Black Hawk/Ravenswood Publishing, November 15, 2015.
First of all, this book had nothing to do with Alcatraz, which was very disappointing because I initially chose it based on the title. It is actually set in nearby Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco. Brandy and Weston are a married couple, pregnant with their first child. However, when the baby dies during the birth, both parents are devastated. This first part of the novel was well-written – the tragedy of losing a child was described in heartbreaking detail. Unfortunately, the story just dissolved into a series of unbelievable events after that.
After they lose their child, Brandy and Weston’s marriage becomes strained. Weston takes a job across the country, and the long-distance relationship leads, predictably, to infidelity. Weston is not at all understanding about Brandy’s depression following the loss of their child, and he takes her pain personally. Lashing out against her, he only drives her further away, which leads to yet more romantic complications. Both Brandy and Weston want to forgive each other, but they keep making bad decisions that only hurt each other.
The language used by most of the characters was stilted and abrupt – not realistic at all. I also wished for more background story as I was unable to see the characters are real people, beyond their present lives and awful decisions. There was a lot of conflict for no real reason, and a ridiculous amount of tragic hospital visits – it got to the point where I just couldn’t care about these people any more. At least the romance storyline wasn’t completely cheesy, but I wish there was more build up to the relationships. If you are looking for a simple romance, and aren’t looking for a lot of meaning beneath the surface, you might enjoy this. For me, it was too simple and unlikely.
I received this book for free from Blue Moon Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.