Title: Closer Than Yesterday
Author: S.W. Frontz
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Purchase via Amazon
Samantha Patrick’s cousin Sarah has lived with an abusive husband for thirty years. After a brutal attack she finally finds the courage to leave.
Sarah goes to Land’s End looking for safety and comfort with her family on this small, idyllic island but the horror is not over yet. Someone is stalking Sarah. Is it the abusive husband or someone else? Will Land’s End be the place where Sarah finds new life, or it will be where it ends?
I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you S.W. Frontz!
Before I proceed with the review, I would like to let you know that I haven’t read the first two installments of the Land’s End Series.
I’m going to be a little blunt today: I was deeply disappointed by this book. When I first read its synopsis and the genre it belonged to, I was jumping like a child. Romance and suspense are two of my favorite genres and blending them is like two amazing people making a child–I expected the child to be twice as amazing. However, that didn’t happen.
Though the story was actually an intelligent one and the last reveal did catch me off-guard (I was a tad bit happy that I hadn’t dumped this to my DNF shelf), the execution was just not working. I wouldn’t blame it completely on the attempted genre-blending because even the individual genres weren’t explored well enough. In the name of being a romance, there was an abusive husband, a strong-but-haven’t-realized-her-strength woman and a perfect lover. Nothing indulged me in the romantic plot and the characters were dead to me. As an abused woman, Sarah doesn’t portray feelings, doesn’t feel conflicted and definitely doesn’t take the burden when she runs away from home. Good, very good. But not realistic. Someone who has been abused to the point where they devise a plan to get far away from the monster, they ought to be scared (even if they don’t show it) and suspicious of people.
The suspense wasn’t well incorporated as a sub-plot and except for that last bit that I’ve mentioned before, nothing was different from the usual cliche. I was on page 72 when I’d figured out what was going to happen next (not who the killer is but where the plot is going to head from here). The fact that the diner where Sarah worked had an inflow of FBI officers and majority of the police department, seemed like a tired-too-hard tactic to get both the suspense and romance to cross lines.
If the shallow plot wasn’t enough, the info dumps, underdeveloped characters, nothing in the name of prose, streams of unnecessary dialogues, a female protagonist who’s liked by everyone, who likes everyone and who everyone has a crush on, worked together to influence this rating. Each character is described immediately after they’re introduced and without any subtlety. The lawyer stops in his tracks, while he’s on his way to get the climax rolling, and appreciates how good his forty-year-old assistant is by noticing her ivory-tinted skin, sky blue eyes and caramel brown hair just like her father’s! There are parts where [spoiler alert: though I’m not taking any names so it’s up to you] characters die and not even a single paragraph is dedicated to the reaction that everyone gives. When someone tells the lot about a person who just died, while one responds with “oh, shit.”, the other simply nods. If the characters in the story themselves aren’t giving a shit about another’s death, how am I supposed to?
All in all, I did not enjoy the book. I won’t be picking up the other books in this series anytime soon . Would I recommend this? Probably not.
Andy asked, “So where did your wife go?”
Carter said, “I don’t know, somewhere with her friends for a girls’ trip.”
Andy replied, “That sounds fun. Where does she work?”
Jody said, “She works at the hospital. She’s a nurse, an RN. I’m very proud of her.”
Andy looked at Carter and smiled. “I’m sure Carter is too. It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse.”
Sam poked Andy in the side. Carter was squirming again. He sat his tea cup on the table and said, “Jody, it looks like you are doing fine. I have a showing this afternoon. I must be going.” He stood up, and so did everyone else. “Thank you for the tea, Jody. Andy, Samantha, a pleasure to meet you.”
They all followed him to the door. Samantha said, “I’m really sorry we didn’t get to meet your wife. If she comes back home tomorrow have her call Jody. We’ll rush right over and meet her.”
Jody said, “Yes, Carter. Let me know if you hear from her.”
Carter was hurrying off the front porch. “I will, Jody. Bye!”
He practically ran to his car. Jody shut the door. Andy and Sam were laughing.
Review also on GoodReads