“Here with Me” by Brooke Montgomery left me with mixed feelings. The story revolves around Noah Hollis, the youngest in her family with protective older brothers, and her pursuit of becoming a sought-after horse trainer. She crosses paths with Fisher, a Ferrier who is estranged from his son due to the loss of his daughter 15 years ago. While there’s an instant connection between them, the novel has its fair share of shortcomings.
The narrative incorporates a “Grandma Connection” and references to age gaps and scrapbooks that felt dated. The plot pacing was off, and the suspense came across as contrived. The attempt to infuse a deep southern accent and cadence into the dialogue felt forced rather than charming.
The romance between Noah and Fisher is based on insta-lust but mostly fades to black after foreplay, leaving readers wondering what’s so magical about their connection. Their on-again-off-again dynamics left me unconvinced about the magnetic pull or angst that should drive such a forbidden love story, especially considering Fisher’s tragic past and absentee father role in his son’s life, which made him rather unlikable.
Repetition is a notable issue in the novel, with characters’ actions, dialogue, and side characters’ stories and backgrounds retold excessively. This repetition could have been trimmed to focus on the development of Noah and Fisher’s relationship, which would have helped sell their instant-love dynamic better.
Additionally, the book is bogged down by too many forced and repetitive pop culture references that didn’t add depth or charm to the narrative.
“Here with Me” by Brooke Montgomery has its moments but falls short in several aspects. While the premise offers potential, it struggles to fully engage the reader due to issues with pacing, character development, and unnecessary repetition. The romance between the main characters lacks the depth and chemistry needed to make their forbidden love story truly compelling.