The Fourth Sunrise by H.T. Night
The Fourth Sunrise: A Love Story (Night Romances #1)
This review was originally posted to www.jeninbookland.com
Once in a while a powerful love story comes along that forever captures our hearts and imaginations. The Fourth Sunrise is such a book. It is a celebration of how love transcends time, a story that makes us believe in true love all over again.
When the team bus breaks down in Delta, Colorado, minor league baseball player Joel Murphy sets eyes for the first time on Christine, a waitress. Instantly smitten, he will spend the rest of the night getting to know her...and falling helplessly in love. In fact, he's certain she's the one. But when morning comes, Joel must leave quicker than planned and, tragically, never gets to say goodbye. And when he returns after a grueling season on the road, he discovers that Christine has moved on...and has married someone else.
That was thirty years ago...
Now in the present day, as Joel Murphy waits at a coffee shop in Delta to meet Christine for the fourth time in his life, and an intriguing young woman joins him to wait for her date, too. As the hour grows late, Joel begins to tell his new friend about Christine, who he has seen only three times over a period of decades. There is one important secret that he has kept from Christine, one that could tear them apart forever. As the hour grows even later, Joel's heart needs a voice and he begins to spill all the secrets of his enduring and lifelong love for Christine.
Let me start off by saying I have no idea how The Fourth Sunrise has so many amazing reviews. Do people seriously think this is ultra romantic? Oh I should mention that I will be going on about the plot a bit, in detail, including the "surprise" (not really a surprise) and the ending so don't read further if you don't want spoilers. This also will be another one of my rants as...I just don't get how this is supposed to be super romantic.
I pretty much hated this story, well I hated Christine, and the writing was not very good either. Take this section for example:
"I smiled and accepted her compliment. Even to this day, it was painful thinking about the death of my friend. He was a great person. I was lucky to know him. I paused and thought about my friend and smiled."
To me that is just so awkward. Like you don't need the last sentence in there since you are smiling and nodding in the first. This was also the way the whole book read. Everything repeated all the time. Like in one scene the lady from the coffee shop asks him something when they are standing outside, he answers, they go inside and she asks again. I was just like do you have memory issues? Do you not remember what you just talked about outside? Is the coffee shop some secret vortex where you don't remember anything outside its walls? It was just strange and annoying how things were repeated so much. Plus the dialogue was very forced and not realistic in how people speak. I kept thinking who talks like this?? Anyways I may put some dialogue in later to show other points so on to the story!
This book starts off with Joel in a coffee shop waiting for Christine to show up. This will be their fourth meeting to date and when she doesn't show he starts pouring his heart out to this other lady for hours. Well this lady is a romance writer (which she says that almost every single time the story cut back to the present. After a while I was just like I get it! You write romances! You don't have to keep telling me every time!) Since she is a romance writer she wants to hear his oh so romantic story.
So Joel's baseball teams bus breaks down and he gets stuck in this small town for one night. He meets Christine there and is instantly in love with her, she is is his soul mate. They stay up all night, first walking around the fair then at the library dancing and making out, and Joel tells her how she is the one for him and whatnot. She supposedly feels the same way. Then in the morning her parents show up and she has to leave suddenly. Joel keeps asking for her address and she won't give it to him so he can't write to her. He goes off, since he must, and returns as soon as he can (6 months later - he had to save up the money, plus family issues). When he returns she is already married to someone else and has moved away. Well to me that means she obviously did not love him as much as he loved her right? I mean it was only 6 months. I could see maybe after a few months agreeing to marry someone else (well maybe if it were back in the day. I really can't see marrying someone else when I am oh so in love with Joel until a long time has passed), but to be married already 6 months later? Later you find out she only waited one month for him. One month for the love of your life before agreeing to marry someone else. Wow. That must be true love...
So he leaves devastated, then gets drafted and goes off to war and serves with her husband. Fun!
"'It's just amazing. This part of the story is amazing. You see, I write in real life. This would be the hard sell to the reader, That out of all of the captains you could have had, you got Christine's husband. It seems virtually impossible odds.'
'Unless it's fate,' I interjected. 'Unless something higher is controlling the universe.'
'I agree with you, Joel'"
It's amazing! Really? This is what the dialogue for this book was like. He gets sent off to war and serves with her husband and you get a small discussion about how unlikely that is, then well it must be fate! Yey. Probably solved. I highlighted so much of this book, which is very unusual for me. Anyway, he finds he likes her husband and finds out more info about her. Many years after their first meeting he is going crazy thinking about her, he needs some closure, so he goes back to the small town 5 years in a row, to the fair they had gone to the first night, trying to find her. He finally stumbles upon her and she pretty much throws herself at him, and he doesn't refuse. They spend the night in a motel haveing sex all night. So not only did she move on near instantly, she also cheats on her husband. She is a great person. Cheating is so romantic. Now I might be okay with it somehow if now that she knows he came back for her and whatever she decides to leave her husband for him. Only then can I maybe overlook the cheating, though it is still not cool. But does she do this? No. Why? She is pregnant! She doesn't tell him until right before she is leaving! That is the moment when I really, truly started to hate Christine.
"I pressed my lips together, thinking of what I would say. I wanted it to be without anger, but my heart was breaking so hard that my chest actually ached. I said 'It seems like the closer I get to you...circumstances arise that make it harder and harder for us to even have the hope of building a life together.'
Christine stared intently into my eyes. 'It does make it harder because I am pregnant. As you said the circumstances. Your face is telling me not to go. I need for your face to tell me it's okay for me to leave.'"
Okay so you drop this bomb on poor Joel, break his heart again, then need him to make you feel better so you what? Don't feel guilty about leading him on and then leaving him? Well you should. You have no intention of leaving your husband (I really don't think you would even if you were not pregnant) so why are you doing this? You should have told him right away instead of being selfish. Well since you didn't the nicest thing to do would be to make it clear that this will never happen again and you can't have anything to do with him. I mean you are married, and intend to stay that way. Then maybe he can get on with his life. Is this what she does? No. She starts writing him once a month, pouring her heart out about how much she loves him and stuff. That is so much BS! You love him so much you want him to keep hanging on to the thinnest of hopes that maybe someday you will leave your husband? You love him so much you don't want him to move on from you, even though you cannot really be there for him? You love him so much you want him to waste his life away dreaming about you? I am sorry, but to me that is not love. That is being a selfish selfish person who just wants someone to tell her how pretty and wonderful they are. She always complains about how dull and boring her husband is, how he doesn't engage with her like he used to, so she is looking for that emotional stimulation from Joel. So she is emotionally cheating on her husband for years. I think that she is a horrible person. Suck it up and deal with your choices, don't make Joel suffer just because you know you can keep him hooked. That is not fair to him, and if you really loved him you would let him go. But she doesn't.
So the third meeting. Well Joel had written her three years prior stating that he wouldn't write her for three years and try and move on with his life.
"I can no longer correspond with you. Although receiving your monthly letters has been the highlight of each and every month over the past thirteen years, I just can't do it anymore. It's not fair to you. It's not fair to anyone who has tried loving me over the past thirty years. But mainly, it's not fair to my heart. My heart has longed for you for too long."
He had a plan to meet up in three years time, and how he hoped he wouldn't show up. I hoped he wouldn't either. He is right, it is not fair. Not fair to him at all. Well he shows up of course, and so does she. And she is still leading him on.
"I feel like I'm the worst human being on Earth. Here I am with a family and husband and there is still a part of me that wishes you would still hold on to me. I feel awful, but it is sincerely how I feel."
Well you obviously don't feel horrible enough as you still sleep with him all night.
"Christine's eyes locked into mine. 'I need you Joel.'
'I need you to be with me. I need you to do the things to me that only you can do. I know I'm selfish. I know I have a man who has no idea how to love me in the way I deserve, but he loves me, nonetheless. Right now, today at this point in my journey, I need all of you.'
'For how long?' I held my breath.
'I can promise you tonight.'
My heart sank at hearing those words."
Wonderful! You just keep hurting him Christine. Way to go. I feel so bad for Joel throughout the book. I wish he could have moved on.
"So what I am is convenient. Every fifteen years or so, you find it in you to take a stab at me."
"My love has limits. This is where I must say goodbye to you."
Exactly! Get angry Joel. Get very angry after spending your third night together. Get angry at her using you to fulfill her emotional needs while not letting you actually be with her. Get angry that she is so selfish and horrible. Get angry with her! Tell her off! Well what does he do? He asks her to marry him. She of course says no for some lame reason, and that is that. he doesn't talk to her again. Until the present. He had cut her off completely, which is good, but I also wish this had happened after the second visit. He spent way too much of his life on someone who obviously did not care for him as much as he cared for her. Sure she might love him some, but not enough to be with him. Not enough to dump her husband who she complains can't give her what she wants. Not enough. Not enough to not be selfish and let him go sooner. I hated her so much, and I am glad that Joel finally lets her go.
So present day, shocking surprise ending! Well not really. See the lady in the coffee shop, the one he is telling the story to, is Christine's daughter! Shocker! Well as I said not really since I knew that as soon as I found out she was pregnant again and was going to have a second child. I mean how could you not foresee that? Oh and she keeps saying she is a romance write. Well it turns out she really really wanted to write romances. She wasn't very good at it so her mom told her the story of her and Joel. In detail. So the daughter typed that out into a book and voila! Romance writer! She didn't really even change anything or make anything up. At first neither say what happened at the end of the third date. So the third sunrise book just ends in a cliffhanger with the reader not knowing what happened, since the author was not told what happened. Great! I am glad she cannot come up with a story and can only write a story she is told! Great author!
Then the reason her daughter is there? Christine was in a car accident and in a coma. The daughter thinks she can almost bring her mom out of it, by reading Joel's letters to her, but if Joel comes she is sure she will wake up. Which she does almost instantly. Sure. That is what would happen. The best part? Her husband is now dead! He was in the same car accident and died instantly! Hurray! They can finally be together! Isn't that kind of morbid and sick? Like yey, your husband is dead we can live happily ever after now that he is no longer among the living! That is just all kinds of messed up to me. The poor husband. Christine does say he tries and he never does anything bad to her or anything, he is just dull. And now dead. Let's all celebrate! It is just so wrong!!
As you can tell by my very long rambling on about almost every aspect of this story I hated this book. I hated almost everything about it. The only thing I did like was Joel, but I felt so bad for him. He seemed like a good guy, but he had the horrible luck to meet Christine when he was young. I wish he hadn't for his sake. Horrible story, cheating is not romantic, and horrible writing. I don't get why there are so many glowing reviews.