Sunday, January 25, 2009

Review: Too Far Gone by Marliss Melton

Ugh, work has totally been kicking my butt. Let me tell you, working 12 days straight is hard and exhausting!! I think it's going to take me a while to recover ^_^;

Meanwhile, for those who are interested, the experiment for which we rushed was a mini-success :) My supervisor is very excited... I just hope it won't turn into too much work, LOL. He treated us last Friday to celebrate both the experiment and Chinese New Year. Anyway, I'm wishing for a relaxing week...

Guess I'm not the only one who's been busy. Blogland has been very quiet. So what have everyone been up to? Last week, I was lucky and got my hands on quite a few good books :) I've been reading a lot; however, I'm quite behind on my reviews :( I'll try my best this week though, so drop by :)

Too Far Gone by Marliss Melton
published by Grand Central publishing in November 2008

Ellie Stuart's life ended the day her children were stolen from her. Driving on a Virginia backroad, Ellie was ambushed by two men who violently pulled her from her car and drove off with her three sons inside. Devastated, Ellie begs the police to bring her babies home. But the authorities wonder if this stressed-out single mom may not be telling the whole truth about what happened that day...

Navy SEAL Sean Harlan agrees to help Ellie find her children, but vows to keep their relationship professional. He's got no room in his life for a woman and her kids--no matter how beautiful she is, or how desperate their situation. But when a sinister organization begins pulling strings behind the scenes, the investigation suddenly targets Sean. Can he and Ellie rescue her children and save themselves? Or are they already...

Genre: romantic suspense
Series: Military Romances, book #6

The Story: Ellie is a single mother and has three sons. She has recently kicked out her husband and has moved on. Her new landlord is Navy SEAL Sean Harlan. Sean and Ellie are attracted to each other and he seems fond of her children. The problem is that Sean doesn't date women with children... However, after 6 months in Afghanistan, the temptation is huge.

Then, everything goes awry when on their way home, Ellie is ambushed by two men who kidnap her sons. Sean immediately comes to her help, especially when he hears that she is the main suspect. While trying to investigate on their own, Sean and Ellie find out they've stumbled into much more than a simple kidnapping...

My Opinion: Hmmm, I was browsing the aisle when I came upon this book. I've read one previous book by this author and thought it was okay. Since I was in the mood for a romantic suspense, I gave this one a go.

So what did I think? Meh. The storyline didn't really grab me and I never connected with Sean and Ellie, so let alone their relationship. So where to start? I guess that my biggest problem with this book was the fact that Sean doesn't date women with children. So for that reason, he had to find another woman to relieve his itch... and that's pretty much a no-no for me. It's never very endearing to have your hero sleep with someone other than the heroine, even if he hasn't hooked up with the heroine yet. In some circumstances, I could let it go and not bother, but what frustrated me so much is how nice Sean was to Ellie and her sons. I mean, there's this mutual attraction between the two grown adults and hey, the guy doesn't date women with children... so what is he doing? Getting closer to the kids - taking them out, treating them to ice cream, etc. Shouldn't it be more logical if he avoided temptation? Sure, it's nice of him to pay attention to the kids... but it just didn't make sense to me. Or at the very least, he could try to avoid Ellie... but no. Then, he goes around, whining that he wants Ellie, but alas she has kids so she's off-limits. Ugh. You want the woman, like the kids... I mean, it's clear no? Just try having a relationship with her. Then at the end, he declares he wants Ellie and doesn't mind anymore that she has kids. So why was it a problem in the beginning?

Aside from that, I thought the original idea was quite good. The whole kidnapping plot with the secret society, I liked it... The problem is I don't think the author exploited it to its full potential. Then, halfway into the book, Ms Melton introduces another storyline with another couple... I think it would have been better if she focused on either story - the kidnapping or the undercover. Instead, she chose to carry both of them and as a result, couldn't develop them to their fullest extent. Maybe if it'd been two books, it would have been better. In my opinion, Skylar and Drake's storyline, albeit very interesting, was superfluous...

Personally, I think that Ms Melton's style is very similar to Suzanne Brockmann, but there are less storylines which makes it less confusing - plus point for Ms Melton. It also seems to me that the books in the series are somewhat connected... I had the feeling reading Too Far Gone that Ellie and Sean were previously introduced and that some of the secondary characters already had their books... However, Ms Melton did a good job and Too Far Gone can and do stand alone.

Overall, Too Far Gone was an okay book. The idea was a good one, just not developed enough. Unfortunately, Ellie and Sean were meh H/H and totally forgettable. I was more interested in Skylar and Drake and wonder if they will have a book of their own.

My Grade: C-


  1. Even thought you gave it a C-, I'm intrigued enough to want to read it.
    I'm going to add it to my next book order.

    Great review, nath!

  2. Great review but I knew I wasn't buying it the minute kids were mentioned. Hey, I understand people fall in love at strange times but Dude, she's missing her kids!! I get too stressed out when that plot is used and a romance (and sex) happen while the kids are missing. I just don't see it happening.

    I can flow with vamps and weres and weirdlings but kidnap a kid and it's too real for me ;)


  3. Seneca - Well I hope you'll enjoy it more than I did!

    Cindy - The fact that she fell for Sean didn't annoy me... because there was already this attraction between them before the kids were kidnapped. So it made sense. Sure, probably in real life... it'd be a different story... but then, in romance books, H/H fall for each other when their lives are in danger every day... so why not when the kids are kidnapped?