The Best Mistake
Deri Crandall feels all alone in the world and there’s nothing she would want more than to be welcomed by her father’s family with open arms. It’s the very father that has been absent all her life. Despite their less than thrilled reaction to her arrival Deri lets herself be pushed into betraying someone – all that just to finally belong again. Acceptance comes with a price, though. Too late Deri realizes she has a major crush on the person her grandfather wants her to deceive. Cole Harrety is a workaholic...and because of his work ethic and intelligence...also filthy rich. Never before has a woman affected him as much as Deri. Will Cole still think so when he finds out the truth?
First of all I want to say how much I adore pretty much all books by Linda Kage. She’s a terrific author and I stand by my suggestion to put her on your auto-buy list. Now, on to the part I’ve been dreading ever since finishing the novella (139 pages).
This story just didn’t do it for me. Let me tell you why! This review will follow my reading process by putting the thoughts I had (love my Kindle highlight function) into words...step by step.
A lonely heroine wanting to gain the respect of her family: it all sounded promising for a short while. I laughed at the heroines’ clumsiness and felt for her. How embarrassing! So far so good; a little humour can go a long way. The first bump in the road? Her reaction to meeting Cole for the first time. I don’t mind instant attraction or lust at first sight, but for some reason it was over the top in her case. She came across as a bit of an airhead (which is not attractive).
Her little mishap that required immediate assistance I found pretty cliché (as opposed too cute). Both the <what > and the <how>.
When Deri announced that (slightly spoilerish comment ahead!!!!)...
...no former boyfriend had ever worried about insulting her, I lost all sympathy for her. Come on! That’s just not believable. At all! Aside from that...Cole trying to NOT insult her doesn’t make him prince charming in my book. Why is she acting all loved up?
As for the hero, I hoped for a commanding guy that let himself fall in love. What I got? A lovesick puppy praising an intern’s “fresh outlook”. What’s so bad about that you want to know? The so called fresh outlook was none-existing. Their interaction at this point reminded me of the rich CEO hitting on the dumb, “blond” secretary by telling her how great it is that she was able to sharpen his pencils without making a mess of things. He liked her ideas. What ideas? At this point I was desperate for some character development. Something that would help me connect with the main characters. Instead, Deri took childish behaviour to a whole new level. It wasn’t really her fault, but I was unable to take that into consideration because I had no point of reference. Several one-liners missed their mark. Deri making fun of herself? Only works when I’m not in complete agreement with the “joke” (“short, dumpy nutcases”....like her). I couldn’t understand why Cole fell for her. Especially after getting to know her family. She prefers rude family members to being lonely? Not funny. For me to believe this it would’ve taken at least one lovable, friendly person in this bunch of disgusting sobs. Someone among these a**holes that would’ve made it worth for Deri to cope with all the other shit being thrown her way.
I couldn’t stand Deri’s extreme naivety either. Her mother was the best? She sure didn’t teach her daughter any common sense or self respect for that matter. To sum it up:
The naive heroine was too naive. The bitchy stepsister was too bitchy (Why does she know all about this whole mole business anyway? She’s 17!). The despicable father was too despicable. The hero in awe was too easily sold on the heroine.
Why did Deri want to protect these people? Because they’re family? The author should’ve come up with something better reasoning-wise (as in with more substance).
I was also missing the one-liners I know Kage is able to come up with. The ones I happened to stumble over felt constructed. I wanted natural!!! All of this led me to skip over the sexy schmexy parts. I wasn’t invested - wasn’t rooting for their happily ever after. Don’t get me started on the coming clean part. She was determined to tell him everything. Off to see him at his office she went. Wham bam! Suddenly she’s sitting in a car with him on her way to some event never having said a word. Huh? I was so confused the whole time. :-(
The sad part is...I loved the general idea. The plot would’ve made a great, GREAT full length novel. The author could’ve worked on the character development, put in some more background (why her father abandoned her etc.), made the process of falling for each other a bit longer and in turn more believable...
I love Linda Kage and hate writing negative reviews. Gotta be honest, though. 1.5 stars to The Best Mistake by Linda Kage.