Monday, April 22, 2013

ARC Review: Undertaking Love by Kat French



Undertaking Love by Kat French

Publisher: Authonomy: HarperCollins
Genre: Romance Release Date: April 25, 2013

Summary:
The moment love-phobic Marla Jacobs discovers that the shop next to her Little White Wedding Chapel is to become a funeral parlour, she declares all-out war.

Marla’s chapel in the sleepy Shropshire countryside has become a nation-wide sensation, but the arrival of Funeral Director Gabriel Ryan threatens everything Marla has worked for. She can picture the scene: wedding limos fighting for space in the street with hearses; brides bumping into widows; bouquets being swapped for wreaths

Marla’s not going down without a fight. She enlists a motley crew of weird and wonderful local supporters, and the battle lines are drawn. But, as soon as Marla meets her nemesis, she realises just how much trouble she’s really in. His gypsy curls and Irish lilt make her stomach fizz – how is she supposed to concentrate on destroying him, when half the time she’s struggling not to rip the shirt off his back?



Rating:


Review: 

"Funny, romantic, and dangerously sexy, UNDERTAKING LOVE is a delightful debut from an exciting new voice in Women’s fiction. " QUOTE frome Netgalley

Undertaking Love is in many ways your typical chick-lit. To be honest I expected it to be a rom-com... And it does have its funny moments. But I wouldn't actually describe it as a rom-com.
The setting and many other factors did remind me of some of the great English rom-com movies. Rupert being actually described as a but of a Hugh Grant look-alike definitely drove that point home even more.
The plot is well as romantic novels goes, rather in the normal cliche set-up. To be honest the initial set-up the wedding chapel against the undertaker somehow made me have much higher expectations. Because that set up is a very clever idea.

The book is written in several point of views. And actually I think in to many POVs, because it does give too much away. I think the fact that one knows earlier on what Rupert thinks takes all the surprise away, same with Melanie
There are very touching moments in this book- and they actually not much to do with the romance between Marla and Gabe.  I found their romance somewhat disappointing. I honestly don't really fancy insta-lust in the first place.. but insta-love? It kinda did kill the vibe for me. It was too quick too soon, and I wish there would have been more banter. I found it kinda hard to reconcile Gabe's reaction to meeting Marla. Let's face it, he is supposed to be a wee bit of a bad ass hottie with a cute Irish accent! i would have preferred more bad-ass and less smitten kitten.
What French did really well in my opinion are the different relation ship between the friends. I honestly really like the circle of friends and their dynamic. And those above mentioned touching moments were all to do with those friends. My favorite scene was the family dinner! It kinda highlighted the entire dynamic, with a wicked sense of black humor.

The character building was kinda interesting. Because while I did like Gabe and Marla- I found Emily, Johnny, Ivan and Co. - basically all the friends- were given much more interesting personalities! French showed real finesse writing them and I felt like I knew them at the end of the book. They were the unexpected and unusual in this book. And as a result I was way more interested what will happen for example with Emily's situation than with Marla and Gabe. Their storyline was set so clearly right in the beginning.
Gabe and Marla as characters were in my opinion quite a cliche. And while I didn't mind it as much, I found myself kinda disappointed by them. Because in compare to the support characters they fell a bit flat.
Their 'dangerously sexy' romance- uhm was sweet but not near dangerous.
The villains were totally disappointing in that they were very cliche and too extreme- so they felt cartoon-ish.

The end was a bit to tied up and neat for me. EVERY single thing was settled and got a HEA.

Despite those things, I found myself reading this in one setting. And really enjoyed French's prose.

To be honest, I have to admit that I am rather critical and I think lovers of this genre might enjoy this book more than I did.
An interesting debut, I am definitely looking out for the next book French is writing.





ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

View all my reviews here


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