The Year Without Summer ARC Review

The Year Without A SummerBanished from her home for loving a man her parents didn’t approve of, Amelia is forced into the depths of the country, away from London and the only life she knows.

Maud runs away from her overprotective aristocratic family only to find herself stuck in the country, far from all the excitement she longs for.

Viscount Cheviotdale has run through his entire fortune and his only hope of recovery is Amelie’s money. But it’s no easy task trying to persuade Amelie’s family he’s a desirable husband for their daughter.

Bev Grainger, newly bought out of the Royal Navy with a fortune in Prize Money, is just beginning to enjoy all the delights of London when his family needs him to take possession of a disputed country estate until the law can decide on the rightful heir.

Four young people looking for life, and maybe love, in a small country district in Regency England during the coldest year anyone can remember. Will it all end happily?

I found it very difficult to care about any of the characters in this book. Maud is spoiled, and decides to pretend to be a maid, but is the most disrespectful maid working. It almost blows her cover and gets the people protecting her in trouble. Amelie is a foolish young girl whose father sends her away because she is planning to elope with the town playboy. She hates her parents for the rest of the book, even though they were trying to protect her, and only realizes later that they were trying to do her a favor. Then, there were the two guys. I couldn’t keep up with their storylines at all.

The book has far too many POV switches for its 123 pages of length. I couldn’t tell one character from the next when it seemed to switch every single character. I couldn’t connect with any of them because everything seemed to be so rushed, and the two that I was able to figure out were just so immature that I couldn’t stand them.

The plot was not smooth at all. Every time that I started to understand one story arc, the book skipped to the next one. The story arcs weren’t connected enough for the events to flow, so it was just a horrible reading experience.

Then, there was the issue of the “power exchange.” Maud is caned for her disrespect by the man who runs the household, and she is embarrassed but later thinks that the marks feel nice. I get that you can enjoy pain as a part of your relationship, but I doubt being caned for disrespect by a complete stranger would feel “nice.” Even someone who enjoys that kind of relationship would not experience pleasure unless it was in some sort of consensual setting or from a significant other, not by a complete stranger. I’m tired of these types of books accepting abuse as a  part of society and women willing to accept abuse and actually experiencing pleasure from strange men in a non-consensual environment.

Overall, I would not recommend this story to anyone, even if they enjoy power-exchange historical fiction novels.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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Book, game, movie, TV, and webcomic reviewer

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