Review copy was received from Purchased. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Judging Covers by Kristen Beairsto
on July 31, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Books have always been Juliet Marlowe's sanctuary; the one place she would never be judged or made to feel like an outcast. But when tragedy strikes, she has to get her nose out of the antique tomes she prefers and become the guardian of her five younger brothers and sisters.
Jules struggles to make ends meet. And with the constant threat of losing custody of her siblings if she doesn't maintain the standard of living previously set by her parents, she finds herself forced to make tough decisions and take risks.
One thing she knows for certain is she definitely does not have room in her life for a relationship. Especially with a man who's trying to readjust to civilian life and who once held a starring role in her secret fantasies. No, absolutely not, she does not have any room in her life for Roman Price and his smoldering gaze that triggers her irritating blushes with only a thought.
But when everything Jules has built threatens to collapse on her, she finds herself not only accepting Roman's offer of help, but starts to question whether or not she misjudged the situation from the beginning.
Trying to keep her head above water, paying off her deceased parents outstanding debts, keeping the house, and keeping all her younger siblings with her together and out of foster care, leads a bright woman to take on a secret persona. It’s only when her high school crush who served in the military comes over to do some much needed repairs that she learns there just might be a guy out there who would take on a woman with five extra strings attached.
There’s just something about an underdog story that will pull me in every time. Jules has moments of being put together, but more often she’s barely treading water. Roman brings the stability that having two share a burden can bring. He’s got life experience as a combat vet and he’s handy about the house. He sees something in Jules that she doesn’t see in herself. That was the part I really loved about this book.
But, sadly, there is just as much about it that put me off. Jules was like a Mensa Child getting into high school by age eleven and finishes grad school by twenty one. But common sense? Hmm… As much as I loved seeing her keep her siblings together, her solution was illegal and dangerous. And, she blithely pulls an ostrich-sand bit. That might have been justifiable, a little, if she had absolutely no one in her corner, but in reality, she pushed away her mom’s best friend and that family to go it alone. Made no sense. Then, there are mentions of them being hard up for bills and not able to afford a costume for her sister to be in the play, but a few pages over, here’s Jules out buying a new bathing suit and cover up for a casual backyard BBQ and pool party for the kids. Hello, there’s the electric or the water bill paid right there- and the funny part is she didn’t plan on swimming.
It also made no sense to me why Roman’s brother, who is sheriff, couldn’t have pointed her in the right direction when it came to giving advice. I get him wanting to stay impartial, but it was odd that he took that to the nth degree since I see police giving people advice all the time so they get things straightened out before a cop has to step in with the most drastic measures. To cap it off, the story just stops. They go from settling a huge conflict moment to a few sentences ending it before they even finished sorting stuff out.
So, the premise was good, but the execution and some of the plot points needed some massaging. Cute kids, good beginnings and middle to the relationship, and sweet family moments. Interesting bit of suspense. Not sorry I read it and it read quickly.
Kindle freebie on October 8, 2013 (currently unavailable at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)
Overall rating 3.46 with 13 ratings and 2 reviews
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