Review: Beyond Black Belt by Emery C. Walters

beyond black beltRating: 2 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story

Wren’s Hawaiian vacation gets off to a bad start when he’s caught in the undertow and nearly drowns. And then his rental car, with all his belongings, is stolen. Fortunately, Steven saves Wren from the water, gets him medical attention, and then offers him a place to stay. The two hit it off, and they begin a whirlwind romance while investigating ruins around the island. They get up to all sorts of shenanigans, but forge a bond that neither expected, and it’s just the start of forever for them.

Okay, so I thought, going into this book, that’d it be a quick, cute read. Well, it definitely was quick, and there were a few funny and touching moments. But on the whole, this story just didn’t work for me.

Wren is the narrator, and he’s having a really bad time of it. Finally finding his feet after a bad relationship, he’s on his first real vacation. But nothing is going right. Until he meets Steven. The problem, for me, was that I just didn’t get their chemistry. They acted very silly with each other, which was kind of cute, but quickly got repetitive and felt pretty juvenile. So I wasn’t feeling their connection at all, and their relationship, as a romance, didn’t work for me.

The style of writing didn’t really work either. There was a lot of telling going on, and not enough showing. Things jumped around a lot, in that the plot moved forward and backward as Wren told the story, without a connection to really thread the story together. The slapstick humor was lost on me. The secondary characters were too over the top for me to find believable, and rather than being endearing, I found them unamusing. So they were a detraction for me as well.

So despite the few tender, touching, and occasionally amusing moments, I was not the audience for this book. I found the writing style to be too simplistic, even juvenile at times, and despite liking Wren, I couldn’t feel his connection to Steven. Though the premise was cute, and the story was a quick read, it missed the mark and I’d have to say give this one a pass.

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