Begin Again by Christy Newton

Begin Again

Grade: C
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Reviewed by Anne
111 pages
Maisie’s husband and unborn child died in a tornado two years ago.  Since then she’s been just getting by.  Living in her sister’s basement and saving money from her job at the diner in hopes of buying a home for herself, mostly just so she can be alone.
Ryan is an exotic animal vet who moves to town and meets Maisie when he stops in at the diner to get some apple pie.  He likes her even more than the pie, and the pie is really good.  He can tell that she’s hurting about something, but doesn’t know what it is.  He’s content to take things very slow, though.  He talks her into going out with him just as friends and helps her with her ailing hamster.
The best part of this story is the story – the friendship and romance that develops between Maisie and Ryan.  The book felt longer than 111 pages, and I mean that in a very good way.  It’s very focused and you get to see why they fall for each other.
This was a sweet and touching romance. I liked the story, but it felt a little raw and unpolished. The characters were likable and I really cared about them. The issues they were dealing with were very believable and tugged at my heart. I especially thought that the mourning process that Maisie went through felt true to life. A huge loss like that wouldn’t be easy to get over.

There were a few wtf moments that made me wonder why they were included in the story. These moments stuck out even more because they had very little or no effect at all on the story. In fact, they were distracting.  Now, the story was very spare, with almost every word applying directly to the romance, which was actually really nice, but it made those wtf moments feel more out of place.

There was a lot of head hopping, too. Seriously, like every 3 paragraphs. I got used to it and it worked with this story, but it was unusual. A couple other unusual things I noticed: Maisie’s parents were missionaries and at one point Maisie mentions that she’ll pray for someone. I kind of appreciated the normalness and complete lack of preaching that went along with this. There also was no alcohol in the book at all, and I didn’t miss it. I do have to mention that the sex scenes were fade to black, which caught me a bit off guard and I know would really bother some readers. 

I’ll admit that a low/zero heat romance like this is not usually what I read, but this one worked for me.  How about you?  Does a fade to black sex scene drive you nuts, or are you ok with it?

One thought on “Begin Again by Christy Newton

  1. For me, there are some books I read that I get all the way to the end and then realize there was only one sex scene and it was off page. Then there are other books that I get 25% into the book and am screaming at the characters to just do it. So I guess for me, it's not the sex scenes that make or break a book (although a badly written one can definitely ruin a book). If an anuthor can pull me in with the story and characters and keep me turning pages, it can be a really good book. Although I will say, I prefer my sex scenes on page and scorching hot!

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