By Ashley Simone
Series: Undeniable, Book 1
My Rating: 3 Stars
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Undeniable is book one in the Undeniable series by Ashley Simone. Allison Nobokov is a recent college graduate who studied to be an accountant. She lost her accounting job and now waits tables in a diner to make ends meet while she looks for a new job in her field. She’s barely scrapping by when one night an attractive business man enters the diner where he inadvertently leaves a file behind. Allie, chases him down, returning the folder. The mysterious stranger drives off into the night and Allie moves on assuming she won’t ever see him again. As chance would have it, Allie runs into the mysterious stranger one night weeks later while in a bar. He introduces himself as Zac. Allie is again attracted to him for inexplicable reasons. When they touch, it’s like lightning and she can’t ignore it. Fate seems to be on Allie’s side that night as Zac ends up driving her home from the bar. Just when Allie thinks things might be moving in a positive direction for her the mysterious Zac disappears into the night. Weeks later, Allie is online and sees the following on a dating site “I met a girl in a Williamsburg diner, and I can’t get her out of my head.” Allie knows it must be Zac. She takes a chance in replying to the ad to see if he bites. When he does and presents a solution to Allie’s biggest problem she can’t help but accept. But Zac is secretive and she knows very little about him. Not to mention Allie is insanely inexperienced and doesn’t know what she’s truly walking into by agreeing to see him.
I’ll be honest, this book has a lot of potential. It’s not horribly written though there are some slightly awkward parts and some of the dialogue seems a bit forced. But Simone does a good job of developing a highly suspenseful and mysterious plot line. The build-up is well done and kept me highly engaged. What I found most impressive is the level of mystery in this story. It’s not something I usually look for in New Adult Romance and often when I find it, it’s not well done. I didn’t think that was the case with this story. I couldn’t help but think that something was slightly off with Allie’s brother Joel. Clearly he wasn’t telling her everything and he was using the innocence of Allie to play with her and get what he wanted. In addition, Zac is clearly keeping secrets. Never wanting to reveal anything about himself or what he does. He always seems to chose his words very carefully so as not to give anything away. All of this added to the build-up in the book. And I’m not sure about anyone else, but I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Zac was into something illegal, and maybe perhaps if he and Allie’s brother were somehow connected. This portion of the story ended with a huge cliffhanger which I didn’t really care for, but who does with books. This wasn’t really a full book, but a third of one. I’m eager to see where the story goes and how it ends. I’ve added the next two parts to my To Read list.
A couple of items that distracted me from the storyline. There were some word choices that I thought were odd. For example referring to cash as notes and license plate as numberplate. These were awkward word choices and most likely are a reference of where Simone is from or grew up. It’s always advisable to use the words and slang of the country for which you are writing, and I would hope that this would be corrected in the published version of the book but sadly it wasn’t. Incorrect word usage and slang for an area significantly distracts from the storyline especially for readers in that country as it pulls them entirely out of the story. Other than that, though, this was an overall acceptable story and one that I’ll likely recommend to other readers, assuming the subsequent parts are equally as good.