Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
Published on January 6th, 2016
ARC from Netgalley
| Audiobook Review |
Ok, so to me, Big Rock feels like what would happen if you threw a bunch of teenage girls into a room and told them to write a romance novel about adults from a man’s point of view. Especially when you throw in the pop culture references (that the hero makes – wth?) of ‘touched for the very first time’ and ‘Pretty in Pink.’ The blurb of this book is misleading since it’s not Spencer’s father who pressures him into a fake engagement. It’s Spencer himself who comes up with this dumb idea and then runs with it. Because he is such a good son. If you don’t believe him, just ask him.
His inner dialogue drove me nuts, as did the attempt to make him seem like a nice guy. It’s like there was a checklist to prove it, but everything felt very superficial and was never delved into enough to make it feel like that goodness was an inherent part of him. Another thing I had issue with was that this was all for show for a buyer of his dad’s business. A buyer who was very into family values and appearances. Well, just prior to his engagement, Spencer was in the paper with other women. Which is fine if the buyer wasn’t someone who in my opinion, would have vetted the family whose business he was purchasing if he was that into appearances. And I don’t care about Spencer’s past – I’ve read a lot of heroes who like to enjoy different women on a regular basis – but let’s call a spade a spade and label this part of the story as a contrivance. I mean, it’s one thing to lie to a business associate, but something else entirely to attempt to lie to your loving family who would have never asked this of you. The characters and story had no depth for me, and I can’t help but wonder if the author had spent as much time developing their present as she did trying to show us how ‘charming’ their past was, maybe there could have been. I also feel like there should have been some weirdness between a man and his long-time friend when they decide to hit the sheets. Even just at first – it doesn’t have to persist, but there was zero here, and it just didn’t feel real to me. And since being inside Spencer’s head drove me nuts, I just couldn’t find the love scenes sexy here. It just felt like he went on and on…except with foreplay, which I’d expect a lot of with a self-proclaimed amazing lover.
There were some things I liked about this book, like Spencer’s family and his friend Nick. I do love a good geek turned hot story, so I am going to give Nick’s book a go. If it doesn’t work out, I’m to consider this ‘stand-alone series’ to be a bust for me. If you’re someone who likes Spencer, I can see why you’d like this book. There were some funny moments and I think, on the surface, he did care for Charlotte. I just wish we’d have been able to get a deeper look at the characters in this one.
Narrator: I thought the narrator for this book was OK once I moved past the fact that Spencer sound more like ‘Spincer.’ His woman’s voice was also more like a whisper than a soft voice, but it wasn’t too bad once I got used to it. Overall, he did a decent job and I wouldn’t mind listening to books he narrated in the future.
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