Something to Prove by Kimberly Lang #Review

Posted June 17, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 12 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Something to Prove by Kimberly Lang #Review
Something to Prove

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #1 Magnolia Bay
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet
Released on May 2, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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I was in the mood for a warm small town setting and a back to the hometown story when I saw this one by a new to me author and a new series. A bit of southern flavor, a coastal small town, some quirky characters, and a woman who can’t seem to live down her past made for a bit of fun and enjoyment.

The story opens with Helena ‘Hell on Wheels’ Wheeler return to the small Alabama sea side hamlet, of Magnolia Bay where she spent her rebel rousing years. Grannie needs her or she wouldn’t touch this town and its people with their long, judgmental memories with a ten foot pole. Unfortunately, she needs to get renovations done to make Grannie’s old home more user friendly for an old gal who broke her hip so she must hire one of Magnolia Bay’s first sons and mayor, Ryan Tanner to do the work. Ryan was good at everything, the rule follower, the popular guy and it appears that things still haven’t change. Helena braces herself every time she goes out for the stares, whispers and criticisms because of her past escapades. It isn’t all bad because she reconnects with an old friend, makes a new friend, and gets close enough to Ryan to know that she might have been a tad judgmental herself. But that being said, she doesn’t plan to stick around and anything she gets up to with Ryan has an expiration date on it because why in the world would she come back when she fought so hard to break away?

Ryan remembers Helena as the angry girl who ran with the rough crowd and just barely stayed out of jail with her mischief only to run off with a wrong guy and never return again. He never had anything against her personal, but now he sees from an adult standpoint just how wrong he had read things back then. He fights the attraction to her knowing she feels prickly toward anyone from the town and that she doesn’t plan to stick around. Dare he try to change her mind? Did he want to change her mind?

The story is an easy going one that makes for a good lazy afternoon read. The conflict is all centered around Helena getting past the ghosts of her past and maybe getting a second chance which wasn’t that compelling of a conflict for me. Ryan also narrates and his part is that of the good guy accepting the new Helena and helping her get a bit of her own back. There isn’t really any action and its very much about character development and romance which doesn’t really develop until late. The town and the secondary characters have their part. There is a nostalgic feel to things because everything and everybody in the present is tied to the past.

When I first started reading this one, I almost set it aside. i didn’t take to Helena. She was bitter and just as judgmental as she accused others. She has a bad girl reputation that she both relishes and deplores at the same time. She was an angry, punk teen and she took it out on anyone who crossed her and doing mischief around town. She’s self-absorbed and its all about Helena other than her need to make sure her Grannie is cared for before Helena jets out of there back to Atlanta. I should feel badly for her because her issues aren’t all of her own making, but I really just wanted her get over it. Ryan wisely nailed the issue when he said she was the one who was hung up on the past and was so oversensitive about what people thought of her.

Ryan and the setting helped keep me reading until Helena began growing. I liked watching the romance develop and her eyes to be open toward the new start in the present. Ryan was a sweetie. He is the perfect guy. He loves his family, his town and what he does. He accepts Helena and he’s not afraid to apologize when he’s wrong. He also called Helena on her crap. I was so proud of him when he refused to be just a booty call or her guilty little secret because she freaked out at the thought of the town discovering their reputable mayor sleeping with the pariah.

In the end, I liked the story, but didn’t love it. I felt it needed something more because I couldn’t take to the heroine. It was a sweet, but spicy romance in a small town setting that I would recommend to Contemporary Romance fans.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #206 CR

New to Me #106 author/series

Cliché Klatch #122 ‘Everything’s Where You Left It’

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I don’t think I’d like the heroin either, but I do enjoy those sweet smalltown romances 🙂

    • She was a tough one. She earned her reputation and even deliberately sought a bad reputation, but then once she had it, she resented people for believing it. She was just so juvenile and petty to me.

  • That’s a real bummer you didn’t really feel anything great towards the heroine. I hate when that happens. It sounds pretty much like a typical lil town read, glad you liked it in the end, even if it wasn’t the best. Nice review^^

    • Yeah, it sounded great in the blurb and I do love a sassy heroine, but this one just felt sorry for herself and blamed people for too much so I couldn’t get into her. The rest of the book was good stuff- if you like small town romance.

      • That’s not cool, specially when you have adult characters like this. They just need to grow up and take on responsibility. Cant stand this type of trope, so I get why it left a bad taste for the rest of the story.

  • That’s a real bummer you didn’t really feel anything great towards the heroine. I hate when that happens. It sounds pretty much like a typical lil town read, glad you liked it in the end, even if it wasn’t the best. Nice review^^

  • Lindy Gomez

    Helena sounds like a character that I would have trouble connecting with as well. I’m glad that she went through some major character growth. Ryan is the type of male character that I love; sweet, family oriented, and an all around good guy. I’m glad he stood up to Helena and refused to just be her booty call. Great Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • He was wonderful. I think that’s why I got so mad at her b/c she just couldn’t see beyond her own issues to the good especially having a guy like Ryan want to be with her.

  • I like the cover for this one, it sets the tone for a warm small town setting. I have read a few books where the main character returns to the small town she grew up in and it’s a trope that can be done well. There does seem to be a bit of a lack of a compelling conflict in this one. I can understand why you almost DNF’d this one, Helena sounds like a difficult character to like. Although I hope she does change a bit over the course of the book. The hero does sounds like a sweetie, but it’s hard to fully enjoy a book when you don’t like one of the main characters.

    • Oh, you said it, Lola. She was a tough one and it did make it hard, but there were other reasons to keep reading like the hero. 😉