Emerald Collins is a small-town, hippie-esque girl from a community farm, where she lives with her three “moms” and one of her sisters, Rose. Her other sister, Amber, left for NYC and invites Emerald to come visit. On day one of the visit, Sam Stanz—the brother of Amber’s boyfriend, Ty—shows up unannounced, and Amber is pulled away from NYC on business, leaving Emerald and Sam alone.
Along with all that, there’s a ridiculous amount of exposition you need to suffer through at the onset, peppered with Emerald’s childish language and obnoxious musings.
Our leading lady uses quality words such as “poo” and “nincompoop”. While I fully respect a character that doesn’t swear, they also don’t need to use phrasing that my 10-year-old has grown out of. The author could have written Emerald’s lines to simply omit insults or rephrase lines to avoid the fill-ins for swear words. Instead, we’re left viewing Emerald as a juvenile instead of a grown woman. Add to that Emerald’s disdain for change, and unwillingness to be open to familial relations, and you have a character that leaves much to be desired.
Sam wasn’t any better. The cover model is how I imagine his character: staring vapidly into space, just filling up room while being detached from the world. It isn’t until near the end of the book that Sam and his hidden agendas feel like it may be worth the effort.
Even worse was the filler subplot with the drug dealer, Drake. A lot of noise is made of something that is abstractly referenced at random intervals through the story, until it’s finally tied up in a single paragraph in the final chapter, as if it had been forgotten until then.
END OF SPOILER!
I couldn’t get into this story. I didn’t feel too lost despite not reading book #1 of the Red Hot Love series; instead, the lack of good characterization and bad subplots dragged the main story down. I rated it at two stars because it was (grammatically) well-written with an intriguing backstory, but the characters are 1-star quality in my heart.
Emerald is free via Kindle Unlimited, available as an eBook ($3.99), or in paperback ($9.99).