Friday, August 2, 2019

Review: Up to No Good by Nicky Matthews

Genre: Drama/Romance/Young Adult


“What happens when best friends fall madly in love with one another? Or the ex-boyfriend doesn’t take it nearly as well as you had intended that he would? That is exactly what Stephanie and Alexander have to decide. Will they manage to keep it all together or will they fall apart and no longer speak to each other? Can Stephanie manage to save her beloved family barn or let it fall to ruins? The answers remain to be seen and there’s oh so much more to decide, while getting up to no good.”


Nicky Matthews is, “A graduate of Ferris University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Sciences, she has always kept writing close. Throughout her program, she could be found either taking a writing course in order to keep her skills sharp or dabbling in a new project in between writing term papers, helping her fellow students and keeping an active social life going. She has actively participated in NANOWRIMO and Camp NANOWRIMO for 5 years now and continues to do so.”

To learn more visit Ms. Matthews website or follow her on Facebook.


First of all the book file I read had a main female character named Sara. The book blurb above, from the product page, says her name is Stephanie. This happens to be the first of far too many proofing problems, such as missing, extra, and wrong words. I have to assume the book file I received never saw an editor, I can suppose Books and Pals was sent the wrong book file. The problem with that is I have to review the file that was submitted for review. 

Sara/Stephanie had grown up in an ideal family. The family owned a ranch where they boarded and helped rehabilitate abused horses. Sara/Stephanie loved working on the ranch and barrel racing. She has three older brothers who grew up and moved away. Then things started to go horribly wrong in her life. She had an abusive boyfriend and then her parents were killed in an automobile accident. At the beginning of this book Sara/Stephanie dumped her abusive boyfriend and is trying to put the pieces of her life back together and save the ranch. Alexander is a ranch hand who has worked on the ranch for several years, and had been learning the ropes about how the business was run. Alexander has had a thing for Sara/Stephanie for years, but has kept his distance because he valued their friendship and didn’t want to lose her. The devotion that these two feel for each other is repeated time and time again to the point it bogs down the story. Their growth on this journey is brain-numbingly slow and boring. Sara/Stephanie whispers most of her dialogue, I guess because she is so emotional that is as loud as her words get before she bursts out in tears. Alexander speaks softly and calmly to not sound judgmental or to send Sara/Stephanie running off crying behind a locked door?

I also never saw any correlation between the story, the title, or the book cover. The story centers on a budding romance and the love for horses. There is no way a dirt road conveys either of those. To top it all off, there is a cliffhanger ending. So be prepared for that.

There is an emotional story here that could be good, but needs a lot of work. It needs work not only in the proofing but with storyline consistency to improve the flow of the story.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Be prepared for the shock of a cliffhanger ending.

Format/Typo Issues:

More than acceptable on more than one level. See review.

Rating: ** Two Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

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