Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Anyta Sunday - Sagittarius Saves Libra

Jason Lyall wants someone to come home to, someone he can be his most ridiculous self with. Someone who loves him regardless. But no matter how hard he tries, he can never quite make that connection, and now his last girlfriend has moved on—she’s engaged.
So when his identical twin begs him to swap lives for a few weeks, Jason can see the appeal. Suddenly he’s living another life in a tiny Australian town, contending with weird, wild, and wonderful things the likes of which he’s never encountered before. Like spiders. Like snakes.
Like his new neighbour, Sergeant Owen Stirling, who is all kinds of . . . suspicious.

Comment: This is the sixth (and final) story in the Signs of Love series, featuring characters of different Zodiac signs pairings. I'll place this one in the middle of the pack, not the one I liked less (that was #5) nor the one I liked more (#1) but good enough, with some annoying elements.

This final installment features Jason Lyall, a pianist, who randomly discovered he had a twin, Carl, and upon talking, they learn their birth mother was too young and an aunt raised Carl and Jason went up for adoption. Although Jason knew he was adopted, he had amazing parents, whom he loves, but when his brother suggests a swap, to avoid the wedding of his ex, Jason says yes so he can see the family he never knew existed. Things are complicated, though, and Jason can't deceive Owen, Carl's neighbor. The situation gets even more weird when he and Owen decide to fake being a couple, so that everyone can think "Carl" isn't stuck on his ex. But while Jason only had girlfriends, he can't ignore thew wonderful feelings he now has by being around Owen. Can it be that they can become a real couple?

It is a fact the plot of this book is unrealistic and a true mess but I must say that in the middle of the shenanigans, it was really great that Jason isn't feeling betrayed he was adopted and he goes to meet his biological family with open eyes and no expectations. In the midst of all the crazy scenes the author invented, I'm glad this part was taken seriously and this wasn't just food for drama.

However, everything else was really over the top. The funny or quirky details which made the first and third books amazing (for me, the best of the series) seemed really out of hand in this one and the element I just struggled so much with was how unlikely and unrealistic it would have been for a real person to be as clueless as Jason in regards to how his actions and words would have been taken by Owen. I know this was exaggerated for plot and comedy purposes, but it was like this all the time. I feel the "serious" side of Jason just wasn't on enough and this made him look a bit too childish and unbelievable.

The plot was crazy but I was still interested in seeing how the dynamics would be when Jason was pretending to be Carl. I think Jason was just a bit too intense for others to not immediately see he wasn't acting normal but for the sake of the plot, one can say we only see what we want anyway. This means that, while unlikely, I can accept other people not being aware it wasn't Carl. I also think the interactions between Jason and those he wanted to meet, namely his biological mother, were a bit too subtle and not enough. I think this aspect of the story could have been done better, considering Jason had to be curious.

Owen is the other protagonist but since we don't have his POV, only what Jason sees, he obviously reads as being a bit under developed and it feels as if we only have superficial information on him. I suppose I can say what we do know can be enough for the type of plot we have, but then again, Owen must be portrayed as a saint, if one bears in mind the kind of things Jason does and says when they are around each other. In my opinion, a better tactic would have been if the author were to highlight sexual tension without as many silly scenes, so that when they do get together (Jason had not been with a man before) we could more easily buy their physical attraction and emotional connection.

For most of the book, Carl and Jason are not together on the page, for they swap places. Still, I'd have liked to have a better notion on their relationship, after so many years not knowing they had a twin. Again, I can suppose some things we just need to infer because they are not the focus of the story, but it would have been nice to know that or see it being important at some point. Close to the end of the book, Jason does have one or two key conversations with his birth mother and a nephew of Owen so we do know he can do serious but... his behavior for most of the story is just a little too exaggerated.

I think this is definitely a charming story and some details worked out very well, but I kind of wanted more. I wanted more about Jason and how he is actually coping with meeting his biological family for the first time, I wish when they discover this we could have had better scenes, and I also would have loved the tension and anticipation of the romance and in regards to what others would think of the twins having discovered the truth to be more meaningful. I feel these things weren't given proper importance.

Still, this was a cute novel, fulfilled its purpose of being funny and entertaining. I guess this is the end of the series but while I liked other stories more, this isn't too bad anyway.
Just a final note, I really think this cover is not that appealing...
Grade: 7/10

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