Review: Completely by Ruthie Knox


Title: Completely (New York #3)
Author: Ruthie Knox
Date of publication: 26 Sept 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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My rating: 3 stars


Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.

Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.

The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. 


I loved the previous book and was really excited to read this one when I learned that it will be about Winston's ex wife. We rarely get romances with older women (she is 39) and I was looking forward to see how her second chance romance was handled. Sadly, this book did not work for me as well I expected. There are some things I liked about the story and the characters but the things that bothered me outnumber them.

This is a kind of opposites attract story, where she is white, older, richer, determined to find a new direction in life, while he is of mixed origin (white/Sherpa), a bit lost and directionless after having given up on his dreams.

They meet and come together under very dramatic circumstances, surviving an avalanche in the en route to mount Everest. It affects them deeper than anyone of them thinks initially and brings them very close together in a very short amount of time. But real life is not that simple and they have to face all the challenges it poses to them actually being together in the long term.

I loved all the tidbits on Everest and Nepal, Nepalese culture, the whole climber's/Sherpa's world we get to see in this story. They did give us a rich background into Kal's (and his family) world.

Still, I felt the story is very much focused on Rosemary and her journey to her new, post-divorce self. her personal struggles overshadowed to romance. As a whole it was Rosemary and the other women (her daughter, Kal's mother, May and Allie's mother) who were at the centre of this story and not the love between her and Kal. I would have loved to see more of the main characters together, working out their issues, overcoming their pasts and exploring their growing feelings for each other. 

That said I liked a lot of things about Rosemary. She has a complicated past that has shaped her, wants desperately find herself, to get her life back in track. She acts like an ice queen on the surface, she is very human on the inside, dealing with her own fears and insecurities. She seems to be goign in the wrong direction for most of the story, trying to make a clean break with the past only to come to realise that this is not possible, your past is part of you, it shaped who you are today and can help you become a better person in the future, avoiding the mistakes you have already made.

I found Kal rather interesting but sadly his character' arc felt very underdeveloped to me. He came second to the women in the book and we only got to see bits and pieces of his personality and the motivations behind his actions.

The i-love-yous were a bit sudden, too flashy and they didn't have me convinced of the depth of feelings between the hero and heroine. Overall, I was very underwhelmed with the romance aspect of the story.

My biggest issue beside the ones pointed above, is the white saviour narrative I read into the relationship between Rosemary and Kal's mother. I got the impression it was all about the personal fulfillment and professional success of the white woman who managed to convince the troubled and misunderstood WOC to let her tell her story to the world. And this all didn't sit well with me at all.

Overall, after loving Madly so much (it's one of the best romances I've read in 2017 so far) and generally being a fan of this author's work, I found Completely rather a let-down. I expected a lot more from it but ended up not enjoying it as much as I wanted to.

Purchase links: Amazon

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