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Book Review: Never Close Enough

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

What do you do when your life is upended?

In Ella’s case, you go on vacation. When Ella finds her fiance in bed with another woman on the eve of their long-term romantic get away she decides to say screw him, she’s going on vacation anyway. When she gets there in the middle of a storm, she’s semi-rescued by hottie Porter and taken to his mother, Tilly’s, diner for a little recuperation. Tilly decides that Ella and Porter are made for each other, she just needs to throw them together and let the sparks fly.

So where to begin…

If you’d asked me to rate this book up to the 75% mark it probably would have given it a solid four stars. Ella and Porter were fun characters, I liked Tilly. The sex was vanilla but well-written. There was decent conflict there was even a logical endpoint at the 70% mark. My only major problem up to that point was the ongoing slut shaming and seriously horrible and unsupportive “supportive” sister. Pro-tip: supportive sisters bring ice cream and ask what someone wants after a bad break up, not call up the cheating ex and then counsel the two to get back together.

I could see this being the case if the reason for the break up was something like… the guy got the wrong thing for her birthday or kept forgetting to rinse his dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. But for cheating, followed by gaslighting, and then slut-shaming/victim-blaming… that’s a hell to the no.

Also the characters (and thus the author) blamed the single woman who the boyfriend was cheating with more than the boyfriend. Because we only ever heard a proven liar's side, we have no way of knowing if the woman knew he wasn’t available. The guy knew cheating was wrong, but he did it anyway. He then blamed his significant other for being the reason why he cheated. And then tried to tell her that what she saw wasn’t that big of a deal. The other woman was in the wrong, I’m not denying that. But the majority of the blame was put on her when the guy was clearly more in the wrong. So this was never going to get 5 stars from me. Then the last quarter of the book happened and everything went all to hell.

I’m not joking when I said that there was a clear end point at the 70% mark. There was. It was a beautiful “Happy for Now” but leading to a “Happy ever After.” And I’m pretty sure the author knew it. I mean, Rose and I have done the… “We accidentally ended a chapter/arc” thing in the past, but for the most part most authors are able to recognize an endpoint. So when I reached the logical endpoint and the story kept going, I got worried. That usually means one of two things: 1. Suprise!Love Interest comes out of the woodwork or 2. The author is setting up for a cliffhanger. Guess which one happened?

Did you guess both?

Because the answer is both.

The author went off the rails with the “drama”. The ex first tries to woo the heroine back then when she refuses calls her a slut and tries to rape her. The heroine then doesn’t call the cops or her family… She does call the hero who is 2 hours away… but runs to her shop where she’s confronted by a random “bad guy” who shoots her. If that isn’t enough, when she wakes up she has amnesia!

By the way… this all takes place between the 72% and 78% mark of the story. At this point I wondered what soap opera I’d wandered into. Seriously all we needed was someone back from the dead and we’d be golden.

Thankfully that didn’t happen…

I flipped to the end knowing that in romance a happy ending is required… But nope… You have to get the next book…

Excuse me while I virtually throw the book in frustration.

There, I feel better.

Seriously, this is not okay. Cliffhangers have their place, but not in romance. When there is one, it’s a money grab and it shows that the author isn’t confident that their work will generate more sales. So they use a cheap gimmick – the cliffhanger – to try to get money out of their readers. And it does work, but it’s also manipulative and desperate. And it pisses me off. A lot. So unless you like cliffhangers don’t get this book.

One Star

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