When Tamara Allen, the incredibly talented author of Whistling in the Dark, had this new release at Dreamspinner a couple weeks ago, I jumped on it with only a bare glance at the blurb and nothing at the excerpt. I had every intention of writing a review for it today. But I knew when I finished it that I couldn't do so in good conscience. If I hadn't already told Ms. Allen that the review would be coming, I would have just shuttled the experience off to the side and moved onto the next book. But that's not the case.
See, I did something with this book I don't often do. I overidentified with the narrator to the point where my personal experiences irrationally evoked responses to characters within the story. Before the end of the first chapter, I hated the other protagonist so vehemently, I would have stopped reading entirely if it hadn't been for my comments to Ms. Allen. I can't remember the last time I had such a violent loathing for a character, and when that character is half of the romantic couple...well, you can probably guess what that did for me in trying to enjoy the romance.
That's not to say it's a bad story. It's not. The editing is impeccable, the detail rich and vivid. But I can't offer an objective opinion - or even a fair one - on the pacing, the romance, or many of the secondary characters. My negative feelings for Reid overshadowed everything that much. I have to stress, though, this is my issue. I don't think my reaction would be a normal one. I fully recognize that my personal history and triggers created the strong emotions. I sincerely wish they hadn't.