Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Review: Lessons In Pure Life by Audrey O'Connor

Freshly minted grad Emilia Noble arrives in Costa Rica to teach English in the tropical community of Pacifica. Its carefree, pura vida lifestyle is a welcome contrast to her dark and wintry origins. Tossing caution aside like an old winter coat, she plunges headfirst into an exotic cocktail of sensory pleasure.

Diego is a local whose surfer body and cool detachment make Lia buzz with a long-lost thrill. Fascinated by her new environment, she can’t help but wonder about the moody inner workings of the boy with triceps like Wolverine and a grimace to match.

Diego seems to have no problem ignoring Lia, though. Caught up in his family’s conflicted attitude toward foreigners, he notices her only when it’s convenient. But as Lia thrives in her new surroundings, Diego might just find reason enough to defy his embattled, insular father. When north and south are mixed together, the results are intoxicating.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: April 6th 2015 by Tryst Books
Terri's Thoughts
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Tryst via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is April 6th 2015.

This is essentially a story about starting over, overcoming the past and sizzling attraction between two people.  Exactly what I was looking for when I picked up this book.  Fans of the NA genre will probably enjoy this story although it is a little tame compared to the average.

The highlight of this story was the setting where it took place.  The descriptions of Costa Rica made me want to transplant myself there instead of bundling up in the northern winter climate.  The descriptions of the ocean, the smells of nature and the physical beauty captured my attention from the beginning.  It was the true star of the story.

The relationship and chemistry between Emilia and Diego is typical of what you would expect.  There is no twist or turn that sets the story apart from others in the genre.  Both have emotional baggage and are drawn to each other but fight those feelings.  You know how it goes from there.  I felt like the backstory of each was underdeveloped and explored and therefore made the story lack some substance.

I do feel I have to offer some constructive criticism.  Although I hate to say anything negative about any piece of writing as I know the authors pore their heart and soul in to their stories and I myself do not have enough talent to do the same, but the writing was so overly descriptive that it became annoying to me.  Pretty much every adjective, verb, noun and analogy was used to describe everything and Diego in particular.  It was to the point that I could no longer visualize what he was supposed to look like as I was lost in the surplus descriptive words.  An example is the following that I managed to capture from the book after I had finally lost my patience. 
"It burns in me like I'm Captain Haddock fizzling with whiskey, marching up the Himalayas with Tintin, singing old navy tunes".  What does that mean?  How is it relevant to the story?  Phrases like this were in abundance.

Don't get me wrong this is a cute story if you can get past some of the surplus words (in my opinion).  If you are looking for a romance that is what it is at the surface and doesn't dig too deep in to emotional issues this is a good choice. 

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