Cover Image: Off the Grid

Off the Grid

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Member Reviews

I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley # netgalley

Wow this book was really hard to put down. Very good.
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The writing felt stilted, overly simplistic, and a little dull. I liked the concept for this book but I couldn't get invested in it because of the writing itself.
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Hollywood icon Andrew Clarke has had enough. His work, his fame, and the pressures of success have sent him deep into the wilds of Michigan for a much needed private escape. Little did he know that when he got there he would find everything his heart desired.

What worked well: The premise was great. I love the idea of this famous Hollywood hunk going into middle-America and finding not only a passionate love affair but inner peace. The main characters were well-developed and had the typical Midwestern simplicity and charm. The setting was also really nice. I love the idea of a working farm, a farm girl and her sweet Gran, struggling along to save the family farm and put delicious food on the table. The little Michigan town was a perfect backdrop.

What didn't work so well: Everything was very rushed. Andrew and Ellie's romance could have been the entire focus of a book at least twice as long. I didn't like that the romances between Ryan and Amber and Colt and Sage were included, they could easily have been eluded to and turned into entire books of their own. Not spending enough time to build the bond between Andrew and Ellie naturally made the whole story seem more sketchy than romantic, especially when Andrew's doing weird stuff like watching Ellie out the window while she's swimming. I also didn't care for the fact that Ellie's size was such a thing. She's a full-figured girl, fine. But every time Andrew looks at her or touches her, there's some comment about her assets that reminds us that she's a big girl. Can't he just find her attractive? It became unnecessarily fetishy, especially since Andrew was constantly pushing her to move things forward to the point where he seemed kind of stalkerish. I also thought the sex scenes were very out of context. One minute they're the Brady Bunch and the next they're XXX, breaking the furniture. Sweet romance is one thing, erotica is another, this book was an unnatural and often uncomfortable blend of the two.

The author has a lot of potential. The book reminded me somewhat of the old Nora Roberts Harlequin books, extremely old-fashioned, anti-feminist characters ending up married for reasons the reader can't quite figure out, but with tiny glimpses here and there of the talents that the author will develop over time and later use to turn out really good books. Though I didn't particularly care for this book I would be willing to read future books by this author.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.
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This is a sweet, quick read from author Kay Richard and the first in her Michigan Wildflower Series.

Movie star Andrew Clarke is burnt out and in need of an escape. Ater back-to-back projects for years without a break, he needs to get away from the constant prying eyes of fans and the paparazzi. Luckily his assistant Sage knows just the place. A quaint farm B&B in Hartsville Township, Michigan. Far away from everything and totally off the grid, it sounds like an idyllic place to Andrew.. 

Andrew arrives and meets owner Maybel Snow (otherwise known as Gran) and her granddaughter Ellie. As Gran immediately starts fattening him up with her amazing cooking and baking, he finds himself relaxing for the first time in years. One thing he can’t help notice is how capable and gorgeous Ellie is. So different from the stick thin women he is used to in the movie business. His attraction to Ellie grows as he gets to know her, but will Ellie return his affections?

I was excited about the premise of this book. I love stories that have nature as a backdrop and could relate to Andrew’s need for an escape, just from the book description alone. I wasn’t disappointed in the setting and I loved all the lovely descriptions of the farm and the surrounding areas with the opportunity to see Andrew try new activities such as fishing and skating.

There are some great characters in the book such as Gran. She was everything you would want in a grandmotherly character. Warm, inviting, non-judgemental and always feeding you. Bonus points for lots of pets in the book. There are two dogs and a cat. 

Most of the story is told from the perspective of Andrew, so we really only ever get to see things from his point of view. We do get quite a good insight into what makes Andrew tick and I was happy we got to see his depth through scenes where he talks about his mental health. Unfortunately it left other characters like Ellie, a little underdeveloped so I felt like we didn’t get to know her as much. The result is that their relationship also felt a little underdeveloped to me. This could be a personal preference thing on my part, as I tend to like stories where I feel like I really get to know all of the romantic characters really well.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the extra chapters at the end written from the perspectives of the “villain” characters in the book. It was such a nice twist and a great way to tell readers how the story continues. I could have done without the epilogue though. Again, a personal preference thing, but I don’t always need an author to wrap up every little bit of the story for me. Happy Ending? I definitely want that. But I’m okay to wonder what is next for the happy couple.

If you like straightforward stories without a lot of crazy subplots, this might be the book for you. Fans of the cheesiest Hallmark movies will likely love Off The Grid.
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Lovely story about two people worlds apart coming together. Just enough chaos to make it interesting, but I didn’t spend the whole book thinking “when is something bad going to happen?!” I appreciate that about a love story and Ellie and Andrew fit the bill. The added POV of different characters at the end is a nice touch. Everyone deserves a person and a place to call home. This helps make you believe it’s possible. :)
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Andrew Clarke is a burnt out actor who is looking for balance in his life and finds a love that keeps him grounded. I was excited to read this one - it sounded like it had all the makings of a good rom-com; personally, I couldn’t connect with the characters - I just felt like their romance was more whirlwind and less authentic/genuine. I did enjoy that the author included other characters points of view following the end of the story and before the epilogue. The characters weren’t necessarily redeemed (the characters chosen for their point of view were the ones that didn’t hop on the Andrew Clarke fan wagon) but it helped fill out those characters a little more and was a neat idea. There were a couple fairly descriptive sex scenes that probably weren’t necessary - they didn’t help move the story along and from my point of view it kind of made Andrew Clarke seem a bit sex-crazed. Overall, a good idea for a novel with some messages around body positivity which I thought was great.
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This was a cute, quick-read romance. The title caught my attention, but the characters kept it. Andrew is a Hollywood actor on the edge of burnout from lack of privacy. His backstory is complicated and provides the minimal conflict in the book. Ellie is a small-town granddaughter who saves the farm, providing Andrew with a private get-a-way location. While the story was good,  I did struggle with both the format of the book and the dialogue. The dialogue felt overwhelming and sometimes forced, with Ellie using Andrew's name in almost every line. The lack of paragraphs, rather just multiple lines did not seem to provide ease of reading as a normal paragraph format. However, the story was still a fun, upbeat romance  and I'd recommend it.
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Thanks to the publishers, author and Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A sweet novel about a movie star who wants to get away from it all.  He finds himself on a farm with a woman known as Gran who can bake up a storm, and her grand-daughter who is a curvy temptress.

This book reads a bit like a Hallmark movie, which has its place in fiction, particularly when the reader wants a bit of escapism.  While the dialogue at time seems to be 'telling' the reader what's going on at times, and the characters are a little stereotypical, this book gives the reader a bit of drama and a lovely HEA.
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I really love the premise of this novel - Hot shot celebrity meets regular small town girl.  But I was very disappointed to find that the narration felt stagnant and the dialogue stilted. From the very first page, I just couldn’t find a way to emotionally connect with any of the characters. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley, Kay Richard and Lower Peninsula Press for the ARC of Off the Grid. This is my personal review.
This is the first book in  The Michigan Wildflower Series.
I read this book very quickly. The story was good, and the location was good. Ellie Snow and Andrew Clarke are the main characters in the story.
The story felt rushed to me, and I wanted there to be more of a build up to the relationship between Ellie and Andrew. I wanted to get to know them better so I could feel the chemistry between them and watch it grow.
The book was good to read and I am looking forward to the next in this series so I can feel more of a connection to the people in the book.
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I had such high hopes for this book, but it fell short of my expectations. From the back cover description, I was expecting it to have the warm and cozy feel of a Hallmark movie. Instead, it came off cold, rushed and awkward. Yes, the plot has been done before, huge Hollywood star meets laid back country girl, but I was excited to see how this author put her own spin on the trope. Just because it is a trope doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. This one though was not done in a way that made me feel connected to the characters and their romance. The whole thing felt really rushed, from the meet cute to the steamy scenes. It was an insta-love which is fine as long as it is written in a way that shows some emotional depth, which this lacked. It jumped around a lot, the steamy scenes were just okay. It just never blew me away. I was also excited because the setting was in my state of Michigan, and I did love all the autumn and winter scenes and activities that are so familiar to me, such as apple picking and ice fishing. Andrew was whiny and I didn't like his character. I also didn't like reading the book from his POV, and Ellie's read much smoother. I would have liked to see their relationship developed more, a bigger character arc for Andrew and Ellie being a little more of a stand on her own two feet kind of girl. She has a huge heart and I would have liked to had more of her and less of Andrew. I actually felt a little bad that a great gal like her had to end up with a guy like him. The matchup just never seemed to click. I did like the plus size representation, but at times it felt like it was tossed in as an afterthought and could have been handled better. 

It was fine, but that was it. I'm sure there are lots of readers who will enjoy it, so still give it a try if it seems to catch your attention.
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The story had so much potential but I really did not enjoy the way it was done. The author skipped over all the character/relationship development that would make you actually care about the characters and their stories. I enjoyed it enough to finish it but barely. If instead of skipping to the spicy scenes and jumping to several random POVs toward the end, they had focused on the other aspects of the romantic development, it would have been so much better.
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I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book but that's the most interesting part about it. It read so juvenile. People just spoke in long paragraphs explaining things to each other like farming and geography. And of course the heroine is "plump" but there's no similar fixation on the heroes physique.  This is not for me
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This is one of those stories that you will either love or not.

For me it was all too quick. It's basically about a burnt out actor who seeks time away on a farm. Where he falls in love with the owners grand daughter. Next thing you know is they are married with kids. 
For me there was no chemistry, and to be honest I felt he was a little creepy. But, hey if it works for you fine.

This book was definitely not for me. There are good romances and bad romances. For me this is a no go.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Lower Peninsula Press, Independent Book Publishers Association, Members Titles and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. 

Hot Hollywood actor burns out meets a midwestern farm girl. The story has been done dozens of times. This one isn’t much different. If you like this style you’ll be happy with any take on it.
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I was first attracted to this book because it's set in my home state of Michigan and for that I wasn't disappointed. This sweet romance highlights so many of the fall and winter attractions of the state like apple picking,  cider,  ice skating,  ice fishing,  and especially hibernating with your lover during a snowstorm.
However the romance itself,  while sweet and cute at times was a little flat overall.  The chapters at the end with the other character's pov were odd and didn't really flow with the rest of the story and then the final chapter highlighting the past year in a conversation just seemed awkward. I give it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
I received an advance reader copy of this book through NetGalley. The views and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.
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Off the Grid by Kay Richard
The Michigan Wildflower Series #1

This short romance sees opposites attracted to one another when a man looking for a break from his stressful job finds a safe have and what will become his home not only geographically but in the woman he wants to spend his life with. The premise for the story held promise and as I read, I noticed parts that were well done and others I found I would have liked more… 

What I liked: 
* The idea behind the story
* The location in Michigan
* That the book will appeal most to New Adult age readers
* That the story was complete without strings left hanging
* There was a happily ever after for the main couple
* There were also two other couples who found happily ever afters
* That the couple balanced one another in personality and strength if not in income
* Feeling that the author was invested in the characters. 

What I would have liked: 
* More about the first month that Andrew was in Michigan, working on the farm, and the relationship that must have grown between him and Ellie – I didn’t feel the connection between them and that period of time must have created something to have him returning later.
* More about Andrew’s time working in Hollywood and why he was suffering from what was probably stress related anxiety.
* More back story on both main characters
* Perhaps not having the two other couples end up together in this book but perhaps be mentioned and show up in future books in the series
* Not having the three chapters near the end that were told from the perspective of negative characters in the story – that information didn’t feel it was necessary or further the romance between Andrew and Elie.
* That Andrew wasn’t quite so flaky/immature feeling at times
* Being able to feel the connection between Andrew and Ellie and knowing what they truly had in common
* Feeling more invested in the story

Did I enjoy this book? Kind of
Would I read more by this author? Maybe

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC – This is my honest rerview.

2-3 Stars
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A pleasant friends to lovers story of a Hollywood star meets farm girl. Andrew Clarke needs a break from the chaotic Hollywood scene and seeks refuge someplace where he can be himself and out of the limelight. He finds such place in a remote farming area of Michigan and falls in love with not only the lifestyle but the landowner’s granddaughter, Ellie. The story was sweet but the jumped around a bit. There were a couple of steamy scenes that appeared sporadically.  The book was  simple entertainment that I enjoyed.
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Ellie and Andrew are complete opposites.  Andrew is a Hollywood movie star and Ellie runs a farm with her Grandmother.  After years of hopping from movie to movie, Andrew decides he needs some time away to center himself and find out what he really wants out of life.

I really wanted to love this book.  The cover and synopsis originally drew me in.  There were parts of the story that were sweet and the description of Gran’s baked goods and food made me wish her B&B was real.  Unfortunately, the pacing and descriptions of the story felt off to me.  From the synopsis, I thought Andrew and Ellie’s relationship would form during his time on the farm, but within the first few chapters, the leads had a deep connection.  The portrayal of this love and connection was not on the page.  

I believe my expectations were different due to marketing of the book.  I went in thinking it was a completely different book than was written.  

I want to thank NetGalley, Kay Richard and Lower Peninsula Press for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.
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Andrew Clarke, is a hot shot burned out Hollywood actor who Is overwhelmed and just wants some privacy while he steps away from the Limelight. He spends a month away on a farm in Michigan where he meets and falls in love with Ellie Snow, the woman who runs the farm. 

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this book. It had some promise at first but quickly went downhill. I really expected the story to spend more time about his experience on the farm how it helped him to unwind and distress. His time on the farm only lasted a few chapters then he was back again in Hollywood. I'm having trouble understanding how he and Ellie made such a connection when as the reader, we weren't given much to go based off. The characters were under described lacked depth. There was more telling verse showing which created stale dialogue and didn't give much insight to each character’s motivation.

The story is told from the point of view of Andrew Clarke, the novel’s protagonist.  Yet oddly, the end of the book switches to the POV of three different characters before switching back to Andrew.. I was honestly confused who one of the characters was. I'm not sure why there was a sudden change in narration it was more distracting than helpful. 

I did appreciate how the author tied everything up in a new bow with the ending. There were no loose strings or lingering questions. 

Venture Off the Grid at your own risk.

Thank you NetGalley,  and Lower Peninsula Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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