Review: Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

Book Title: Never Knowing
Author: Chevy Stevens
Publish Date: July 5th, 2011
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Genre: Adult Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The second novel by Chevy Stevens, author of bestseller STILL MISSING.

At thirty-three Sara Gallagher is finally happy. Her antique furniture restoration business is taking off and she’s engaged to a wonderful man. But there’s one big question that still haunts her — who are her birth parents? Sara is finally ready to find out. 

Sara’s birth mother rejects her—again. Then she discovers her biological father is an infamous killer who’s been hunting women every summer for almost forty years. Sara tries to come to terms with her horrifying parentage — and her fears that she’s inherited more than his looks — with her therapist, Nadine, who we first met in “Still Missing.” But soon Sara realizes the only thing worse than finding out your father is a killer is him finding out about you. 

Some questions are better left unanswered. 

“Never knowing” is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand where she comes from. That is, if she can survive…

Disclaimer: I got this book from the library.

Review:
I was really excited about this book when I first started it, but that excitement waned as I read the book which really bummed me out. I was excited about this book because I love stories about adoption. Plus I knew very little about my own father so I wanted to see how Sara’s story played out.

I feel like I’ve said this multiple times recently, but I don’t have to like the characters in order to like the book. However, Sara was obnoxious. I get wanting to know about your biological parents. I get wanting to know where you came from, but clearly Sara’s birth-mother didn’t want to talk to her and after finding out that her father was the infamous Campsite Killer, Sara should have just dropped it. 

I found her to be very selfish and I completely agreed with Evan, her fiance, the entire book. She didn’t know how to just let it go. She put her fiance in danger, she put her daughter in danger. Not cool and she definitely was not protecting Ally even though she swore up and down that protecting Ally was her priority.

The character development was lacking pretty much across the board, which bummed me out.  as I put very high emphasis on wanting well developed characters. The most well developed character I thought was Ally. It’s hard for children to be well developed characters in books, but that was one thing that Stevens did well in this book.

The pacing was great and I did enjoy the ending of the book. It was exactly how I would have ended the book if I were Stevens. However the character development and most specifically, Sara’s actions throughout the entire book really ruined the book for me. So that is why I am going to have to give the book 3 stars.I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it.

Say Forever (Something More #3) by Tara West

Book Title: Say Forever (Something More #3)
Author: Tara West
Release Date: December 19th, 2013
Publisher: Shifting Sands Publishing
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Series: Book 3 in Something More trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Christina
I love Andrés so much, more than anyone I’ve ever loved before, yet there are days when I don’t know if I want to scream, swear, or fall to pieces. We’re trying to plan a future together, but our families won’t leave us alone. What’s worse is I can see Andrés is not happy.

They say love trumps all hurdles, but some days I wonder will “our” love trump “our” hurdles? Then I look into Andrés’s sensual smile and passionate gaze and I fall in love all over again.

Andrés
When I told Christina I would love her forever, I meant every word. The nightmares are back, and I don’t know how to stop them, but I have to be strong for her. This pressure from my family and my job feels like a noose around my neck, but I will do whatever it takes to give Christina the life she deserves. She’s everything to me, and I won’t lose her.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Very rarely can I say that a series actually gets markedly worse. I felt like screaming half of the time at these characters. Authors it really is possible to write about a man who is close to his family but who also realizes that its OKAY to do his own thing.In the first two books, Andres and Christina were hot and I was really rooting for them to overcome everything that had tried to tear them apart.

This book changed that majorly. Christina returned to her doormat status which really frustrated me and Andres self esteem plummeted. Both sides of the family were deciding on things without even checking on what the bride and groom wanted. Now that doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary but when Christina doesn’t put her foot down, suddenly she’s meeting with The Cobra’s best friend who is going to coordinate the wedding, Andres aunt is insistent on her daughter Marie being a bridesmaid even though Marie and Christina hate each other.Christina is saying over and over “I don’t want this” but she’s not saying it to people and certainly NOT authoritatively.

Then we have Andres who is miserable at his job but feels a sense of family duty to stay there since his Tio & Tia took him in when his mother died. Yet, privately Andres yearns to persue his passion and become a chef. He’s so focused on making Christina happy that he doesn’t realize that if he’s not happy Christina will never be happy.

And therin lies another issue I have with Christina. Her happiness is tied to a man. That should NEVER happen. A person needs to be happy on their own before they get coupled up. She also needs to find something that’s just hers and not tied up with Andres.

I was happy to see that Karri made an appearance as did her son. I was not expecting to see Karri at all in this book. Plus Grace and her girlfriend had substantial parts in it which made me happy. Seeing that Christina did have friends outside of Andres. 

I was happy with the ending and I was happily surprised to see the epilogue. I wasn’t sure if we’d get one so it was a nice surprise to see it.It definitely did not feel rushed to me.

This book was easily the weakest of the three. Both main characters took major steps backwards which really bummed me out. That’s the main reason I have to give this book 3 stars.