In Search of a Story

InSearchofaStoryLGTitle: In Search of a Story
Author: Andrew Grey
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link In Search of a Story
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 200
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by K.C. Beaumont

Review Summary: A story about loss and love that started out questionably but had a strong, satisfying ending.

THE BLURB

Brad Torrence is next on the chopping block at the newspaper where he works. Hungry for any
source he can find, he runs across an ad in the classifieds: For Sale: Nursery Items, Never
Used. It’s the lead he’s been looking for. Thinking a piece about the loss of a child will
give him the edge he needs to keep his job, Brad follows up. He doesn’t expect a single man
to answer.

Rather than being offended, Cory Wolfe finds sharing the story of his grief and pain
liberating. He’s even surprised by the spark that strikes, and one story leads to another.

Brad digs into his stories and Cory’s life, eager to know everything about the man who’s
caught his attention. But when a lead points him to the hospital where Cory works, he
unearths a mystery that might have been safer left buried. Brad’s search for a story could
prove deadly….

THE REVIEW

From a young age, I’d wanted, above everything else, to be a mother. Due to hereditary
medical conditions, and after unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for two years, I’d
started to accept what doctors told me about how it probably wasn’t meant to be. My mother
gave birth to two children, but had lost three pregnancies—one before me, one after me, and
one after my sister was born. I’d feared a similar possibility for myself more than I’d
feared the pain of labor. As soon as I’d made peace with not ever getting pregnant, I’d
discovered I was four weeks along with my oldest son. When he was not quite four months old,
I found out I was pregnant again. While neither pregnancy had been a walk in the park, I’d
thankfully dodged a bullet—twice—in the form of my biggest fear of the pain of a loss I’d
never wanted to personally experience. (And as it turned out, I should have feared the pain
of labor a little bit more—holy crap!) It was with this in mind that I was anxious to read a
story about the loss of an unborn child from the expectant father’s perspective—a side of
the story that rarely gets the attention it deserves.

Overall, this book was just okay for me. I didn’t really feel invested in the characters
until about two thirds in, and I was rather disappointed that I’d become more interested in
the mystery Brad was trying to uncover than the reason why I’d picked up the book in the
first place.

There was a lot to appreciate In Search of a Story. Cory, the grieving father, was
adopting the child. The baby’s mother was Cory’s best friend, and it was refreshing to read
about a woman not being demonized for making the choice to give up her child for adoption.
She’d simply gotten pregnant,but didn’t want to be a mother. She wasn’t described as a drug
addict or an otherwise irresponsible person. According to Cory, “Eileen was wonderful, but
there wasn’t a maternal bone in her body.” I was glad that this wasn’t a tale about a
wayward woman who’d made poor choices. Unplanned pregnancies can happen to anyone under myriad circumstances.

I also liked how the medical and legal aspects in the book were handled after how the
situation played out with Brad investigating the hospital story. All too often, medical and
legal facts and procedures in fiction tend to read like they were made up on the spot, or
that minimal or no research had been done to verify information. I’ve grown up with family
working in medicine, on the police force, and in the courtroom, and have had stints in
different facets of the medical field myself. I don’t claim to know everything, but it’s
generally easy for me to tell if something medical or legal is authentic or not. It was a lovely change of
pace to not wonder if information had been pulled out of thin air, and I was able to spend
more time reading the story as opposed to questioning the plausibility or veracity of the
situation.

Brad uncovering the mystery of the hospital financials was my favorite part of this book.
The “cloak and dagger” feel of Brad’s interviews with witnesses, the threat of danger as big
players came to light, and when the threat of danger became reality—it was all very
exciting. When Brad’s big story finally broke, it was a thrill to see that it yielded
positive results and real change—the kind of outcome Brad yearned for as a reporter.
Without giving anything away, I also truly loved the ending, and while it was a happy one,
it wasn’t one-hundred percent perfect. It was, however, true to life and beautiful. It made
me smile and helped to restore my faith in humanity just a little bit.

There were a few things I struggled with early on in this book. Brad came across as
juvenile, and he was prone to being overdramatic in his thoughts when conflict arose. One
particular niggle of mine was how he pouted and begrudged Cory’s excitement over a career
opportunity that he’d been longing for, but had also included the possibility of relocating.
While it certainly would not have been ideal for their relationship, it was unfair of Brad
to think Cory didn’t care or that he’d never intended for their relationship to progress.

This was also a book that could have benefitted more from employing the fade-to-black
technique when it came to the characters getting physical. The sex scenes felt awkward, and
at times, purple prosey. For example, near the conclusion of one such scene, “…Cory drove
them both to the crest of their wave of passion.” Some may enjoy such descriptions, but I do
not. Thoughts of sex popped up at random points with both characters and often took me out
of the story as well. While it’s natural for healthy young men to think about sex every X
number of seconds, it’s jarring to read when it does nothing to further the plot. It was
also inconsistent with their actions. In one scene when both Brad and Cory were making out
on the couch, they paused for Brad to give a long-winded explanation of his entire sexual
history and his purpose in college, and when he’d just said that he wanted Cory so badly, it confused me that he wanted to stop and talk. A lot of times, when Cory opened his mouth, it just made me want to start skimming. In addition, phrases like “cupped his butt cheeks” completely threw me off. It made the
characters feel much younger when the word “ass” was never used—despite the use of the go-to words to reference a man’s penis. It’s my belief that the word “butt” should only be used in
a comical sense in a sex scene, otherwise, it feels like the characters are kids.

Other niggles included a lot of repetition (there was one sentence where the word “answer”
appeared three times), inconsistencies (Brad leaving Cory’s house without putting his shirt
back on, Cory’s sister feeding her baby approximately fifteen minutes after telling Cory
she’d just fed her), unnecessary detail that felt more like filler than description to
immerse the reader in the scene (describing nightly or morning routines that read like
bulleted lists), and lastly, I just did not connect with Cory and his grief over the loss
he’d experienced. I get that there’d been a few months since Cory lost his best friend and
the son he’d been planning to adopt, and that different people grieve in different ways, but
his grief just did not come across for me. We’re told that Cory was sad and that he missed
them both, but it was all too matter of fact and did nothing to pull me in.

In conclusion, I was disappointed to not connect with the story I’d wanted to connect with,
but the subplots and exciting action throughout the final third of the book, and the sweet
ending made In Search of a Story a three-star read.

1 comment

  • As I mentioned to you when you requested this book for review, I really wanted to read it. Now I’m not so sure. Granted the last third seems to have made up somewhat for the disappointment you experienced in the first two thirds but I would probably have given up by that time. I still might read it for the mystery but not for the romance.

    A wonderful review K.C., it’s too bad it doesn’t fully endorse the book. 🙁

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