Author: Barbara James
Title: Starting Over: Rick
Genre(s): Multicultural; Romance; Military; Interracial
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Review: I have some mixed feelings about this novel, but for the most part I really enjoyed it. The plot is fairly unique in relation to other contemporary romances in that readers get to know a ton of details about each character prior to the development of their intimate relationship. I think Barbara provided her readers with a socially mature story that showed particular culture, racial, and religious perspectives. However, the aspect that I found somewhat dry is the writing of the characters' stories. Specifically in the beginning, readers are confronted with mass amounts of details about the characters and their lives. However, there was very minimal dialogue, even after Rick and Annelise met, the story progressed through scene and character description instead of dialogue between the two. I liked reading about their relationship and how it developed, but I think if there was more verbal exchanges between the two, the development would feel more meaningful. That being said, I think both characters were well thought out and well developed individually. The editing of this book is seriously on point. I did not come across any typos or grammatical errors, which is incredibly refreshing. Overall, I liked this book a lot for a sweet weekend read despite my issues with the writing of the characters.
Recommendation: I recommend this to anyone who is interested in a romance novel that sheds light on various cultures and how people of different pasts and experiences can come together.
Book Description: "It is orientation week at Wilder University. Annelise Perigault has just started college and is away from home. Living on her own for the first time, she struggles to navigate the social landscape. All sorts of groups seek to draw her attention, but she is drawn to the conservative-leaning student groups for a sense of belonging. That is where she believes she will find like-minded young women, those who hope to graduate in four years with their "Mrs. Degree." Rick Santelli has just started college as well. He is a returning student, however, after spending nearly a decade in the Coast Guard. Now serving in the Reserves, he is older than most of his freshman peers. Struggling to find his place as well, he is definitely interested in dating, but he can't believe how quickly things are developing with Annelise. Meeting up during orientation, they will grapple with controversies that draw them closer together and create a strong foundation for a healthy long term relationship. Taking place over six years, the story shows the ups and downs of life, love, dating, and the importance of finding the right person.
Though this is a sweet and closed door romance, there are frank discussions of sexuality."