This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. Why? Because I don’t know how I feel about A Date with Fate (The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod) by Tracy Ellen. On one hand, I absolutely loved the author’s voice and humor. I loved the characters. But on the other hand, the book took me an unprecedented 4 days to read. Books never take me that long! Why? Because I never really found the story buried among the character introductions.
Anabel is the 28 year old bookstore owner who is happy being single and serial dating. But she has a new guy she is seeing, Luke, who is making her break all of her rules. Had this book been about Anabel and Luke, I would have absolutely loved it. But it wasn’t. Anabel had 5 sisters and a brother, a niece, a best friend, a crazy aunt, a cheating ex, a stalked employee, and various other friends and neighbors of whom we read detailed histories of. Yet we never really learn about the one character I wanted to know more about, Luke. There were so many different stories going on, yet none really began until I was about 60% in.
That’s when we have a hostage situation, a homicidal serial rapist an ex-boyfriend back in town claiming rape, a murderer on the loose (other than the rapist), and more. Whew! That’s a LOT! And I just couldn’t wait for more scenes with Luke. I just wanted to kick everyone out of the book and just see Anabel and Luke fall in love………but wait, we didn’t even get there! There is a cliffhanger!
I felt like putting the book aside a number of times. It never grabbed me and ran away with me. While I happened to love every character, until I hit about 60% in, there really wasn’t a story, it was all meeting the characters. And there were so many! I must have looked at the percentage read on my book five hundred times because it felt like it was taking forever to read. I was shocked to see it was only 354 pages.
- The characters were all funny and down to earth. I wanted to hang with all of them.
- Anabel called her vajayjay “Queen Victoria” (Vicky for short) and the guy is “Lawrence of Mylabia” (this made me snort laugh).
- I smiled throughout the book because it was amusing the whole way through.
- Some laugh out loud moments.
- I love how Anabel and Luke acted out their fantasies, and would love if the main story was just about that.
- Too many characters I couldn’t keep straight.
- Way too many flashbacks and going back in time for too long had me losing track of when and where I was, especially if I had put the book down.
- Not enough romance.
- A cliffhanger.
- Too many pages, not enough story.
The author has SUCH POTENTIAL! But this book, while there are very few errors, was in serious need of an editor or a reading partner. 35%- 40% of this book could be stripped away, add some more romance (and sex) and end it in one book and it would be great. Because the meat is there. The side characters were awesome, but I didn’t need to know them so well.
Tracy Ellen’s style and voice remind me of many of my favorite authors. I immediately thought of, Alice Clayton’s Redhead Series, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series and Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick Series. I very much hope this review is taken as constructive and not mean because:
“I will never answer to the name Ana. I’m sorry Anna’s of the world, but that name brings back memories of a little brat I met when I was five and starting the first grade”.
Just please Tracy, don’t hit me with your lunchbox!
Purchase A Date With Fate at Amazon.
*Book was supplied by the author for review.