See Me – Nicholas Sparks

Okay, let me just begin by explaining that I didn’t intend on reading this book. I usually wouldn’t have. However, I ended up with a copy because I bought it for my sister for Christmas without realising she already had one. I don’t know if returning books is a thing… so I just kept it and read it.

Romance novels are not my thing, so you can understand how I came to this story with a huge amount of cynicism. Nicholas Sparks is a hugely successful writer, and he writes for his audience – but I am definitely not really a part of that target audience. Usually.

The main characters’ names are Maria and Colin. First of all, pfft. Such generic American names. And in classic boy-meets-girl fashion the story progresses with Colin (a hothead, anger issues, burly guy) falling head-over-heels for Maria (Mexican lawyer beauty), and vice versa. Yes, they are both smitten. I laughed (literally out loud) at the characters’ inner thoughts as they became attracted to one another:

Despite herself, Maria had to admit that Serena was right about the fact that Colin – when he wasn’t bruised, bloody, and soaking wet on a deserted stretch of road – was seriously good-looking. Oddly clean-cut despite his tattoos and powerful build, he had a quick, almost wry grin, and as far as she could tell, all three of the waitresses had crushes on him.

and

On the beach, Colin sat on a towel with Maria beside him, trying to ignore the way she looked in the black bikini that had been hidden beneath her clothing. Yesterday he’d viewed her as an intriguing stranger; while paddleboarding today, he’d come to view her as a friend; but now, he wasn’t sure what might come next. All he knew was that the black bikini was making it difficult to keep his thoughts straight.

Yes okay, okay! Two bloody hot people meet each other and be sexy together. We get it. Anyway, it feels like describing their obvious attraction like that is a bit too blatant to me, but sure.

Sparks writes See Me with the effortless, confident pace of someone who has done this a thousand times before. It amuses and impresses me at how speedily he progresses through the plot, not really spending any time on making his language beautiful. It’s all about the drive of the story and the action.

And I must admit, despite my initial cynicism, towards the middle of the book I found myself well and truly sucked in. The plot thickens, things get intense, there’s a trail of crime that I couldn’t quite figure out, despite thinking that it must be an obvious answer with such an obvious plot. (Although, Sparks sometimes kills off main characters, so you can’t really write off the idea of a serious plot twist).

By the action-packed end of the book I was gasping and groaning at the events that were unfolding, and my heart was pounding. My husband was a little worried about me. It was full on. This is not a book I’d read again probably, but certainly something you can tear through quickly with enjoyment.

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