Author: Melody Anne
Series: Anderson Billionaires #1
Finn Anderson is a loyal military veteran who has no desire to live a life of luxury and ease, but sometimes a person doesn’t get a choice. His life is flipped upside down when he and his four brothers learn they’re long-lost relatives of the absurdly famous and wealthy Joseph Anderson. The eccentric but generous billionaire puts the brothers to work building a new veterans center, and that’s not all: Joseph won’t stop until each nephew finds love.
Finn has never expected or wanted an easy life, and he struggles with his early retirement from the elite SEAL team. But when a very confident Brooke Garrison literally sweeps him off his feet during a self-defense class he’s teaching, he thinks less about his past and more about a brand-new future.
If Finn knows anything for certain, it’s that he can’t let this woman get away. Though Brooke is tough and compassionate, the loss of her brother has left her vulnerable. She isn’t sure she can risk loving and losing another person in her life, including a very determined ex-SEAL. Can the two of them look beyond their past wounds and embrace what they’re feeling?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m not a fan of Romance books featuring billionaires or even more richer people. I have had bad experiences with that genre, so I try to avoid it. Buuut those books usually have easy to the eye covers and I must admit I’m weak in front of a good steak, so I pick more of them than I should. This story is penned by Melody Anne. I have never read anything written by her, but looking at her work I thought she is a pro in the richer than life genre. I was eager to see what her secret formula was. I hope this book is not a good example of that, because the chemicals presented in Finn have made the metaphorical Erlenmeyer go boom. The worst part: it is not a sudden addition of a last minute reactive. Nope. We could see the cracks from almost the first chapter. Cracks that get wider and meaner along the book in a constant and unstoppable pace until the unavoidable messy ending.
In this book we meet the ex-soldier Finn at the same time he and his brothers discover they are related to the infamous billionaire Joseph Anderson. That old timer is a big fan of family and hard work, so he offers them to work in a project to build a center for veterans in a small town near Seattle. All of them accept (the five of them) and the brothers start right away with their plans to make the most of the opportunity they have been given. In that town we can also find the good nurse Brooke, an adrenaline junkie who is very independent and strong (take a note about that… it is hugely important). From there, boy meets girl and the rest you know how it goes…
If the first paragraph wasn’t clear enough, this book is bad. No way around it. Let’s focus first on the story or, better said, the lack of it. Why the hell this book has so many pages if the author barely uses a 10% to tell something? Reading this book has felt like one of Hercules labours, testing the limits of my will to keep awake while trying to make sense of the plot. At first I thought this was going to be about a guy with PTSD after his military life and an abusive father. But Finn looks perfectly OK. Then I thought Brooke’s brother death was related to the mission of Finn that went sideways, bringing a bit of drama to the relationship. But that only happened in my head, sadly. Finally, I was expecting a fight thanks to Finn’s wedsession (obsession to weddings… I’m coining it, because it is a very useful word for Romance reviews), bringing some spice to save me from the dull moments; but, once again, I was wrong. The book is boring. It doesn’t even try to entertain…
And the characters… WOW! I don’t know which ones should I mention first: the bad, the annoying or the infurating ones. Let’s start with Finn. Appart from his mandatory hunkiness, I can’t think of any other positive detail about him. I still don’t know what is his deal. He blames Joseph of imposing himself into his and his brother’s life, but he does the same with Brooke. Sorry, that’s a lie. Joseph is an amateur next to this guy. Finn behaves like a creepy stalker invading Brooke’s space every chance he gets and we are sold that that is a sexy behaviour. I’m not buying it. So far we have hypocrite and creepy. As if that weren’t enough, Finn is so obsessed with the nurse than, after 10 minutes of meeting her, he is already planning the wedding. Like seriously planning it, buying ring and all. Add mentally unbalanced to the list. Being so in love with her, obviously he gets violent the moment another man looks at her. With that we have possessive and violent. One of my favourites: he doesn’t want Joseph in his life, but will run to his side to ask him for a private jet to woo his soon to be wife (in his unstable mind, of course). I want to call him spoiled kid, but I know that wouldn’t be fair. I could keep going: he wanted unprotected sex since the first time (because he needed it… A good pair of scissors is what you really need, pal!!), his “I’m better than her, so I let her win” attitude…
Brooke is not a better character. It could have been, but the author neglects to develop her or to give her any kind of personality. No, saying over and over again she is a strong woman is not granting her a personality. If it were more than words, maybe, but in the end… she is a very weak woman who let’s everyone mold her thoughts and actions. The best example of that is when she discovers Finn’s wedsession (yeah, I’m keeping it). She is bluntly told by a total stranger that the ex-soldier is telling everyone they are getting married (without her say so…) and she doesn’t care! Not a single conversation about it. She just let it slide. It is your life, too!! Don’t let them plan it for you! Aren’t you such a strong woman? Stop being a sheep, then!!
With such terrible main couple, the romance is nauseating. Too bad, because the author is good with the naughty scenes, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and the result was unbearable. One is all about love and the other is all about sex. So incompatible. They were never in the same page and that makes the classic ending even more painful. A very looooooooong ending that felt like sandpaper rubbing my internal organs.
I could also whine a lot about the Anderson family members and their no so cute meddling acts. Get a hobby, you guys, and let everyone else in peace to do with their lives what they please! A wedding is not the ultimate goal in life. This is the XXI century…
Yeah, some readings are bad experiences. I never judge the style of an author after just one book, so I guess I will give it another chance sooner or later. It doesn’t look promising, though. I guess this kind of stories has its audience, but I’m far from it.