Original Books

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All I'll Ever Need by Harry Kraus

Claire McCall and John Cerrelli desperately want to get married. They want their wedding to be perfect. They want to stop dancing around the issue and actually get married. They've already tried for two books, and now they're at it again for a third. But things keep getting in their way, such as Claire's attempted rapist escaping from jail, Claire being sued by a patient for inducing euthanasia without permission, Claire's Huntington-diseased father wanting to die, and John being stalked by a delusional woman in his workplace. All these things come to a head as it seems like everything wants to keep them from getting married.

I liked the first two books in this series for their realism in the medical field and in life. But a third book full of more tragedies for Claire and John is just too much. All good things must come to an end. Harry could have easily ended the series with For the Rest of My Life.

First of all, the characters have lost their personalities and imperfection. Where John was a good original male lead in the previous book, he is typical and perfect in this book. Claire has become more of a victim than an imperfect character who makes bad choices. The rapist and John's female stalker are both typical characters as well. I can only think of one good character this time.

Too many bad things are fixed in the end. This is where Harry Kraus thrived in the first two books: imperfection in the end. But with this third book, he has pleased the public with last page-perfection. There were plenty of opportunities for imperfection, but Harry didn't take any of them. Imperfection has always been his specialty, so without it, he isn't very interesting. I liked one part at the end-the part that involved the only imperfect character.

Harry just went too far with the Claire McCall series. He just had to write that third book. He had everything going just fine at the end of For the Rest of My Life. Everything was great. The Claire McCall series was an Elite series. But All I'll Ever Need was ruined by its typical nature. I know Harry can do better than this.

2 stars

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