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“Annie’s 1st Break” attempts to fill three genres while in reality fitting in only that of romance. Its author, Willee Amsden, aimed a little too high for this novel, missing humor and instead hitting bizarre misadventure, and overshooting mystery by giving far too much information.

If one does not know the series title, “The Annie McCauley Romantic Comedy Mysteries,” it is entirely possible to read the whole book without realizing that it was meant as a mystery.

The plot of Amsden’s book centers on Annie, a Texan trying to become a New York model. The first fifth of the novel shows her endeavors to land a job as the Di Ponti Cosmetics and Fashion model which goes horribly wrong when she encounters Brittany, her arch nemesis, who puts super glue on a toilet seat. Let the hilarity ensue, or at least, try to see the humor in its lackluster presentation.

Even after this adventure, which promptly goes viral on YouTube, Tomi Di Ponti, the CEO of Di Ponti Cosmetics and Fashion and one of Annie’s love interests, still hires Annie as a czarina for their newest line of products. This goes about as well as could be expected in a romance as Brittany, through Annie’s own meddling, also becomes a Di Ponti model.

An old family feud comes back to haunt Annie’s love interest, Tomi, when Annie and her best friend are kidnapped. In a stereotypical fashion, she is instructed to make sure the Di Ponti business fails or her friend will be killed. Instead, Annie hires a private investigator duo (her other love interest, the burly Luther Grolsch, and his mother) to protect her.

The remainder of the story is Annie’s struggle to decide if she loves Luther or Tomi, even though it was made apparent upon their first encounter and reinforced in subsequent meetings that she does not like Luther in the slightest. What makes the romance even less interesting is the fact that Annie often admits that Tomi is not a particularly good match for her despite his physical attractiveness.

Considering that this article was originally intended to be a review of the whole series so far (four book in total), it is rather apparent that this series is not particularly worth reading. While the plot might be exciting for those who enjoy the romance genre, the writing itself could use a little work and the only character who seems to have more depth than a one-word descriptor is Annie herself, who narrates the novel and can be described in two: incompetent
and clueless.

The many grammatical errors and typos could be attributed to the act of transcribing the novel into an ebook, but there are some other instances, such as using “ascend” instead of “descend” numerous times, that are quite inexplicable. Regardless of why these twists of English are present, they detract from the story since the reader becomes more focused on them than on the characters, who might, at the time, be facing terrible trials.

The remainder of the current books in “The Annie McCauley Romantic Comedy Mysteries” were each published at the same time last September. While the fifth novel has not yet been published, the author has been
writing it, and, although no date has yet been specified, he plans to release it soon.

It appears that Amsden’s plans are to keep writing the adventures of Annie, the fashion model, indefinitely, as he has offhandedly mentioned a tenth book when responding to comments about his plans to evolve his character throughout the series.