Essential Beginnings by Kennedy Layne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this for the TSTL square for Romance Bingo and for my Kindle Freebie selection.
The first thing you need to know is that this world's apocalypse involves a SUPER-VOLCANO. Enough said, right? You already want to read this.
Look, I know nothing about Yellowstone and it's volcano's ability to send us all into a volcano ash winter for a decade but I believed the author does. There was enough real feeling (again, I don't know) facts to bolster the story and I was totally locked into this part. I loved how this took a bit of a different route from a lot of current apoca-rom and starts us off at the beginning instead of a couple years into the apocalypse. The suspense and fear was heightened, not knowing what was going to happen and dreading it.
What didn't work for me was the romance and to be fair, how does one fit in a romance as it starts to become clear the world as we current humans know it will be ending. I had a pretty big dislike for the heroine and her TSTL attitude. Out of no where immaturely and weirdly blaming the hero for 3yrs about something he wasn't even guilty for and any other adult woman would have handled better. She also had a TSTL tendency to think/feel/attack the hero over what she perceived as him treating her like "the little woman" but instead of coming off strong willed it made her seem immature and brittle as the situations never really warranted her attitude; there's strong attitude and then there's strong and smart attitude. Her constant desire to get the townspeople to do what she wanted them to do grated, too. The apocalypse is coming, if some want to flee, let them! More food for you.
I'll definitely look for the second in this series because the apocalypse storyline has me riveted. Who knew SUPER-VOLCANOES were my jam?!
I hope the romance shows up stronger in the next but it's a tricky formula, life and death danger and sexy times, to perfect. I also hope the heroine is strong but in a smart way.
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