Review: Prior Commitment & Prior Affair (Priorities #1-2) by Raven de Hart

Old town, new flames

Casey Bridge knows what people are thinking, whether he wants to or not. When he returns to Pryor, Washington, he’s roped into helping with the town’s annual Christmas Carnival--as though they didn’t shun him and his entire family for years. But when he hears something worrying in a stranger’s thoughts, he can’t keep himself from jumping in to help--repeatedly.

Noel’s life is falling apart, and his last possible refuge is in little old Pryor, Washington. When that fails him, he spirals down into depression...and luckily lands in the arms of a local psychic. A very attractive local psychic with a very strong saving-people-streak. Will that be enough to save him or will they be waylaid by a prior commitment?

This was a really interesting story and I enjoyed quite a lot of it, but the main theme of the story was poorly handled in my opinion.

Casey is the middle son of a family mainly consisting of psychics, each have a unique ability. Casey can hear people's thoughts. Garrett, the eldest son, can see into the future. Patrick the youngest, doesn't have any powers and their mother can detect people's emotions. One night a few days before christmas, Casey unwillingly hears Noel's thoughts. Casey hears Noel’s intention of committing suicide later that night. Obviously he provides comfort and somewhere to stay for Noel, to help him out of this depression.

I think this was my major issue with the story, the way Noel’s suicidal thoughts were handled. Maybe the book was too short to really give suicide and depression the amount of time it deserves to express it properly. Then again I have see some authors do it well with only a few words. Some of it is OK, like Casey not having sex with Noel the night of his attempted suicide because he felt it was too soon (nah duh). Generally though it was kind of pushed to the side or joked about. Casey even told his whole family, when it wasn't really their business and even if they could detect emotions, I don’t think it was his place to share Noel’s struggles with strangers.

Then Noel’s depression just wasn’t done right. This book is set over three days and Noel goes from wanting to commit suicide to being just fine. There was no depth there and considering that's what the story was about, it made everything feel much more shallow, like Casey and Noel’s relationship for example. That didn’t work for me at all, I felt no chemistry between the two and thought the romance lacked any sort of passion.

What I did really really like was the interaction and friendship between the three brothers. That was fun to read and the banter felt like how real brothers would talk to each other.

“His brain is hard for me to get into. I can only get a little bit past the surface most of the time. So I know what he’s thinking right then, but that’s about it.”
“Weird,” said Garrett. “Maybe it’s fading, and you’re going normal.” I focused in on him without ever looking up from my coffee cup and spoke his thoughts as I got to them. Or the ones I could before they zipped past. “I miss this. I should see these guys more. Especially Patrick. He lives so close. Guess he’s not losing it. Casey, you’re a jackass. Pineapple. Asparagus. Seventy-three.” I grinned at him. “Bite me.”

I would’ve enjoyed this story a lot more if the major theme had been done a bit more carefully, that may have even improved the connection between Noel and Casey. I did enjoy seeing psychics in action and I definitely enjoyed these brothers together, they get my 2.5 hearts all to themselves!

Find Prior Commitment (Priorities #1) on Goodreads!

Old town, new flames

Garrett Bridge can see the future. Not when it’s convenient for him, of course, but when its important. So when he sees a man getting out of a car, he can’t help but wonder why he needed that information. But when he does, it starts a whirlwind romance full of fun. And full of a lot of nearly avoided disasters.

Smith Meyers has always been intrigued by problems, puzzles, and mysteries. When a young man saves him in the street one day, it’s the beginning of a new enigma for him to try and unravel. Wrapped up in that enigma is a whole mess of lust and other emotions to cloud his inquisitive mind. Which side of him will prevail?

This is Garrett's story and starts straight after Prior Commitment ends. Garrett is the eldest son of his psychic family and a clairvoyant. On Boxing Day, he has a vision of a man named Smith, puzzled by the vision he goes to find out more about him. They have an immediate attraction and get it on.

Unfortunately I was just not feeling this book at all and although it didn't frustrate me as much as prior commitment did, I still am giving it a lesser rating because I felt nothing. I had no interest in the characters, their relationship or where the story was going. I didn't feel the connection between Garrett and Smith, it felt forced and their dialogue was stilted. At the end of the story they had this weird fight which I didn't understand the point of, like at all! The plot didn't hold anything exciting or emotional and the sex was... well all I can say is, average.

I wish I could say more about what worked and what didn't, but honestly when I think of this book, nothing but a big flashing sign saying 'blank’ comes to mind.

The brothers were still great to see interact, but there was even less of that in this book... so... boo.

Not a winner for me, sorry. I think I'll leave the series there.

Find Prior Affair (Priorities #2) on Goodreads!

All copies provided for an honest review.

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