Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Forbidden Thunder by Kathleen Lash

TITLE: Forbidden Thunder
AUTHOR: Kathleen Lash
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 93k)
GENRE: Contemporary romance
COST: $6.00

When one of the company trucks gets in a precarious accident, Caila does what her trapped brother asks and calls Four Sons Towing to help them out. Little does she know that in doing so, she’s settling an old debt between their fathers, but rather than yank the livelihood away from a lot of good people, she’s able to come to an agreement with John Thunder, the man who now runs the towing company. It means putting in a lot of hours and making a lot of sacrifices, but more importantly, it means spending a lot of time with a man who drives her senses crazy…

Readers are always on the hunt for books that blow them away, so it’s always a disappointment when yet another one fails to live up to that hope. This one definitely falls into the realm of missed opportunities.

It starts off all right. Caila runs the business end of her family’s trucking company. When her brother is in a dangerous accident, he instructs her to call Four Sons Towing, even though their father strictly forbade them from doing so prior to his retirement. She displays courage and strength as she steps in to help however she can, at the same time meeting John Thunder, the son who now runs the towing company. Little does she know that a deal was made forty years earlier. In order to settle a lawsuit, Caila’s father agreed to pay $4,000,000 to John’s father in the event his company ever called the Thunders for help. There is no way the company has that kind of money to settle the debt, but Caila manages to finagle a settlement with John, preying on his sense of fairness to not put a lot of innocent people out of work. It forces the two of them to work in close proximity, during which time their attraction combusts.

The story goes on from there. And on. And on. At over 90k, it’s not a fast read, mostly because it gets bogged in really sloppy perspective and scene shifts, poor pacing, and tedious melodramatic events that end up repeating themselves in an attempt to put the principals at risk. Where John had seemed wonderfully alpha at the beginning, by a third of the way into the story he simply comes across as controlling and sullen, not appealing at all. He claims to admire her strength, but every time she displays independence in a way he doesn’t like or approve of, he goes off on her in the most condescending fashion imaginable. The romantic progression was jerky at best, with them being awful to each other and then suddenly chewing each other’s faces off. Plot points lurched out of nowhere to create drama, during which the narrative was so clumsy it was often hard to understand what exactly was going on. Then, I had to put up with what seemed like serious injuries getting ignored in favor of sexual escapades.

There was mild hope in Caila, but that got destroyed by the relationships surrounding her. Caila sacrificed a lot for her family and company, always putting her all into her work, her own needs on the back burner. I really liked that backbone in her, as did John. What creeped me out was her relationship with her brothers. They’re a very close family, but incredibly touchy-feely. This capable young woman gets pulled into their laps, gets her hair caressed, gets her face constantly touched, in ways that seem inappropriate from brothers. It’s made worse when John does the exact same thing. What was likely meant to be innocent becomes cast in a romantic, intimate light, until it got to the point where I would cringe every time another scene with a brother showed up. Which was a lot. She had four of them, after all. It’s explained away as a reaction to their traumatic childhoods, but that comes too late in the story to do any good. My feelings on them were already cemented.

I guess I’m still on the hunt. It’s too bad, because under better conditions, John is a type of hero I’d totally fall for.


6/10 – Sloppy POV, poor pacing, and repetition problems


4/10 – Intense but not in a good way, controlling and dour


5/10 – Strong and independent, but inconsistent and her relationship with her brothers creeped me out

Entertainment value

3/10 – The prose was a mess, the relationships a little creepy, and the repetition/overkill on problems too much to believe

World building

7/10 – Well, she knows her trucking industry, that’s for sure



1 comment:

Kathleen Lash said...

I would like to thank you for taking the time to review my book. I'm sorry you failed to connect with the characters even in a small way.

Have a nice weekend.

Kathleen Lash