A lazy weekend demands a lifetime novel. Karen Rose never disappoints.
Hunky cop with tortured past? Check. Sexy, smart schoolteacher with tortured pasA lazy weekend demands a lifetime novel. Karen Rose never disappoints.
Hunky cop with tortured past? Check. Sexy, smart schoolteacher with tortured past? Check. Serial Killer with a twisted agenda? Check. High Body count? Check. Best friends, children, pets, and families to serve as fodder for killer? Check. Small town politics and arrogant bureaucrats? Check.
Add ingredients and one couch for a lovely 3 hours diversion where in all the elements blend together to create suspense, drama, and contrived situations designed to ensure that the Hunky Cop hooks up with the Sexy Schoolteacher.
So cheesy I drank my wine with it. Satisfying to the last page.
And, as an added bonus, no middle-aged spinsters with cats were killed in this novel. ...more
Lots of misfits and fringe members of society populating this novel. I am interested to see how the author draws out the ABSOLUTELY chilling, twistedLots of misfits and fringe members of society populating this novel. I am interested to see how the author draws out the ABSOLUTELY chilling, twisted relationship between Gretchen Lowell and Archie Sheridan. Sometimes in "serial killer" novels, the villain becomes a caricature in the vein of a "sick bastard," and whom the entire PD spends their time trying to catch. Not that this is THAT much different, but the central "perp" to this story is behind bars and way scarier than the killer who is actually killing the girls in this novel. Trust me. ...more
The cliche/stereotypical characters were much more understated than the usual suspense/lifetime movie in a book genre.
Although the tortured heroine waThe cliche/stereotypical characters were much more understated than the usual suspense/lifetime movie in a book genre.
Although the tortured heroine was indeed a basket case, it wasn't a deep dark pain on which she expounded page after page. Her exposition established a satisfying reason for her addictions and her need for secrecy. Sheila's illusion of control provided a compelling tension between herself and her nemesis.
The psychopathic stalker, established upfront, had his own manias and demons, but there were no twisted monologues with burning groins that need to be satisfied in the mysterious "later." The author provides enough back story, revealed in vignettes, without the "mustkillnow" mentality.
However, Stevie Wonder could see the plot twist coming even without the trope of the "wise black man" who lives on the edge of society while seeing it's truth.
Regardless, it kept me up until 2 am, so it was clearly suspenseful.
**spoiler alert** What can one say about a sentimental, favorite series? I would rather wander aimlessly through time--be it 18th century Scotland and**spoiler alert** What can one say about a sentimental, favorite series? I would rather wander aimlessly through time--be it 18th century Scotland and America or the contemporary ages--with the Frasers and their folk than read badly-written, churned out pulp with flat and static characters. No one could ever accuse Gabaldon of creating such a narrative. That being said, the larger this story arc grows and the more characters that get added, it can feel like a caricature of the original novels rather than the next compelling installment.
What Keeps Me Returning: Wee Ian. Watching him fall in love with his little Quaker after the devastating losses of his Mohawk wife and child does a girl's heart good. Rachel is a good match for Ian with her innocent yet common sense approach to difficult situations. When she called him her wolf, it made me happy. I am always happy to read the about tension between Lord John and all his family--especially William. That extends to his one true love Jamie and his respect/revulsion for Claire. I definitely want to know what Clarence the Mule gets up to and I cried real tears at the loss of Rollo and the leaving behind of the cheattie, Adso. The attention to detail and character is what makes this series fun to read.* (except in case of children--see below)
What Needs Work: The storyline with William needs to either be jettisoned or it needs to be fleshed out more. I feel like he's being made into "Jamie-Lite" instead of his own man. The woe-is-me temper tantrum needs to stop--Man Up Willie! Also, I'd like to see Jenny find a real adventure. If she must lose Big Ian, the love of her life, and travel across the worlds, then for the love of Christmas, please give her SOMETHING good. Do not reduce her to Claire's side kick who gives sage advice and holds the light so Claire can cut someone open. Her character deserves better.
Surprising: The Brianna/Roger storyline finally picked up steam. Centuries away from THE GREAT ROMANCE of Claire and Jamie allows their relationship to flourish on it's own. I actually cared what happened to them and Mandy and Jem didn't annoy me.
Needs to GO!I know romance raises love, marriage, and family to it's highest, most sentimental form, but cheese and rice, I don't care about all the stupid things kids say. I hate the patronizing yet oh-so-wise conversations the characters have with children. Make those kids interesting or shut them up. Sheesh. I also don't want to know what goes on in their nappies, noses, or crusty 18th century skin conditions....more
After three weeks in the world of GRRM and his Game of Thrones, this double shot of romance and feminist history sparked the estrogen needed to stop mAfter three weeks in the world of GRRM and his Game of Thrones, this double shot of romance and feminist history sparked the estrogen needed to stop my beard and chest hair from growing any further.
In addition to the witty banter between Free and Edward, the seduction by punctuation, and a hero that truly respects an independent woman, the author actually creates the most awesome nickname in the entire smutty romance genre: Your Fierceness. It's one part feminism, one part RuPaul. Fierce betches!
There were even hints of improper lesbian relationships among the bluestockings.
My only caveat was the necessary leveling, or perhaps in this case, the rising of the two main characters. I know that in the romance genres, epic romance is the bastion of the nobility. Oh, one can love and have a happy life downstairs--else so many people would not love Downton Abbey-however, the true sweeping romance can only come when there's someone else to do the laundry. Puttering with the smithy to make art doesn't count, dear Edward. Despite their distaste for the nobility, it is clear that Free and Edward are very white collar workers (OR black collar worker in Edward's nefarious case) and spend token amounts of time in the working class world. Thus, Edward MUST take the reins of his viscounthood in the ton, and Free becomes the unwilling viscountess. At least she quibbles internally about how much she might like it.
However, Milan makes it clear that like Minnie and Robert, the couple plans to be noble for the GREATER GOOD SO IT'S ALL OKAY, OKAY?
I obviously blew through this series in about 4 days. They're kind of like Pringles. Badly made, not substantial, but damn if they don't taste good.
II obviously blew through this series in about 4 days. They're kind of like Pringles. Badly made, not substantial, but damn if they don't taste good.
I am intrigued by the world building, the lore of the ghosts. By installment three we've added root magic, personal hauntings, and other supernatural doors waiting to be opened.
Not gonna lie, I want to see what's hiding in the dark and shadows. I don't care if it devours the heroine as I don't really have a lot invested in her or the hunky, haunted cop. I just want to see the ghosts. ...more
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had a poll the other day, asking which tropes appeal personally. For me, it's the situational domesticity trope. The hero/Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had a poll the other day, asking which tropes appeal personally. For me, it's the situational domesticity trope. The hero/heroine are thrown together in domestic situations--housekeeper/master, protector/protected--anything where the hero and heroine are forced into long periods of time together wherein they learn all about each other. There can be long journeys or a household situation, but I like watching the histories of the two characters unfold and then unite for a common cause--defeating an enemy, getting to the altar, whatever.
Although Meredith Duran doesn't always use this trope, she is a master (mistress?) at creating characters that are so fully developed, they are a pleasure to read. More importantly, the intimacy is layered so that they characters must peel away the knowledge, bit by bit, nuanced. I prefer that much more than tons of inner dialogue and one large vomited reveal and a tidy ending.
Even the supporting characters, like Polly and Mr. Jones, are so well developed, they feel like part of Olivia and Alastair's world and not a plot device.
My only gripe was the fact that Alastair's "trust issues" were a bit too "woe is me" towards the end. Suck it up princess, and marry that girl before she gets away. ...more
I usually like Sandra Brown's mysteries. They're fluffy lifetime movies in handy book form. This one just dragged, though. Too many stereotypes.
ClassyI usually like Sandra Brown's mysteries. They're fluffy lifetime movies in handy book form. This one just dragged, though. Too many stereotypes.
Classy, beautiful lingerie designer who will only open for the right man. Testosterone ridden DA with a hard-on only for our heroine. Batty, Southern mother. Black model who loves voodoo. Crazed evangelicals.
In the perspective of a 14 year old protagonist, KMM's general butchery of the English language is less noticeable. Doesn't mean that there weren't moIn the perspective of a 14 year old protagonist, KMM's general butchery of the English language is less noticeable. Doesn't mean that there weren't moments when I wanted to throw the ereader across the room. But in general, this installment was less abrasive than usual.
Since I spend the majority of my days with teenagers, I was, perhaps, less bothered by Dani than others. That doesn't mean this book was good. I thought I hated Mac. I might dislike KMM's style. The world building, the characters? Awesome. The writing? Arrrggggghhhhhhhh.
Still, this installment and the promise of Mac in the next novel is probably enough to make this my farewell to the Fever series. ...more
This series of historicals doesn't bother me as much. Characters are well drawn and understood. The only thing keeping this from three stars are the cThis series of historicals doesn't bother me as much. Characters are well drawn and understood. The only thing keeping this from three stars are the constant anachronistic descriptions/phrases.
I realize that one doesn't expect EXACT historical accuracy when one reads a historical romance. Let's face it, we're all reading these for the smutty, smutty sex. HOWEVER, some accuracy would be nice. Cobbling a bunch of historical phrases together with a smattering of Gaelic and a side of 21st century syntax, doesn't make this an accurate representation of medieval Highland speech.
Throwing in 20th century scientific discoveries is really annoying. I don't think any 12th century heroine wondered about her raging hormones. She'd have been more inclined to believe demons were deviling her or that her humors were out of balance. I'm just saying. ...more
Oh, rapey, rapey, historicals. A headstrong woman bending to the will of a dominant lover can be exciting, especially if both characters are empathetiOh, rapey, rapey, historicals. A headstrong woman bending to the will of a dominant lover can be exciting, especially if both characters are empathetic. It makes the smutty sex fun and full of challenge. Without well drawn characters, the line between dominant male and rapey male blurs. Once that line is crossed, the sex becomes degrading and well, kind of dirty.
But the rape? Not the most disturbing part of the novel. The constant narration--inner dialogue or external description by the hero/heroine--ruins the entire story.
Tortured heroes have flashbacks. Fully realized scenes that include dialogue, fully drawn supporting characters--villains and saviors alike. There are heart-breaking conflicts and betrayals that can be fleshed out and provide the readers a modicum of empathy for such a contained man.
Complex heroines who make questionable moral choices also have flashbacks. Critical moments and choices that also use dialogue, conflict, and fully realized character. That would make her empathetic.
No bona fide cat ladies or true spinsters died in the writing of this book. I almost don't know what to think. I had to double check that this was wriNo bona fide cat ladies or true spinsters died in the writing of this book. I almost don't know what to think. I had to double check that this was written by Lisa Jackson, but 'tis true.
Not my favorite. Apparently, I get some prurient satisfaction when my sisters of the catladyship die. Still, Jackson is one of the better Lifetime novelists and this wasn't a horrible way to spend a rainy Friday night....more
I realize this was meant to be a gentle and humorous romance, however I do wish the heroine was less scatter brained. I mean, absent minded professorI realize this was meant to be a gentle and humorous romance, however I do wish the heroine was less scatter brained. I mean, absent minded professor can be funny but her oblivion seemed obtuse especially considering the sophistication of her inventions. ...more