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Ratings and Reviews (1 2 star ratings
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3.5 out of 5
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    2.5 stars- A love triangle that didn't quite work

    Count the Shells is a historical romance set in the fictional town of Porthkennack on the Cornish coast of England. The book takes place after World War I, with both heroes being veterans who are still dealing with the emotional and physical aftereffects of the war. Historical romance isn’t typically a preferred genre of mine, but I’ve quite enjoyed the Porthkennack contemporary romances and I like this author, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, Count the Shells ended up being a bit of a miss for me. The plotline of Count the Shells had good potential. However, the book led with a lot of descriptive scenes and nonessential conversations which got the book off to a sluggish start. The slow pace was enough that I considered not finishing the book. Once the heroes met, the pace steadily shifted. Additionally, some revelations added tension to the plot and refocused my attention. Although the pacing improved, I had other issues with the storyline that kept me from becoming invested in the characters and romance. I usually like love triangles, but I find those that involve a sibling are trickier to navigate. In Count the Shells Michael meets his former lover’s younger brother, Harry. Harry’s brother passed away during the war so there isn’t a traditional triangle or any cheating, but Michael’s frequent comparisons of the brothers left me feeling a little muddled. In fact, for a good part of the book, it felt as though Harry was a placeholder for his dead brother. Following a few surprise reveals, the dynamic between Harry and Michael certainly improved. However, the twists kept coming, and eventually it tipped into the overdramatized realm where angst overshadowed the romance and any emotions growing between Harry and Michael. As a result, I never really saw this as a promising couple. I thought there was a lot of potential in the plot, but Count the Shells was a case of a book and characters that failed to secure my attention. Because I never wholly believed in the couple, the languid pacing and dramatics became off-putting. I do really like this series and will continue it, this one simply missed the mark for me. *eARC received via Netgalley. The publisher and author had no influence over this review*
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