By: JD Corbett
Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Length: 122 pages
Published: September 10, 2017
No big chances, and no big changes. This was Kate’s motto. With her father out of the picture, and a mother who had quit being “mom” a long time ago, Kate finds herself floating through life under the shelter of her brother and best friend. Afraid of rocking the boat and having to face the world alone, she makes every effort to keep her circle tight. That is, until she meets Eric, the charming Southern boy from Texas who stands out like a sore thumb in the bustling city of D.C. Eric has suffered much in his past, but, unlike Kate, he has learned to grow from his experiences instead of run from them.
When Eric first arrives in the city, he is a bit out of place. His southern drawl and beat up cowboy boots aren’t exactly a fit for the area. Motivated by the necessity to get the best help possible for his mother, he strives to rise above his tragic past and make the most of his new surroundings. He already has plans to be a soldier, just like his father, and he will see his commitments through. After meeting Kate, he thought that falling in love was a positive turning point in his life, but instead he was taken for a ride on an emotional roller coaster.
Just when Kate finally begins to let her guard down, letting Eric in, dark events cloud her new sunny attitude towards life and love. After a traumatic incident that shatters her whole world, fears from her past re-surface and she is forced to decide if she is willing to stay open to love, or if the risk is just too great.
And a decision needs to be made soon or she will lose everything.
I want to point out how excited I was to be back in romance as everything I’ve been reading lately has been on the heavier side, so I wanted (more like needed) a light, happy, airy love story. So 3 1/2 stars (if you haven’t already be sure to read my rating system) because it means I liked the book. This was a nice quick read at only 122 pages, it was everything I expected from a novella. But I think this could have easily been turned into a novel and done extremely well. One romance author I find myself turning to is E.L. Todd when I’m looking for a contemporary romance. And I truly think the JD Corbett could easily surpass Todd. I feel like she is right there on the verge but is holding back. That is how I felt the whole way through while reading.
Both main characters (Kate and Eric )are dealing with an issue involving their parent(s) or lack thereof. They meet each other at the local community college ( which just didn’t give off the vibe of them being at college but more like seniors in high school) where they both attend. Kate is the usual suspect the forgotten sister/ best friend of the popular crowd sort of just floating along, who oddly doesn’t want to get to attached to anyone so she sleeps around with her brothers friends. Nothing wrong with that, not shaming in any way. Now Eric is our cowboy from a small town who only moved to DC so his mother could receive some care ( I’m not going to tell you what kind of care, I don’t want to ruin the whole novella for you), any ways he meets Ernest (Kate’s popular brother) and wam bam, thank you ma’am, is introduced to Kate and falls hard and quick.
This was the downfall for me, this is the reasons for my 3 1/2. Kate was described one way but the more I read, the more I disliked her. I get her reason for not wanting to be attached, but I could get over her feeling of entitlement towards Luke, Eric, Ernest and Amber. It seemed like she felt she had to be the center of attention, at any given time she came of as the stereotypical cheerleader type, arrogant and self-absorbed. I don’t think that was supposed to be the intention though.
The only time I seemed to really care for Kate was when she was having to deal with her step father Mike. She really shined at those moments. Kate was that character that I disliked so much that I actually loved. I know it’s super oddball of me. But I really had a love/dislike for her. It drove me insane. The inconsistency or should I say contradictions in personalities and actions didn’t end with just Kate, I saw it in a few characters. Eric was also like that, he self describes himself multiple time about being a smooth talker, never having and issue with women but then came off as shy, clingy, slightly stalkerish, egomaniac Casanova throughout. Not exactly word you would throw together for one person. But I did. That’s how I described him. and by the middle of the book When Eric & Mandy happen I though ” Man, I really like Eric without Kate”, That’s right I said it I like my main characters separated from each other. Well Eric anyways (me and Kate were not getting along).
This book for the majority of it besides the end seemed to of taken place within one school year time so like 9 months. But it felt like maybe everything that happened only took 2 tops. There were large time gap frames covered quickly with a briefing of what was going on in DC and the life of that characters. I wish that some scenes were extend, that more storyline was given rather than a brief glimpse. I wanted more dialogue, more interactions, more something so that the good scene wouldn’t just end and transition quickly to another month. The author as Eric refer to the relationship how it took him months to build it with Kate, but we really don’t get the opportunity to really dig into the building with the characters, as I said before you get a quick overview of what happened within that time frame.
But even despite the lack of building (which is understandable considering this is only a novella) I still wanted to continue reading, I still wanted to find out more. I still needed to finish the book. So the author did accomplish her job, she drew me in, she made feel a part of the cast, and she effected the way I felt towards her characters. This story made me want to find out if Kate could let go so that she could find love.
JD Corbett is onto something, Like I said she could be the next E.L. Todd. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I like about this Leaving Kate, but I can tell you that I liked it, without a doubt in my mind I enjoyed this quick read. Would I read it again, Yes. would I read more by Corbett, Without a doubt in my mind I would. I think this is a great debut that shows a promising future.
So I would say to anyone who is looking for a in between book ( a pallet cleanser so to speak), a quick read, a happily ever after than this is it. This is the ideal book.