Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, June 25, 2015

False Impressions by Marianne Rice


As a recovering alcoholic, Cole Tucker has no intention of falling in love with Samantha Chase, especially when he learns her husband and daughter were killed by a drunk driver. How would she ever be able to forgive his past? Samantha Chase is happy to have found a place to start a new life with her son, the last thing she expected was to fall in love with her new boss. But, how can she overlook his former life?

You'll love False Impressions by Marianne Rice, a passionate and poignant tale of new love and second chances.

Donna's Review:

Most of you who read my reviews know that I analyze based largely on the elements that
create good fiction—plotting, characterization, prose (sentence structure), and setting. If these are well-done, even if I have particular issues with the subject matter, I will still rate fairly. Unfortunately, when these things are missing, I also rate likewise.

False Impressions falls short in all of the above. I hate to say it, but I got only 30% through the book before putting it down. I just could not go any further. I tried to like it. I really did. Authors put their heart and soul into a book, even if it is written badly, and every successful author has a few bad books (or a lot) under their belt. That having been said, however, it is not necessary for readers to read the bad stuff. Authors put the bad stuff in the file cabinet. It is either forgotten, laughed about later, or revised when they have better writing skills.

First, the characters and the plotting. I will oftentimes put up with a lot, especially off of new authors, if the characters are well done. In this case, I did not even like these people, and I certainly cared not at all what happened to them. They have issues (deceased spouse, alcoholism), but these have not been translated into clear cut internal and external goals. Without goals, I had no purpose for reading. I did not even have a purpose for reading each section/chapter, because it was not clearly stated (or subtly stated) what the point of view character needed to accomplish in that section to “fix” their situation. As a result, there was no disaster at the end (clearly stated) and no amendment of the goal as the plot drove forward (or was suppose to drive forward) to the next disaster.

Another problem was the dialogue, which in this situation falls flat. The characters spend too much time talking about ordinary things. (Actually, any dialogue discussing ordinary things, unless it drives the plot forward, is flat and unnecessary.) There are long sections with the hero discussing superheroes with the heroine’s son. Perhaps there was a point to this, but even at that, one conversation would have been fine. There is too much cussing that serves no purpose, and the sexual innuendos turned me off. I knew I was in trouble at the end of chapter one. “He looked reluctant but gestured to the back bedroom where she gave him the best two hours of her life.” Not only is the verb tense wacky, but she was merely going to paint the room. A few more of those did me in. There are better ways of creating a “sexy” or “romantic” mood within a book. It involves the emotions and conflict within the characters themselves, not off color dialogue and word play.

The sentence structure is way too long and windy. Some of the sentences are so long I had to reread to remember what was said at the beginning. In other places it was short, with dashes and clipped words. Granted, these have a place in fiction, but they should be used sparingly. Long sentences have no place at all (because basically they become run on sentences). There are tons of comma mistakes, and more often than not the verb tense is changed within a sentence itself. (Reference the quote above.) The poor sentence structure, combined with the ineffective dialogue, results in a confusing mush of sentences that do not enhance the story but merely muddle it further.

Last, but not least, this book is WAY WAY WAY overpriced. It is only 158 pages, which makes the likely word count around 80,000 words. This is the author’s third book, so she is not well-known. Few authors, even well-known ones, price kindle versions with that number of pages that high. Perhaps that is the publisher’s decision. Regardless, it is a bad one.

One rose for effort.

(Note: I did receive a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Length:  158 Pages
Digital Price:  $5.99

Thanks for visiting. Julie, Donna & Rochelle

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