I hope everyone is having a great day!! Not so very long ago, Madeleine Beckett provided me with a copy of her book Color of Loneliness in exchange for an honest review. The book is the first in the Color series by Ms. Beckett. The second book, Color of Forgiveness is due out sometime this year, and is eagerly anticipated by fans.
Summary from Goodreads
ebook, 325 pages
Published September 16th 2012
Myra parts ways with her only friend, Susie O’Connor, a zany woman who’s more than a little insane. In Nyssa, Myra finds little immediate comfort in her “new” home which is literally falling apart around her. She sinks into a deep depression, exacerbated by her feelings of loneliness and isolation in the small town.
News of Myra’s return takes no time to spread through Nyssa, and she quickly encounters several locals, some friendly, some not. Among the friendly faces is Jim, an elderly neighbor whom she begins to rely on for help and companionship. When she realizes that she’s going to have to hire someone to do repairs on her broken-down home, Jim gives her the name of a local contractor, Dylan Lawson, who has done work for him in the past.
When Myra calls Dylan for an estimate, she’s astounded by the contractor’s gruff, surly demeanor. But she trusts Jim and there are few other options in the small town.
Dylan can’t help but notice that Myra is young, single, and beautiful, which makes him suspicious of her real reason for calling him. The women in Nyssa pursue him relentlessly but he’s not in the least bit interested.
After Myra approves his estimate, Dylan begins the process of repairing her home. While he works, she begins writing a book; that is, when she’s not fielding insane calls from Susie who misses her like crazy.
Slowly, a reluctant friendship develops between the pair, followed by romantic feelings which neither of them can fight. However, their painful past experiences threaten to tear them apart. Can they move beyond their despair and open their hearts to love?
The premise sounds very straight forward and I thought I pretty much knew what I getting into when I opened up this book to read. Sweet, but heartbroken heroine (likely fraught with insecurities) meets rough and tough hero with a haunted past and they mend their broken hearts and find true love together.
While the novel is engaging, and laugh out loud funny in parts, I felt that story was lagging a bit. Myra suffers a lot of loss in this novel, so I was excited when Dylan was introduced. However, Dylan is a really rude, mean guy throughout much of this book. I thought Dylan would be there for Myra after a tragedy occurs. Instead, he leaves her alone! The hero left the heroine alone in her time of need. I was so mad at him! Ms. Beckett really threw us a game changer there, and I was interested to see how she was going to get these two together. In fact, Ms. Beckett is talented at twisting her plot in unexpected ways. And I was actually quite pleased when Suzie, Myra's best friend, told Dylan off for leaving Myra alone like that. I thought, finally, this guy is going to get his head on straight. So after Suzie gives Dylan the set down, I was all ready for him to really start stepping up and acting like a normal, regular human being and for the romance to begin.
Sadly, it was 70% through the book before things really started to heat up. Dylan is the most messed up hero I've ever encountered in romance. He has distanced himself from his family, has history with a mysterious woman named Sabrina, and even though he wants to share his past with Myra, he simply cannot. He literally panics and the words choke in his mouth, and he tries his damnedest to stay away from Myra, which made the story drag for me. I wanted to see more of them together as a couple, but I have a sneaking feeling that we are going to find out that what has turned Dylan into such a hardass is that he's lost a child. I have to praise Ms. Beckett for her careful storytelling around Dylan and his past, and I think the next novel will be filled with Dylan coming to terms to whatever is haunting him. And I came to really appreciate Dylan for being fiercely protective of Myra, and when the steamy scenes finally rolled around, he was just a sweetheart. Truly. His careful treatment of Myra really won me over, and new found courage to begin to really put the past behind him had me finally thinking that he was a true hero. I really enjoyed the love scenes between this couple, and the growth I saw in Dylan.
The book ended in medias res--on a cliffhanger! It ended with Myra running away from Dylan without even confronting him about their "problem." I was really upset by this decision. I wanted her to take charge and get that damn elephant out of room. Really, I wanted her to bulldozer that elephant out because it's a real big elephant!! She was finally starting to stand up for herself, and I was disappointed that she ran away from their problems instead of facing them head on. However, I'm sure that this will be cleared up in the next book in the series. I was just so upset because I was only starting to get know about Myra and Dylan as a couple. And, you all know I'm a big believer in the HEA.
So...no HEA. Yet.
3 glittering stars