Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: Trial (Appearances Trilogy #1) by Etienne

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 10, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
294 Pages

A Buckhead Tale

Appearances Trilogy: Book One

Attorney Charles Barnett thought it was all over for him and his heart. In the three years since his partner died, he hasn’t felt so much as a spark of attraction to another man. That suddenly changes when Charles is assigned a new case and meets his new client. Recent widower Philip d’Autremont has been traveling in all the same circles as Charles, but somehow they’ve never managed to meet. Now that they have, both men find themselves falling hard and fast.

But there’s more than one hurdle to Charles and Philip beginning a love affair, much less maintaining it: Philip is on trial for murder, a politically ambitious and homophobic district attorney is determined to convict him, and Charles is responsible for Philip’s defense.



Trial was a very mature gay romance novel. Not just in content, but in writing style and phrasing as well. The author uses complex words to make the story seem more mature. In my opinion, it just made the story seem condescending and unenjoyable. I don't want to read a story where I have to look up a word every other page.

Charles' perspective reads coldly and distant, as does Philip's. I felt like I was reading as a complete outsider. I couldn't connect to the characters because they didn't seem to have any real emotion. It got annoying very quickly.

In the beginning, Charles is very depressed - or he says he is - and then almost overnight, he changes. The writing was so bipolar. He never seems to be one person. He has a very unsteady personality. At one point, he's distant and another moment, he's playful. It gave me a headache.

Trial also has a hardy serving of "insta-love." Just add boiling water. The main characters meet and fall immediately in love. Sorry for the spoiler, but seriously. It's horrifying. Very unexpected.

The plot progresses quickly. If insta-love isn't proof enough, during the duration of the story, Charles and Philip go on vacation together three times. It made no sense. There are some parts that make sense and others are totally unrealistic. The entire book spans over months - maybe a year. I couldn't keep up with the timeline. It's also strange that the timeline goes by so fast when they literally tell you every little thing that they do every single day. Even if they do the same thing, they repeat it. Guys, I don't need a rundown of what you, when you always do the same thing.

I skimmed most of the story. Honestly, I couldn't help it. I was getting so bored that my eyes just wandered all over the page. I got the gist of the story though even though I probably read a total of forty percent of the book.

The thing that bothered me most - more than the insta-love and the too-fast plot - was the fact that the actual trial didn't begin until seventy-five percent into the story, but the arrest is issued in the very  beginning. Plus, Charles solves another case before finishing or really getting started on Philip's case. Really? The blurb and the title of this book make you think that the book is about a Trial. Overall, it's not. I don't even know what I'd name this book because it's all over the place.

I have books two and three, but I won't be picking them up.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

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