Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Better Together by Raymond Rose

Title:  Better Together
Author:  Raymond Rose
Summary:  Paul Rhoads, a successful horror novelist, has moved back to his hometown in Pennsylvania. Moving back home turns out to be more than just returning to his roots but starting up a relationship with his high school sweetheart, Annie. Annie, recently divorced, is the mother of a precious eight month old, Max. However, when Annie dies in a freak car accident, Paul finds himself catapulted into the role of father and decides to do something he would never have imagined himself doing: raise Max as his own. (From Author)

**Disclaimer: A copy of the ebook was provided by the author, and I received no compensation for my review of this novel.**

The Dish:  How can I best describe Raymond Rose's novel Better Together?  It's like a warm cup of tea on a cold crisp day, a wonderful comfort, and it continually made me smile as I read through from beginning to end.  Although I haven't read much in the way of cozy fiction, I'm happy to say this novel was the first one, especially with it being from a new author. 

Characters can either make or break a story, and readers can usually tell when an author knows his characters.  Rose certainly knows his characters and how to make them grow on his readers.  There is a certain warmth present within this small-town setting, and all of the characters really help establish and maintain that presence.  The only sad part is that even in the most wholesome of towns, the inevitable can and does happen.  Seeing the effect of the loss of Annie through not only Paul's eyes but Sarah and Mike just made them all the more real and important to both Paul and Max.  Paul's growth throughout the story was fascinating to watch as he went from single man to husband to widower and father.  There were unavoidable stumbling blocks, but sometimes people have to make mistakes in order to realize what is really needed and what they really need to do for those around them.  Even towards the ending, Rose still had lessons for Paul to learn, and that shows the real depth of his character.

The only issue I had with this book involved mechanics, namely the typos scattered through the book.  While they didn't completely disrupt the flow of the story, they were little random bumps in the road that I felt could have been smoothed over.  Beyond that, there was only a man and the boy who became his son and their story that fills the reader with warm hope that everything will turn out right in the end.

What books make you smile throughout the story? ^_^


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