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Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Gathering Storm (Porthkennack #2) [Ward & Nick] by Joanna Chambers

I'm not sure what to make of this book. It wasn't what I was expecting and though I liked a lot of things about it, I'm not sure I truly liked both MC. Up until the middle I found myself struggling to keep going. While the setting of the story, the way Joanna portrayed the town of Porthkennack and Ward's growing interest in science through his journal were beautifully written, I felt the relationship buildup was left somehow "unattended". I wanted to see more of Ward and Nick TOGETHER to see how they connect and not through Ward's explanations of scientific discoveries. 

Sir Edward Fitzwilliam comes to the town of Porthenneck to pursue his interest in communicating with ghosts. Though it sounds like a mystical interest it's actually a scientific one. Ward is a respectable scientist or rather he was before he started this specific interest of his. It started after he lost his twin brother and ever since he's been obsessed. But as a good scientist he was looking for a way to contact George, his dead brother, as George was able to contact him (when he informed Ward of his death before anyone could have gotten wind of it). A natural area in Porthkennack has the ability to reconstruct the way he connected with George so naturally he bought the place and made it not only a home but a place to conduct his experiments. So now all he needs are subjects to test and see if others can connect with the dead as he was able in the same conditions. Yet no one in the town want to participate in his experiments.. Not after a truly unfortunate event Ward had actually nothing to do with.. The only unwilling subject he is able to get is Nicholas Hearn - who is not only half Gypsy but he also just recently lost his mother who was considered a "medium" by the people of the village. Nick isn't doing this of his truly own free will.. but once he and Ward start talking he realizes he enjoys their time together even if he won't admit it..

I had to wait literally HALF the book before I could see these two together if not as a couple then as friends who appreciate each other's company even if neither is sure what to do with it. Ward not a "people's person" didn't know how to pursue Nick, while Nick was always concerned that Ward saw him as beneath him so why would he try to have anything more when it clearly can't be.. That's my main qualm about Nick and Ward or rather with Nick. I could see that his life was difficult because he was always the "outsider" but I don't think he EVER appreciated the times that he WAS seen as part of a crowd. He kept reminding himself over and over how he DOESN'T belong, and how he is DIFFERENT than others and how he is BENEATH everyone for more reasons than I could or want to count and all in all it was quite pathetic. I was annoyed with him for being this thick-headed and not seeing how many things he DOES have even if none are perfect. 

Ward was closed off because the life of a scientist was FAR more important to him than anything else. But he was intrigued by Nick right from the start even if he was mortified by the way he made Nick come to his assistance in his scientific project. I have to say I did NOT see it coming what happened at the end, when Nick confronted Ward and told him how he sees everything it was spot on and I didn't see why I failed to get it myself. I guess reading Ward's journals I could see his vision even if I didn't understand how he could prove any of it. Ward was an interesting guy, a sort of a "mad scientist" finding himself lost in his work too many times, forgetting to eat or he has company, it was endearing at times but at others it was amazing at how "clueless"  he was. He respected Nick, he liked him, and yet he acted toward him like he did anyone, not really beneath him, I don't think he saw it this way but maybe as a "distraction". He was too much self absorbed for me to see him as a caring companion though he WAS at times. But most of the time it was him being the tutor with his scientific knowledge. I would have loved seeing him and Nick in a more mundane situation somehow. 

The ending was a great one though I WAS annoyed with how Nick saw his grandfather from start till end. I don't think he even realized there are people around him who truly cares about him even if each in his or her own way. It was such a shame but at least he was sure of Ward's love at the end which is all that matters really. 

I can't give this book 4 stars because of how I felt up until the middle. But I can't give this one less than 3½ because it was SO well written and so unique in the way science and paranormal were combined and portrayed in this book. Also the setting was described so beautifully I felt like going on a morning walk with Nick. Him with Snow (his dog) and me with my dogs, walking in silence just enjoying the stunning surrounding. I gotta say I was really amused Ward kept referring to Snow as "Master Snowflake" and insisting on serving him a bowl of water, it was beyond endearing. So yeah, though I had MANY misgivings about this one in the end, I'm glad I didn't put it aside and did an effort to see Ward and Nick find their form of HEA. 

All that being said I AM frustrated with myself. I've read EVERYTHING Joanna has published, 12 titles. ALL of them were AMAZING reads and not only that, from very different genres - Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, mostly MM but some MF and so feeling the way I feel about this one makes me sad. I LOVE Joanna, she is STILL going to be an auto-buy/pre-order author for me. I say if you feel my review discourages you from reading this book, do yourselves a favor and add another book by her, in whichever genre you feel like - you won't be disappointed. 

While this book is part of a series, I truly can't see myself committing to it considering it's each written by a different author. I rather read the ones by authors I know and love and keep to my too long reading list as it is. I WILL be reading "House of Cards" the 4th installment to be released on July since it's by Garrett Leigh who is one of my absolute favorite authors. Her novel will be a Contemporary MM Romance yet still be taking place in the same village of Porthkennack only in the correct times. 

This book was pre-released through Riptide on the 15th though general release day is the 17th of April. 

Read on:
15-16 Apr-2017

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