Read this a while back, but had trouble articulating why I did not fall in love with it, as so many other readers had. Then I read Meoskop's review atRead this a while back, but had trouble articulating why I did not fall in love with it, as so many other readers had. Then I read Meoskop's review at LOVE IN THE MARGINS, and I had my answer:
The second book in Laurenston's MAGNUS PACK shapeshifter series features Connall, a Viking/wolf member of the pack, and his major crush, African-Am2.5
The second book in Laurenston's MAGNUS PACK shapeshifter series features Connall, a Viking/wolf member of the pack, and his major crush, African-American Miki. The two met in the first book, and Connall was hit by an instant crush on the foul-mouthed, brainy Miki. Due to her parents' bad relationship, though, Miki has no desire to get involved with any guy, especially not a white half-animal beast like Connall. But when Miki is in the midst of defending her dissertation, and Connall discovers she's in danger, he tells her he'll be accompanying her on protective duty, something she resists at every turn. Needless to say, the two end up fucking like bunnies, despite Miki's "oh, I don't want to" litany.
The ending of the book, in which Connall (view spoiler)[ "marks" Miki during "dream" sex (which is actually real sex), making her his mate without her consent, AND getting her pregnant at the same time (hide spoiler)] is a really icky example of the paranormal romance bait-and-switch: creating a kick-ass heroine, but then taking away her ability to choose, making her romance relationship not an equitable one. Major points off for this.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 Another strong entry in Long's Pennyroyal Green series, albeit one with a long, slow build to romance (our protagonists don't even kiss until page3.5 Another strong entry in Long's Pennyroyal Green series, albeit one with a long, slow build to romance (our protagonists don't even kiss until page 231). Phillippe, Lord Lavay, a prince of the house of Bourbon (not sure what the relation is; Long never specifies), is rusticating in Pennyroyal Green, recovering from injuries he sustained while on a spying mission for the English crown. Readers of the series originally met him in book #4, where he appeared a lighthearted scoundrel type, a fellow pirate aboard the ship of the future Earl of Ardmay. Here, though, he is presented as a brooding Byronic type, never smiling, always yelling at the staff. He's brooding over how to recover the family estate back in France, lost during the Revolution but now up for sale. He can take on another job for the crown, or he can marry a rich French noblewoman, neither of which options he finds terribly appealing.
Enter Elise Fountain, a former teacher at a local girls' school who is suddenly out of a job after being too outspoken with a student's guardian. She takes on the job of housekeeper to Lavay, and manages to bring cleanliness, comfort, and all-around good cheer to the formerly dirty, comfortless, and dismal house where Lavay is staying. Elise, like Phillippe, is an exile from home; she was cast out by her parents after announcing she was pregnant by a man who's deserted her. Their mutual longing for home, as well as their physical attraction to one another, gradually brings the two together. But how can Lavay be with penniless Elise and still regain his patrimony?
The problems of both our protagonists are resolved with fairy-tale ease, with the message that love makes the most meaningful home providing the key. Elise's reconciliation with her parents was particularly hard to believe. Only Long's frothy, joyful, simile-filled prose makes it at all worth suspending one's disbelief....more