Title: Beneath These Fields (World of Love Series)
Author: Ward Maia
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Page Count: 144
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Sometimes true worth is well hidden.
Ellis Campos is a successful divorce lawyer with little to no time for a personal life. His predictable routine is disrupted when he inherits a coffee farm from an estranged aunt. There’s no room in his life for all the complications that come with managing a farm in another state. But his plans to quickly sell it and go back to the big city fall apart when he’s manipulated into spending a week on the estate.
Adding to the unexpected surprises, he meets Rudá, a native Brazilian who works on the farm, and while teaching him about his aunt’s home and family, also tempts Ellis like no one ever has.
He doesn’t expect his life to change in such a short time, but as he finds value and comfort in the farm’s routine, Ellis quickly realizes that, like the land itself, Rudá has secrets that could send him running back to Rio.
Whooo boy. I’m going to struggle with this review. I bounced off this story and labored to finish. I’ll try to organize my thoughts coherently.
Ellis. I felt nothing for Ellis. I couldn’t empathize with his character at all. First two thirds of the book he’s angry at his estranged aunt for dumping a coffee farm on him. He’s angry at his upbringing. He’s angry at his family. In addition, Ellis’s age and being a successful high profile divorce lawyer was off kilter given his past. And his first thought to sell the farm without looking into its viability as an asset? Ignorance. I found Ellis to be an unlikable character.
Ruda. Handsome with a dimple. Two dimensional character who had no emotional substance for me. I struggled to understand why he would be attracted to an angry Ellis.
The Romance. What romance?
The setting. I was looking forward to reading a story set in Brazil and I really didn’t get what I was hoping for. For myself, you could have taken the setting and plunked it just about anywhere they grow coffee – Mexico, Columbia, South Africa… I didn’t get a sense it was Brazil other than reference to Rio.
This is in the World of Love series so you know you’re going to get your HEA. The ending was sweet, a nice bit of happy redemption, and a positive resolution to the plot. But for myself, it was struggle to get there. Perhaps you’ll find it more to your liking than I did.