Review of ‘[Un]Common Ground’ by Erica Abbott, Pol Robinson
This was a cute story. This book was actually a co-written story by Erica Abbott and Pol Robinson. I was really saddened when I heard at the virtual GCLS this summer that Abbott had passed away. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while and her Alex and C.J. series holds a special place in my crime book-loving heart. Actually, her character of C.J. St. Clair is so well written that she is one of my all-time favorite characters in lesfic. I could not help but feel melancholy reading this book but at the same time, I feel lucky to have had a new book by Abbott to read.
This was a fast read. It had a bit of a beach read feel to it. An easygoing, sweet romance with a bit of humor sprinkled throughout. Actually, I was surprised by some of the humor. I always complain that my funny bone is broken when it comes to books, but at one point I laughed out loud so loudly that I actually startled myself. In case anyone is interested it was the scene when Sara is alone with Margaret’s mother… it’s really funny.
I found myself enjoying both main characters. Margaret is, well let’s just say that she is difficult to like in the beginning. However, I surprised myself about how quickly I warmed up to her as a character. Eventually, she completely won me over and I actually felt like I connected with her character more than the “sweet do-gooder” character of Sara.
While I didn’t connect to Sara as much, I liked her character’s background and that she was born in Nepal. I’m not sure how the book was divided up if Abbott took one character and Pol the other. I’m more used to Abbott’s crime writing (which is very different than this) and Robinson is new to me so I could not tell. I thought the book felt seamless and like it was written by one author which I’m guessing was the goal.
While I do like a lighter, sweeter romance at times, I did find myself wishing for more. I wanted more emotions, more chemistry, and just an overall deeper dive into the characters. At times I felt things were more on the surface. I get that this style fits more for this type of lighthearted romance, it’s just not my personal preference.
The other issue had to do with the big angst moment. This is a low angst book and unfortunately the one bit of angst it had, I did not like. For some reason, this is happening more often in romance books for me. Anyway, in this case, I just didn’t understand why one character was hurt/angry. The other character did her a favor and really saved her from major issues, so why the anger? Having to always have these big angst moments at the end of the book annoys me on its own. If you have to have it, fine, just please make the angst something believable and heartbreaking so it actually affects the reader.
If you are looking for a quick read that has an easygoing feel and a sweet romance, this might be the book for you. For readers out there that are new to Erica Abbott, I would highly recommend ‘Fragmentary Blue’. It’s a great crime series and you don’t want to miss out on getting to know the wonderful C.J. St. Clair. Rest in peace Erica Abbott. 3.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.