Tara Brown Publishing

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My Side

By Tara Brown

IR Rating:
This book has an interesting premise, but it is marred by poor writing and by the painful emotional immaturity of the main characters.
This book review was not paid for by the author or any other source. Indiereader has performed this review because it believes in the author and their story. This ones on us :)

Erin Benson felt like she'd won the lottery when she arrived all the way from North Dakota with the keys to her first home in hand.

Erin has come all the way from North Dakota to Boston, to start law school at Northeastern University, and has the perfect apartment lined up. Sadly, the apartment has one big problem: the agent apparently accidentally leased it twice, and when she gets there, she finds rock musician Lochlan Barlow already moved in. Since nothing else can be found for months, they decide to be roommates for a while, but an irresistible attraction starts to take hold between them, and they find it difficult to stay “just friends.” Still, they have very different dreams – Erin wants to dedicate her life to justice as a prosecuting attorney, and Lochlan’s band, Thin Ice, is about to make it big. And neither Erin’s past relationship difficulties (including a dangerous stalker) nor Lochlan’s temper issues make their life together easy. Can they work out a relationship that won’t require either of them to give up their life plans? Can each of them figure out what they really want, and will that, in the end, include each other?      


The premise of this story, while not quite as believable as it ought to be, is at least a novel way of getting a couple together, and does give the couple time to actually get to know each other before the romance develops seriously. There are bits of lively humor throughout this book, and characters the reader can get to really like (I got quite fond of Gerry the drummer, myself).


The book, however, badly needs an editor. Sentence structure is clumsy, commas are strewn about like confetti, verb tenses are mixed up, words are misused (“looser” where “loser” is meant, for example), the word “like” in particular is thoroughly overused and abused, and far too often, an intense emotional moment is completely spoiled by the unintended comical effect of the language used. I don’t generally mind use of swear words in books where it’s justified by the situation or by the characters’ backgrounds, but here, the overuse of them in conversations and internal monologues has an effect much like teenagers attempting to sound “adult” and failing.

Additionally, it is difficult to get involved in a romance novel when the couple concerned cannot seem to act like adults for five pages running. (I know, mind you, that the author can write a sympathetic couple, who treat each other with respect and actual love, because both Lochlan’s parents and their friends Gerry and Dean manage the trick.) Their reaction to any dispute is for one of them to throw a temper tantrum and run off, with as much melodrama as possible. When stress and trouble threaten in their lives, they frequently push each other away, rather than seeking each other out for comfort – this is never a good sign in any relationship. 

Lochlan’s control issues are seriously worrying, and though Erin thankfully stands up to him about them on occasion, he doesn’t actually seem to get over them. And even in bed, there seems to be more conflict and combat than genuine caring between them (note to all authors and readers – if a man says “No, I don’t want to do this,” and you tie him to the bed and do it anyway, that’s not sexy, it’s rape, just as it would be were the sexes reversed, and it cannot be excused by “well, he really wanted to do it anyway”).

This book has an interesting premise, but it is marred by poor writing and by the painful emotional immaturity of the main characters.

Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader




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