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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beyond Coincidence...Review and Giveaway

About the book:
Mixing romance, history, and a touch of the unexplained in a new novel from Jacquie Underdown about love that needs to cross oceans and time before finding a place to come true.

In 2008, 250 Australian and British soldiers are uncovered in a mass grave in Fromelles, France, lost since the Great War. One soldier, bearing wounds of war so deep it scarred his soul, cannot be laid to rest just yet.

When Lucy bumps into the achingly sad soldier during a trip to France, she doesn’t, at first glance, realise what he is – a ghost who desperately needs her help. Lucy can’t turn away from someone who needs her, even someone non-corporeal, and they travel back together to Australia in search of answers and, hopefully, some peace.

This chance meeting and unexplainable relationship sets into motion a chain-reaction of delicate coincidences that affect the intertwined lives of family, friends, and lovers in unexpected, beautiful ways.

Paranormal is not my usual genre, but I was intrigued with the premise and it sounded promising.  I loved the idea of a ghost from the past wanting help from the future.  And Freddy was terrific.  So sweet.  Historically, I appreciated the look at World War 1.  The loss of life was so great and so tragic.

After Lucy meets Freddy in France and agrees to help him, they return to Australia to track down his family and find the DNA proof they need to identify his remains and for him to finally be at peace. This process takes some time and meanwhile, we not only meet Lucy's family and former boyfriend, but Freddy's last remaining relative.  What follows is a shallow, predictable story that fell flat for me as I was dragged along Lucy's path to who knows where.

I know that part of my reaction was the vulgarity.  It's so unnecessary and while a well-placed expletive might be necessary, prolific and crass vulgarity never improves a story.  There are just certain words that I don't think belong in any conversation or description and to read them is jarring and discordant.

The premise was promising but all the parts just didn't add up to a story that captured my attention or resonated with me.  It was because I liked Freddy's character and wanted resolution for him that I finished it. However, there are many reviews more positive than my own and my opinion appears to be in the minority.

Prolific and gratuitous use of profanity.  Moderate, graphic non-marital sex.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Jacquie Underdown here. You can see other, more positive reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Monday, September 15th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, September 18th:  Reading Reality
Friday, September 19th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, September 22nd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, September 24th: Back Porchervations
Monday, September 29th: 2 Kids and Tired Books
Tuesday, September 30th:  Bibliotica
Wednesday, October 1st: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, October 6th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, October 8th: Great Minds Read Alike
Monday, October 13th:  Books Like Breathing

Read 8/14

* *
2/5 Stars

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Because mine is only one review and there are many of you who will enjoy this book, please enter the giveaway for an Amazon gift card!

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4 comments:

  1. Oh dear. It's a difficult task to get the balance right with open-door explicitness and language across different cultures. In Australia, swearing is quite common-place and there is a growing demand for explicit sex in romance novels, which unfortunately, depending on preference, can be seen as vulgar. I'm so sorry, Holly,you didn't enjoy Beyond Coincidence, but I thank you for persisting through it and posting a review, nonetheless.

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  2. Thank you for coming by. I don't relish writing negative reviews and there were aspects to the story that I liked. The trend in our society these days is toward more explicitness in novels, television and film, but it is disappointing to me, honestly. However, mine is definitely the minority review and I have seen many positive ones posted. I appreciated the chance to review it and I wish you the best of success.

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  3. Hi Ladies,

    Thank you both for your candid, open and honest comments to one another, it is so refreshing to see an adult and mature conversation, where both parties can beg to differ and each can respect the others point of view.

    Many of the UK authors who include explicit sexual content in their stories, are beginning to sticker the book's front cover with labels, stating in straight English that there is explicit content material included and that the book is therefore only suitable for an adult reader. That gives people of all ages the opportunity to leave the book well alone if they so wish.

    I tend to think that all reviews are rather subjective, as views and opinions about a book and story, can only ever be personal to the reader and the next person may see and think something completely differently.

    Having said all that, would I read Beyond Coincidence? Probably not, as I am not a fan of either the paranormal or explicit sexual content.

    Thanks for sharing your views,

    Yvonne

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  4. I'm fascinated by the change in society that surrounded WWI so I'd enjoy that part of the book as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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