September 22, 2023
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Book Reviews Romance

The Love Genes by Claudia J. Severin: Romance done right

Author: Claudia Severin

Genre: Romance

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Worth to read”

Spoiler-free Plot

The truth lay within the DNA’s silent code, exposing an unexpected betrayal.

Her family tree, shared online to aid others, unwittingly attracted those seeking to tarnish its virtuous legacy. Ancestral hunters appeared, uninvited, pushing her to debunk the falsehoods swiftly. Though the Schulz family wasn’t affluent, their American dream was hard-earned.

A quest led her to Dustin, a stranger linked through distant forebears. A magnetic connection instantly sparked, rooted deep in their genes. Past scars held her heart captive, while his wife’s loss left him raising a daughter alone.

Their pull was undeniable, but a century-old tale now wove into their lives. Could they break free from history’s grip? This love—both historical and contemporary—unfolded from a shared family tree. In ‘The Love Genes,’ Anselm and Adelaide’s 1920s choices echoed through descendants Darcy and Dustin, defying fate.

Dustin and Darcy, the two main characters in the present day, start to get to know each other and develop a bond with one another because of several events that happened to their ancestors.

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My take on The Love Genes

Here is the thing: romance is a very complicated genre. Not a lot of writers know how to write great romance stories, whether it’s in books, movies, series, comics, etc. Romance is hard and understanding that is part of understanding The Love Genes.

The problem with romance that a lot of writers have is that the pairing is not very compelling or the constant need to add drama, a major part of any story, makes the couple feel forced, toxic, or not very interesting. This is why romance is often a compliment in a lot of blockbuster franchises rather than the main focus.

Also, romance requires a lot of strong characterization and compelling writing to make the reader root for this relationship and to see it happen. On the other hand, the writer is also forced to deal with the inevitability of the story: most readers know they are going to end up together, which takes away the suspension of disbelief.

All of this is important to understand because it highlights the great job Claudia J. Severin did with her The Love Genes novel: it is a very good example of what constitutes great romance and storytelling. And is done in a way that is quite interesting as the author explores the concept of ancestry, families, history, and a lot of different things.

Severin plays a lot with the concept of family genes and that stretches, in a way, to inherited will. Weirdly enough, this whole element of family trees, descendants, and so on reminded me of the legendary manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki (I guess everything is a JoJo reference). Mainly because both stories play a lot with the element of the past and what the ancestors of the main characters did, which leads to the main plot.

The characters of Dustin and Darcy are very fun and interesting. You can tell that Severin put a lot of effort into making them. However, perhaps my only major gripe would be that their relationship could have benefitted from a few more pages to have a more natural development, although I can admit that could be nitpicking.

Without giving too much away regarding the story and how it progresses, it’s fascinating how the author managed to combine the events of the past with the present. It makes for a very interesting narrative where the reader is getting information from different subplots in a way that can be viewed as seamless, although this requires a lot of ability.

And… is just fun. It is a very fun romance story that was done with a lot of care and focus, which is shown in the way that Darcy and Dustin develop their relationship. Before I started reading this book, I was concerned about how the relationship was going to be tackled, but Severin did a fine job in that regard.

The Love Genes might not be everybody’s cup of tea but for those romance readers looking for a fun story, this one is perfect for you.

About The Author Of The Love Genes

Claudia J. Severin started writing romance in 2019, after spending the better part of the year researching genealogy. She published her first novel, about her ancestors in 2020. The Twirler Quartet romance novels followed, which were set in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the 1960s through 1980s. Her new series uses genealogy, genetics, and DNA forensics as a backdrop for the romance. Some of her tales are set in the present day, others in decades or centuries gone by. Love is timeless. Romance should be endless.
Unfortunately, she lives in the real world, splitting time between several states visiting family, enjoying the itinerant author life. Home base is a farm in Nebraska, smack dab in the middle of the country, where her husband’s ancestors homesteaded over 150 years ago. You’re welcome to visit. It’s as easy as opening the book cover.

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