FALL LOVE by Anne Whitehouse

I looked at the free ebook offerings at Smashwords in the gay and lesbian section.  I pick up FALL LOVE mainly because it was free and it was long enough.

Cover art:

Passable.  Better looking than the crop of the cover art in the Gay and lesbian section.  However, it does not grab me.  The purple dark tones make the cover look very dull.  The title and author lettering seems wrong to me.  The covers screams unprofessional.  The cover already sets the mood of the book to be dull.

And dull it is.  Reading the first chapter, it is clear that this 170000 word epitome could lose a lot of words. It begins innocently with Althea having an island vacation to spend more time on her painting.  She gets bored in her loneliness and invites Paul to spend some time with her.  Paul accepts the hideaway because he is feeling raw over his boyfriend Bryce who had just left him.  Of course the invitation is not sex-free.  Paul maintains an aloof manner, Althea struggles keep herself whole even though she is falling hard.  Her friend Jeanne joins them, and there is a strange threesome.

And that is just one-quarter of the book.  The book goes, on and on over feelings and thoughts in such an unengaging manner.  The author does have a flair for imagery and her sex writing is very poetic, however the thoughts and feelings bog down the book, diffuses tensions, and suspense.

The book takes a multi third person pov style.  That I found inconsistent.  For the threesome, there were tons of needless exposition on Althea, some on Jeanne, and precious little on Paul who actually masterminds the romp.The book then pull some exposition on Bryce who wants to get back with Paul, and more and more thoughts and feelings.

The pacing is awfully slow. The grammar and editing seemed fine.  I didn’t notice too many comma mistakes. However, the author loves beginning prepositional phrases. I noticed “Under her black bangs…” or “Under her straight bangs…”  or “Under her straight black bangs…”  And a slew of other beginning participal phrases that adds a certain inelegance to the prose. With so much exposition,  it was a whole bunch of tell; I would have preferred a bit more dramatisation.

I read about 50000 words and decided, it isn’t worth finishing. Nothing was happening, I didn’t see much growth to the characters and I didn’t identify with them much.  I sympathized with Althea at the first but her passivity with Paul turned me off.  Bryce, I felt for a bit because he was struggling with his relationship with Paul and his ill-health.  Paul I failed to see his charm on the women and Bryce. Paul is the most unlikable person in the tale.

I would praise the writing.  It is poetic and very metaphorical, however I found the writing a little bit lacking.

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