Most of you know that I've been doing book reviews on my blog in recent months. I'm always up for helping other authors and if I can give them a review that will expand their exposure, I'll gladly do it. Today's spotlight author was introduced to me by the amazing Brenda Rothert, and I definitely think that her faith in this writer's ability is well-placed. Below is my review for Stephanie Reid's debut novel, Talk to Me. If you've read reviews here before, I usually list my Amazon/Goodreads review score, which are limited to whole numbers between 1-5 stars. Yeah, I think that's bogus. The other thing that I try to do differently at my blog reviews is give a more specific opinion. If a review is too long on Amazon or Goodreads, some people won't bother read them, and I try to consider that. With all this in mind, here's my official In Patti's Imagination blog review! Oh, and I received an ARC of this book for an honest review, so that's what you're getting, people!
Amazon Rating: 4 Stars rated/4.5 actual out of 5
Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars rated/4.5 actual out of 5
In Patti's Imagination Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars
I enjoyed this story. It took me a bit to get into the groove of it, but that was partly my fault. My critique partner launched her book today, and I was trying to help with the lead up to that, so I had to keep putting down this book and picking up Laurie's manuscript when she gave me new material. I was also on vacation and it wasn't until the end that I was able to concentrate on Talk to Me (I know, makes no sense to normal people, but I live with a husband who does not think that sitting and reading a book qualifies as vacation). So there is that, and I'm accounting for my deficiencies in my review.
But even still, I've been pressed for time before and loathed actually putting a book down, so I have to weigh that in my discussion of the story. By the time I was about 75% into the book, I didn't want to stop reading it, but I'd say it took me to about 50% before I began to feel that way and another 25% before the book had its hooks in me.
That said, the end of the story had me on the edge of my seat (er, Kindle), wondering what was next. I think a lot of it might have had to do with the slower build to the official coupling of Mac and Emily. I think that probably correlates well to where I became more invested in the story. And also, to be fair, there is some element of mystery/suspense in this story, which isn't always my cup of tea.
Nonetheless, I'm very excited to read more from Stephanie. Her style appeals to me and I think you'd be hard-pressed to call her out as a first-time published author, but she's just that. The quality is there in her work and I think that deserves to be rewarded, especially since I know from first-hand experience what a tough road it is to get to this point, particularly the first time. She does so with aplomb.
The high points for me? There were several twists that I thought helped make the story more powerful and more interesting. I won't give them away because I think that they're not completely obvious and not everyone likes spoilers. And the other high point for me was Mac. He was a great hero - one of my favorite types, a uniformed alpha with a big heart and a big sexual appetite. Did I mention he's hot? Or that the love scenes were fan-worthy? Like all great male leads, Mac boosted the story for me.
I really enjoyed the book and can't wait to hear more from Stephanie Reid. I predict great things in her future!