I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Well, I hate to be the one to write the first negative review, but someone's gotta doI received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Well, I hate to be the one to write the first negative review, but someone's gotta do it.
I guess I never realized it before, but I hate alpha males. At least, I hate them as they're portrayed in any work of fiction I've read. They're man-children prone to unnecessary temper tantrums, such as throwing crystal tumblers against walls when they wake up and find their little lady missing from bed/the room. Because how dare she use the bathroom without clearing it with him first?
Perhaps Savage's reaction is justified, given that he doesn't want Eve roaming the house alone since there's a lusty baron out to "claim" her. The baron, along with Savage and Eve and several others, are guests as a country house for the week, engaging in all sorts of sexual amusement. It's called the Game, and there are rules. Except ... when there are not rules. Or there are rules only when it's convenient to the story. The baron wants Eve? He cites the rules. Everyone thinks Savage and Eve are spending too much time in his rooms? The rules are cited. WHAT ARE THESE RULES??? Nobody seems to follow them, and nobody really explains them to Eve beforehand. I guess they're there for safety reasons, but if the baron is just waiting for his chance to grab Eve despite having a partner of his own, they don't really matter.
Another "rule" is that Eve is supposed to address Savage as Master and never question him. She forgets all the time and he berates the hell out of her for it. Yet he slips "in and out of the Game so easily that it was often difficult for me to tell when he was playing and when he wasn't." So basically he punishes and shames her for being confused by him, because he can't stay in character. Everything she says, most of which is kind or well-meaning, he turns into an insult or sign of disrespect.
I'd already learned to my sorrow that even the mildest of words could turn treacherous with him.
RUN AWAY, EVE!!!
Well, tantrums and possessiveness aside, Savage is prone to sexism. A very subtle kind, delineating the differences between men and women. Men and women are different, of course. But a person doesn't have to say so in such a condescending way.
"...loneliness affects women in different ways than it does men, and given the warm nature of most women, it must be more difficult for them to bear."
How touching. But no.
There's also a mention of "female fussing." Eve is kind of sexist too, since she believes all men have tempers when angry. Guess what, Eve? Pretty much everyone loses their temper sometimes. ESPECIALLY WHEN ANGRY.
Savage is also confused by how a woman might feel upon being sexually assaulted. Because yes, even women at a gathering solely for having sex can be sexually assaulted! Who knew?
He frowned. "You were frightened by a drunkard pawing over your leg?"
Uh, yes, that is frightening. Sorry to break it to you, chap. And it would be bad enough if all the drunkard did was "paw" at her leg. But he pulled up her clothing and stuck his hand between her legs.
A lot of the interaction between Savage and Eve is attributed to their type of play—domination and submission. And Eve consents to most of it. But they never agreed on a safe word, so there's no way for Eve to tell him to stop. Which she does when he ties her to the bed. He doesn't stop, of course. When she struggles against the cords, she gets abrasions and bruises. It's her fault, she admits. She shouldn't have struggled! Luckily, she finds peace in her submission when he finally unties her. She is "worthy."
Like many alphas before him, Savage is a jealous type. Eve puts on nothing but a long strand of pearls to please him (he had mentioned something about this earlier, I believe), and he gets angry because another man gave her the pearls. So he gives her a new strand! Now he doesn't have to be jealous anymore!
Everyone is concerned about how Eve has changed Savage. They're worried about her because he's hiding her away in his rooms instead of frolicking about the estate like usual. And they want to bring this earlier version of him back, apparently. When Eve wistfully mentions this earlier version, he gets angry at the look in her eyes. Jealous. THE MAN IS JEALOUS OF HIMSELF.
There is so much more I could say about this book, but this review is getting rather long. This is a romance novel with extra sex and less plot. "Erotica," if you will. Except the sex is really banal and the dirty talk is boring and repetitive.
I'm glad some readers are finding positives in this book, but it wasn't for me. I wouldn't have finished it if I weren't reviewing it for Netgalley.
P.S. One thing completely unrelated to sex that really annoyed me? An aristocrat saying money doesn't matter. AHAHAHA. Shut the hell up....more
Uh ... not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that.
This book was overwhelmingly gross. It was much too nasty to "like." Why on earth would I want toUh ... not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that.
This book was overwhelmingly gross. It was much too nasty to "like." Why on earth would I want to read about a thirteen-year-old girl seemingly detached from her emotions, fumbling her way into hardcore drugs? I don't know. But I just did.
Lessons learned: 1) Pretty much any grown man will fuck/want to fuck/think about fucking a thirteen-year-old girl who dresses older and wears cat-eye makeup. (view spoiler)[Except, thank god, for her dad, even when she tries to grope him below the belt. (hide spoiler)] 2) If you shoot it up, you get that rush. 3) Your ounce isn't short—it's the metric system, dumb ass. 4) Drugs are just as gross as I thought they were.
I can't remember why I decided to read this. I think I saw it recommended on a website somewhere. I should have stopped reading this way in the beginning. Maybe about the time Nikki has sex with her newly dead mother's younger boyfriend.
I think I had a permanent lip curl of disgust while I read. I don't know what DSS is, but for the love of god, couldn't someone just get CPS to take this poor, fucked up little girl away and get her head right? It's not too late!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book might have been saved by better writing. Unfortunately, it had the lamest attempts at simile and poetry I have read in a while. Not aBoring.
This book might have been saved by better writing. Unfortunately, it had the lamest attempts at simile and poetry I have read in a while. Not an actual quote: "The sand felt slightly damp, as if it were waiting for the tide to come in and soak it." Um, okay. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Also not an actual quote: "They were superheroes battling each other for world domination." Yay. Great. That might have worked if either of the guys in question were in any way super or heroic.
The character development was basically nonexistent. The development of character relationships was also nonexistent. Especially in the beginning, there was little sense of the time that was supposed to have passed. As a result I had no idea why Wendy would feel so close to these people. Why on earth do they care for her? I had no reason to understand Wendy's trust for them. I had no reason to care about her brothers or her search for them. I had no reason to care about surf culture (I guess that's a thing).
I must be too old for books like this. All I could think about was how lame these kids were for stealing and selling drugs in order to maintain their lifestyle of surfing and living off the grid in abandoned mansions. I was like, you know what's a good way to make enough money to surf wherever you want in the world, especially if you already have minimal expenses? Get a job, save some money, and then quit that bitch so you can travel. Or, if you're Jas, throw a tantrum until your super rich parents agree to fund a vacation. Although they had very little, these kids seemed like entitled idiots.
There were drugs, and references to beer, and stealing, and a sketchy bar with a BACK ROOM, and a skeezy guy who tries to assault Wendy, and cheap motel rooms. Oh, how EDGY. Haha, not.
The book did get slightly better in the second half, but the only reason I stuck it out that far was so I could write a review for Netgalley....more
This was an interesting idea. I even had a dream stemming from this book. Alas, the idea was not executed to iI won this through a Goodreads giveaway.
This was an interesting idea. I even had a dream stemming from this book. Alas, the idea was not executed to its full potential.
There were endless different kinds of lost items and a fair description of the town of Lost, and yet it felt so much was missing from the narrative. Everything in this book was somehow lacking. The passing of time was glossed over. The threat of people trying to kill the heroine didn't feel at all urgent or, well, threatening.
Also missing, for me, was an emotional connection and a reason to believe in the romance.
The romance ... God, the romance. That's pretty much what killed it for me. Where was the buildup? Random stuff happens, the heroine thinks the guy is handsome without ever giving the reader a clear description of him, and suddenly they're kissing with absolutely no heat whatsoever. "It was like kissing sunlight" and "like kissing the ocean." If I wanted sappy, weakly poetic shit like that, I'd read YA, which this might as well have been. Adults don't even think stuff like that, not even if you're an artist, like the heroine. At least I don't think so. Anyway, who wants to kiss the ocean?
The writing was ... serviceable. Not terrible, but nothing special. But I swear to god, if I have to read first person present one more time I might shoot myself in the foot. Unless the writing is amazing, and unless there's a really good reason to do this, I pretty much want this writing style to die. (Another "adult" book where it was done not-well: Archetype.)
I did like the way the book ended. I think it could work fairly well as a standalone, though it does leave some open ends. I have absolutely no plans to continue with the series, however....more
This was much lighter fare than what I've come to expect from Anne Stuart. Not that this was a problem, but it seems that by lightening up she lost aThis was much lighter fare than what I've come to expect from Anne Stuart. Not that this was a problem, but it seems that by lightening up she lost a lot of character development and depth of plot. The writing seemed utterly formulaic and therefore predictable. Also annoying. The word "wicked" appeared 38 times, but it felt like so much more. The phrases "well and truly kissed" and being loved "well and often" should be banned from romance novels.
The villain was a crappy villain if I ever saw one. He was an abbot who spouted crazy religious nonsense every chance he got, calling women whores and ordering wives not to sleep with their husbands, and engaging in flogging in order to get closer to God (and he secretly liked it, the sick old bastard). But he was an old man. Someone could have punched him in the face right from the beginning and he wouldn't have been around to bother everyone else. I know this was set in medieval times where religious figures had a lot of power and people had to listen to them, but zealous talk of hell and sin just doesn't strike me with fear. Yawn.
Julianna and her mother Isabeau, the two main (possibly only) women of the book suffered from severe and misplaced guilt. For instance, Isabeau thought it was her fault when something bad happened to Julianna, because she'd "tarried too long in bed" with her husband. Every time Julianna wasn't completely straightforward, she called herself deceitful and treacherous and wicked and probably some synonyms of those words. It was astonishing what they blamed themselves for.
Julianna was married off when she was about eleven, and then her husband died right before the start of the book. At one point Isabeau asks Julianna if she bled when her first husband bedded her. Which Julianna didn't because her husband was old and, it turns out, impotent. All this time she believes she's had sex and hated it, but (view spoiler)[she's actually still a virgin! (hide spoiler)] Thank God for purity. Anyway, even though Julianna has seen farm animals coupling, she has no idea what a man looks like aroused. So when she accidentally sees a couple getting it on in the kitchen, she freaks out and runs into the rain.
"Her world had shifted once again, and she had no idea what to think, what to believe."
All because she saw a hard dick. I know they're not exactly pretty, but come on.
Nicholas, the hero, tries way too hard to convince himself he's only interested in sex and, well, himself. I was actually interested in him being a fool (that word appeared 161 times in the book, and "mad fool" appeared 12 times), but his POVs were tiresome. He doesn't want to be any woman's "pawn," which, of course, is the only thing that could happen if he ever got married.
"Such a waste of ripe womanhood was an affront to his nature."
What the hell is that? So if a woman isn't married and isn't a sexual being, she's basically pointless. At least according to Nicholas, because he needs to be able to sleep with anyone if he wants. At one point he even considers seducing Isabeau.
Another of Nicholas's dubiously insightful thoughts: "It wasn't nearly as pretty as Julianna, he thought dispassionately." This is about ... a cup. Well, a chalice. It's gold, and it has jewels, so you can understand the comparison. Nothing proves the hero's love more than him thinking a woman is prettier than a cup.
Both Isabeau and Nicholas's servant Bogo display their keen powers of perception by telling Nicholas how he feels. Basically they told him he was in love with Julianna and things would work out. Um, thanks. I hate this trope of every random person being able to discern the minute facial expressions of the hero and heroine, when they themselves are still in denial about their feelings. Just listen to the older, more experienced folk and you'll be fine! You don't know anything anyway.
This book didn't even have enough sex to save it. The only explicit sex scene between Julianna and Nicholas was nice, but it happened late in the game. The two of them falling in love happened so quickly and with so little development it was unbelievable. Their "love" was based purely on sex. I'm pretty sure all their conversations involved innuendos (sometimes in rhyme form) and a few lines about the infamous chalice.
Although I started getting a little interested in the last 10% of the book, the 90% before that was so dull it didn't matter. I don't think I'd have finished this if I hadn't gotten it from Netgalley. But I did finish it, and I'm not really sure why it's called Lady Fortune.
Huh. I really thought this was going to be a short review.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.["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
In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worstIn a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .
GEE, I WONDER.
This book was nothing more than YA dystopia written for adults. And it's only for adults because of the characters' ages and a couple of sex scenes.
Nearly everything the main character does is based on the word of someone else. She has these flashbacks and she can't tell if they're dreams or memories and it's SO FRICKIN' OBVIOUS. Predictable is too mild a word. You don't even have to read this book to know how it turns out.
The romance was SOOO BOOOORINGG, which is unfortunate because all the drama hinged on it. This book had so much potential but it was so unbelievably shallow, with a phoned-in plot and meh writing. There was absolutely nothing convincing or compelling about this book.
This started out a surprising four stars for me, but the stars quickly dropped off somewhere around the halfway mark. That's when the book took on a wThis started out a surprising four stars for me, but the stars quickly dropped off somewhere around the halfway mark. That's when the book took on a weird, judgmental sort of tone. You know, virginity is good, whoring is bad and deserves contempt. Virginity is treated as a prize. It's very subtle in this book, but clear.
The main character, Wen, is in constant danger of being raped, and not just from one bad guy. The majority of men in this book leer at or threaten her at some point. I read a couple reviews calling this book "futuristic" and "steampunk." I didn't feel this book fit into either of those categories, but maybe that's just me. Even so, the way Wen was treated as a female seemed an unnecessary way to victimize her and add drama.
I haven't noticed other reviews mentioning these particular things, so maybe it's just me. But even though Wen eventually recognizes that sometimes people have to do what they have to do in order to eat (like become whores), the rest of the book was soured for me. I realized how blah the love interests were, and how every man who wasn't a love interest was described as "greasy" or toad-like" or as having a "soft middle" (paraphrasing). Stuff like that. Because if a guy isn't handsome or a love interest, he's gross.
So, yeah. I can't say this was a huge disappointment, and I'm not exactly surprised not to have liked it, but after a fairly strong beginning, this book was definitely a letdown. ...more
Honestly I thought this book was a little ridiculous. While it's not entirely impossible, though it is improbable, for a girl to have three guys in loHonestly I thought this book was a little ridiculous. While it's not entirely impossible, though it is improbable, for a girl to have three guys in love/obsessed with her, I just didn't understand why the guys in this story felt so strongly about Julia. Sleepless was short, yes, but I think authors can flesh out characters in short books just as well as long ones. These characters weren't entirely flat, but unfortunately they were a little one-note and there was nothing particularly unique about them. We know Julia can dish out insults (only because Balog told us, not because Julia does it all the time), yet it turns out she does this as a shield. She also likes architecture, but still this doesn't offer the reader much insight into her personality. Who is the real Julia? As for Griffin, we don't really get to know him since he dies in the prologue, (view spoiler)[but after becoming a Sandman he turns completely psycho and starts raving about how Julia belongs to him (hide spoiler)]. Some things are hinted about Bret, and then completely forgotten. Now Eron, he was probably the best character. I believed he was from another time, especially with the maddening comments on a woman's virtue based solely on whether she has a lot of sex or not. I thought it was funny, him walking around town in an old-fashioned tuxedo. The writing was not amazing or poetic or anything like that, but it was pretty solid. So, points for that. However, Sleepless was mostly just flat. It wasn't a very strong book at all....more
I picked this up from the bargain bin, thinking it would be a fun but interesting read. How wrong I was. I don't think I've ever read a book more devoI picked this up from the bargain bin, thinking it would be a fun but interesting read. How wrong I was. I don't think I've ever read a book more devoid of emotion or characterization. I couldn't believe anyone in the book was in love with anyone else, not only because of the characters' flatness but because it just seemed to happen out of nowhere, with a whole lot of telling and no showing whatsoever. The time period should have added some level of interest, but no. Even though I paid less than four dollars for this book, I'm pretty sure I'll be returning it soon....more