Never and AlwaysNever and Always by Emily Mims
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Never and Always by Emily Mims is a standalone book and my first read by this author. Although I say it stands alone, I felt as if it was a part of a continuing series because I got the impression through most of the secondary characters that their story had already been told. This was a sweet book maybe a bit too sweet for me as I like more drama, more angst and more substance if you will in my storyline. I liked it but wasn’t in love with the storyline and/or the characters.

As I started the book, I felt a bit lost because there were so many secondary characters as well as secondary storylines in the background that I felt like I couldn’t keep my characters straight in my head. It took awhile for me to get the hang of who was who at the beginning of the book. Once I realized who belonged to who and their storyline and how it fit in with our main characters Russ and Angie then it started to make the storyline flow better for me.

I am a very visual reader and one of my main issues with this writer was that I had a really hard time to visualize both Russ and Angie, which by the way, the names weren’t the “best” for me to boot. Because I couldn’t visualize them, it made it even more difficult for me to relate as well as connect with them. Thank goodness for the beautiful and sexy cover of this book because I had to keep going back to it in order to “picture” the characters in my head. The way both were described in the book was definitely not what was depicted on the cover and that was a disappointment to me. In all honesty, every time the author would describe Angie and what she was wearing I would cringe and have to keep “seeing” the cover photo in order to keep reading.

Russ and Angie were good characters in general. Angie had been through a very tough ordeal with her ex-husband and her backstory was genuinely sad. I really felt for her. What I loved about Angie was her unconditional love for her son. She was independent and successful and it truly accentuated her character in the very best way. Deep down she was a real woman with real issues and yet she never let them keep her down. She was a woman anyone would have been proud to call their mom, a friend, etc.

Russ, I really liked him a lot. I felt that I didn’t know enough about his background but what I did know and see really helped me to connect with him little bit more than with Angie. He was a beautiful man with such insecurities and rightfully so but boy, oh boy, did he ever exude confidence with the ladies. I loved his conflicting feelings he had towards Angie, it really made him “human” and I loved seeing that side of him.

This story was about finding real love, second chances, self-discovery and self-worth, it had some mystery and a little bit of drama and angst but also could have used a little bit more for my liking. It was sweet and yet had a hint of sexy too. The sex scenes were ok, a little “old-fashioned” in some of the wording but ok for the most part.

All in all, Never and Always was just an okay read for me but don’t let that stop you if you are looking for a more laid back romance story mixed with some suspense and mystery.
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