I really enjoyed this story and couldn't put it down. When I thought the story was over, I glanced at the page count on my reader and found t4.5 stars
I really enjoyed this story and couldn't put it down. When I thought the story was over, I glanced at the page count on my reader and found that it wasn't even half done. The second part was just as great as the first. This was another story I read this month where incredible research had been done. One thing that was really interesting was how the traditional kilt was one giant piece of cloth folded in a complicated way. My family who are into our heritage just have prefab ones with the pleats etc. sewn in.
My only complaints--and the reason for docking half a star--were only that the section from interest to absolute love was too short and felt rushed and that the final sex scene was only a 69 not penetration. That was a bit weird to me. The rest was beautiful.
Oh, except for the use of irregardless. ACK! Double negative people. I don't care if it's now in the dictionary. It first sprung up when I was in college, a sophomore to be exact. I admit I'm like Roan in Infected: Lesser Evils in that if someone (view spoiler)[covered my home in graffiti (hide spoiler)], the misspellings and punctuation errors would probably bother me more than the act itself (although having to clean it up would be the most annoying part). (And now you'll scour this review for any copy editing type errors...)
I hate hate hate (view spoiler)[cheating. (hide spoiler)] Because of that, I hated most of the characters. The MCs were selfish, immature, and sing3.5
I hate hate hate (view spoiler)[cheating. (hide spoiler)] Because of that, I hated most of the characters. The MCs were selfish, immature, and single-minded. Luke let Zara think everything was her fault. He felt guilty to a point, but not a lot, and he was so mean to her at points. I actually disliked Giles less than I disliked Luke, although that's not saying much.
Meredith was OK but she was a dishrag and was a part of keeping from Theo the fact that (view spoiler)[Francis visited him. Theo was an adult and they could have staged some kind of intervention, but Theo deserved to know Francis stopped by if only for closure. (hide spoiler)] It wasn't their decision to make.
Zara was vapid and whiny and also a dishrag but really didn't do anything wrong. She certainly didn't deserve what she got. It's kind of funny that a seventeen-year-old, the second youngest I think, was the most mature of the bunch.
I also hated that the college boy was getting with an underage boy. In many US states that's illegal and a sex crime. I really was uncomfortable with the sex scenes and was grateful they were brief.
The whole things reminded me of some literary fiction where it's a bunch of useless rich people being annoying and morally bankrupt. I wish I could think of an example. The closest thing I can think of is a movie, Cruel Intentions, and the original movie it was based off of, Dangerous Liaisons.
That said, I think it was very well written, the hook certainly drew me in, and I would read something else by this writer if I was assured it was significantly morally superior according to my values than this one.
This was a hard one to rate because it pissed me off so much. It was well written, the author has talent, but I hated the characters and the plot and just didn't care. So the writing was a five, the characters were awful and rather caricatures of the wealthy and their alleged ennui, perhaps 1.5 stars. The plot and setting were a 3. So I'll give it 3.5 but I'm rounding down because I didn't enjoy it at all.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a fast easy read, but it was still meaty enough that I loved it. I'm a sucker for substance abuse stories and adventure tales so it worked weThis was a fast easy read, but it was still meaty enough that I loved it. I'm a sucker for substance abuse stories and adventure tales so it worked well for me. I liked the characters and there were intelligent, capable important women characters for a change and not even cookie cut outs. A friend of mine referred to the MC whose point of view we're in, Max, as an asshole. Yeah but not really. It's the drink. This is a realistic portrait of an addict in denial. It's really well done.
A lot of movie industry people talk about a place as being a character. I think that's silly because the definition of character does not include places. But if this were a film made by those folks, the locale for the story would have been one of those characters. Either the author has been to Antarctica, or she must have spent a ton of time doing amazing research. It's all so realistic and impressive. I really felt that I was there. My parents have been twice and the book matched well in the tiny areas that it overlapped with what my parents experience was that they shared. I'd love to go, but no way would I get in frigid waters. I'd do what my folks did, though, was go to a place where a hole was cut in the ice above a hot springs and take a hot tub. (Yeah, I wouldn't believe it either if I didn't see the pictures of my mom in a swimsuit in a steaming wet hole in the ground surrounded by solid ice.)
I have a couple of nitpicks like one MC refers to Homosexuality as a preference. The word prefer implies liking others, too. I prefer cold weather over warm but I like both. I don't prefer kissing live bodies over dead ones, unless I'm being ironic. There's no choice there because I would abhor kissing a dead body.
I don't understand how it went from three hours of sunlight a day to sunlight around the clock in just a couple of months but then the closest I've been to a pole was Nome, Alaska and I was only there a couple of days. I'll tell you, though, I bet there are a lot of sighted people in polar areas with my sleep disorder, Non-24-hour Wake/sleep Disorder which is otherwise almost exclusively limited to blind people and me. Okay and one or two others. (You may have seen television ads for a drug to treat it which is a little bizarre to me--do a lot of blind people watch TV? I don't mean to be insensitive, it's just confusing.) (BTW, my circadian cycle has lengthened as I've gotten older but even in grad school it was 36 hours as opposed to the 24 of normal people. That's why I give the impression of never sleeping.)
Back to discussing the book. I liked it so much that it was five stars up until the last couple chapters. That ending was sudden and completely unfulfilling. I felt like I'd somehow lost a few megabytes out of the book, hence the reason I'm docking a star. I still recommend it though. It was good.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Much better than the first one but that isn't saying much. 2.5 stars
I only read this because I needed it for Scavenger Hunt. I intended to read it asMuch better than the first one but that isn't saying much. 2.5 stars
I only read this because I needed it for Scavenger Hunt. I intended to read it as fast as I could, skimming the sex scenes, since the first in the series was so awful, but it turned out to be readable if not quite good. The biggest part I had a problem with was with how the dog was treated. I'm going to hide that part behind spoiler tags so you don't have to plow through my rant if you're not interested.
The sex is pretty hot even though the way Rory's junk is described is rather off-putting for me. I like the way in which Alex uses a mildly BDSM scene to help Rory understand what he's trying to tell him. The douching scene was also innovative. Why haven't I seen that before? Anyway, a lot less sex and a lot more story this time around Much better.
The mystery is vaguely interesting, and their detective work is quite good.
Their love is very sweet and believable. I expected more angst but that's my own preferences.
Flapjacks a delicacy. Snort. I think that was supposed to be funny, so good job. I laughed.
"Cathleen Drummond [Rory's mother] lifted her cheek to Rory's questing pucker." Uh...
Not quite as sexist as the last one, although not that much better. At least there was a female constable. But the woman we are supposed to thing is fabulous is someone's mistress among other not so fabulous things. At least she's educated. All the recurring roles were men, except for the evil wife and a secretary who didn't even have a name. I wasn't thrilled when a fish smell is jokingly referred to as being from a girlfriend.
How is Alex living there? What visa? How is he planning on getting a legal job?
Scottish people wear jeans. The young people (and probably most people) definitely wear jeans. He's in his 20s; he's not 95.
Leaving a note is common courtesy, not asking for permission. He's already going, isn't he? That's the point of a note--you won't be there.
Love does not excuse adultery. Get a fucking divorce. You're betraying the woman you made a vow with. You two are not the only people in this equation.
My issues with the dog stuff: (view spoiler)[This was not written by a dog person. With an injured dog, the first thing is not to show dominance because that will make it more wary and anxious. You show yourself as non-threatening so you can get close no matter what size they are. Dogs are not wild animals. They have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years. They should not be treated like a wild animal. (And the whole idea that wolves achieve power in the pack through aggression is faulty. See the link below.)
You should be wary that they are animals, yes, always understanding that instinct can rule them and then can be uppredicatable (such as you can't trust that even the most well trained dog will never run out into the street), but in normal behavior they need training more like children (who can also be unpredictable when afraid or cornered): They need to know boundaries and that you are in charge so they feel safe, not that they "have a master."
Only when you have an aggressive dog does alpha type stuff like he's talking about become relevant. That's the Cesar Millan way of dog training which is cruel and puts a wall between dog and human and which only creates aggression in the long run. Here is a good article that references studies that show his methods are more harmful than helpful, that his theories on how animals act in the wild are wrong, and some of the large credible organizations that disagree with his methods:
Those dominance methods are depricated in the newer ways of doing things. Modern dog training is more like Victoria Stillwell. You recognize that a dog is an animal and does rely on instincts but also an intelligent creature capable of many emotions. You provide all if a dog's needs including food, shelter, affection, and attention, and treat the dog gently with respect and love and consistency and you'll have a well behaved dog. Just like with children, positive reinforcement is far more effective than punishment.
And when a dog is hurt, dominating her is the last thing you should do. The fact that Alex is afraid means he shouldn't be going up to the dog at all but instead getting help. The dog would sense the fear and react accordingly.
People in the country side wouldn't keep a giant dog? That's the main place people will keep them. And it's unlikely someone would claim a purebred rare dog? Um, are you serious? Those kinds of dogs get dognapped to be sold. I'm also surprised that two breeds of dogs that were originally bred in that part of the world are rare there but that's not something I know anything about.
This explains a lot about the dog attitude: This is an injured and possibly sick dog they're leaving outside with just a blanket in what is described as cold weather. That's a very different mindset than a person who shares her home with dogs. I don't believe dogs should sleep outside in anything but warm climates and that only if it's not too hot and they want to. Dogs need shelter and people. They are social animals.
They live in a castle and don't have a way to house a large dog?? I live in a 1,000 square foot house and I have had lots of big dogs. I board dogs and the owners visit before they decide to let me care for their babies and they are quite happy leaving both big and little dogs with me and mine. Two medium and two large dogs regularly share my house with me, my adult daughter, an infant and a teenager. We have a huge yard and an off leash dog park nearby where they can run and run. That's all we need.
If they're going to keep the dog as a pet in a doghouse and dog run in the wet cold of Scotland, they shouldn't have a dog. Sheepdogs and other working farm dogs sleep either in the house or with the sheep or in the barn. A single dog does not have enough warmth for an unheated doghouse in winter. Before you argue, feral dogs do not sleep alone. Like wolves, and like domesticated puppies, they sleep in a pile to keep each other warm. The ones that don't tend to freeze to death.
She's been left outside by herself roped???? OMG I hope this author doesn't own dogs. (hide spoiler)]
I find it hard to believe a vet in that part of the world wouldn't know the difference between an Irish wolfhound and a Scottish deerhound. The latter has a much smaller and narrower head. And then to claim it was definitely purebred when he couldn't even identify it properly is absurd. Also, once a dog hits two years of age, it's hard to know how old they are. I've never heard a vet say, "2-3 years at the most" and I've done a lot of dog rescue. If a dog vet reads this, I'd love for her or him to weigh in on that.
This book was rather empty, shallow and dull like everything was an overlay without the meat underneath to mix a metaphor. There really wasn'2.5 stars
This book was rather empty, shallow and dull like everything was an overlay without the meat underneath to mix a metaphor. There really wasn't any conflict and a surprising lack of angst given the blurb. The whole thing was just kind of plain. The peril was extremely short lived and involved secondary characters more than the MCs. It was rather superfluous actually, only really existing to show Jean Luc as a pissed off lion. The MCs were nice enough but also bland. I kept picturing Jean-Luc Picard because nothing stood out to make me think otherwise. ...more
It was very sweet ande really apparent how much in love the MCs were but it just wasn't enough. Not even the inclusions of a hospital scene l2.5 stars
It was very sweet ande really apparent how much in love the MCs were but it just wasn't enough. Not even the inclusions of a hospital scene like I crave could make me think this was very good. All conflict was resolved too easily. (view spoiler)[Stefan (hide spoiler)] was a dick for about five minutes then extremely apologetic.
It was horribly sexist. No jobs were given for the women. They were all just included for the roles they play as moms and grandmas. While those are important and noble roles--and I certainly am proud of being both--women are more than that. When babies are mentioned ((view spoiler)[no mpreg going, yea!) (hide spoiler)] the women are described as being the ones who will spoil the baby, not any males. The idiot person who (view spoiler)[helped the demons (hide spoiler)] was of course female.
The whole (view spoiler)[being in a coma for five weeks and then waking up all fine (hide spoiler)] was just silly but at least he didn't feel well enough for sex at that point.
2.5 stars rounded up because I'm a sucker for a good OMG-he's-gonna-die scene.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was terrible, really terrible. I'm really disappointed, too, because I was hoping to read the sequel for Scavenger Hunt. There was no ex1.5 stars
This was terrible, really terrible. I'm really disappointed, too, because I was hoping to read the sequel for Scavenger Hunt. There was no excitement and the brief moment of peril was rather silly. There was some angst, too much for those who don't like it and not enough for those like me who crave it. The ending was predictable and I didn't even really care at that point. There was too much telling. I didn't need either's life story and certainly not in the first few pages, especially not when Alex later rehashed some of his for someone else. There was way way way too much sex and unappealing sex at that since both were really bossy and demanding and not listening to each other. It wasn't quite BDSM nor was it quite not.
There was significant dubious sex content. One time when Alex woke up, he thought the Rory was asleep. He then proceeded to penetrate him while he still believed Rory was asleep, and only found out Rory wasn't really asleep when Rory said something. More than once Rory initiated sex and Alex said no several times and Rory refused to listen. They even physically fought one of those times. Later Rory decided to "let [Alex] come to terms with being almost bloody raped [by Rory!]." That's disgusting. He later refers to it as love making, purposely differentiating it from just sex.
There were lots of other things I didn't like or that were problematic:
• I hated the hunting aspect and fail to see why each man needed to kill his own stag in order to show he's a man. (These were mostly green tourists.)
• Alex at one point feels somehow he's met an equal because the other man was really tall. All the good people were tall. The shortest good guy out of many is 5'10". The only short man was a horrible person.
• Rory was painted as someone who has never been outside a tiny Scottish town, which is ridiculous and also not true. He is uncomfortable in pants (and he isn't positive the word is jeans). Scottish people wear the same clothes everyone else in the UK does. Kilts are just for dressy occasions.
• Unsafe sex: The first time they had sex, Rory has condoms and lube in his bags in the car but he was too into it to get them and instead goes bareback with Alex, whom he didn't know, and Alex let him. They never used condoms.
• Super instalove: They both fell head over heels to the point of voicing the fact to themselves they're in love before 24 hours have passed.
• They each thought of the other as boy-like and innocent like that was a good thing which was creepy.
• The constant "foog" for fuck was annoying especially since there was no hint of any other accent or Scottishisms.
• Alex's pecs were referred to as breasts twice including, "The swell of his breasts..."
• This was another sexist book written by a woman. (I haven't found a male M/M author who writes sexist stories and it is really disturbing how many women writers do. No women appeared in more than a sentence or two, and although some others were mentioned in passing. They were all described solely in their roles as wives, mothers, cooks, secretaries and a mistress. Later Rory's father tells him that if he doesn't do such and such, he would decide, "...I don't have a son, I have a little girl hiding under the bed." Not a child, but specifically a little girl.
• I'm pretty sure there aren't any bears in Scotland. The European brown bear went extinct there hundreds of years ago. Moose went extinct 1,000 years ago and only in 2008 were two reintroduced. There is no way anyone would be allowed to hunt them.
The ending left questions for me. One in particular was that I still have no idea why (view spoiler)[anyone was hired to follow Rory since the people setting it up all claimed it was some kind of joke or minor thing or a setup (hide spoiler)].
All in all, this just wasn't worth the time I spent with it. I would have abandoned it if I hadn't been reading it for a challenge. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more