Hearts Afire By Monique McDonell

41mlL1PRLDL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“See,” said Lisa, “This is why people don’t cater their own weddings! It’s just too stressful.”

Cassie looked at her sister and shook her head. They were standing in the kitchen of her business, Callahan Catering, surveying the mountains of food that she had prepared in time for today’s wedding reception, her own wedding reception.

“Lisa, getting the food ready was not the stressful part! Having the groom call and cancel the wedding just hours beforehand is the stressful part!”

Cassie Callahan, caterer extraordinaire…jilted before even making it to the altar. Standing in her kitchen, admiring the mounds of food that would go to waste, she doesn’t realize that her sister has left a pot on the stove which sets off the sprinklers, drowning her food…the very food that if she couldn’t use herself, she was going to send to the women’s shelter. Now, even that wasn’t possible.

Jack Urquhart is a fireman who happens to come to the kitchen to put out the fire, and sees a very large amount of wet food and a sopping wet Cassie. When he gets to talking to Cassie, he finds out that this was supposed to be her wedding day, ruined by Angus, her husband-to-be-that-wasn’t by a simple phone call, calling off the wedding.

Of course, she couldn’t do anything about the food, but she could still use her honeymoon…she decides to take her sister with her.

Jack is the Best Man at his friends wedding at a tropical location. He doesn’t really want his friend to marry this girl, but he can’t tell his friend that. He can’t tell him that she lies and cheats and is all around a not nice girl. He can’t tell his friend because they made a pact not to interfere with the others girlfriends. Jack does his best to avoid all contact with his friend’s soon-to-be wife. What he finds is Cassie.

Cassie and Jack keep bumping into each other, setting sparks off each time they come in close contact, but something or someone always manages to get in their way. When Cassie hears some things about Jack that are less than stellar, she decides to leave and pick up the mess that was her life back in the kitchen.

What she comes home to surprises her.

I found this book a little confusing at times. The story itself was ok, but the writing was something else. I usually have a comma problem, using them too much. This book was severely lacking in them. Many a time I had to re-read the passage just to make sure I was indeed reading it right since it was so lacking in the commas. There were missing words and other punctuation problems that made it very difficult to read.

There were some spelling mistakes which made it difficult to read as well. Like he “smelt” her…which should have been, he “smelled” her. Another example, learnt. There were a couple of other ones, but those really stuck out for me.

Also, there times when it went from first person (telling a story) back to third person…but, sometimes the third person seemed a little mixed up as well. Many thoughts should have maybe been in italics so that  it would differ from the regular story.

It was a very predictable story…they just always seemed to be able to find each other. There was some sexual tension, but it could have been more.

I give this book 3 stars.



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12 responses to “Hearts Afire By Monique McDonell

  1. Sounds like the story had an interesting plot, but it seems it needed a lot of editing. Some small mistakes can be overlooked, but when clarity of a sentence is involved, it is challenging for the reader. I wonder though, the use of smelt instead of smelled? Do you know what country the writer was from? I noticed when I taught English overseas that stories coming out of Britain, the US and Canada all used words a bit differently in spelling as well as in the use of prepositions. Just small differences. This could be part of it? Thanks for the review and letting us know about the story.

    • Actually, the author was from Australia…maybe that was it…however, spelling mistakes aside, the lack of commas was very distracting.

      • I’m sure it would have driven me crazy, then. I like my commas, too. And I was editing once for a friend, and I got confused on a couple of sentences and had to call to find out what she really meant! It really is important to have clear, understandable sentences whether it is by wording or by punctuation. Great that you honestly review, and that is how it should be done. Take care!

  2. Nice review, Beth.

    Lena, as we all know, editors are monstrously expensive. And it sucks when you can find at least 3 good beta readers to help out. Writers really do need friends. Maybe she didn’t have anyone to help her.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    • I suppose that could be as well…I just found it terribly distracting. Also, the switching back and forth made it difficult to read as well…but, the lack of commas was awful. I know I’m the queen of the comma’s…preferring to use too many than not enough…but, this was a little painful in spots…

  3. Sounds like the plot was good… just needed a good editor to go through it. I’d find that distracting.

    Good review though.

  4. I think you’re right…the story was ok…but, the execution of it and the editing were what threw me.

  5. A very good review, honest too. Good to read a review that shows the good and the not so good from a book.
    I think this author should be grateful to get this review and use it to her advantage.

    • All the other reviews for this book were either 4 or 5 stars…and no one mentioned the lack of commas or the spelling errors…usually these things don’t bother me when I’m reviewing, but usually that’s just one or two…not throughout the whole book. I think a good reviewer can look past a few errors…but, not this many.

  6. I do know that you need different spelling for certain words in the Australian market. This sounds, however, like the author did not do a good job of self-editing, and certainly had not used any other sort of editor. I’m too impatient now. If the story isn’t right, I don’t finish it.

  7. How romantic – they keep bumping into each other. Nice review. Makes me want to get the book.

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