Blurb: Seventeen years old when he broke my heart.
Seventeen days later when another picked up the pieces.
Seventeen years together.
Seventeen thousand problems.
Seventeen days of reliving my past and finding a new future.
Seventeen minutes until it all went up in flames.
Seventeen breaths until I took my last.
This is my story…and it’s going to burn.
Review: When I first read the blurb about this book, I was intrigued. Reading the prolog, was intensely dramatic, a deeper expansion of what the blurb hinted at and convinced me that it was going to be a deeply emotional and passionate read with a lot of pretty intense drama. It definitely wasn’t going to be a typical hearts and flowers romance. You knew there was potential for serious heart wrenching by the time the story would be over. I was definitely hooked and anxious to dig in.
It only took about a chapter and a half for that impression to dissolve completely as the rest of the book didn’t even come close to living up to what the beginning set in place. Instead of something that was intensely emotional and goose bump inducing, you got near the opposite. I started skimming through several places, trying to get to what I was expecting and finding myself disappointed when it wasn’t there.
Finnely’s character came across as unemotional rather than, what I assume, was supposed to just be a done, over with and numb attitude created by living the life she’d lived with her husband. Something that would be understandable with that history, but something about her personality just didn’t quite make it work out that way. She just seemed cold instead. I also could never decide if she was actually supposed to be strong or incredibly, naively stupid in places. Combined with the coldness, the character just felt really off.
The relationship she develops with Collin is purely sexual, not based on anything emotional at all. With only a token attempt to put any interaction between those characters into a non-sexual context, it just underscores that impression. Sure, the author talks about the emotion outside of the physical between the characters and, as a reader I really wanted to believe it, but it isn’t ever backed up with any actual action that the readers can connect with. It is presented in a few paragraphs as an information dump rather than specific scenes or interactions. It is done almost as an afterthought. Sex does not automatically equal emotion and connection. It can, absolutely, but I just didn’t pick that up with the way this book was written, because every single mention of thoughts about the other character is done solely as thoughts about the physical.
The reader knows from the very beginning that there is going to be something bad go down. They don’t know exactly what or to what extent, but there is a huge lead up from the very start. When the bad does happen, it is dramatic, but the resolution is somewhat pat and rather anticlimactic after all that lead up. I expected something much more emotionally wrenching and didn’t get it.
The best part of this book was the prolog. If the rest had been written to the level of that first part, then this would have been an amazing book, but it just didn’t live up to the potential that was set in the very beginning.