Small Town, Big Secrets by Elsie Davis
Series: Trinity River #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on June 8, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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To save her son, shy but determined waitress Becky McAllister would do just about anything. But she never expected “anything” to include the brother of the man who broke her heart.
Steve Parker needs a wife, now, if he has any hopes of winning his local DA election and becoming the advocate for the underserved he’s always dreamed of being. The sweet waitress seems like just the person—if he can get her to agree.
One year of marriage—no strings, no personal attachments. Becky gets the insurance funds she needs for her son’s surgery while Steve’s poll ratings soar. Neither planned on a commitment in their future, so they should have no problem making it through the year without getting emotionally involved, right?
Except Becky’s holding on to a secret from her past—one that would change everything.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
So… I want to start this review by clarifying that I respect all the hard work that goes into writing a book. Also, that I’m just a nobody reader with no literary training so this is just my opinion on a story I read.
Now that that’s out of the way, I took a chance on Small Town, Big Secrets because I liked the sound of it by the blurb. I have absolutely no issue with the whole pretend relationship romance trope and I usually find them very enjoyable. Add the fact that the heroine is a single mom and I was so eager to jump in! Unfortunately, the story just crashed and burned for me.
Every character felt sadly one dimensional, almost cartoonish in their personalities and actions. The writing was tons of telling with very little showing and this made it harder for me to connect and engage with the story. I don’t mind a predictable plot, but with everything else going on, it turned Small Town, Big Secrets into a dragging mess I wasn’t overly interested in. There was also this huge part of the plot that didn’t pan out for me, that was Becky’s son’s need for surgery… View Spoiler » he was supposed to have a hernia, but it never specified what type it was. It was supposed to be “dangerous” for him not to get it fixed, but at the same time, she takes the little guy to ride a freaking horse and generally let him run around all day as he pleased. Now, maybe to those of you who really know this stuff this is not a big deal and he was perfectly able to do all this stuff, but I would have liked a little more clarification in the subject. As it was, it felt like a half-assed attempt to make the whole arranged-marriage aspect of story work. « Hide Spoiler
I forced myself to finish Small Town, Big Secrets as I wanted to see how the author managed to close all the dangling threads of the plotline, but I have to be honest here: it was work. I found no real enjoyment in reading this story, it felt more like a chore really. Now, this doesn’t mean other people won’t love this book, it just didn’t work for me at all.
Rating: 2 “it didn’t deliver for me” Stars
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