Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kathryn Shay - Someone to Believe In

Bailey O’Neil, aka, the Street Angel, has been the arch enemy of Senator Clay Wainwright since he was a district attorney and she a young, idealistic social worker. He put her in jail for harboring a teen offender and never looked back. Eleven years later, she’s a thorn in his side as an anti-gang specialist trying to get kids out of gangs. While Clay wants to put them in jail, Bailey is determined to help these troubled teenagers make good lives for themselves. But when Bailey and Clay are thrown together on the mayor’s task force, the impossible happens—they’re attracted to each other. Their passion erupts early on, and only grows stronger the further they get into a relationship. When they fall deeply in love, their conflicting views drive a wedge between them. Both the Street Angel and the Senator must find a way to deal with their differences in order to make a life together.

Comment: I got interested in this book last year after I've read a comment about it as having the "enemies to lovers" trope between a woman who defended a hands on approach strategy to stop female gangs and the senator who opposed her. Sine both realities (the gang one and the American politics one) are quite different from I have in my country, I thought this would be an entertaining story but also one where I could learn things.

This is the story of Bailey O'Neil, the youngest sibling of five, who went to prison when she was younger because she helped someone who committed a crime. The prosecutor was Clay Wainwright, a man that now is a US senator and someone who still believes in the law and doesn't agree with the methods Bailey uses to help teenagers of female gangs.
Since Bailey still works as she used to, the two of them often exchange comments on the media about their work and the opponent's beliefs. However, things change when the governor asks them to work together in a task force and instead of being enemies as they have, they discover there is quite an attraction between them...

This book reminded me of the books often published in the 90s. The romance is central but there is a huge amount of setting and explanations about secondary issues, soemthign the romances of nowadays don't present the same way. I actually liked the vibe the book gave and the way the characters discussed things among themselves without it all being only about the main couple finding ways to have sex or us reading about their inner monologues.
Not that there is something wrong with this approach but I kind of liked this novel for making me remember older romances...

I liked this book for the most part. The trope was well done, I think, in regards to the reader see the evolution from not standing the other person to accepting their differences and actually giving in to the attraction.
I also liked how the characters used good arguments to defend their positions and why there was a conflict between them without ever getting to an unbearable point. I liked how they discussed things.

What I didn't like as much in the novel was the several sections with the POV of a teenager named Taz. I understand why the author decided to include it and I do appreciate the fact it was all third person narrator, but Taz' voice was distracting and didn't rally add much to the story itself, especially how her situation ended up being solved.
Another issue was how the main couple would here and there reach an impasse and one would storm out. Later on they would make up.. I can, again, accept its realistic style but it got a little annoying. Thankfully, it wasn't that often.

The differences between Bailey and Clay were there and I'm glad that it wasn't just an excuse to bring them together. The author has managed to add enough information to make their opposition to be believable. I learned a few things and it's always good to have more information on something not familiar to us and I must say I'm glad the author didn't over did it by giving us page after page on the theme. What was included was enough to make things feel realistic.

As for the romance and the relationships, that was more complex and my favorite part. I liked Bailey and Clay did compromise on some things and that they were trying to be fair to one another, it was especially good to see each one respecting the other and their positions even if they did/said things from their personal thoughts which weren't as positive.
I really liked how the romance progressed and the little steps we were able to see along with them. It was also nice to see the secondary characters interact with them.

All in all, a romance that kept me interested, despite one or two less appealing elements, and I'm thinking about reading at least the next one in the series, featuring Bailey's brothers... hopefully it's as engaging.
Grade: 8/10

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