Train Wreck by Elise Faber
Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romance Readers, Romance Review, Standalone

Book Review: Train Wreck by Elise Faber

train wreck
noun

1. A chaotic or disastrous situation.
2. An utter catastrophe or mess.
3. A devastating calamity or source of trouble.
4. Pepper O’Brien.
As the daughter of a famed film producer, Pepper O’Brien is Hollywood royalty.

Also, her life sucks.

Because, unfortunately for her, the old adage is true: money can’t buy everything—including grace, true love, or the ability to not screw up every single opportunity her life has brought her.

After her latest disaster, Pepper moves across the country to start over but, as usual, her life has other plans, namely in the form of Derek Cashette, her former teenage crush and now ridiculously handsome friend of her older brother.

Derek is determined to salvage the train wreck of her life and Pepper’s determined not to let him. Her life is her problem and, dammit, why can’t she be her own hero?

But sometimes fate has other plans. Or maybe it’s hormones. Especially when her rescuer comes with a killer smile, a chest Thor would be jealous of, and a butt that any girl just wants to—

The premise of this story really drew me in. Pepper is a walking disaster but she’s determined to stand on her own two feet and discover herself while Derek is the white knight who swoops in to save her. I love this trope but it went a little too far here by the end of the book. Sure, Pepper caused some problems but she also had a lot of bad luck and her family was the worst. They treat her like garbage and allow the rest of the world to do so as well. She has one real friend and then Derek comes along, determined to convince Pepper to stop being so hard on herself.

There was a lot that I liked about both characters and I really rooted for the couple, but there were things that just didn’t work here. Pepper is constantly having some kind of slip and fall injury, to the point where someone should probably take her to a neurologist for a work-up and it’s just too much. There was a lot of overkill in driving home the point that bad things happen to Pepper. She was also really mean to Derek at first, but then when he actually did something infuriating, she forgives him instantly so the character was inconsistent. Likewise, he was this sweet, perfect-for-her guy but then he does something completely out of character that didn’t make sense at all, solely to add unnecessary drama. A bit of meaningful interaction between them would have been so much better than all of that.

There were also a few things that were just too much for me. I can’t conceive of an attraction so strong that you just have to have sex with someone while they have a stomach bug, that’s just NO. A huge event near the end is also super dramatic and completely out of left field, which detracted from this story a lot for me. I did like the characters but the execution didn’t work for me.

Train Wreck on Amazon

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