BIPOC · Romance

Review: Christmas in Rose Bend

Title: Christmas in Rose Bend
Author: Naima Simone
Page Count: 416
Publication: October 2021
Series: Rose Bend #2

[Amazon | IndieBound | BN | Find it at your local library]

(Other reviews: Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly)

So it seems I’m in the very much the minority on this book.

I did not finish it because it felt like the emphasis was on Nessa’s loins rather than the story of grief, loss, and redemption. Also, the big secret revealed in book one is withheld here with vague comments about Nessa’s “terrible secret.” This is book two of the series, we should have the secret told to us and watch as the ramifications unfold but no, we’re not told what this “terrible secret is in the first 25% of the book, just Nessa’s moaning about it existing. While I’m sure the secret would probably be given to us at some point, I read another review of this book and the secret was dropped. LIke I said, book two in a series, the early chapters of the book should play a quick catch-up for those just tuning in.

So the slow burn wasn’t really a slow burn but a pound in your face hot sexy times that began on page 3. this reminded me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita the Vampire Slayer series where the up to around book eight or nine, we have a paranormal mysteries going on with some romance and sex thrown in, which is what I totally signed up for but in the later books, Antia couldn’t move a foot without banging someone and it got tiresome.

I don’t like tiresome in my sex scenes and unfortunately with Christmas at Rose Bend, that’s what I got which bored me to tears. The editing was also super choppy which was distracting. I’m not sure if it was because what I read was an ebook ARC but I found it took away from the writing.

I saw a conversation on Twitter recently amongst various authors that as a general rule, authors shouldn’t clutch pearls if a reader doesn’t like their book because often times, the reader will read something else by the author that may appeal to them. I find this way with Simone. I found enough in her snark and sass, which I always appreciate, to read her other stuff. But truth be told, this book just didn’t fulfill the promise it offered up.