Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Forever With Me (With Me in Seattle #8) by Kristen Proby

Dominic Salvatore seemingly has everything a man could want. He’s found a new relationship with his father and the entire Montgomery family. His vineyard, Coppa di Vita, is a success. There’s only one thing that eludes him: a certain driven, intelligent, sexy as hell blonde named Alecia.

Alecia works tirelessly building her event planning business. It’s the most important part of her life. Despite the beautiful, lavish weddings she organizes, Alecia is convinced that the idea of true love is a myth. While Dominic is a sexy, intriguing man, welcoming the handsome Italian into her bed, and her life, is a risk she’s not so sure she’s willing to take.

However Dominic isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and it’s not long before these two are burning up the sheets and discovering a connection that neither can deny. But will it be strong enough to last forever?
~My Review~

I have been waiting patiently for the release of this book.  I read the others in the series, having found Come Away with Me last year at some point.  When I started the series, I was able to read quite a few of the books, including Come Away with Me, Under the Mistletoe with Me, Fight with Me, Play with Me, Rock with Me, and Safe with Me.  As Tied with Me and Breathe with Me were released, I read those as well.  I absolutely love the Montgomery Family (and the Williams Family), and have loved all the books in the series.  I was actually looking forward to Forever with Me; we really don't know a ton about Dominic, other than that he is Steven's son who connected with the family as a grownup.  But we do know that he has meshed into the fold quite easily.  I knew that his story would be about him and Alecia, but I wasn't sure how the book was going to play out.  I really enjoyed the book, but it wasn't my favorite in the series.

We already knew a bit about the characters coming into this book, as Alecia has been around since Natalie's baby shower in Fight with Me, and Dominic has been around since Safe with me.  However, I felt like a good job was done building up these characters and giving them more of a back story.  We understand a lot more about Alecia, and who she is as a person, not just a party planner.  We also get to know Dominic more, and realize how much he values the family that he is now a part of.  I really liked reading those parts of the story.

Being Italian myself, I was really interested to read Dom's story.  We've obviously been in Dom's company in the past, and I remembered that in Safe with Me, when he first meets the family at the bar/pool hall, he says some things in Italian to the family.  I was surprised that the Italian was incorrect.  Well, it was correct, but the tenses were wrong and the translation was literal.  You only get those kinds of translations when you use a tool like Google translate.  My friend who knows some French said the same thing about that scene when Brynna speaks in French.  It's technically correct, but not actually correct.  While there was an improvement in this book, I still saw a lot of the same, and I was disappointed by that.  I feel that when you're writing a character that speaks a different language, you really need to go out of your way to make sure that the language is correct.

I think there were two major things that really stuck out to me in the incorrect translations in this book:  The first being when Dom is at lunch with Nat and Jules.  Dom calls Jules "sorellina," which does mean little sister.  But when they ask how to say big brother, Dom replies with "grande fratello."  Italian is one of those languages where the adjective (big in this case) often comes after the noun (brother).  So the translation of big brother ends up turning into brother big.  So the first mistake is putting the adjective before the noun.  The second mistake is that grande means big. As in large.  The correct translation should be "fratello maggiore," where maggiore means older, which is what is intended here, I believe.

The second major translation that stuck out to me was at Will and Meg's rehearsal dinner, when Dom calls Stella bella (which is correct, since Stella is a girl), but then he says, "il mio dolce bambino."  What he should have said was, "la mia dolce bambina" ... If you're talking about the same person (and in this case we're talking about Stella) you need to keep the femininity throughout.  It's an easy mistake to make since in English we don't have a gender determination, but it's a careless mistake and should have been picked up.  A man who was raised in Italy never would have made this kind of mistake.

There are some other phrases that Dom uses, and while they are a literal translation (you can put them into Google Translator and get the exact translation), they do make sense.  While i feel like my Italian is good, there are some words that I don't know, so I would assume that the translations are, for the most part, correct.  I mean, google translate is a good tool to use, but I feel like you should always consult someone who really knows the language before you publish something like that.

Other than my obsession with the language in this book, I did enjoy the story.  I do have to admit that at some times, I wished it would move in a bit of a different direction.  Almost everything for the first 60% of the book revolves around Will and Meg's wedding.  I understand that a scene was trying to be set up to put Alecia and Dom in the same locations, while giving information about how they work in their jobs, but it just got a bit boring.  None of the other books revolved around one subject so much like that, and I found it odd.  However, I loved the continuation of the family dynamic with all of the siblings.  I liked how it showed Dom really enjoying the time he spends with his other siblings, and how the girls (Nat and Jules) help give him advice on how to get Alecia to go out with him.  I also loved how the other sibling's stories got completed (I can't expand on this without giving things away).

I was a little confused as to the timing of this book.  At first I couldn't figure out if this timeline was running concurrent with another story or if it was coming after Breathe with Me.  As it turned out, it was kind of running concurrent since Jax and Logan get married toward the end of the book.  I was having trouble figuring out certain things....Like were Mark and Meredith already engaged?  Or were they still dating?  etc.

There is conflict in the book.  There are past lovers and Alecia's backstory of her crazy parents, and while there was resolution, I did feel like a couple of the conflicts were thrown in just to make more of a story.  The resolution was fairly quick with all of the conflict, so it wasn't drawn out unnecessarily, but it was still a little to fast paced.  Since we did get to understand Alecia's parents a little bit better, I would have loved to see some better conflict resolution with them, and I would have loved to actually see what happened with Dom and his cousins in Italy, rather than just a passing comment about how everything was fixed.

All in all, I felt like it was a good book.  I do, however, feel like the characters from the previous book really helped me to like this book more.  In a way, I felt like this not only was a story about Dom and Alecia, but also a massive epilogue to tie together some of the other stories that weren't totally finished in their own books.  I really do wish that we had been able to get more material about Dom and Alecia and how their story really came to a close, but it still ended well.  The final epilogue was actually written in Steven Montgomery's point of view, and as the patriarch of the family, it was nice to close a lot of things out and see where the whole family was.

Overall, a fun read and a nice closeout to the series!!

Other books in the series:
Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle #1) (Natalie and Luke)
Under the Mistletoe with Me (With Me in Seattle #1.5) (Stacy and Issac)
Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle #2) (Jules and Nate)
Play with Me (With Me in Seattle #3) (Meg and Will)
Rock with Me (With Me in Seattle #4) (Leo and Sam)
Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle #5) (Brynna and Caleb)
Tied with Me (With Me in Seattle #6) (Nic and Matt)
Breathe with Me (With Me in Seattle #7) (Meredith and Mark)
Forever with Me (With Me in Seattle #8) (Alecia and Dom)

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