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A Date with Fate (The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The story is told from the heroine's own perspective. It takes place in the course of a weekend but is fairly long due to Anabel's comments, thoughts, and opinions on anything and everything as well as her constant flashbacks that help us flesh out the heroine's backstory and give us insight into the characters. Don't get me wrong; Anabel's mind is a well of practical knowledge and crazy ideas, so there is not a dull moment in the whole book.
I loved Anabel's character and her adventures so much that by the third chapter I knew that I would want to buy all the books in the series. However, when I finished the book, I was more frustrated than satisfied. It ends so abruptly and leaves so many loose ends untied and important questions unanswered, that I have no choice now but to buy the next book. I don't have anything against series of books, especially if I like the characters. But I want each book in a series to be a stand-alone piece as well, so I can choose which and how many books to buy. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, there is no choice here. For that reason, I am only giving A Date with Fate a three-star rating. I am truly sorry to do so; had it had a different ending (any ending at all, for that matter), it would have been a five-star read for me.
Update (09/15/2013): At the time I am writing this, four out of the five one- and two-star reviews are written by people who haven't actually read the whole book: two found it boring and gave up at the very beginning, and the other two couldn't get over the kinky first chapter. While I believe that everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, I also truly believe that one cannot review--and condemn--a book they haven't finished. It's not fair for potential readers, and it's certainly not fair for the author. As for the first chapter, tastes differ, and what some people consider fun, healthy, and acceptable, others may find dirty and disturbing. Personally, I loved the first chapter and got hooked by it--it was a powerful introduction of the two main characters and an exciting and spicy glimpse into Anabel and Luke's world. If you are not sure whether the opening chapter will be within your comfort zone, may I suggest that you check out a sample first. That way you can see for yourself if you get turned on or off by it. A Date with Fate is not a stand-alone piece and shouldn't be read as such; it is followed by Courted by Karma and then by In Love by Design. These books are a continuing story that is sexy, captivating, and very entertaining.
I'm glad I persevered, though, because I found the book a lot of fun. OK, the plot(s) don't make much sense! They are pretty incidental to the strengths of the book, though, which are characters and relationships- not to mention great, snappy dialog!
All the characters come vividly to life here, as do their relationships with each other. Anabel is an interesting person- not a generic placeholder for the reader to imagine herself into the story. Her new flame, Luke, is something of an enigma. Her family and friends are all int4eresting individuals in their own rights, and it's always lively when any number of them get together.
I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of the disturbing first chapter; because the 2 mystery/thriller plots have holes we can sail entire cruise vessels through; and some digressions from the ongoing action, which I mostly enjoyed but which did slow down the otherwise frenetic pace.
But all in all, I liked it a lot. It made me giggle several times, and I want to spend more time with the gang.
Okay, I wasn't thrilled with this first book of the Anabele Axelrod Series. I actually skipped quite a bit over what I call "blade of grass" writing. Areas where the author takes three paragraphs to describe a blade of grass! ;-)
But I really enjoyed this authors (Tracy Ellen) style of writing. It's crisp with a freshness and humor that isn't forced like some books that are billed as being humorous. My feeling at the end was that areas of the book had been stretched out to fill it up which is why I gave the book a three star review. However, there was enough of it that I liked that I read some of the customer reviews for the second book in the series and decided to purchase it based on those reviews. I'm glad that I did!
I feel that the second book is far superior to this one. But you really do need to read this one. Its free, so the only thing that it will cost you is a little time! Think of it as an intro to the world of Anabele and her nutty family. And obviously there were a LOT of people who were more impressed with this book than I was, so you may love it!