Nothing Simple or Easy
Mark T. Sneed
ABM Publications (2020)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (04/2021)
“Nothing Simple or Easy” by Mark T. Sneed is a heartwarming story of how love can be found even in the least expected places and thrive against all odds. Jules Temple was raised by a single mother in the streets of Chicago. He lived in a rough neighborhood where people were killed for even the flimsiest reasons, and shootouts were common. Jules kept well out of crime despite having several friends who were members of gangs.
He attended Elmhurst College on an athletic scholarship, graduates, and gets hired by Chicago Tribunal in the technology department. Jules had neither had a keen interest in girls nor a knack for long-term relationships. These circumstances change when he meets the beautiful Bethany, at a club. This chance encounter makes him a target by the ringleader of one of the most dreaded gangs in Rogers Park, Diamond Martin, who was romantically involved with Bethany, conditionally. Was Jules willing to take a chance on the beautiful Bethany? Was he willing to confront Diamond and his gang and be ready for whatever implications that would have on him or would he choose to give up and go back to Logan Square where he lived?
It takes a writer’s natural talent to immerse a reader into a story to an extent they feel they are part of the story. This book does just that. It was hard to imagine the story as fiction. The author uses flashbacks to usher the reader into Jules’s life. The author did a great job interweaving backstories and present events in a captivating manner such as the scene where Jules recounts the circumstances that led to him being thrown in the Chicago River by Diamond’s gang. I commend the author for his good descriptions of events and surroundings.
My favorite quote from the book was from Kenneth Parker as he was reassuring Jules: “The greatest thing any of us possess is hope. Hope is the thing that gets us out of bed every day.” At first, the lead character was displayed as perfect, however, as the plot developed, he became more relatable and less invincible. Fans of contemporary romance who love a fast-paced plot that is easy to follow will enjoy this “Nothing Simple or Easy” by Mark T. Sneed.