Amelia Cook is a single mom, who’s become burned out by her corporate position at Riddell Industries. She’d only taken the job after her new love, Edwin, died tragically while saving her son, Marcus. But after four years of being bullied by top executive, Nate Rosen, and being away from her children for weeks at a time, Amelia’s had enough. She leaves the corporate world and takes her family on a summer vacation at the lake. All set for two months of rest and relaxation, Amelia is annoyed to find out that the occupant of the neighboring cabin is none other than her former boss, Nate Rosen. What follows is a rollercoaster ride of events and emotions for everyone involved.
Better Not Love Me contains several of Dan Kolbet’s previous characters from his popular novel, Don’t Wait For Me. However, Better Not Love Me is definitely a standalone novel, with its own original plot, twists and turns. The author expertly and concisely inserts any pertinent backstory into this novel, so readers are caught up to speed as quickly and precisely as possible.
I found Amelia Cook to be slightly more irritable and at times unsympathetic than she was in Don’t Wait For Me, but I get why the author changed her up somewhat. She’s a woman who’s been through a lot of emotional turmoil and it has changed her. Nate’s character is new to readers. And, once I got a better feel for what he’d been through, he became more likable as the story moved forward. This is something I really admire about Dan Kolbet’s male characters: they’re vulnerable and show emotion. It’s a welcome change from the usual macho male characters so often prevalent in romance novels.
As in the author’s previous books, there is a slight Christian feel to Better Not Love Me. However, it is never overwhelming or sappy. The author sparingly injects a feel-good “spiritual” vibe into the story, yet it doesn’t come off as being preachy or pious. The author addresses his reasons for doing this and more at the end of the book.
As with other books I’ve read by Mr. Kolbet, I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style in Better Not Love Me. His novels are charming, slice-of-life-style stories about ordinary people trying to deal with life, love and, at times, heartbreaking loss. There’s always a valuable lesson (or two or three) to learn – the most important one being that none of us lives in a vacuum. Each of us has something to offer and you never know who will enter your life right at the very moment you need them most. Better Not Love Me is classified as a romance novel, but it’s also about family, compassion and understanding. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.