I picked up a book that I'd heard good reviews about. The cover was cute, the voice engaging. I was totally into the book for about fifty pages...until I figured out the plot.
HEAs are my thing. That's why I read romance. But there are still ways to surprise me and hook me into the characters' lives.
With this book, the author set up a plot that could've been really good with lots of tension and snappy writing but somehow I realized that the whole crux of the plot is a misunderstanding. I didn't buy that the husband was cheating because I didn't see the evidence (could be other craft problems or could just be me).
There was a scene where the heroine is riding with her boss's son (who the husband doesn't know about) in a car and sees her husband drive past with his beautiful co-worker beside him. That's where I stopped reading.
The heroine is worrying about her husband cheating but she just did the same thing he did! Why is she allowed to ride in the car with a hot co-worker but if he doesn it's automatic suspicion of adultery?
Which leads me to...
RULE NUMBER TWO: Don't Annoy Your Reader.
Shortly after that scene I began skipping narrative, looking for a reason to believe that the conflict and tension in the story was real. I hadn't found it a chapter later so I flipped to the end and sure enough, my suspicions had been correct. The husband had always loved the wife and everything she'd been misreading had a valid explanation. Everything was hunky dory.
Was this the writer's fault? I don't know but I'm passing the book on to family members who may like it.
What do you think RULE NUMBER THREE should be?