Monday, September 28, 2020

Never Enough by Kristina M. Sanchez

This book, in one word, was DISTURBING. I don't mind angsty books, I don't mind age gaps, this book didn't work despite these things not because of them. It's been a while since I've read a book that was SO hopeless. Val's life story is more than sad it's HORRIBLE. Everything that happened to him and especially the house he ran back to - one where he is underappreciated (as usual) and seen as a no good criminal was truly hard to read. Maybe there was a start to his own redemption but I couldn't see it, not with Mina by his side. Anyone BUT Mina. 

When Valentin Belmonte was 18 years old he was sentenced to 4 years in jail for attempted murder. Not just any murder but his little brother. When he finally got out of jail it was to a half brother who can't look at him, a stepfather who hates him, a mother who loves him but doesn't know what to do with him and a little girl his mother and stepdad adopted. 6 years old Mina who hasn't said a word for a whole year. For some reason Mina and Val connected but she was always the little girl - his Mia. When life got complicated he left town trying to be a responsible adult, to take care of his business, yet he wasn't good at that no matter how hard he tried, and honestly the odds were never in his favor. 

Returning home 7 years later with his tail between his legs to the same circumstances isn't easy but he needs this break. His mother might be welcoming but his stepdad isn't and Mina is angry with his for something he did (or rather didn't do) just before he left. Considering everything that happened it's no wonder he can't even remember what it was. But he truly wants to somehow make a life for himself even if he doesn't even know where to start. He is 37 and he is totally and absolutely lost, and no one, and I mean NO ONE gives him a break. 

Mina isn't sure what she feels about Val being home again, she is mad at him for abandoning her. He was her hero before he left and now he is exactly what everyone says he is. No good. Her foster parents ADORE her, in their eyes she could do no wrong, but she IS struggling and making a few decisions she isn't sure about but it's difficult when the money is good and she needs it to cover her college loans. Being a grown up isn't what she expected. 

Looking at each other now, as grown ups (sort of) they feel differently towards one another and yet exactly the same. They used to share an easy companionship, now it's laced with attraction they aren't sure how to address. They are both struggling, trying to find their place and what feels the most natural is being in each other's arms. 

I stopped 50% in - right around the time they actually follow up on their attraction - and I didn't just skim through I SKIPPED it all together it felt WRONG on so many levels. I don't remember feeling this way about a book. I might feel like the hero/heroine doesn't deserve the other person, but in this one, it was FAR more than that. Mina is a CHILD. She might be in a consent age, she might be allowed to drink, she might have had previous sexual encounters but she was still a giggling, silly, emotional, LITTLE GIRL. Who wanted to feel comforted in the arms of the man she has always looked up to which is absolutely FINE. But this book is their ROMANCE story and it felt nothing BUT. Every scene with her, especially with her POV showed she isn't mature enough not for him (almost twice her age) and not for a relationship in general. 

I've read all Kristina's other novels and ADORED each and every one of them. But this, for me, was simply not something I can stomach. I wanted all the best for Val, I truly did. His story was heart breaking and I felt like he NEEDS someone in his corner, someone who can be there for him, hold HIM when he feels like everything around him is breaking apart. Coupling him up with a CHILD wasn't the way to go for me. I'm sorry, Mina has never ever SEEN him, he was a glorified bigger brother even when she knew he had a tendency to screw things up for himself. He needed a REAL partner. I would have enjoyed it better if he and Tuck found their HEA together but never with Mina.

I'm sorry. But this novel was NOT for me. I feel awkward inside just thinking about it. 


DNF 50%
Read on:
28 September 2020

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