Book Review: Asylum (Americans in Love) by Betsy Adams

Asylum (Americans in Love) by Betsy Adams

A Contemporary Romance Novel published by Americans in Love Books (11/16/20)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery

Summary:

“These things couldn’t mask the horror of the port, the great divider between those privileged by their birthplace, and those cursed by it.” (44% Kindle Edition).

“America would break his heart again. There would be new challenges, new disappointments. But at least he would be safe, and his life would be his own.” (86% Kindle Edition).

Adela pushes against the justice system every day as an immigration judge. She believes in fairness and honesty but the system is rife with injustice, prejudice, and plain meanness. Paul left behind his high-end lawyer life in New York City to work as a lawyer advocating for asylum seekers at the border. Love, at first sight, can’t happen between a lawyer working on the same cases as the judge!

Keywords:

Romance, Love, Asylum, Lawyer, Immigration, Immigration Lawyer, Judge, Immigration Judge, Border, Mexico, Cartel, Tent City, Policies, Asylum Seekers, Courtroom

My Review:

I chose to read this book because it looked well researched regarding asylum seekers, the writing style flowed from the very first page, and it was easy to read. I was more intrigued by the descriptions of the courtroom scenes and the way that the author described asylum seekers, immigration, and prejudice near and far from the border than by the love story. This book would appeal strongly to those who enjoy love-at-first-sight romances, courtroom dramas, and social issues.

Regarding the romantic plot – I felt like the novel could have been longer to fully develop the romantic relationship between Adela and Paul. I felt like the romance went from first dates and lust to in love too fast. I really, really wanted them to get together after their compelling backstories. They were meant for each other but I wanted the relationship to grow more before they encountered complications at the border. I don’t believe highly educated people would drop everything and risk so much for each other after only spending a few days together.

The courtroom action and legalese speak were fascinating and cleverly explained through the character’s thoughts and opinions and even body language. When the characters showed how they felt about some of the legal actions (or inactions) I learned about the implications of these actions.

I learned so much about asylum seekers from reading this book. Some of the details about the hardships endured during the months’ long uphill legal battles for gaining asylum into the United States didn’t even seem real! The difficulty and apathy of the system for those seeking asylum were hard to swallow. A country that advocates for freedom isn’t free for everyone. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that birthplace is enough for some people to discriminate against. Birthplace can be a privilege. I know I take it for granted. It made me angry, just like it made Adela and Paul angry, to hear about these injustices and the blatant lies and prejudicial treatment people in positions of power wielded towards those less fortunate or just trying to make a better life for themselves. A good book can make you angry, make you feel something, make you understand and sympathize. Asylum made me feel all sorts of angry. But the book also reminded me that not everyone is a good person or has good motives. How far does the corruption go? This book points out small injustices and biases as well as indicating a larger issue with the justice system, immigration law, and asylum in general. I started to question the more I read. What if there is even more conspiracy? What if cartels pay off someone in the system to deport those who will be granted asylum just so they can be held for ransom? How far does it go!?

I really liked the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, especially where she talked about the importance of the subject matter versus the romance… “That said, my greatest fear in writing Asylum was that the romance would trivialize the importance of the asylum issue. I felt a heavy obligation not just to the story, but to the people behind the story. The ones living it. I did not want to insult them. The love story is meant to bring the reader in and keep her engaged. To provide just enough distance, a reminder that love is never far away, even in the most desperate of circumstances.” (Betsy Adams. Asylum (Kindle Locations 3096-3099). Americans in Love. Kindle Edition).

This novel was published by Americans in Love Books on 11/16/2020 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: The Rally (Americans in Love) by Betsy Adams

The Rally (Americans in Love) by Betsy Adams

A Contemporary Romance Novel published by Americans in Love Books (7/10/20)

Summary:

“Being one third a lawyer does come in handy sometimes, I guess.” (33% Kindle Edition).

Madeline’s a corporate lawyer working for an insurance company that’s overseeing the use of a stadium. On the lineup for the week is a music group and a Trump rally. Madeline must coordinate details of these events with representatives from each group. The person working the Trump rally happens to be the guy she fell in love with during law school who suddenly dropped out and never contacted her again. Is this a second chance at love or will she have to make nice with the enemy to show her boss she’s ready for that promotion she’s been promised?

Keywords:

Romance, Love, Insurance, Rally, Politics, Trump, Stadium, Political Climate, College Flame, Opposing Political Views

My Review:

This book was a quick read, fast-paced, and short. I liked how the romantic buildup happened as part of the main characters’ backstory that happened years ago so it had proper time to develop. The romantic plotline was predictable but happened amidst an interesting and drama-filled environment – a rally where the main characters are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

The characters both made assumptions that caused the dark moment of the plot arc. I just didn’t believe the characters would fall for those assumptions, both being mostly educated lawyers. Some of these plot points did feel a bit rushed due to the length of the novel. I wish the dark moment was more believable and heartrending. I knew a happy ending was going to happen, regardless of the ups and downs of the romantic relationship and I was more invested in the political drama butting its way into the relationship.

I found the political aspect fascinating but not every reader might feel this way. Strong political opinions are expressed directly through Maddie’s thoughts and what she says as well as how the scenes and people are described. If you are left-leaning politically you will most likely feel that this book confirms your opinions. If you are much more right-leaning politically… Maybe you’ll learn about the strength of conviction of the other side? Or you might be put off entirely.

I was satisfied that everything tied together in the end and that there was an adequate explanation as to why Jake suddenly stopped all communication with Maddie when they were in school together.

This novel was published by Americans in Love Books on 7/10/2020 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads