Infinity by Allaina Daniels (Xandrian Series Book 1)

My lovely guest reviewer, Jennifer Lee Clayton (Author of the Chosen Saga series) has reviewed Infinity previously and asked me to read and review it too. She had loved it so much so I had really high hopes for it.

Infinity is about a young lady, Carmen, who has had a tough upbringing. She loves her OCD best friend and business partner, Lissy. Carmen has the ability to talk to animals via telepathy which makes her extremely good at her job as an canine behaviour specialist, although she has no idea where this ability arises from. Lissy runs the business and Carmen does the business! All is well until Carmen comes across a ridiculously attractive guy that she has seen before, in her dreams! Carmen runs for the hills, terrified at this bizarre turn of events but gorgeous Gabriel follows her. Determined to win Carmen’s affections, a battle of wills ensues.

I’ll be honest, I found the first quarter of the book quite hard-going. I just couldn’t get invested in the plot at all and wondered if I’d ever get through the book. However, I stuck with it and I’m really glad I did. Once the momentum of the relationship between Carmen and Gabriel got going, this book was a much easier and enjoyable read. In fact, I couldn’t put it down to the point that I read it way past my bedtime to finish it!

I’m not sure if I found the whole “talks to animals” a bit too Dr Doolittle and just a bit bizarre or if Carmen’s attitude was just a bit too annoying to make her likeable initially, but the more Carmen showed her vulnerabilities, she became a much more endearing character. I found myself championing Gabriel eventually, but not before I wondered why he was bothering. Daniels has written a lovely character in Gabriel and it felt a bit like he was fighting a pointless battle. However, I did come round to the plot eventually and found myself cheering them both on.

Daniels’ writing style is engaging on the whole. As I say, I haven’t really been able to pinpoint why I found the beginning of this book a bit hard work but the narrative is eloquently written, perhaps more so as the book goes on. I preferred Lissy and Gabriel’s characters than Carmen’s. I found her a tad self-absorbed and irritating, but I think that was supposed to be the point, to show how much Carmen had been damaged by her traumatic childhood and the deep distrust she has for anyone other than Lissy and her family. Ultimately, Daniels effectively shows how love can conquer all, even when you try to deny it, and that there are good, honest people in the world, you just have to believe that they are there.

Once Carmen and Gabriel are on the same page, this book flows so much better and gripped me enough to want them to find a happy ever after. I read the last three quarters of the book in two nights. It took me considerably longer to read the first quarter. What I would say is, stick with it. It gets so much better that you will not regret giving this book the benefit of the doubt. It may be a slow burner but by the end of the book it is on fire! I look forward to reading the next instalment!