I was recently asked to read and review this contemporary romantic novel as part of the WHISPERINGSTORIES team.
Author – Jill Breugem
Pages – 240
Released – 25th January 2017
ISBN-13 – 978-0995835702
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Julie
Rating – 3 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Small town girl Sadie continues to live in the city after finishing university. She finds work as a journalist which ultimately leads to her passion of writing romance novels. Sadie becomes an accomplished author of many New York Times best sellers.
At the beginning of her success she is picked up by Levi, a literary agent to represent her. They become close friends and business associates over the years. What happens when Sadie writes her latest novel about the love she has for him? Will she publish it at the risk of losing him as an agent and best friend?
‘Read between the Lines’ is the first book from Canadian-based author, Jill Breugem and is a contemporary romance set in New York where we meet our main protagonist, Sadie. Sadie is a wealthy thirty-something best-selling author who is in love with her literary agent, Levi and we join the story as Sadie confesses her feelings for Levi to her best friend during a night out. Upon this backdrop, we have the story of two people who really want to be together but find various ways of managing to stay apart.
The chapters are quite short and at 240 pages with fairly large type, this is a quick and easy read. The cover is simple and an apt representation of the title but it will be competing with a huge number of other romances on offer to the casual reader, so I wonder if it is sufficiently eye-catching?
The book is written in the third person but occasionally the descriptive passages slip into the first person, which didn’t bother me particularly but did necessitate the occasional re-read of a sentence. Whilst grammar issues can be forgiven, I am less charitable when it comes to the practice of head-hopping which dilutes the impact of the information received by the reader. If we are skipping from one character’s mind to another, a segment break in the scene is needed to make the change of perspective clear.
The characters are fleshed out by some nice bits of backstory and Sadie has an able foil in the form of her best friend, Ally in whom to confide. The tale moves gently along with the outcome never really in doubt so if you’re a fan of a straightforward romance, then you will doubtless be delighted.
It is a hugely difficult task for a love story without a wider storyline or significant twists, to carry a book. Objectively, in this highly competitive and crowded genre, I do wonder if the plot is strong enough. Whilst it is engaging with nothing to offend, it is fairly stereotypical and I believe, lacks sufficient impact to elevate it above its competitors.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for a wholesome escapist read which demands little of its target audience, then you will no doubt thoroughly enjoy it. As such, I’m pleased to award a solid three stars.
About the Author
Autism advocate, animal lover, essential oil addict, music enthusiast, daydreamer and story-teller. Jill Breugem resides with her family north of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers chapter.