In Lust is Easy, Love is Complicated, Joseph Rivers, the self-proclaimed “award winning” author writes about the internal struggle of a woman trying to decide if she should give love a chance. Although the premise is good, the writing itself is lacking something special.
The main character, Noni, is somewhat unrealistic and, as a woman, difficult to relate to. She appears to have no flaws or insecurities, and is described as beautiful, successful and in many ways just seems conceited. In fact this is evident from the outset, when it is mentioned that she just “knows” that all of the men in her office are lusting after her. Then again, I find myself questioning if I should expect anything else of a male writer trying to write from a woman’s perspective? Am I expecting the quality of writing which one could expect of a Helen Fielding or Sophie Kinsella novel? The answer is probably yes, however I don’t think this means we shouldn’t expect a character who is at least like-able as the main protagonist. Regardless of who writes it, any writer should know their demographic, and I believe Rivers simply does not.
The quality of the dialogue is also lacking, and at times cheesy. The author appears to like over-using the word “girl” as a term of endearment between female friends. This could have been used as an endearing way to differentiate one of the characters with potentially great effect, but because all of the female characters use the term, it simply comes across as another example of how Rivers lacks an understanding of the female friendship dynamics. It was also particularly frustrating when one of the characters started to plug another of Rivers’ books, in a clearly shameless attempt to encourage the reader to buy his other book.
Further to this there were so many typographical errors in the body of the work; that it was actually difficult to read. Clearly Rivers did not obtain his “award” for proof-reading. It could be argued of course that an independent author should not be held to the same standard as print books, however I disagree. There are plenty of indie authors who produce high quality works, which are well structured and edited, and these works are the bench mark that authors should work to.
The story itself could have some merit, if a little more effort was put in. In fact I may have been able to overlook all of the other faults listed above if the story had measured up. Unfortunately the story ended leaving me wondering where the rest of the book was. A cruel joke where Rivers leaves the reader hanging after just introducing what should have been the beginning of a great plot development. Maybe he intended to leave it that way, however it reads like he just didn’t know where to take the story next so decided to publish it anyway without actually finishing the story.
All in all I would say it’s an OK first attempt at the beginning of a novel, but without a middle or an ending, I can honestly say that I would have been annoyed with the purchase if the e-book had not been free.
Genre: Romance (Supposedly)