All the Way to Shore, by CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.
This book was a total snoozefest. It was supposed to be kind of an insta-romance/cruise romance turned long term, but it just dragged on forever and I felt like I was its prisoner. There was no chemistry between the two MCs, and the dialogue was so forced it made this painful to read at points. I would have jumped off the ship if I had to watch this unfold in person.
The book starts out with them working together before Jonathan’s transformation (aka he lost weight and suddenly became hot enough to date), and then they meet again on a cruise ship. There is barely anything about them meeting before the cruise, so it made the whole we’ve met before drama really lame. We barely saw them interact, and suddenly it was a huge part of the drama.
Most of the rest of the book was reading about the tourism they did on a cruise ship; it was really blah and I wish I could have skimmed over it. Lots of instant love and oh we’re so great together without it being believable. The dialogue between Jonathan and Marco was so wooden, I feel like there would be more romance between two robots learning how to be human than between these two.
I have a special favor to ask everyone writing any kind of book (romance and non-romance alike). Can we just collectively stop it with making a character a certain nationality/ethnicity and then just have them randomly say words from that language to prove it. If someone is from a certain cultural background there is more to it than a language, and I think it’s important to add that to their representation. Otherwise it is stereotyping and kind of makes you look ignorant or racist on top of being a lazy writer. Please and thank you.
The dialogue was terrible, and riddled with random Italian, but the writing was further damaged by the change in the point of view. For some reason I cannot fathom, huge chunks of the book are written in diary format from Marco’s POV. It was weird and distracting, because there were other parts of the book written from his POV. Why have his POV written in two different ways in the book? I didn’t get it, and I thought it took away from the narrative of the book, and also just straight up annoyed me.
I also really didn’t like that Jonathan had to lose a bunch of weight and change the way he looked to get romanced. The whole change for a man thing was very trite. I already wasn’t really into either of the MCs and this just made me annoyed with Jonathan on top of finding him boring.
The drama at the end was understandable but the way the author wrote it came off as immature and boring. Marco was angry, but still expected Jonathan to chase after him, and I was like if you want to still date him then give him a chance. It just seemed to me that there was a lot of drama, and then he just got over it.
All in all the wooden dialogue and lack of chemistry killed this book for me. It was just super boring and I didn’t like any of the characters so it just dragged on. I gave it two stars instead of just one because the writing itself was solid and there weren’t crazy grammar issues.
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche.
CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending. CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
Find out more over at http://www.cjaneelliott.com
You can purchase All the Way to Shore from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.