This book was not for me. I read it, but I was not impressed. Not even as a guilty pleasure.
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid was published July 2015 by Caped Publishing. The copy I read was an ebook copy that I got from my library. I chose it because it fit a ‘cheese’ tag for one of the challenges that I’m participating in. It has nothing to do with cheese and has the ‘cheese’ tag because it is cheesy.
First… I’m not a huge romance fan. I like rom com movies but I’m not a big fan of romance books. I have a couple of authors that are my guilty pleasure, like Nora
Roberts or Debbie Macomber, but overall it’s a genre I usually avoid. I’ll try one here and there if it’s popular but I’ve found more that I don’t like than I do.
The pace was good in this book. Take away all the parts that I rolled my eyes and the pace at which the story progressed was good and could keep a reader entertained from beginning to end. I also liked the character development. I don’t know if they were all believable but they were described made me fall in love with them and I had empathy when things went sideways. Pace and the characters are what saved it for me and kept me from not finishing.
There was a lot of sex and steamy scenes in the book… A LOT! Enough to where a friend of mine described it as being borderline soft porn. I don’t know if I would go that far but I think there was more than were needed. Although some people like that, and if you do, then this book might be for you.
Some of the action scenes were a bit over the top and I think I said… “seriously?!” out loud a couple of times. Again… just too much for me. I know that sometimes Nora Roberts has crazy action things happens in hers but I don’t know if it’s the way she sets it up or writes it but I don’t have the same, “come on?!” reaction to hers as I did with this one.
Here is the reason that I think I struggle with so many romance books… the main character is a math teacher at the local high school and is supposed to be wicked smart, but that doesn’t come across. I can’t remember a single smart conversation that she had in the whole book. She came across more weak and needy and I HATE when women are portrayed that way. There was the comment of not needing to be saved but wanting to, by Duane but I did not get the impression of Jessica being a strong women. It seemed like the same stereotypical woman characterization that just makes me bristle. This is something that I’m sensitive about in my own life so I have a tendency to be extra sensitive about it books… again just me and my opinion. I think Duane’s comment of wanting and not needing to save the damsel is a step in the right direction but doesn’t do enough for the change that is needed in the world.
If you like romance with lots of sex scenes? A soap opera in a book? Give it a try. If you are like me and you like the occasional romance but with a strong woman lead? Pass on this one. I’m not going to be reading the rest of the series.
There are a bunch of prompts that this could be used for… I’m using it for a book with a pun in the title.