I'm not a romance reader. Let me get that out of the way right up front. Sure, I enjoy the occasional historical, but contemporary romance, meh. Mostly, the stories are rather trite and predictable, and there's way too many pages of sex (which I have nothing against, but it's really kind of a "you had to be there" thing, isn't it?) But, it was free to borrow on Kindle, so I had nothing to lose by giving something new a try.
I'm so glad I did! The story is well plotted, and doesn't fall into the usual "romantic ingenue falls for the jaded ("My former partner broke my heart so badly
, nothing in this world could ever make me whole, again!") bad boy/girl rut. The characters are likable, relatable, and face genuine problems with a reasonable amount of grace and intelligence. Even the secondary characters are well-done, and came to life in my imagination. There was very little pining or whining, and quite a lot of emotional intelligence on display. In my opinion, those are good and rare qualities in romance fiction!
On top of those stylistic qualities, the writing flowed really nicely. Sometimes, especially with new novelists, the writing is stilted and awkward, but not here. I did have a few quibbles with the editing -- some language use issues that should have been edited out, to be specific. They were enough to knock me out of "willing suspension of disbelief" mode, but not enough to make me not want to continue reading. If she continues to write (and I hope she does,) a more "technical" editor might help her recognize and avoid those little mistakes that irritate picky readers like me. Or not! Goodness knows, if Laurell K. Hamilton can make a fortune without fixing her language use issues, other people can, too!
Edited to add: Oh, nice! I just looked at Ms. Carr's page and realised she has a number of other titles to be read. Yay!