Monday, March 21, 2022

Carian Cole - Storm

I had no idea crashing into a ditch would change my life forever.
Fate had other plans, and I never stood a chance.
A series of weather and road mishaps left me trapped in the middle of a blizzard with a complete stranger in the back of a pickup truck.
For forty-eight freakin' hours.
A stranger with long hair, tattoos, and rippling with muscle.
A stranger with an insanely sexy voice and a smile that turned my insides to jelly.
A stranger who held me in his arms, calmed me, and then set a fire in me that I couldn't put out.
I didn't know I was trapped with America's favorite bad boy guitarist, Storm Valentine. And he was in no rush to reveal his secret. He's used to getting everything he wants, and for some reason, he's decided he wants me.
Some people chase storms for the beautiful thrill. What happens when the storm chases you?

Comment: I was recommended this book around the end of 2016 and only now did I manage to add it to my monthly list. By looking at the blurb it was rather clear this would more in the vibe of new adult and I'll admit this is also a genre I don't always appreciate much, even though there are authors I like who do it well.

In this book we meet Evelyn (Evie) as she travels to a work meeting but the weather has become awful due to snow and her GPS seems to not have worked properly. Her car falls into a ditch and while she ponders how so find a solution, Storm, a stranger ,comes along and helps her. She is wary at first but accepts although when they get to his truck, it won't start and the solution, since it's cold and snowing, is to stay in the truck until they can leave. After two days in the car and in Storm's house which was nearby, Evie can finally leave but that time has been eye opening to her own life and how stagnated it got. Could it be they would be a good couple? What will happen, though, when Evie finds out who Storm really is?

It's universally accepted in the world of romance that forced/close proximity makes for a good trope and has the side effect of forcing the characters to become closer emotionally as well, especially if the romance develops well. I suppose this was the author's intention and the idea itself was a good one, even better when we know he is a famous musician she doesn't immediately recognize, so lots of possibilities to explore.

This isn't a big book, it does seem to follow the trend of these new adult stories where things get resolved rather quickly and I actually appreciated this aspect a lot since, sadly for me, the positive elements didn't win over the negative ones. I feel I would be a mean/unfair reader if I were to go chapter by chapter mentioning the things I found lacking, so I'll try to summarize but the thing I could not really get past was the author's style, which felt it wasn't complex enough to make me care for what she was telling me.

This means that I found the characters and the writing too superficial despite this not being a problem of only this author; I have this opinion of many other books I've read in the same style and genre. This led the characters to behave in way I found really silly and - another negative aspect for me - this is told in first person by Evie. She sounds so childish, so immature, so silly in some parts. I could not feel any connection with her nor with the worries she had nor was I eager to see how she would solve her problems. It really takes a certain kind of style to pull of romance in first person and I don't feel this was it.

The plot... it certainly had a lot going on, between the heroine's life issues and challenges and the hero being a famous person with all that entails (the cliché of how he presents himself to the public vs who he is as well as his band in private, the press pressure to know things about them, etc) and what happens to the characters since they meet and spent time in the car, how quickly they reach a level of intimacy and how easy a connection is between them... I mean, things that surely give content to a story but I don't think the pace helped, for everything seemed to happen too quickly.

The plot also addresses another issue, how they both deal with personal relationships and what that means for them as couple, especially since Storm is famous and has more famous people in his family. On one hand, I kind of liked his family dynamics and it shows they were united. But although the parents seem pretty standard, the other band elements are placed in a position where the next stories will develop their lives and all seem to have some kind of personal issue to overcome. It can certainly be realistic but made everything too obvious (in terms of how famous people likely can't hide their problems from the world) and it made their acceptance of the heroine a bit too sugary.

Perhaps some of the details I liked less or even disliked could have mitigated by the romance but not even that felt special. The characters get close too quickly and even in a situation of forced proximity how they spend that time felt unlikely. Their conversations those of teenagers, both tone and word choice. I just couldn't get past the narrator's childish thoughts, processes... it's not that this couldn't happen to someone, or that someone already adult couldn't think that way, but it didn't sound appealing to me.

As the plot evolves, both main characters do some things and while we have been told for a long time that the relationship the heroine has with her long dated boyfriend isn't good anymore, I still feel the evolution of her new relationship with Storm was done in an unfair and silly manner. Come on, is a famous person that irresistible so easily? Where was her adult perception of her surroundings, of other people's feelings, of social conventions, of simply being a grown up with responsibilities? Thus, she did not read as an adult to me.

More could be said about specific scenes and such but the gist of it is that these characters just felt like they had a good premise in how they met and what could mean, but the development was like a cheap movie would go and not what believable and likable people would do, therefore I feel this wasn't a good novel, nor in tone, nor in content. I don't plan on reading more books by this author.
Grade: 3/10

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