Book Review: Innocent by Mary Martinez
I very much enjoyed this book. Mary Martinez is obviously an author who does her research; the way the legal case against Jessica was covered in particular was very well done and detailed, completely believable that it could go down that way. There was more focus on the 'suspense' than the romance in this book, and perhaps that was a little to the detriment of the story. There is one (very brief) sex scene, and while there didn't need to be more for the plot, I felt that the characters' physical attraction to each other was often 'told' to us, rather than shown to us by the writing. On occasion the story got a little long-winded, and some tight editing could probably have cut the length down by a few dozen pages, making for a bit more of a page-turner. Things did start to feel a little stagnant here and there. While this is the second in a series, the author states that it can be read as a stand-alone; that's quite true (I haven't read the first and it all made perfect sense), but there is a large cast of characters involved and plot points that were clearly set up in more detail in the first book. The last chapter moves away from the main couple to focus on what is clearly the setup for the next book of the series, which I felt was unwise. Better to add a 'teaser' chapter for the next book after this one had finished, because we really didn't get to see the end of Jessica's story - did she sue Coach Brinley for defamation? Did she win? Maybe we'll find out in the next book. Who knows. From her name I'm assuming Ms. Martinez to be Hispanic and I admit that I was also a little disappointed not to see a more diverse cast of characters. This is set in Brooklyn and surrounding areas of New York, one of the most diverse cities in the world, and everyone was painfully white and heterosexual, where they were described at all. I'd have liked to see more explicitly spelled-out representation. Four stars for a good read, but a little slow in places.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book for review through ReadingAlley.