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REVIEW: Nameless by Claire Kent

Dear Ms. Kent:

At first, I was a little distressed because the hero is a lawyer and the heroine is a legal assistant (not at the same firm, though). It’s fairly hard for me to get lost in the world of make believe when the characters are so familiar to me. However, there was not enough of the law to interfere with my enjoyment and while I love your voice, the wonderful and awkward sex scenes you write, and your ability to create interesting characters despite having a limited point of view narrative, this book stumbled a bit at the half way mark and I was never fully brought around.

Nameless  by     Claire Kent
As a preteen, Erin Marshall had had a long standing crush on Seth Thomas, an orphan who was sent to live with his grandfather. Nothing came of this crush as Seth moved away and went on to become a successful defense attorney. He returned to their town only when his grandfather died. The two have a somewhat drunken hookup that results in Erin becoming pregnant.

Seth’s first response to Erin’s news is to ask whether it is his. Their exchange over this news isn’t sexy but testy with Erin telling him she’d rather have anyone else be the father but him and that it won’t be a Thomas baby. Seth doesn’t warm to the idea but wants to be involved.

The story tracks not only the pregnancy but also the delivery and the aftermath. During the pregnancy Erin has some physical urges and after an aborted attempt to go out, Seth offers to fulfill those physical urges. In sum, they are each other’s hookup.

There’s some implication that Seth is still dating while Erin is pregnant, but this didn’t bother me as Erin repeatedly told Seth she wanted nothing to do with him. Even as their physical relationship labors (pun intended) on, Erin’s feelings seemingly do not.

While this story is told in the third person, it is limited to Erin’s point of view alone. Seth is more enigmatic, but it seems clear that he is both afraid and excited about the baby. Erin does not see this. She’s a bit myopic and closed off emotionally. Because of her dogged intention to do this on her own, she ends up hurting Seth frequently.

Because this is told in limited third person, I needed a lot more justification on Erin’s end as to why she didn’t want to let Seth in; why she was so interested in raising the child by herself; why she was eschewing any emotional intimacy with Seth. I understood that she had been hurt before, but because it was told to us in a matter of a few paragraphs at the beginning of the book, it didn’t have much resonance as the story went on.

Erin often projects behavior from her ex husband on to Seth.  As a reader, I could see Seth’s genuine emotion and risk taking and I didn’t understand why Erin was so determined to be an island, particularly after the baby was born. In fact, the story really became frustrating for me post birth due to Erin’s intractability in the face of Seth’s agreement to play whatever role Erin deemed appropriate in the life of their child.

This book was still super readable, despite the problems, and the portrayal of pregnancy, birth, and post labor was really well done. C+

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

8 Comments

  1. Tina
    May 18, 2013 @ 12:56:27

    This! I am reading this book right now and I am about 72% into and I am truly baffled by Erin. I think my problem is that she really doesn’t seem to have any real feelings for him except she wants to be his friend and really likes the sex. This is ok and a legitimate experience for a woman to have for the guy who just so happened to have gotten her pregnant. Except not in a romance novel.

    I am at the point where I feel that I am going to have to suspend a lot of belief for when she finally realizes her feelings. If being attracted to, having good sex with, and having a emotional connection with this guy throughout her pregnancy isn’t enough to give her at least glimmers of feeling beyond friendship then I don’t know what can.

    I do have to say the book is very well written. The labor scenes alone were a knock out the park. Made me remember it vividly.

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  2. Kini
    May 18, 2013 @ 13:08:58

    Her book bittersweet is/was free on amazon. Practically the same characters. Slightly different premise. Heroine is a widow, hero is deceased hubby’s cousin. But he knew her first. Add baby from nameless, except its a boy this time. And heroine is slightly more in touch with her feelings in bittersweet. Both stories are very well written.

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  3. msaggie
    May 18, 2013 @ 18:36:04

    I bought Nameless right after I finished reading Escorted (which I enjoyed very much btw, and I got it as it was a recommended read at DA), and had exactly the same reaction as you did in your review (now I wish I hadn’t been so hasty in getting it). I kept thinking it could have been so much better, as Claire Kent writes very well. Erin’s behaviour was inexplicable and Seth just takes it with hardly any complaint. Then, it all ends rather abruptly – I mean I never saw the turning point when Erin realises she’s been an idiot all along. It was “OK, let’s get married now”, the end. It certainly has the most realistic scenes on pregnancy and labour in any romance I have read! I would have rated it higher than C if Erin’s character arc (or reason for her behaviour and then at the end, changing her mind) was more developed and better-explained/presented.

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  4. Jane
    May 18, 2013 @ 19:07:36

    @Kini: Yes, it does seem like she writes the same characters over and over. At least it was free.

    @msaggie: You might as well download Bittersweet. The writing is good, as always, even though you are reading essentially the same story.

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  5. leslie
    May 18, 2013 @ 22:11:32

    I am confused. I found Bittersweet by Noelle Adams free with Prime and only Nameless and Escorted by Claire Kent. What am I missing? Are they the same person?

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  6. Jane
    May 18, 2013 @ 23:08:48

    @leslie: They are the same author. Why the name difference, I don’t know.

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  7. Courtney
    May 19, 2013 @ 11:33:17

    I haven’t read this one yet, but I did read “Escorted” by Claire Kent and I had a huge problem with the fact that we never got the hero’s POV.

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  8. A.M.K.
    May 19, 2013 @ 16:22:28

    I actually like to read single POV romances from time to time, but there’s not many of them – maybe that’s why I’ve been on a bit of a Noelle Adams kick recently (the only one of her books I haven’t read yet is the serial, Listed). Escorted was by far the best, I think. As for the rest, I see their flaws, but still there’s something in the author’s voice that draws me in.

    Re: the name, yeah, I think the split is unnecessary. I could MAYBE understand it regarding Escorted, but what’s the big difference between Nameless and Bittersweet that they have to be published under different names?

    ReplyReply

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