First Loves by Jean Stone: Review

April 8, 2013 Reviews 0

cover28418-mediumIn this moving novel about the power of second chances, Jean Stone proves that it’s never too late to go after the one that got away.

For every woman, there is a first love. And for Meg, Zoe, and Alissa, that love has never been forgotten. Now these three friends have made a pact. In the next six months, they vow to reconnect with the men who touched their lives so long ago.

Meg is blessed with success, yet lives a life without love, haunted by the only man she’s ever wanted, a man who’s still irresistible . . . and seemingly out of reach. Zoe is a once-prominent film star, desperate for a comeback and scared to discover what has become of her hometown sweetheart—the one person who means more to her than fame. Alissa, the darling of Atlanta society, seems to have it all. Then, in one shocking moment, she finds that her life is a sham and that she left the only man who ever really loved her. Now these women will risk everything—their families, their reputations, and their hearts—to take a chance on the alluring magic of first love.

I am a fan of interwoven stories, books with more than one storyline at their heart. They can be fantastic, working together to create a beautiful, multi-faceted narrative. However, when the stories become confusing and you have no idea where you are and what’s going on, that just waves a massive red flag for me.

First Loves was originally published in 1995 by Bantam Fanfare. While some of the references were a bit dated (for example, the Atlanta Olympics hadn’t occurred at the time the story was written), this was not the issue that led to me not finishing the book. I do love me some good old school category romances with references to puffy sleeves, Magnum moustaches and questionable hairstyles.

I just couldn’t follow it. The three stories, rather than working well together, just seemed to fight each other for page space. I just ended up confused trying to work out what was happening.

One thing I will say in the book’s favour is that it did cover some very dark topics – marital infidelity, homosexuality, HIV, suicide – that weren’t often covered in a lot of the older category romances I’ve read. It is great to see authors willing to push boundaries in romance novels. However, these meatier topics couldn’t save the day for First Loves as far as I was concerned.

My rating: DNF

Release Date: 11 March 2013

Purchase Links: Amazon – AppleKobo

Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Loveswept via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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