27 May 2015

"Carved in Stone" by Donna McDonald

Carved In Stone (Art of Love, #1)Carved In Stone by Donna McDonald
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Genre: Romance with a bit of steam
Part of a series?: Yes, Book 1 of 4

Synopsis, from Goodreads:

Even though his sons tease him about not dating, and his ex-wife thinks he is still hung up on her, 53 yr old retired principal and stone sculptor, William Everett Larson, is glad he waited to date until he found 47 yr old high school art teacher, Jessica Daniels. He admires Jessica for her courageous art and for how she has dealt with her life. As far as Will can tell, the only part of Jessica damaged by her past is her heart. Jessica assures Will she is incapable of lasting love, but Will refuses to believe it’s true. 

This book was one of those free offers that abound now in the day of the e-book reader. It caught my eye because the heroine and I were the same age. Most of the romances I read feature women who are barely out of high school, so I figured reading about the love life of an adult with a bit more life experience would be a change of pace for me.

Reading this book has highlighted, yet again, the fact that I am not very good at judging the tone of a book from its synopsis. I was expecting this book to have a light comic tone. While there were moments like that (especially at the end), much of the plot was heavier than I expected. There was also an aggressiveness on the part of the male characters that was slightly off-putting to me. One character, in particular, has the attitude of "I will make her love me!" that felt almost stalker-like. I know that a lot of romances have that whole brusque alpha-male thing going on, but in the ones I've read the heroine puts the alpha-male in his place pretty quick. The second book in the series follows the character that I thought was stalker-like, so maybe the author softens him up a bit.

Another thing I expected from this book was that the hero and heroine would look like normal people. When I read romances with characters in their 20s or even 30s, I expect descriptions of tight abs and flowing locks. With the characters approaching 50, I was hoping for a little more softness and sagging. Instead, I was treated to repeated descriptions of how hot they were for their age. I'm not that crazy about the books where the hero has to convince the fat chick that he loves her curves, either. I'd just some balance between the two extremes.

Did this book convince me to buy the next one in the series? No, but if my library has it, then I might check it out.

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