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Book Review: Featherweight Heart, by Jillian Snyder

Featherweight Heart - Jillian Snyder

Featherweight Heart - Jillian Snyder Cover

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Clairvoyant Jake Parker is about to close up for the night when a handsome stranger wanders into his shop, the Witching Well. During his reading, Jake is surprised when a persistent spirit comes through, desperate to communicate. Before Jake can make a real connection between the two, his mysterious customer takes off. The spirit, however, decides to stick around.

Eric Austin is a Boston-area author with a new best seller. But a year ago, he ended his relationship with a closeted man, who died shortly after. Still troubled by unresolved issues, Eric searches for answers. What he finds instead is the Witching Well and Jake—and a little more than he bargained for.

When Jake and Eric meet again by chance, they begin to work together to unravel the mystery of Eric’s ghost, and Jake struggles with his professional duties and his undeniable attraction to Eric.

But even if they can find a way to balance the personal with the professional, a specter from the past just might ruin their chance at a future together.

~

Book – Featherweight Heart

Author – Jillian Snyder

Star rating – ★★★☆☆

No. of Pages – 210

Movie Potential – ★★★☆☆

Ease of reading – easy to read and follow

Would I read it again – Not sure

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

Unusually for me, I didn’t make a lot of notes when I was reading this. Sometimes I make more highlights for great quotes that I do for actual thoughts or it’s the other way around. This time, however, I just don’t know what to say. I also have no idea what relevance the title has to the story, because there is no hint or reference to balancing the heart or the purity of a heart, within the story. It feels like an add on, to relate the psychic element to the weighting of a heart, just because the story involves a dead person.

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The story wasn’t a new favourite, but it wasn’t awful either. It was just settled quite comfortably somewhere in the middle. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was Meh!, as though it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d never read it, because I did enjoy parts of it. But I’m not sure I can go beyond “I liked it” or “It was nice”, if you understand what I mean?

We started with each character getting a full name introduction and almost an entire back history, in the first few chapters. Anyone who follows my reviews will know that’s not my style, but I don’t necessary take points off the story for that. It’s a “style” of writing and I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s not my preference. At the same time, however, they were a lot of information dumps, especially in the first 20-25% of the story. Long explanations about the shop – what was on shelves, what they were used for etc, even when it wasn’t important – as well as personality/personal history stories that didn’t really have any place in the story.

Another problem that kind of bugged me is that I didn’t ever feel connected to Jake or Eric, the way that I normally would with main characters. They were fine – there was nothing wrong with them and they were perfectly normal characters – but they didn’t touch me or seem as relatable as I would generally find main characters.

For me, the most interesting characters in this story were the side characters. I wanted to know more about Jessie, the side-kick college psychic; Bobby, the fun loving, over dramatic pre-teen; Gram, the wacky old woman who reads fortune and futures. They all came across as more interesting than the main characters, which doesn’t sit well with me. The MC’s should have been my main focus, but I wasn’t that bothered by their story. Maybe because the plot seemed a little obvious – I mean, it was clear that Jake was too close to Eric, that Andrew wasn’t getting his message across and that everything would be fine in the end. There was no real tension or drama for me to worry about and maybe that’s where the disconnect come into play.

Jake, as our MC and the only POV we have, is a decent guy, but he’s not Hero material or even, I don’t know, the MC I was expecting, maybe? For being a clairvoyant he was ridiculous obtuse about some things, which the author only explained away as being that he couldn’t read his own life the way he could other people’s and that it was a blind spot. Personally, this didn’t fly. I mean, there were times when he did things with his ‘gifts’ that were for his own benefit and no one elses, but when it mattered, they didn’t work?

I’ll confess, I found myself desperate to take a break, to move on to do something else and even skim reading some of the info dumps, because I just wasn’t getting into it. Even later into the story, I lacked interest, which is weird, because the whole premise sounded really exciting to me. I’d been expecting a mildly creepy romance that would be a perfect MM Halloween read. But I didn’t get it.

It was a slow story that felt dragged out, with no excitement. Even the sex scenes were skimmed over – by the author this time, rather than me – leaving me wanting more and not getting it. I kind of feel that’s the entire summary of my review. The only thing that made sense, weirdly, was the insta-love between the characters, because the explanation given actually worked for me and I don’t have an aversion to it, even when it’s not explained away like this.

But…yeah…this left me confused, wishing there was just that one thing more that would have perked it up. It was quite doom and gloom most of the time, with a few shining lights provided by the side characters and some sex scenes that didn’t quite fit where they were placed. And that’s how the whole thing went for me – something was off the entire way through the story, it didn’t grab my attention and keep it, it was just a bit…safe.

Safe is the only word I can come up with to describe a story that was good, but not great, and also not completely awful either. I wish I could say I’d recommend it, but I’m not sure I would. I probably won’t remember much about it, if I’m brutally honest.

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FAVOURITE QUOTE

““It’s all right,” Jake assured him but Eric shook his head.

“No, it’s not. Because, last and most important, that’s not why I asked you here.”

“Why did you ask me?”

“Well, it sure as hell wasn’t to have a threesome with my dead ex,” he said with a roll of his eyes and Jake laughed.”

~

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