Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Reviewed by Joanna

We’re back with Reed and Ella, and he’s been arrested for…

Wait! Book two ended in a cliff hanger so don’t read on if you fancy this series. It’s full of over privileged teenagers being awful to one another, a poor girl thrust into a family of five hot brothers, and broken homes aplenty.

Back to it. Reed is arrested for the crime perpetrated at the end of book two. A murder of someone close to the family. He says it wasn’t him, but Ella has a tiny slither of doubt. She hates thinking it, but can’t deny what she saw. He had blood on his shirt and a pretty strong motive.

The cops set about making a case against Reed, and it isn’t a secret as the whole school community seems to know every fact.

Oh! And Steve, Ella’s deceased father, has shown up. Nine months after he went missing doing an extreme sports thing, he’s suddenly back from the dead, sporting a full beard and a strange story. This wasn’t exactly plausible but hey, it’s fiction, so I went with it.

When I notice Steve at the counter, I jump in surprise. I know it’s crazy, but I keep forgetting about him. It’s like my brain isn’t capable of handling more than one crisis at a time, and Reed possibly going to jail is the only thing I can focus on.

Yeah, even his own daughter forgot about him.

Now Ella and Reed became committed to one another in book two, and the love was declared. The only relationship development left for this book was for them to have full sex with one another, and for Ella to lose her virginity. To be frank, this aspect of the story was strung out, and the sneaking around and false barriers put between them were tiring and not all that exciting.

When they managed to sneak away and get to the main event, it was underwhelming and didn’t seem to mean anything. No plot points spawned from their closeness, and it changed nothing about them. They were already there.

There were two places where this happening would’ve been much better situated for the emotional impact – after they declared they were in love in book two, or right before Reed was due to be carted off to jail for his murder conviction.

That side of the story – the murder trial, with Reed’s reluctant miserableness and Ella’s enthusiastic detective work, was padded out with typical high school scenes. In many ways this story was like a soap opera, and where it might appeal to a younger audience, I got bored. The on and off nature of their friends’ relationship got a ton of air time without really delivering any value to the plot, there was a school dance without much dancing, and lots of flashing the cash. The only side character I really enjoyed seeing outside the family was Jordan, the bitch queen of the school. She was mean but at least she was interesting.

Ella’s weird father was awful and did all sorts of bad stuff. I was more annoyed that Ella didn’t tell him where to go than I was at him being a crap parent. She lost her personality. There are no seventeen-year-olds that I know who would’ve capitulated to this man’s demands. E.g. you can’t work there. You need to live with me now. You can’t date that boy. Seriously? He didn’t even know Ella existed until a week ago.

Overall I found this a slog to get through, and was only marginally interested in the ending. I predicted the result, though not the reason, and it fell a bit flat. The part of this story I originally was interested in – Ella’s rags to riches and the relationship with each of the five brothers, had been delivered and there was nothing new.

The next book in the series finally picks up another brother – hurrah for that – but it’s another cliffhanger with the concluding part not out till January. I really like Easton but the slow plotting and overstuffing of the books mean I won’t jump to read his story until both parts are out.

For those of you who like serialized fiction, Gideon’s tale is currently being added by weekly chapter to Wattpad. Just search on the author’s name.

Rating: C-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Twisted Palace
by Erin Watt
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Publisher: Everafter Romance

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