Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by NoeRD. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Mid-Length Contemporary category.

The summary:

Brothers Jude and Ryan McAllister are inseparable. When Jude stepped in to raise Ryan after the death of their mother, it became the two of them against the world. But the scars it left were bone-deep. Then Lizzie Price comes along.

Lizzie hopes Ryan’s kindness can help heal her wounds from a toxic relationship. But when she meets Jude, their powerful attraction makes him difficult to resist. The problem is, Lizzie doesn’t realize Jude and Ryan are brothers, and they don’t know they’re falling for the same girl.

By the time the truth comes out, everyone is in too deep. Ryan is in love, Jude is in denial, and Lizzie wants both brothers. All of them agree that no one deserves to get hurt. But love and desire have a way of testing even the strongest bonds.

Here is NoeRD’s review:

I think everybody who reads romance has one or twelve tropes that are not their cup of tea. For some it could be the unrequited love plot or the friends to lovers one. I only have two: spies and love triangles. Guess what? No James Bonds in this book. So, I was quite determined to start reading it.

For me, love triangles have only two outcomes: a polyamory situation or some character gets hurt. The former is something that doesn’t align with my personal tastes and I never read it outside of erotica (please, comment if you can recommend some non-erotic polyamory romance), and the latter just breaks my heart. I always pine for the one that doesn’t get chosen and it goes against the reason I read romance: the belief that there is a happy ending to everyone.

Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O tries very hard to be mature and to give the trope a realistic culmination and, although it can be said the issue is kicked in the butt, it fails in other aspects.

First let’s start with character building. Jude and Ryan are brothers with a very sad story. Their mother died when they were young and Jude is a father figure to Ryan. Jude is deep, he is intense, and he didn’t have time to be a just a boy because RESPONSIBILITIES. He saw his mother die in his arms. Jude is kind of a dick for like 80% of the book.

On the other hand there is Ryan. He is the younger one, the sensitive aspiring writer. He has a little stutter and his only fault is that he is young and a little immature. He is adorbs.

And then, there is Elizabeth. The character that is a trope in itself, the most insufferable type ever: the perfect woman. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, sassy, naïve and etc. She is a semi-nurse, she LOVES old people, knows how to cook, dresses simply, doesn’t sleep around and doesn’t drink. She even smells fricking good, I tell you. I’m going to let you guess who Lizzie choose to be her little smooch toy.

There are also some secondary characters that are going to get their own books but my issue with them is that there seems to be a lack of diversity in the lot.

I don’t want to come across like grumpy and I do understand that this is a first book (at least from what I got from the author’s website) but its main problem is that it reads amateurish. The book is narrated in the first person (so you’re warned), and the point of view changes between the three main characters but no one seems to have a voice of their own.

Overall, I enjoyed Tell Me How This Ends, and there is potential. I just would have liked a little more polished narrative and more depth besides giving the characters a backstory.

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Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O

November 1, 2016

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