very good IMHO).  I’ve disagreed with the RITAs in the past, but usually I can count on solid writing, and while I “liked” the story here, it just seemed overly “tell-y” and stilted at times.

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