Review: Life’s Turned Upside Down by Anne Stone

Life’s Turned Upside Down:The Show Me Series #3

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 3 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

Gabriella Alvarez is the youngest of the Alvarez family. She’s watched her best friend marry her brother and another brother find love. Deep down, she’s looking for love, but she can’t quite shake the college sweetheart that broke her heart.

Dr. Ashton Holder works for the famous Alvarez practice. He and Gabriella have always clashed—she continues to see him only has the rough-edged doctor with no bedside manner, but he’s really made strides to put this image behind him.

When Gabriella discovers a secret from Ashton’s past, though, she does her best to help him uncover something that will change his life forever, but a misunderstanding between them rocks him to the core. When he finally uncovers the secret, he must learn to put his past aside and try and move on with a future willed with hope and dreams.

Life’s Turned Upside Down is the third book in Anne Stone’s Show Me series.
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My Thoughts:

Life’s Turned Upside Down is the third book in author Anne Stone’s The Show Me Series.  I was told that I would have no problem jumping into the series at book three, however, I did find it difficult to get into the story.  The beginning of the book includes a “reintroduction of characters” scene which is generally intended to help new readers jump into the story.  I found it a bit confusing since there were a lot of characters, and so many of them had names that started with the letter “A”.  Main characters Gabriella Alvarez and Ashton Holder have an unexplained animosity.  Even after a little background is revealed, the premise of their constant bickering seemed contrived without having fully read the prior books in the series.

The story premise is great, but the plot progresses slowly as Ms. Stone’s storytelling is very detailed.  Many of the details and scenes could have been edited out.  Life’s Turned Upside Down is like that decent 2.5 hour movie that, with some editing, would have been a great two hour movie.    I enjoyed the obvious weaving in of prior stories and their main characters.

The extended Alvarez family is emotionally rich and generous.  I felt like one of their welcomed guests while reading.  Their closeness and warmth was palpable.  The Holder family, on the other hand, is the example of the disastrous life styles of the rich and not-so-famous.  The two families definitely represented opposite extremes of parenting styles and family values.

Once Gabriella and Ashton stop bickering, they made a nice, albeit angsty, couple.  While both these characters are physically mature adults (they’re out of college with established careers), their damaged backgrounds made them emotionally stunted and relationship-shy.  I found some of their dialogue and behavior to be immature for their apparent age—after all, Life’s Turned Upside Down is not a young-adult or new-adult novel.

If you thoroughly enjoy detailed stories, this book of how these enemies became friends and then lovers is an enjoyable tale.  I’d highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series and reading the books in order to a complete picture of the numerous characters and the full back story.  Their developing relationship is believable in terms of timing and progression.  The story zenith and conclusion were everything a die-hard contemporary romance reader could hope for!


*****Giveaway: *****

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About The Author:  Anne Stone was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri but now lives in the cold state of Wisconsin with her faithful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She writes heartfelt sweet contemporary romance and is the author of the Show Me and Williams & Company series.


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