Will Cadence and Fitz Find Their HEA?
We’re now 17 years after the end of Cadence Untouched, the first book in this duet. We first meet Cadence in her role as the owner of a non-profit that helps DACA individuals. She is surprised when her daughter’s date for the prom—whom her daughter states is just a friend—reminds her of Fitz. When she finds out his last name, she figures out that the young man must be his son. While doing her regular run at a different place in the city, she actually runs into Fitz. She had already determined to tell her daughter, Kallie, about her father; she had previously spun a tale that she didn’t know who her father was. Now, what will she tell Fitz?
I feel that the pacing wasn’t quite right with this book. I fully expected Cadence to tell Fitz about Kallie early in the book, maybe at the end of the first act or at least by the midpoint, so that the both of the book would follow the aftermath of the revelation and them all, perhaps, working toward becoming a family. Instead, the bulk of the book seemed to be about the evolving relationship between Cadence and Fitz, without her having divulged that they had a child. This might have been okay (though I think it still should have happened by the midpoint) if Cadence had wrestled more often with whether (and when) she should tell him. She did now and then (and not often for long) and more towards the end when it looks like the secret may get out anyway, but there definitely should have been more persistent inner conflict for Cadence. I thought Fitz sometimes still thought, spoke, and acted a trifle immature for his age (39).
The author clearly has some very strong political views about DACA and immigration, and she made Cadence very passionate about these topics. This is fine, but at times the dialogue felt more like political proselytizing than real conversation, which I think is unfortunate.
The end, to me, felt like it came out of nowhere. We know that Fitz’s father is a nasty piece of work, but I wasn’t expecting his cruelty and the dramatic way in which he exited the story. Unfortunately, the book had more than the common issues with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. At times plurals and possessives were confused, like panty’s vs. panties or references to family members as a group (e.g., the Millers, not the Miller’s). Some sections in italics weren’t properly italicized, with some formatting shifts coming within sentences and even words. There were some issues on occasion with capitalization.
Oh, and the author totally messed up which Austen novel Elizabeth Bennet is from; that dear heroine is from Pride and Prejudice, not Sense and Sensibility! Supposedly, Fitz read some Regency and Gothic novels to make him feel closer to Cadence. (They did have a discussion about the novels in Book One.)
If the first book got you emotionally invested in Cadence and Fitz, you would most likely want to read about their second chance at love. If you haven’t, this book could be read as a stand-alone, but the flaws in it and the pacing issues may be enough to distract you from reaching the end.