I saw this book/author described as having spare prose. Boy, was it spare. To the point of uselessness. I don't know if my reading comprehension would...moreI saw this book/author described as having spare prose. Boy, was it spare. To the point of uselessness. I don't know if my reading comprehension would have been assisted by having read the first book or not, but the incessant description of the nameless, faceless enemy as "the second man" (without capitalization) was confusing and annoying (particularly whenever there was a generic second man around).
Gabriel's love-hate relationship with his best friend was inconsistent and annoying, too. In fact, everything about the way Gabriel was written was confusing and annoying, including (or because of) the pacing of the events. Another reviewer mentioned that they thought Michael and Gabriel were the ones in love and should have been together. I agree wholeheartedly. If I cared to think about it, I might be a little miffed that the author chose to take them both in a heterosexual direction instead of making them both bisexual. (Ah, but we all know bisexuality is the redheaded stepchild of LBGT [in fact, I don't even know why they include the B since the Ls and Gs seem to despise them], so making them bisexual would be just as fraught.)
Now, I'm as much a sucker for insta-lust as the next girl, but when I don't know who's lusting for whom for quite a while (because there's a silver-haired villain and a blond hero who is quickly begun to be described as silver-haired and silver-eyed), it's annoying as hell.
Also, Gabriel's descriptions, Michael's descriptions, and descriptions of maybe two or three of Gabriel's sentiments were repeated over and over and over and over and over again. It was like the word count needed padding and so this information was repeated ad nauseam. Sadly, for as many times as the two or three plot points were repeated, they were never clarified.
I liked the heroine. From the little business at the end between her and the heroine of the previous book, I'm thinking they're carbon copies of each other.
And the plot was convoluted, which is fine, but that much convolution dragging on for fifteen years was just this side of fantastical.
Since this is an erotic romance, I'll speak to the copious sex: There was a lot of it. And more. It was dry and uninteresting for all the reasons I stated above.
I will say this: The author's expertise in Victorian indoor plumbing is astonishing. I learned quite a bit.(less)
I never read spoilers unless I'm just not that into you the book. And so as this thing dragged on with vague assumptions creating tiny misunderstandin...moreI never read spoilers unless I'm just not that into you the book. And so as this thing dragged on with vague assumptions creating tiny misunderstandings with a too-martyr heroine and a tone-deaf hero, I decided I was mildly curious about the "mystery" (which, I will have you know, only presented itself at the halfway point). I read this review and decided to chuck the book onto the DNF shelf. (Thanks to the reviewer for taking one for the team.)
Really, that's 2:2 Baloghs back-to-back DNFd. I have two more on my shelf that were rec'd by a friend whose taste I trust, but I probably won't be getting to those anytime soon. I have to say, this author is probably the most uneven one in execution book to book that I've ever read.(less)