The short review: Undone by Shannon Richard is sweet and easy, but not the best written book.
Paige Morrison has had an awful year. She lost her job, her boyfriend, and her apartment in a few short months. She’s moved home to live with mom and dad until she can get her feet back under her. Unfortunately, home for mom and dad is NOT home for Paige. Her parents have relocated to small town Florida and small town Florida does not approve of Paige. She’s too… well you know, I just don’t know. Too bright? She likes red shoes? She is outspoken? I really never did figure out just why they hated her, other than it was something to hang a plot on.
So Paige is having a really bad day She went on an interview only to be made fun of by the interviewer and when she leaves her car blows up. And who should come save her except local hottie Brendan King? Small town Florida is really conflicted over Brendan. It seems he didn’t fit in as a kid because his mom had two kids out of wedlock. His mom has since died, and the town seems to accept his sister and grandparents just fine, so.. I just don’t know. Brendan is successful enough and well liked enough to make one phone call and get Paige a good job. I know, confusing to me too. Moving on.
Brendan fixes Paige’s Jeep and is so instantly smitten that he allows her a payment plan at his shop. He thinks up reasons to go see her based on one conversation. They immediately start dating and making out (but no S-E-X, cause Paige isn’t that kind of girl!) and the book is nothing but sexual tension and poorly written interactions for the next 200 pages. And the sexual tension isn’t really there, even tho it SAYS it’s there. Brendan and Paige sail right along to their HEA with really nothing to stop them, besides a little gossip. There’s one big conflict at the end, that really only made Paige look bad, and a Dramatic Conclusion, but really there wasn’t much plot to make the love story work. There was never any question at all of them being together. I can hear all you non-romance readers now, “But don’t they ALWAYS get together?” Yes, they always do, but a great romance leaves you to wonder how they will overcome their circumstances or their personalities or their past to BE together. This one? Nope. You guys know I love romance (just wait til I finally write up the other 7 romances I’ve read lately!) but this was just not good. I didn’t hate the story, but it was pages too long. Chapters too long. It would have been a great novella And the writing is very juvenile, lots of he said/she said/he did/let me tell you what happened next in minute detail.
Despite all this (perhaps because of all this?), I read it very quickly. The cover is terrific, everything the book itself wants to be. And at the end I was pretty interested in reading the sister’s story (In love with her brother’s best friend.) I hate to be so critical of a first time author, but this book still needed some serious editing. One fun thing, if you visit the author's website, there's a fun playlist of music to accompany the book. I love things like that.