Al­ways Red

Is­abelle Ronin Source­books (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $15.99 (384pp) 978-1-4926-5848-1

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction - SHANA CREANEY

Ronin’s is a series that holds fast to the no­tion of true love and the clas­sic ideal of a res­cuer.

Al­ways Red hinges on the idea of love con­quer­ing all and be­ing worth any cost.

Veron­ica, called Red, has just had a dev­as­tat­ing ar­gu­ment with her love in­ter­est, Caleb. Af­ter falsely ac­cus­ing him of cheat­ing on her, she dis­cov­ers that she is will­ing to wait, fight, and earn Caleb’s trust and af­fec­tion back. She now knows that she loves him. Up un­til now, it has been Caleb who does as much for Red, cit­ing his im­me­di­ate and un­re­lent­ing sense of right­ness in their re­la­tion­ship.

Red and Caleb face prob­lems of dif­fer­ing up­bring­ings, so­cial class, and op­por­tu­ni­ties. Caleb is rich and spoiled. Red has come from a tur­bu­lent and lonely life. He is used to get­ting what he wants, and she is used to keep­ing peo­ple at arm’s length. Their con­flicts hinge heav­ily

on these dif­fer­ences, and quirks in their in­ter­ac­tions are some­times un­com­fort­able.

Caleb is pre­sented as a ro­man­tic but is some­times con­trol­ling, though his eas­ily piqued tem­per is of­ten for­given af­ter con­tin­u­ous apolo­gies. Red, who has an abu­sive fa­ther, notes the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Caleb and her fa­ther but brushes them aside. Such con­cerns aren’t ad­dressed in depth, and the leads don’t grow be­yond them.

The story fol­lows much-loved genre con­ven­tions, with prob­lems quickly solved, mis­un­der­stand­ings that abound, and sit­u­a­tions that reach quite dra­matic heights. This is no bad thing;

Al­ways Red is, sim­ply put, a ro­mance novel that fits a niche. Its story is re­as­sur­ing; there is never a ques­tion that Red and Caleb will wind up to­gether. It fin­ishes what it starts. Ronin’s is a series that holds fast to the no­tion of true love and the clas­sic ideal of a man swoop­ing in to res­cue a damsel in dis­tress as its cor­ner­stones.

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