Overall Grade: 3.5 ⭐️
Each month, I’ve decided to read a new author to me. Based on her cover’s subtle, beautiful design and her blurb that teases but gives nothing away, I chose Allie Everhart for her book, If I Could. With the promise of angst, I dived into this new book. Everhart’s story is good, utilizing a treasure trove of tropes” small-town romance, a bit of suspense, opposites attract, and a little hate-to-love with attraction at first. Was I hoping for a bit more from it? Yes. Was it as angsty as I believed? No.
Her main characters, Kyle and Sage, are likable. Even in the beginning when Kyle attempts to put Sage off with his grumpy demeanor, you want to know his story. Everhart crafts Sage in a way that we can know her; we easily earn her backstory. However, Everhart utilizes Kyle to create the suspense of her story. We don’t learn much of his background until almost 80 percent. This has two repercussions: 1) there is an inconsistency in Kyle’s characterization. For me, this created problems partly because Kyle’s changes in mood were immediate. It causes a whiplash effect throughout much of the book. Secondly, it slows the pacing of the book down. The actual action of the story comes much later. This means Kyle and Sage’s story spins in a circle for much of the book. This was frustrating as a reader, and I found myself easily pulled from Kyle and Sage’s romance.
The ancillary characters of the story, Hank, Nina, and Josh, bring levity to Sage and Kyle’s journey. I’d love to see a book for Nina and Josh. In fact, I think they’d have more chemistry than Sage and Kyle. Because, ultimately, that is what was missing for me. The investment in feeling didn’t occur until almost the end of the book. Even then, Kyle and Sage are sweet, but they didn’t impress themselves upon me.
Will I read more from Allie Everhart based on If I Could? If it’s the right book. Maybe another cover and blurb will capture my attention, but I was expecting a bit more from this book than I received. Did I like Kyle and Sage? Yes. Did their story steal my breath and tap into my emotions? Not really.
In love and romance,