Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Always Red (Red #2) by Isabelle Ronin

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Veronica "Red" Strafford's painful past has made trusting Caleb Lockhart difficult. But Red might have pushed Caleb away one too many times...

I want you to fight for me. Just as I fought for you. But you wouldn't.
I stood there, staring after him, tears pouring down my face.

Source: advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review

I so much enjoyed Veronica and Caleb's story in the first book, and completely fell in love with them as a couple. There was just something about their dynamic that just appealed to me that I was so distraught at the end when they broke up because of a horrible misjudgment. In Always Red, something is different. In fact, it feels like a completely different book because it tends more towards soap opera and dramatics. This time as Caleb and Veronica try to work out their problems they're hindered by Caleb's jealous teammate, Justin, and also his jealous best friend, Beatrice-Rose, who has resorted to extremes to break up the couple for good. 

So here's what didn't work for me: I felt Beatrice-Rose's character hijacked this story. She has some serious mental health issues that I felt were acknowledged but then just set aside. Her actions became too over the top for me that she became more of the cliche. I felt Veronica and Caleb's relationship suddenly hit the accelerate button once they got back together and that didn't feel right to me especially when she still had trust issues that keep popping up.

What did work for me and what I wish there was more of: Justin. He's the supposed friend who is insanely jealous of Caleb and we learned of this in the first book. He also suffers from becoming a cliche which disappointed me because I would've been interested in his backstory and his attempts at undermining Caleb whenever he can. 

I was really looking forward to Always Red and in the end, this sequel felt like a soap opera which was not for me. 

~ Bel

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