Thursday, May 28, 2020

Kathryn Shay - The Reckoning

As the illegitimate son of the famous O’Neil clan, Kinley Moran bursts into their lives and it’s vengeance he wants--not to be accepted in the family he detests. Now a billionaire entrepreneur/investment broker, he plans to destroy them all with his wealth and power. Little does he know that Bailey and the boys are magnets who could lure him into changing his life’s purpose.
Jamie Ralston is a single mother and waitress at Bailey’s Irish Pub. At thirty, she has one goal--to graduate from college and become a teacher. But when another O’Neil brother shows up, she senses her plan for her future is about to change. Just how much, though, she has control over. She fights Kinley on many issues, but there’s one battle she cannot win: she’s irrevocably drawn to this wounded man.
Will Kinley resist the charm of the O’Neils? Will Jamie resist Kinley’s charms? Read THE RECKONING, a heartbreaking story that will make you cry, make you laugh but also make you cheer for this unlikely couple, and for the O’Neils. 

Comment: When I got interested in this O'Neil series by Kathryn Shay, there were only five books, one for each sibling. I tried and liked the first book well enough and decided to read the other books too, even though I didn't read everything in a row.
What a surprise it was when, finishing the fifth story, I saw in that moment that there was another one!
The author gave in to readers' pressure requests and wrote another book, featuring a secret half brother. I was amazed but well, I was curious for certain!

In this surprisingly 6th installment, the O'Neil family finds out that there is another half sibling they weren't aware of. The family has adapated and lived with the knowledge their half sister Moira was lost to a gang but only father Paddy knew Moira had a twin brother.
Is this brother, Kinley Moran, who one days shows up at the pub to reveal he has gotten the majority of the pub's ownership and he plans on making changes.
Everyone is surprised by this but waitress Jamie, who already feels part of the family, can't help but sympathize with Kinley and when he offers her a second job she needs, they see each other a lot more and it's no wonder their relationship deepens.
But can the family welcome Kinley? What about the person trying to get revenge on Kinley, will the family then help him?

I must say I was really caught by surprise with this story. The author has done things in a way that the 5th installment had really felt like the last one but she was clever in picking up not only a romance connection by using Jamie, introduced in that last book, as the female protagonist and also in finding a slight loophole to insert a new sibling in the mix.

For those who have read the other books, the explanation on how Kinley exists isn't that far fetched but to be honest, this is a totally unnecessary story.
While reading - and going through some choppy plot development and rather forced situations to explain some issues - I couldn't help but thinking that why on Earth this hidden sibling was never revealed to exist in the other books is just too weird and silly now that he does exist.
This is why, despite the appreciation I feel the author has thought of her readers and has written another story, I can't help but thinking this wasn't such a well inserted plot into the series. The whole thing feels an obvious add-on and isn't smooth.

I'd say the biggest issue for me, besides the whole secret baby no one ever knew about except the family patriarch (it never came to mind, really?) was how the story tries so hard to show us how Kinley is welcomed by the family. With suspicion and some negativity by Dylan and Pat as expected, but then everything is alright. I mean, I kind of knew this is what the story would be about but the scenes jump from one to another in some parts, there's just this expectation by the characters things will be solved by sarcasm and support in complicated moments and real life isn't like that.

Yes, this is fiction though, and that is why I accepted some things more easily.  think Kinley's character had a lot going on and because the author didn't  - obviously! - developed any part of his personality in the previous books, everything about him came to the surface here and none of his past was fully exploited, meaning he is an interesting guy and some details were Ok, but he is never as complex as he should, considering his baggage.

This means an easy way for his character to be appealing to us is through his romance with Jamie.
I liked them both but the author's style didn't really allow time and pages enough for their relationship to move along as gradually as it should. At times, it did feel as if they went though the motions to go from one point to another because the plot demanded so.
That aside, I still liked how they tried to be together and how they fell in love... they seemed more like a opposites attract type of couple but it was still nice to get to know them a little more by seeing how they interacted and reacted to each other's lives.

There's a slight secondary plot, related to the person wanting revenge on Kinley. Sincerely, I think this was useless in the story, only there to add another supposed layer to Kinley's connection to the O'Neils later in the novel.

As a whole, this wasn't bad, it felt more like a reward, yes, as if the author wanted to please and say thank you for the readers. I applaud the sentiment, I do feel glad there was something more to read, that it was possible to see the family again, especially since all had their own families formed.
However, this wasn't a completely strong story and it's quite evident why. It's good for curiosity and reminiscence's sakes.
Grade: 6/10

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