Beneath These Fields (World of Love)
Title: Beneath These Fields (World of Love)
Author: Ward Maia
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 154
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
When Ellis receives news that he has inherited his aunt's coffee farm in rural Brazil, he is stunned. He travels to the farm with plans to quickly sell it and return to his high pressure job and life in Rio. He encounters a relaxed lifestyle and a lovely property, but a delayed property transfer makes his planned short trip much longer. And soon Ellis comes to feel everyone is keeping a secret from him.
Along the way Ellis meets sexy Rudá who manages the farm, and slowly (very slowly) begins to appreciate the pace of life on the farm and bit by bit uncovers family secrets. I like the general premise of the story, but for only 150+ pages, the pace of this story feels very slow. Perhaps it's because so much of the book focuses solely on the sale of the farm and Ellis learning more about his aunt Meredith. It seems every conversation leads back to this issue and the story begins to feel too "one-note."
Ellis and Rudá's backgrounds are lightly fleshed out and personally I wanted more in-depth character development so I felt I really knew these characters. I like the feeling that the author evoked in the unexplicit sex scenes, but didn't sense a lot of on-page chemistry between the two MCs. And after all the foreshadowing about secrets, I feel many secrets (Ellis' family dynamic and the reason the estate attorney delayed the transfer - was he part of a plan to get Ellis to spend more time on the farm to grow to love it?) were left unresolved. The ending and epilogue show us a HEA, but seems to skim over Ellis' decision about the farm. Overall the story felt me feeling ... uninspired, although other readers may feel differently. 3 stars.