Recommendation: A decent book with solid writing. Love story romance isn’t really my preferred genre and most of my complaints about this novel can be attributed to that single fact. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the love stories, this will keep you going. Even though it’s not my cup of tea, the quality is undeniably above what you’d expect from a self-pub title.
Heather Walsh’s The Drake Equation is a romance novel that follows Emily, an environmentally conscious woman in her mid-twenties working in a tiny Northern town at an environmental non-profit. Convinced of her cause and determined to make a difference, Emily’s presence has helped her company, Geo-Force, grow and nab some recognition in their conservative town. But Emily’s life is shaken up when she meets Robert, a smart, attractive man who works for a SUV-producing car company. Robert and Emily are immediately attracted to and challenged by one another, but will that be enough to overcome their different beliefs and values?
So as I mentioned, this wasn’t the kind of book that I normally go in for, and The Drake Equation didn’t exactly change my mind on the matter. Simply put, I just don’t find these types of stories terribly compelling, regardless of how well they are put together. To me, the roadblocks that characters set up for themselves in these stories (eco-friendly vs. SUV manufacturer in this one) always feel a tad contrived and extremely frustrating. And, since these “conflicts” are usually drawn out over 300 pages, I inevitably feel like I’ve been reading a story I already knew. To Heather Walsh’s credit, The Drake Equation is not nearly as one-track as many of the other stories in this genre, and it was a much more interesting read because of that, but it still didn’t grip me the way I’d like it to.
One thing that did impress me was Walsh’s writing. As a self-published book, I expected a decent plot but some sketchy writing and was pleasantly surprised by Walsh’s prowess. She has an understanding of dialogue that could make many romance novelists look foolish, and she puts it to great work throughout this story. Her main characters are well conceived and fully fleshed out, and her writing style keeps everything flowing along at a perfect pace. There are little hiccups here and there, especially when Walsh tries to transition into explaining a character’s history, but these are small issues that don’t compare to the author’s strengths in major areas.
In the end, this book was never going to be one of my favorites. It’s just not the type of story I get invested in, personally. But, for anybody who has softer feelings toward romantic love stories and enjoys the books of Kristan Higgins and other renowned authors in this area will definitely enjoy this one. It might be a self-published book, but it is as polished as any of the romance novels I’ve ever read, so don’t hesitate to go grab it.