Where Honesty Never Ends.
Note: This copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Greetings everyone! The Review Board here to share its thoughts on The Convict and the Rose by Jan Sikes. Without further delay, the Unleashed One.
The best way to convey my thoughts on The Convict and the Rose is to break it down into three parts.
The Good (Hoedown aka Pros)
Before I go on, the beauty in the visual presentation made me want to gulp down some liquid goodness, grab a “podnah”, and dance to the country music.
Now let’s get down to it.
The thing that I really enjoyed about this follow up to Flowers and Stone was the opportunity to get to know Luke Stone and the tribulations and revelations he experienced during his incarceration. In my earlier review, I was not a fan of his but this book really gave him a bit of redemption. I found out more background that was useful to understanding his mannerisms. I also appreciated that some of the supporting casts had stronger roles to play and assisted in Luke’s transformation.
The guru’s role was a nice read as well.
I also got a deeper glance into the time frame of this book, particularly with the popular use of drugs—from the spectrum of recreation to addiction. In some parts, one could really learn about each type and the effects, almost as an introduction to Drugs 101. The presentation of it gave the backdrop quite the cadence.
Perhaps it is the combination of the music lover and the poet in me, but it was great seeing song lyrics in the text to showcase Luke’s creativity and what type of songs his band conjured. It demonstrated that although he was behind bars, his talent and his drive to be a better person was not.
The Bad (Lil’ Hung Over aka Cons)
You ever have that feeling where if you took out a few words, or a few hundred words, you would still get the same exact story with the same exact feeling afterwards? That’s the leftover I experience with The Convict and the Rose. The main portion I believed dragged on for too long was the back and forth as it pertained to Darlina and her drug usage. If some of her episodes were condensed or taken out altogether, the story would have still been there.
While the character development of Luke was solid, I was not sold on the character growth of Darlina. There were certain mistakes she continued to make, even after she swore she had learned her lesson and how heartbroken Luke would be if she did things of said nature. Her whirlwind relationship with Will seemed a repeat of her early days with the rebellious Luke. Although she knew that Will was a “piss poor” replacement (and an unsuitable one) for Luke, the speed from friendship to relationship didn’t enthrall me.
Side Note: Besides drug use, riding on bikes, and going to bars, was there anything else to do in Texas in those days?
Where was I? Oh yes! Pace wise, it was still a tad bit slower than I wanted yet I charge that to the scenes mentioned previously which contributed to the moseying.
There was quite a bit of the F-bomb dropped in this book. It could have been to lend more authenticity to the jail chapters or to that time frame in general. For those readers (not me, per se) who doesn’t like a lot of “colorful language”, it would be a good idea to put in the blurb that there is some strong language that might cause offense.
After weighing everything, I’m ready to render my verdict, which will also be the overall TRB rating, since I have no “podnah” on this go round.
Unleashed Verdict (and overall TRB score): 7.5 Stars
The Surprise (Dishing On the Experience)
With the first book in the Flowers and Stone series I confess to being a bit on the fence. Yet the significant strength and message in this second book made a difference for me in regards to enjoyment.
If you are a reader who believes strongly in the power of redemption and want a story with a leisurely pace, then this book can work for you. There is enough back story told to where you won’t necessarily have to read the first book, which serves as a plus. However, it would be good to compare the Luke and Darlina of the first one to the Luke and Darlina of the 2nd one.
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