Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shelter Me by Mina Bennett

Title: Shelter Me 
Author: Mina Bennett
Published: October 10, 2013
Format Read/Pages: ebook/218 
How/When I Acquired It: NetGalley/Oct. 2013
Date Finished: Dec. 11, 2013

*Book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

He's the only thing she has left to believe in...

Marissa was the first person to break Jacob's heart. When they were children, she made it very clear that she wanted nothing to do with him. She didn't mean to, but her mother had ordered her to stay away from her Sunday school crush: "He's a nice boy - don't you ruin him." So she kept her feelings hidden, telling herself that no matter how sweet he seemed, he'd still end up turning on her, like everyone else did.

Jacob never loved anyone like he loved Marissa. He knows he should try to forget about her, especially now that he's engaged and she's happily married - or so everyone says. Even though they've grown and gone their separate ways, in their tightly-knit community, that still means seeing each other at every Sunday service, church picnic and backyard barbecue. He swears that her eyes still have that sad, haunted look, but he manages to keep his distance.

Until one night, when everything changes.

With Jacob's relationship in shambles and Marissa pushed to the breaking point, they're drawn together by an unstoppable force. Temptation is irresistible. Giving in is unthinkable. But it soon becomes clear that nothing - neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation - can keep them apart.


Looking back I really should have picked up on it sooner that this was in some ways Christian fiction. Now, I don’t have anything against religious fiction or books that have religious undertones, but it is just not something I really seek out in my day to day readings. And this book is a prime example of why. It was a huge disappointment and I am having a hard time writing this review because I did not connect with the story or characters at all and I feel as though this will not be very thought out or coherent, for that I apologize.

At first glance, or reading of the description, it makes you believe that Marissa is a highly troubled youth who has seen untold horrors in her short life. That is not the case at all. She was a quiet child, in a town and family that seemed to condemn it. She eventually grew up to become a quiet and reserved young woman and to be honest; I am not surprised by it at all. I would have kept to myself as well if I had to deal with her mother. Her father is a spineless man that does not in any way speak up for his daughters and lets his wife lead him around as though he is on a leash. The only real comfort she has ever had growing up is from the family cat.

Fast-forward to her marriage and the sort of love triangle that develops with her, her husband and kind of childhood friend Jacob. It was all ridiculous. Jacob had bad feelings about Mark from day one; did he say anything to anyone about them? No. If he had there would have been no story. I just really don’t know how to feel about this and I feel like Marissa was a complete idiot for not picking up on the warning signs that Mark was clearly exuding.

Shelter Me, as a whole, was all over the place and the flow made it very hard to get into. Combining that with the terrible editing made for a rather unenjoyable read.

According to the about the author section at the end of the novel, Ms. Bennett has written other books under the name Melanie Marchande, which seem to have been a bit better received. I may check them out, but after this disappointing read I feel as if I should take a break from her right now.

1 Star 

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