Sunday, August 18, 2013

Book Review: Life Sentence by Carolyn Arnold

Life Sentence
*Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

"If I pay with my life, you will pay with yours."

Defense Attorney Bryan Lexan may have just taken on the case which will cost him his life. When his client, a Russian mafia boss, is convicted of first-degree murder, he vows to make Bryan pay.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pratt has always prided herself on being a modern woman–you know, the kind who doesn't need a man to make her feel complete. So when she finds herself torn between two, she realizes that not all decisions are based on facts. If they were, her boyfriend, Bryan, would be the logical choice. He has the family name, wealth, and a stake in a successful law firm. Only thing is, when she meets Mason Freeman, the chemistry between them is irrefutable and he won't take no for an answer.

With both of them caught up in a struggle for survival, and a powerful enemy on their heels, they'll need to decide where their loyalties lie.
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My Review

Defense Attorney Bryan Lexan is over his head with his new case. Not only is he fighting for the life of his Russian mafia boss, client, but he is fighting for his own life. His client promises that he will make Bryan pay with his life and his loved one's if he is found guilty. So when the guilty verdict comes in Bryan naturally begins to sweat. Now he is not only afraid for his life, but the life of his long time girlfriend, Jessica Pratt.

My first love of books came in the form of books involving the law, so when I read the synopsis for Life Sentence I was overly excited. Not only was this book about the law, but I loved other work by author Carolyn Arnold. Unfortunately, I did not end up loving this story.

The story of Bryan and his woes starts off good enough, but quickly the story gets choppy and we are bouncing back and forth in POV's. From Bryan, to Jessica, the Russian mafia boss, and other characters throughout the book the POV randomly changes. Normally I don't mind changes in POV, but I feel that the changes in POV in Life Sentence made the story more confusing and lacked any sense. With most books you know that the book will flow a certain way, from the perspective of certain characters, but with Life Sentence you had no idea when the POV would change or who the next POV would be from.

Additionally, with every POV change we also had a shift in the story often with gaps of time making it feel like the story was pasted together.

I understand the reason behind the POV changes, the author wanted us to see things from each characters perspective, as well as allow us to get to know each of the characters. But really all the different POV's did for me was make me dislike the characters. I really couldn't find any attachment to the characters in this story. Bryan was a self absorbed, rich jerk who only cared about himself, while pretending to care about his girlfriend. Jessica was a dependent, whining woman, who was wishy washy throughout the entire story. One minute she was deeply in love with Bryan and the next she was fawning all over a man she just met. And I felt that the rest of the characters were just sort of extras. They weren't big focal points in the story and seemed to pop up randomly whenever there was a need for an additional character or plot twist.

Honestly, I had high hopes for this story, but in the end the story jumped, had too many POV's, lacked detail and I didn't believe any of the characters intentions or emotions. I was left feeling confused and frankly bored. Overall I just didn't buy into this story, even though I wanted to.

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