I struggled with one of the MCs but loved the quality of the writing

Top Shelf (Seacroft, #1)Top Shelf by Allison Temple

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I struggled for quite a bit of this book. Not with the quality of the writing, that is excellent, but with the characters.

While I could find sympathy for Martin, for the vast majority of the narrative I thought Seb was an utter arse and didn’t feel any connection to him as a character I wanted to root for.

This is very clever writing on the part of the author, it bucks the trend in romance to have the reader fighting for the couple over everything else.

But, I wasn’t sure really whether I actually wanted them to be together. Even finding out why Seb behaved as he did wasn’t enough justification for me. For most of the book he just comes across as a whiny and entitled drama queen (sorry!)

Strangely though, I loved Seb when he talked about his art, when he encouraged his young friend Cassandra with her artwork, when he oozed charm to help the efforts of the fund-raising Blues Festival, I wish I’d seen more of that Seb.

Even when he and Martin get together, he still behaves like an arse and, for me anyway, I just couldn’t believe he was justified in it and that took the edge of what could have been a really great slow burn romance.

So, great writing, a good solid narrative, but a character who proved just a bit too unsympathetic to win me over made me drop down a star for my rating. I will definitely be checking out the second book in the series about Seb’s brother Oliver though.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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