Review: Jaded (part 1, 2 & 3), by Ali Parker

25453697 This is the serial bundle. (Part 1, 2 & 3). Each parts are available separately too. Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult. Self-published Pages: (the bundle) 223 Blurb:

This includes the FULL serial series. COMPLETE STORY – HEA. ** 18+ Some language and sexual situations. As a photographer for the New York Post, Kari Martin was used to seeing heartache and scandal up close. But one night at the club… her whole world changed. Heartbroken and willing to call off her wedding, she decides a change is in order and moves from NYC to a small town in Maine, where the average age of the residents there is sixty (or thereabouts). She works to fit in perfectly, and tries like hell not to let anyone find out just how very jaded she’s recently become over the lie called love. Jake Isaac left Texas quite a few years ago; his heart torn from his chest, and his mind set on being a bachelor forever. Maine would welcome him, give him land to explore and a community to belong to. Getting a job as the coach of the local junior high and serving on the fire department kept him busy — and labeled him a hometown hero — but the truth of his damaged heart was forever hidden. No one would ever know just how jaded he was about love. That is… until he meets Kari.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW: You will find a separate review for each installments. Brace yourself, it’s rather long. 🙂

JADED, part 1:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 
This is the first part in a three part serial. It ends on a slight cliffhanger and is a short installment.
I enjoy reading serials more and more and yet I also find myself waiting and hoping for more. While this first part is good and makes me want to read the next installment, I also think it’s way too slow for a first part supposed to grab us, readers.
You see, I think there are too much of a backstory dump here. The reason why Kari leaves New York happens soon as it should be, but the resulting consequences take a long time to happen. It’s a very slow process and while it can be debated as to how it serves the characterization of Kari, but also her friends and brother, I do think the author spends way too long on this. An ellipse wouldn’t have been a bad idea in my opinion to speed things up and grab my attention a lot sooner.
Also, while some backstory and the characterization is very important, I think many things are very repetitive. I’m going to give you a couple of examples. Lisa, one of Kari’s best friends, is supposed to be into men and doesn’t shy from them. Actually, she’s kind of a cliché, in my opinion, but that’s not an issue. My issue is more with the fact that it’s stated several times that Lisa is rather free spirited when it comes to men and that she’s never been in love in her life. I don’t think that in such a short installment it needs to be stated more than once (or twice). My second example is about Marc, Kari’s brother. He’s four years younger than her, is a man-whore, but a sweetheart and worships his big sister. That’s fine and I actually like him, but the author says that he’s a manwhore and that he worships Kari many times. Either through Kari’s POV and inner monologue or while talking with Lisa and Sicily (the other best friend).
I like it when in short installments there isn’t any repetition, unless it serves the characterization and plot. Here, I don’t see the use and I do think it slows down the story immensely.
The plot itself is slow to kick start, but I look forward to the next installment and I hope I’m going to like Kari more. I have a hard time with her and I’m not really sure why. Or maybe it’s because I don’t get why she’s already thinking of finding her future husband now that she’s broken up with her fiancé. I think it’s a little odd so soon. But that’s just my opinion and I’m pretty sure I’m going to change my mind soon enough.
Also, and that’s very personal, but I think the male interest here makes an appearance way too late and his role is nonexistent in this first part. It’s a three part serial! For me, the male interest should have been in the story sooner than that and make more of an impression on me as a reader.
RATING:
3

JADED, part 2:
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This is the second part of a three part serial. While the first one was nice, it didn’t completely win me over. Yet, this second installment is another story. 🙂
The first part was only from Kari’s POV, but this second installment is a dual POV and it immediately grabbed me.
It starts with Jake’s POV and while his voice isn’t that distinctive or different from what I’m used to, it still bring a little something more to this story that is missing in the first installment.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that there’s a lot less info dump and backstory here. That’s my issue with the previous part, so you can imagine how happy I am that the action, the plot truly starts. Finally.
Jake is a nice male interest. It’s without saying that he’s hot, well-built and sweet, but plagued with mistrust when it comes to women. Unfortunately, here I think it’s not subtlety showed and it ends up being almost laughable at times. I mean, I understand where he’s coming from, but sometimes his thought process isn’t depicted in a way that would melt me completely. I’m feeling more like shaking some sense into him than anything else.
Kari, on the other hand, is a delight. This time around I truly get her and like her. She’s vulnerable, yet strong enough and independent enough to get herself out there. It’s nice to read and I like how she’s dealing with things now. (Though, the ending of this installment pisses me off).
The writing flows pretty well even though some dialogues don’t feel very natural. The inner thoughts are still present, but are more active than in the previous installment. This time around, I could see the author’s intent and how the plot is built. Now I can say it’s a romance, something not necessarily obvious upon reading the first part of Jaded.
I hope the last part is even better.
RATING:
4

JADED, part 3:
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This is the last part of the serial and it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. But, there’s an opening for Kari’s best friends’ stories.
You see, now that I’m finished with this serial, I can say that it’s a nice read, but it’s not something I will remember. It was nice and that’s all. I’m not disappointed, but I was expecting something more intense, something that would grab me more tightly.
In the end, I had a good time with Kari and Jake, but I don’t think much of it.
Kari and Jake’s romance keeps evolving in this last part. Their relationship evolves rather fast, actually. Once they’re in, they’re all in in a matter of a couple of pages. Considering the amount of pages spent showing Kari AND Jake’s fears regarding a commitment, regarding love and loyalty, I wasn’t expecting things to change so quickly and so seamlessly.
If there’s something that bothers me a little in the last installment, it’s how the word love is so easily used by characters supposedly beyond hurt by love. They’re supposed to be JADED (check title). I felt their fear, mostly Kari’s and it’s well-done, but I didn’t feel the characters as jaded. That’s maybe why I didn’t completely love Kari and Jake’s love story. Also, they’re almost too perfect. I don’t see a real flaw in them and that’s an issue for me because I love flawed characters, but it’s a personal taste.
The author’s writing is flowing and it seems better than in the first installment. The dialogues seem to flow better and the secondary characters don’t take too much space this time around.
What else?
If you’re expecting a hot read, forget it. The sex scenes aren’t graphic and some are close-door sex scenes. It didn’t bother me because I think it fits the voice of the story and the characters. But if you want a sexy read, this one isn’t for you.
I don’t know if I’m going to read the next serial that will feature Lisa and Kari’s brother.
Overall, Jaded is a nice serial and this third part ends Kari and Jake’s story very nicely.
What do you think of Jake?
RATING:
3.5 to 4

  • Serial RATING:

3.5

3.5
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