Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds
I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Reading Challenges: COYER Summer Vacation
Before I start my review I will just like you all to know where I’m coming from; offering complete transparency. There was one review of Wide Open Spaces on Goodreads that colored by view of this book, and I hate that it did so. Instead of dreading reading this story with thoughts of, “I can never like this book now,” and never one to adopt someone else’s opinion on something before I’ve done my extensive research I decided to go through with reading Wide Open Spaces.
For two reasons I was diligent in being super sensitive and aware of any reaction and response I had to the things that went on throughout this story:
- To see if the review in question had any merit for it’s extensive dislike of the book, and
- I wanted to make sure that my response to Wide Open Spaces was as honest as I could get it
After reading and loving Fighting to Breathe I had hope that Wide Open Spaces would appease my readers’ heart, but sadly I found myself quite bored with the storyline and characters.
In the prologue, Aurora Rose Reynolds (author) presents the strife or thorn that will continue to prick the hero, Zach, and the heroine, Shelby, throughout Wide Open Spaces. I will admit the premise for this conflict was sound but was poorly executed; it felt too hastily done. I can’t really put my finger on what was needed before the main conflict between these two characters was introduced, but a lead up or something was needed because the emotional connection or even my ability to have sympathy for these characters early on fell flat.
To stay on my feelings of the prologue, which I felt set the mood and tone for the rest of Wide Open Spaces, I expected the immaturity shown from both characters to be a factor because they were teenagers. (Although, now that I think about it I remember at the time of reading the prologue I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that two grown people were getting ready to do what they did and couldn’t come up with a better solution if it was causing as much heartache as it was). What I hated, though, was the fact that Shelby still held onto those immature feelings and actions that led her to leave in the first place when she surfaced back into her hometown.
Fifteen years have passed since the incident described in the prologue happened and both the heroine and hero have somewhat moved on (if the pre-teens running around are any indication). But when Shelby finds out that Zach is her next door neighbor you would think that some adulting could take place, but no go. Shelby immediately goes into playing the high school game of ducking and dodging Zach instead of having a ‘come to Jesus’ moment and killing the elephant in the room that almost everyone who encounters them can see, especially when she realizes that they both still have feelings for each other.
There were so many inconsistencies throughout Wide Open Spaces that it made it extremely hard for me to connect with the story. The romance wasn’t really doing it for me either because I just couldn’t understand why these two were together, a foundation was never really shown except for what happened in the prologue and even that wasn’t a whole lot to go on. Even Zach’s messy ex-wife and Shelby’s self-centered ex-husband didn’t do it for me, and y’all know how much I love my drama.
The only redeeming quality of Wide Open Spaces has to do with the kiddos from both parties; Zach has twins and Shelby has a son. If it wasn’t for the children I probably would’ve given up on this story before the first sex scene (FYI I skipped every sex scene because they were just that awkward). My relationship with Aurora Rose Reynold’s stories have always been hit and miss but I always keep coming back, so while Wide Open Spaces wasn’t up to par with what I love about Reynolds’ writing I know that there will be another story that she’ll blow me away with.
$50 Amazon Gift Card
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: