A blog dedicated to my opinion on books

Friday, July 25, 2014

“The Typewriter Girl” by J.L. Jarvis

Title: “The Typewriter Girl”
Author: J. L. Jarvis
Publisher: Self published
Year: 2012
Genre(s): historical romance
Part of a Series: No. 

Why I Read It: Goodreads suggested it.

Summary: Emma arrives at Benjamin Stark’s home, ready to type up the book he’s writing about his prospecting days. She is intrigued by her new employer, learning much about his dark past through his diary. He is drawn to her as well. They embark on a new romance when her own secret threatens to break them apart. Benjamin and Emma have a long, arduous journey ahead of them to happily ever after.

Review: This is my first whack at reviewing something that’s self-published.

For the most part, the grammar and spelling is pretty spot on. I know people who have read other self-published books riddled with errors and I’ve seen preview pages that have turned me off for that reason. But I do think it needed a bit more work from an editor.

I felt the book was more like two or three stories smushed together. You have the first part, which is about a feisty young woman coming to work for a reclusive man with a dark secret. As she learns his secret through her work, she becomes more and more intrigued by him. Eventually, they fall in love. This is the first story.

Then her own secret comes back to haunt them. She’s an heiress who has run away from an unwanted marriage. And her family is looking for her. Emma returns home to try and smooth things over, but her stepmother is evil. And determined for Emma to marry the earl for their family’s standing to improve. Including making her stepdaughter believe she killed Benjamin and ship her off to an insane asylum. And there is pretty much the second story. (Maybe even three, depending how you view it).

In my opinion, story two was more intriguing than story one. In story one, the romance felt rushed to me. Like the author just wanted to pair them to get to story two. I personally feel like it would’ve been more interesting if we started with Emma in the asylum and then unravel the story to see if Emma really killed Benjamin, why this was such a big deal, etc. Benjamin’s backstory could’ve been its own short story, in my opinion.

The historical aspect was good—whether about Benjamin’s journey across the Yukon or early 20th century society. So was the description. Jarvis was able to really paint good pictures with her words. And her characters were interesting. I liked Emma and Benjamin. And I really liked the characters at the asylum. So much so, I wish there was more about them. Perhaps that’s why I think the story would be more interesting if it started in the asylum and slowly revealed what had happened. That and maybe made the plot a little less predictable.

Bottom line: Interesting story that needed to be tightened up a bit.

Sex: Some.

Moonlight Musing

Have you ever rewritten a book in your mind?

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