Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Book Review: Ramon - Rob Del Rio

Synopsis - Mexican bolero singing sensation, Ramon Ponce, finds his overnight success as an international recording artist threatened by a stalking fan at the end of his concert tour San Antonio, Texas.   Intent on defending himself from an attack, he contacts local gringo, firearm instructor, Ricky Johnson, to train him in last minute self-defence tactics.  Removing their hats and sunshades at the shooting range, they discover an uncanny resemblance to one another.  Offered a hefty price to switch places, the Texan agrees to appear on stage as the singer's double, not expecting a devious scandal and paparazzi heyday to follow a PR trap he falls victim to, hours before the concert.  Determined to save Ramon's public reputation, the Texas gunman learns the price of fame and success, at the expense of true love, living the singer's life for 24 hours and discovering the secrets behind the broken-hearted love songs he writes for the woman of his dreams.  Inspired to save his own failing marriage, Ricky plots to win back the heart of his wife with an English version of Ramon's latest, unreleased bolero, held in his possession as guarantee of payment for surviving the singer's final performance.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Review - I won the e-book Ramon from LibraryThing Early Reviewers give-away.  Sadly this book was not for me.  There was nothing particularly wrong with the writing, it just did not grab me.

I did find the change from Spanish to English quite confusing and a distraction.  I think for English speaking readers the book should have stuck to English.  I understood the author was showing the reader that the main character's first language was Spanish, but the way it was woven in detracted from the story.  Also, published as an e-book I felt the typeset wasn't quite right either, it was a bit hard on the eyes.  The narrative seemed quite jumpy from paragraph to paragraph.  I found it quite difficult to empathise or really understand the characters.  I would have preferred to have more detail and background information.

I realise this is a first novel and it is a pretty good start to a writer's career.  I wonder if the book was deliberately kept short for trial purposes. I would have liked the storyline to have developed further, there could have been more depth and interest.  2*

Kindle: ASIN: B006M1L1NQ

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