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Can't Lose You Paperback – September 29, 2015
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About the Author
J.R. Brown is a young mother and wife who lives in the Midwest. Several years ago, she took up a love for reading. The more she read, the more she began to come up with her own ideas. It wasn’t until recently that she took those ideas and created her own stories. She currently enjoys writing young adult romance novels.
Top customer reviews
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I absolutely L♥VED this book! Everything about it was fantastic! The characters, the plot, the romance. It was so much more than I expected. I totally ship Riley and Jayce, they were such amazing characters! I was GLUED to my seat from start to finish. I laughed, I cried, and everything in between. Such an amazing plot, such a great climax. It is so worth reading.
I felt the dialogue was good and found the beginning interesting where the family moves and Elizabeth starts her new life as Riley, and accidentally runs into the love of her life that she left behind three years ago. But around about the middle of the novel it starts to fall apart and be a bit of a chore to read.
First off, the author overuses the word "began/begins." Here's some examples:
“I begin to feel my heart rate pick up as he slowly leans in toward me.”
“”We begin walking back towards his care in silence.”
“I set my phone down on my nightstand and begin to sob.”
“We all begin to visit and sip our drinks.”
I feel that the text could be a lot stronger if the characters just did the action rather than “began” to do the action all the time. It gets annoying reading a whole book like that.
Next, the author has a tendency to describe insignificant scenes which feels tedious to read and makes the story drag. Here’s an example:
“Daphne offers to clean up the mess so I go in to my room to get changed. In my closet I grab my simple black and white bikini, a pair of jean shorts and a light green zip up jacket. A quick trip to the bathroom to change into my clothes, throw my hair up into a ponytail and I call it good. As I walk out of the bathroom I gather up towels and lotion and toss them in my bag. I glance around the room to see if I got everything before walking out to the kitchen. “
None of this is important to the storyline or the character. She does what any normal person would do to get ready for the beach. In such cases, one sentence would cover this mundane occurrence, if it is even important to mention. Perhaps something like “I got ready for the beach while Daphne cleaned up the mess.” But even that isn’t necessary. The author could just pick up the scene when they are at the beach. Save the long descriptions for the important scenes.
Another thing I noticed is there seems to be this scene, ripped right out of Twilight where Riley catches the waitress trying to flirt with Jayce and Jayce being oblivious.
“A minute later a waitress comes up “Hi, I’m Molly. I’ll be your waitress this evening. What can I get you to drink tonight?” I glance up from my menu and notice that Molly is beaming at Jayce. I watch as her gaze roams over him, checking him out. Jayce is oblivious to this and is studying the menu. …
“I’ll have water please.” She glances over at me and forces a polite smile, then looks back over at Jayce “And for you? She asks sweetly.
“Jayce glances up and orders a beer, then looks back down at his menu. Molly nods and stomps away.
Vs. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
“And then our server arrived, her face expectant. The hostess had definitely dished behind the scenes, and this new girl didn't look disappointed. She flipped a strand of short black hair behind one ear and smiled with unnecessary warmth.
"Hello. My name is Amber, and I'll be your server tonight. What can I get you to drink?" I didn't miss that she was speaking only to him.
He looked at me.
"I'll have a Coke." It sounded like a question.
"Two Cokes," he said.
"I'll be right back with that," she assured him with another unnecessary smile. But he didn't see it. He was watching me.”
After cluing into the above scene it then occurred to me that her plot line is similar to Twilight in that Elizabeth/Riley is in a “witness protection program,” and in Twilight Belle was also hidden away in Arizona because her life was threatened also.
Ok so her book is inspired by Twilight… it wouldn’t be the first time.
So we get to the middle of the book and this is where I started to struggle with continuing on with the story. The detailed scenes describing unimportant events combined with the dragged out suspense was getting me frustrated until finally a twist in the plot. The police decide to let Frank, the mobster make an attempt on Riley’s life so they can entrap him. Hmm ok. That would be ok, except there is supposed to be guards watching her, but yet she can go out jogging all by herself and that’s ok. In fact she does a lot of things with no communication with any police or any guards or anything. Then there is a car chase where Riley and her roommate Daphne are rear ended by Frank and yet Daphne expertly and calmly steers them out of trouble. Riley suspects Daphne has done this before but we never find that out by the end of the story.
I don’t know. I wouldn’t trust that I was protected if I never met my guard, never spoke to them, never briefed on what to do and what not to do, but yet Riley just blindly trusts, lol and then the cops let her down, let her get caught and almost killed in a car accident and she’s fine with that. Ummm NO.
Then there is the surprise pregnancy at the end. Umm I don’t even remember a sex scene between her and Jayce. Could it be it was so subtle that I missed it? I thought this was the Immaculate Conception. I think the scene, if it did occur and I vegged through it, should have been a lot more prominent if it was going to result in a pregnancy. Something to make the reader sit up and take notice.
This book wasn’t terrible by any means. It was an interesting and entertaining story with a heartwarming ending. My advice to the reader would be, if you like the idea of the story go ahead and read it. You might enjoy it. It fell short for me.
I feel like I would have enjoyed the story more if we had learned more about what Elizabeth went through to make her have to become Riley. It almost seems like we’re missing out on a previous book by only having a scarce treatment of this transformation.
The story was cluttered with mundane details and not enough in-depth information. Of course, this is just my preference and not really the author’s fault. It took me more than half of the book to really want to know what happens at the end. If I hadn’t been reading for review, I had given up well before that. It’s not a terrible book, just not to my liking.
It’s not all bad! There are two big plot twists, one of which was really juicy and absorbed me into the story. And the end of the book did make me cry, so I guess I had come to care for the main characters a little bit.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.