book review

Stubborn Love by Wendy Owens

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Goodreads description:

Even a broken heart has trouble resisting a Stubborn Love.

Emmie Hayes loved the beautiful Ashton Stirling deeply; nobody could deny that. She had given him her youth, and all he gave in return was misery and pain. She was ready for a new beginning, but Ashton wasn’t about to let her go so easily, even if it meant destroying both their lives in the process.

Three years later Emmie convinces herself she is ready to leave all of that heartbreak in the past and find a little piece of normal for herself. She heads to New York City to pick up where she left off, determined to finish art school. Emmie is determined to focus on school and not let anything distract her, but life has a way of throwing curveballs.

Paige, Emmie’s new roommate, brings Colin Bennett into her life. His smoldering eyes and lean muscular body are difficult for any girl to ignore. Only thing is, Emmie isn’t any girl. Her past makes her resistant to his charms. Colin isn’t one to give up easily, and just when he thinks he may have found a way to her stubborn heart, her tragic history may have found a way to tear them apart.

I had such high hopes for this book, especially after reading the prologue. It started out on a very strong note, but then just went downhill completely.

One of the worst pet peeves I have about books is what I like to call the “and then… and then… and then…” writing style, which is exactly how this story reads. It’s mostly trying to get from one point of the story to the next, with hardly any regard for character development. It made me feel like someone was trying to pull my leg telling me an outrageously fake story, as opposed to letting me live vicariously through it. It doesn’t feel real, the characters are unrelatable, and there’s no cohesion in the plot — bland at some points, overplayed at others, and just plain ridiculous when things supposedly come to a head (not to leave any spoilers, but seriously, William Stryker, what was that?!). By the end of the story, I found myself feeling like I wasted my time.

Another aspect that really rubbed me the wrong way was the attempt at sympathy for the main character. Not to downplay the tragedy that Emmie had to endure, but it almost felt like a cop-out to use it. Sure, people deal with tragedy differently, but it was just treated very poorly in this story. It was either used as a pitiful excuse for the way Emmie shuts everyone out, or it was thrown in Stryker’s face haphazardly. Heck, even the conversation with Ashton’s mother towards the end of the book felt a lot like a very convenient way of giving Emmie her closure and freedom from guilt, even though it comes out of left field. This is definitely one of those instances where the story could’ve done with better character development and depth in back story.

Overall, it had potential. The premise was promising. It’s just the follow-through that was extremely lacking.

Rating: 2 stars

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