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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ring the Alarm by Tara Ann Bradley

I have a lot of conflicting thoughts when it comes to Ring the Alarm, so to say that I've had a hard time writing this review is
an understatement. Let me try to explain why that is. The
foundation for this book is a good one. A group of women come together to figure out a mystery surrounding the unusual and psychotic behavior of a pro football team's players. The women are from all backgrounds, including a lawyer, a soldier, a football player's wife, you get the idea. Despite their differences they bond and create a kind of sisterhood. The mystery was unique and played out well over the course of the book. As the reader I was invested in knowing what was making these men do the things that they were doing. Plus, did I mention that this is a full length book? Oh yeah, that alone is worth a star! Nothing was rushed or skimmed over due to length. Unfortunately, despite all of this I still had some serious problems with characters and the execution of this book.

What it's About: Happye has a great job and life. She's a bit (a lot!) clumsy, but competent at work. She also has a huge crush on a client by the name of Drake. Unknown to her, Drake has a bit of a thing for her too. Happye also has a sister who is married to a football player who plays for the Panthers. One night after a dinner party hosted by her sister, something very horrible happens involving Happye and one of the players from the team. Drake comes to the rescue, but the damage is done in more ways than one. Happye loses her job and becomes public enemy #1 to many Panther fans. When Drake decides he's had enough of her isolation and self-imposed exile, he forces her to live life again. But more trouble arises with the Panthers, and it soon becomes apparent that there is more going on than what meets the eye. Happye and a group of women who are all in some way connected to these incidents with the team, begin to snoop around in hopes of solving the questions and the mystery of what is happening and why. 

My Thoughts: I'm not big on pointing out poor grammar or misspelled words in a book. There are plenty of people who are more than happy to do that for me. If the story is a good one and the mistakes don't stand in the way of my enjoyment, I can deal. Unfortunately, this book was filled errors that just started to eat away at my nerves after awhile. "Smelled" should never be spelled "smelt" in a book. I'm also not a fan of books that drop names of designers, products, etc., but when an author does this the names at least need to be correct. Donna Karan is not Donna Karen, and Jimmy Choo is not Jimmi Choo. 

In terms of the characters, I have to focus on the heroine Happye, bless her heart. She drove me nuts. This girl went through a lot and I should cut her some slack, but she just annoyed the living daylights out of me. She has a man that adores her and who has been there for her from the first time we meet his character. Yet Happye is constantly questioning him and his feelings towards her. Over and over. Her poor self image is just too much to take and not want to smack some common sense into her. And the way that she speaks at times! No grown woman should answer a question with "'Cause I wanna." For the love of all that's good and sparkly in the universe just don't say things like that if you are over the age of 12! But this isn't the only problem that I have with Happye girl. For someone who constantly needed protecting herself, she seemed to always feel the need to protect every other woman in the story at some point or other. That's because every woman in the story sooner or later was described as fragile or delicate and in need of protecting no matter how strong, independent and brave they had been up to that point. Grrrr! No, this wasn't necessarily a Happye problem, but it just happened to be Happye that pointed out that these otherwise strong women were just frail females in disguise. I rolled my eyes so much I'm surprised they didn't get stuck .... 

Drake Powell is the requisite billionaire of the story and our hero. He's handsome, charismatic, commanding, and loves Happye with every ounce of his heart. He's her man and he sets down the rules. I liked his character for the most part, but he was a little too controlling at times and that irked the independent woman in me. But I can give him a pass when you consider who he's in love with. Happye isn't really a very strong woman, you get this from the moment she's first introduced in the story. She's childish and never comes across like a mature woman who makes mature decisions. It explains why a man like Drake would want someone like her. She needs protecting and someone who is in control. As the story progresses and you learn more about Drake's history, his desire to do just that becomes more obvious as does the reason. As for other characters, I did like most of the other women in the story when they were written as strong and competent women. Drake's brothers were introduced and each was handsome and interesting. You can easily figure out who they'll be paired with and the matches seem like good ones. I look forward to reading about Faith and Mack in particular. Their chemistry was popping off the pages whenever they were together. 

While this book didn't entirely work for me, I still found myself entertained and never really thought about putting it down. I know that really doesn't make much sense, but there you have it. The reason for my difficulty with this review. It wasn't a total fail, but the execution was off and the story suffered. Perhaps it just needed a better editor, because I think it could have been quite good otherwise. The writer definitely has the imagination, but it just needed more polish. I plan on reading any future books in the series with the hopes that the author will grow from this debut and get the editing that she needs. I give this book between a 2.5 and a 3 out of 5 rating.

Rating: 2.5 - 3 star
Pages: 430
Published date: January 2, 2014
Buy Ring the Alarm at Amazon

*Disclosure: This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

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