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The first book didn't appeal so much, perhaps it was too far away from my own age group. I also found some of the narrative rather repetitive. Some reviewers have been critical that there was no warning at the outset of the violent rape scene although in my edition it was clearly made and I appreciated that. But the second Northstar book was a different thing altogether. i really liked the story being from the point of view of a man suffering domestic violence, a subject sadly not-so-often covered.
First Instinct is a heartfelt story of not only surviving but rising from the ashes better than before. Date rape nearly destroyed Beth and her life long best friend Nick who saved her. Abuse of any kind is unacceptable! Telling lies to get out of something or to gain something is also repugnant. I was surprised when the author breaks from the story to pre-warn that some may find it difficult, and let's you know where to pickup the story again if one wishes to avoid the incident. Ms. O'Connell did an amazing job with the story. Any age group can find the Happy Ever After in the story as Beth and Nick did. But, the age group it will speak out to is the 18 - 25 . Enjoy 🤓
The second story is, Mountain Angel. Alyssum and Patrick's story. Beth and Alyssum went to college together and this picks up several years later. June who also went to college with them is part of the story as well. Alyssum is going through some trauma and to help her, her Uncle sends Pat to help and hopefully recover from some trauma of his own. Love, close knit family and friends, and beautiful Montana back country help these two gain their happy ever after. No cheating or cliffhanger and although intimacy is between the happy couple, it's PG and sweet. Enjoy 🤓
I thank the author for the warning and suggestion to skip Chapter 2 of book one, which describes the rape. I could not read it sitting down, it was well written. Book 2 eludes to an interrupted unsuccessful rape, but is not as descriptive. In both stories the Heroines are dealing with the aftermath with the support of awesome males.
I struggled with the villian of book one behaving so self-destructively, but was glad he was successfully thwarted. I saw no need for a full year at the end of the story.
Book 2 was good but it was drug out way too long with way too much detail.
There is a snippet of book 3 - June, Ben and Luke's story ... that was intriguing.
These stand-alones are easy to follow but at times the emotions evoked make them difficult to read. Minor editing errors, no gratuitous violence or drag-you-down drama.
These intriguing stories have descriptive writing that draws the reader into each scene. Some of the scenarios do not make sense given what happens and where. Realistic procedures, actions and reactions. Believable characters with distinct personalities. Informative, thought-provoking and occasionally snarky dialogue.
No desire to re-read these stories. I am interested in other works by this author.