Publisher: Bella Books
Burned out from the emotionally grueling practice of family law, attorney Kate Brennen decides to take a mental health break and joins a corporate firm. Except for occasional annoyances (like her boss’ insistence that she take on his brother’s messy divorce case), the change is just what the doctor ordered. And the substantial salary increase and 9-to-5 schedule gives her more time and money for her preferred pastime: shopping for antiques.
On one such outing, Kate meets Annie Walsh, owner of the small shop, Treasured Past. Although she’s barely making ends meet, Annie finds struggling to keep her shop open preferable to dealing with the turmoil of her personal life.The women become friends and before long they are sharing much more than their passion for antiques. All signs point to a happy ending– until Kate learns something surprising about the client she’s been forced to represent…
[Originally posted on Amazon 4/27/12]
I got Treasured Pastas a free ebook download on the Bella Books site. I’d seen the book listed before and the description had interested me, so this isn’t a case of reading something I wasn’t going to care for just because it was free.
I did like the plot. I thought it was a clever idea. While it’s easy to guess almost right from the beginning what the big conflict is going to be, that didn’t really detract from the story for me. It was still fun guessing how and when the characters would figure things out, and how that would affect everything.
However, I didn’t enjoy the book that much. This is very much a personal taste issue, so may not matter to a lot of readers. The main problem for me was the characterizations, or lack thereof. All secondary characters were there merely to fulfill specific roles to serve the plot, none of them were interesting. Both of the protagonists were extremely mercurial, bouncing from mood to mood from second to second. I never got a real feel for either of them as people, they didn’t have distinct personalities. While reading, it felt like there was a ping pong ball zinging around in my head. So in the end I just didn’t care too much about them, which means I didn’t care too much what happened to them.
What happened ended up being predictable, though in a romance that’s rather to be expected. It’s how you get there that is important. And in this case, between the mediocre writing and unknowable characters, the plot wasn’t enough by itself to make the book into a compelling read for me. Which is a shame, because it had a lot of potential.
For readers who need or expect characters with depth, who have interesting interior lives and associate with interesting people, Treasured Past will likely disappoint. For readers who care more about an entertaining plot then it may be a decent romance to fill a few spare hours.