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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Marie Drake’s You Can't Force Love is a realistic novel with multi-layered characters. We encounter two sophisticated characters, drawn from two different worlds and thrust together in the same foster home. The only thing that Jordan Fry and Kimberly Orvine have in common is the fact that they have both lost a parent. While Kimberly is bent on self-destructive behaviors and determined to punish herself, Jordan thinks he can change his past and he believes that by focusing on Kimberly, he can trump his past and set out on a better path. He couldn't be more wrong because Kimberly only sees in him the provocation to plunge deeper into the darkness that pulls her. Can Jordan change her or will she end up unleashing the fire in him?
You Can't Force Love is a tale filled with powerful lessons on love, tolerance, and personal development. It is entertaining while asking serious questions on love and conviviality — can two people who are egocentric and diametrically opposed to each other find common ground and nurture a relationship? The author does a wonderful job with the characters, building them up with care and exploring the backgrounds that determine what they are today. From the beginning of the narrative, the reader sees that life is a huge challenge for Jordan but the way the author builds the conflict is impeccable. The world building is great with vivid elements of the setting, but what had me turning from page to page is the author’s exploration of the inner worlds of the characters — where the conflict begins. The dialogues are exciting and they move the story forward steadily. Marie Drake creates characters that readers will love and hate at the same time and a story that they won't put down even for a moment.