Monday, May 18, 2015

ARC Review: Finding Figaro by Penny Hudson

Finding Figaro

Aspiring author Jasper decides it’s a good idea to treat a major publisher’s gala like his private pitch event, but the only attention he attracts is from sexy bestselling author Isaac Wright. Isaac is far more interested in his pretty face than his manuscript, but Jasper kisses up to him anyway. The attraction is mutual, until Jasper reads one of Isaac's books—a political thriller—and hates it. He decides he can't date someone if he detests their work—a pretentious attitude partially influenced by his snotty critique group—so he decides to turn his attention to his closet obsession: Figaro Powers, a romance writer. Although Jasper will never admit to reading romance, knowing Figaro was at the gala as well and Jasper missed seeing him, makes the obsession even bigger.

Isaac doesn’t give up on Jasper, though and offers to help him edit his manuscript. A pregnant sister and a stuck-up ex-boyfriend thwart their efforts, but it’s only when Miles, Jasper’s housemate, forces the issue that Jasper confesses to Isaac that he hates his book, and breaks Isaac’s heart. Despite this, Isaac sticks up for Jasper, and Jasper needs to reconsider whether the kind of books you read and write really says everything about the kind of person you are.

Sandra's rating:

This story was an okay read. I liked how the author created multi-dimensional characters, but the story suffered from having two plotlines that never really converged. On one side we have a cute story about an aspiring writer, who meets a prolific author, and their multiple roadblocks on the way to romance, and on the other hand we had the story of an aspiring writer in an awful job, with a pregnant sister, a snotty ex-boyfriend, and pretentious expectations.

There were redundant scenes that added nothing to the enjoyment factor, like the tedious exploration of the illegal bottling operation Jasper's boss is running, which slowed the pace of the story to a crawl.

I had high hopes for this book, based on the blurb, but was sadly disappointed with the results. The writing itself isn't bad - it flows well enough, when it's not getting bogged down with superfluous details - and Jasper was an interesting character. I also saw a lot of cynicism in Isaac that came through in his thoughts and words. He was genuinely interested in Jasper, not only in getting him into his bed, but also in helping him succeed as a writer.

What the author did well was giving her characters room to grow, as both Isaac and Jasper show toward the end, and I appreciated that.

The idea for this story was a good one. The execution unfortunately, not so much.

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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