**spoiler alert** Above and beyond anything in this book, I have to comment on the following.
I don't care if he was her husband, no one and I mean NO...more**spoiler alert** Above and beyond anything in this book, I have to comment on the following.
I don't care if he was her husband, no one and I mean NO ONE is ever ENTITLED to access to a woman's body. When a woman says no, she means no, and even if the guy is her husband, he needs to stop or it IS sexual assault. That's right, folks, that means it's RAPE. I found this book to be full of rape-y scenes and that's not even referring to the actual sexual assault that kicked off the action in the book.
I was so furious with Ambrose in this book. His wife is discovered alive but she has amnesia and can't remember her life before 3 years earlier. Ambrose, because HE knows that she is his wife, thinks that he has the RIGHT to access her body sexually, her needs and wants be damned. He paws all over her, kneading her breasts like bread dough, rubbing his erection on her all the time. It's actually quite disturbing how little he seems to care about what she wants (or doesn't want) from him.
She has to physically fight him off at times and yet the author never allows Ambrose to understand that just because they're married doesn't mean that he deserves to use her however he sees fit. He never admits that he was wrong, or that he perhaps approached his behavior with her from the wrong direction. Ambrose, for the entire books, thinks that he was right and the author never corrects him.
When Lucy finally remembers what happened to her and she tells Ambrose that she was raped, I wondered if it was the first time that he actually understood that not only was she beaten, cut, and left for dead, but that she had also been sexually assaulted. I was waiting for him to apologize for forcing himself on her, repeatedly, perhaps because he didn't understand the extent of her issues with her body and other people accessing it without her express consent.
But we never get that. It's like Ambrose doesn't care that he possibly added to her trauma, and apparently neither does the author. This isn't a sexy alpha male. This is sexual assault by an arrogant, entitled man who growls his way possessively through this book, not really asking himself what Lucy needs, just deciding that what HE needs IS what she needs and not stopping till he gets what he wants. I found him repulsive and all the sex scenes to be disturbing and some of the least erotic moments in a book I've read all year, quite possibly ever.
I also see in this book the perpetuation of the myth of the "magical penis" that can "cure" a sexual assault victim of their issues. From the beginning, Ambrose is all over Lucy, telling her that he knows that she wants it, that he needs her and that he is entitled to her because she's his wife, not matter what disagreements she may have with that. And over time, his "magic penis" seems to "heal" her, as she starts to feel aroused despite not wanting him to touch her.
The author clearly intends this to mean that despite her mental protests, her body remembers Ambrose and actually wants him to have sex with her (because he certainly isn't make love to her). What the author is either unaware of or is ignoring is that there are certain physiological responses that happen when certain parts of the body are stimulated, which is why some women (and men) actually orgasm when raped. It's not that they were actually aroused, it's that their "body" buttons were pushed and they were forced into orgasm.
Basically, her physical responses do not mean that she wants it or that she likes it, it just means that he's manipulating her body. The fact that the author repeatedly relies on Lucy's responses as a guide for whether she actually wants to have sex or not, as opposed to what she thinks she wants, makes it clear that the author doesn't know or doesn't care about this issue. It's called research, folks, and if you are writing a book about a rape survivor, you should do some.
At the end of the book, what I got out of it is that if a rape victim just gives in and lets her man do whatever he wants, he'll eventually "fix" her, removing any mental issues that she might have regarding sexual contact with persons of the opposite sex because sex with him is just that good.
I call shenanigans. This book reinforces rape culture and reinforces the idea that, despite the fact that LUCY was the one that was raped, it's AMRBOSE who knows best how to help her get over her trauma and damn whatever she thinks she wants. She has no real agency here and in the end has no real choice in the matter regarding having sex with Ambrose or not. He tells her multiple times that he's going to take what he wants so she better just get used to it. That's rape, ladies, and it is not cool, fun, or sexy.
This book is epic fail and I am sorry that I spent money on it. If I could, I'd return it for my money back. (less)
**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what to think at the beginning of this book. The character of Sixkill started off feeling very Marty Stu to me. And th...more**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what to think at the beginning of this book. The character of Sixkill started off feeling very Marty Stu to me. And then I started to like the guy. I felt he was a good match with Spenser but couldn't help but think that it would have been a better story if it had been Hawk at Spenser's side.
I thought the story was a bit weaker than previous, but that doesn't make it a bad thing.
Spenser training with Sixkill reminded me a bit of the training scene with Paul in earlier books.
A good read, worth it for sure if you're already a fan.(less)
I liked Joe, very much. Veronica, I was a bit less sure about.
This book suffered from the "misunderstandings, all the time" plot that many romances se...moreI liked Joe, very much. Veronica, I was a bit less sure about.
This book suffered from the "misunderstandings, all the time" plot that many romances seem to fall victim to. If only they had been able to clearly express their feelings, much of the drama here would never have happened. You might argue that there wouldn't have been a book without that plot point but I disagree- Joe being a SEAL is certainly a huge issue for the couple to get over and I think the mystery aspect could have been expanded.
Granted, this IS a romance and that has to be the central focus of the book. But nothing dictates what KIND of romance this book needs to be. I am not a fan of the romances where the hero says something and the heroine misinterprets it and gets all mopey and then she says something, and he takes it the wrong way. Eventually things come to a head and they work it out and they feel a combination of relieved that their perceptions were wrong but kind of bad that they wasted so much time believing the wrong things.
Annoying, is what it is.
The fact that I really, really liked Joe made up for a lot, as did Alpha Team. Spending time with those guys was a blast and I actually want to read more in this series based on that alone.
Ultimately, I think the terrorist plot was a bit tacked on. It was clearly just an excuse for this book to take place and the big action sequence at the end felt rushed and tacked on. Brockmann certainly gets better with building the suspense and paying it off with her later books and I can forgive this earlier effort, if only because I know where she's heading.
I recommend this book for Brockmann completists.(less)
I picked up this book because of Suzanne Brockmann. I liked the story and I liked the characters but I was upset that there were a few story elements...moreI picked up this book because of Suzanne Brockmann. I liked the story and I liked the characters but I was upset that there were a few story elements that were left hanging. As this is part of something called "Royally Wed" I am assuming that these elements were wrapped up in other parts of the series. If Brockmann didn't write them, I don't want to read them but I still want to know what happened. *sigh*
Cute story over all. The kids felt real, which is always an accomplishment. (less)
**spoiler alert** I liked this book SO MUCH Better than the last one, even though I think that overall the story is much weaker. But there was less Gr...more**spoiler alert** I liked this book SO MUCH Better than the last one, even though I think that overall the story is much weaker. But there was less Gretchen, which I was glad of, and I was happy at the distance that Archie is starting to make for himself.
I think it was weak that Gretchen was, AGAIN, connected to this killer. It's starting to get old and predictable.
Susan had a serious case of the stupids in this book. I mean, really. For someone who was almost killed by two DIFFERENT serial killers, you'd think she'd learned something but she really hasn't. Other than to NOT call the police so she could get a good story.
Archie's life is different- some ways good, some ways bad. I was disappointed that Cain didn't play out the kidney issues that almost killed Archie at the end of the last book. It seems like it was hand-waved away, which always annoys me in a series, but not as much as the revelation in the last book that Archie had an affair with Gretchen before he knew that she was the Beauty Killer.
And you'd think that after all these issues, that I wouldn't like the book and yet, I really had a good time reading it. I was willing to push things to the side to find out what happened next, which makes me feel kind of dirty but whatever. I'm going to read the next book but I am kind of dreading it, now that Gretchen is back in custody.
**spoiler alert** I still love Archie. But I don't like how Cain retconned Archie sleeping with Gretchen. I have a very hard time believing that the A...more**spoiler alert** I still love Archie. But I don't like how Cain retconned Archie sleeping with Gretchen. I have a very hard time believing that the Archie we saw in Heartsick was capable of cheating on Debbie. In fact, I was fairly sure that Cain specifically mentioned that Archie had never had sex with Gretchen, even though he was having sexual fantasies about her. To make that major of a character change just felt wrong to me.
I do, however, love just how dark and twisted Cain's brain appears to be. She really likes torturing Archie and taking him to dark, nasty places. There are some writers I know that have a hard time hurting the characters that they create, not wanting to do anything bad to the creations that they love. I, however, ADORE torturing my characters so I felt that Cain was a kindred spirit.
I am not excited about the fact that Gretchen is still out there. I am assuming that the next book will be about her capture and the next book will be about some other way that she finds to screw with Archie. I really think it would be better if Gretchen was dead, to be honest. Her legacy will be around for a long time- I don't think that she personally still has to be kicking it for that to be true.
I am sad that the love story of Archie and Debbie is over, at least that's how it felt at the end of this book. The fact that Archie slept with a serial killer, knowing that she was in fact a killer, does seem like a death knell for their marriage. I do think that Debbie and Henry would be a good pair, although the info dump that he and Claire are together makes that seem a bit of a stretch at this point.
I don't know- there were many things that bugged me about this story but many things that made me want to stay and read the whole thing. Cain just hit on a few of my bullet proof story kinks and I just can't NOT read this series.(less)
**spoiler alert** I love a broken hero. The more broken, the better. And Archie is BROKEN. I liked how dark this story was, how willing the author was...more**spoiler alert** I love a broken hero. The more broken, the better. And Archie is BROKEN. I liked how dark this story was, how willing the author was to hurt her lead character and really show the dark side of both the tormentor and the victim.
My only quibble is with the ending. So, the guy who sleeps with Susan as a teenager and is killing teenage girls who remind him of her was ALSO there when Gretchen kidnapped Archie and helped torture him? Why? Why did it need to be that way?
I really liked that there didn't seem to be a connection between the two killers. It pushed me over the edge, believability wise, when there was a strong connection. That Susan and Archie were both victims of the same man, in a way, felt like a weak twist that wasn't necessary. It felt tacked on, almost, even though I know that Cain did try to set it up earlier in the book.
I don't know- I loved Archie and I loved how well Cain wrote him.
I am not a fan of Gretchen as a character. I just don't like her. I know that people find her fascinating but she just creeps me out and pisses me off. A good reaction to have re: a character, esp. one who is a serial killer, but I am not looking forward to her involvement in this series moving forward. I am hoping that she doesn't stick around for too terribly long but I get the feeling that Cain loves her evil creation much more than I do, so we'll prob. be dealing with Gretchen well into the life of the series.
Again, I did love this book. I couldn't put it down and I was dying to know how it was going to end. Already started on book two, can't wait to see what kind of spin it gets.(less)
**spoiler alert** I bought this book because of the blurb on the back. I hadn't read a Virgin River novel in a while and when I saw Robyn Carr speak a...more**spoiler alert** I bought this book because of the blurb on the back. I hadn't read a Virgin River novel in a while and when I saw Robyn Carr speak at the Orange County Chapter of the Romance Writer's of America meeting, I decided that I wanted to dip my toes back into her world.
Wounded warriors and hurt/comfort are majors buttons of mine and I was really excited to see that there was a book in the series that seemed to hit those buttons dead on.
The problem is that while the back of the book says that the book is about Rick and his injury and Dan and his quest for acceptance, I found that to not be the case when actually reading the book.
Yes, I understand that these books are ensemble pieces and that there are more stories than just what is on the back of the book. But come on, we don't even meet Dan until page 60 or so and Rick doesn't actually make a physical appearance until page 93.
Then, it seems, the focus is on Abby and Cameron. Who I LOATHED. I HATED THEM as characters. She's an idiot and he's a pushy, know-it-all who never ONCE felt like a real person to me. The focus on their relationship over that of Rick and Liz was really sad for me. I bought the book for Rick and Liz and I got stupid Abby and 2-dimensional Cameron.
I was sad that Dan's chance at love felt tacked on and very much an after thought. I wanted more about him but didn't get hardly anything UNTIL he could be used as a means of getting Rick over his shit.
All in all, I think a lot of this book was mishandled and poorly constructed. There were moments that I really enjoyed, like the relationship between Walt and Muriel, but on the whole, I was disappointed and annoyed.
And because I was so disenchanted, this was the first time I ever really noticed Carr's habit of having her men talk like Dr. Phil as opposed to people we all have met in real life. Yes, I get that romance novels are all about wish fulfillment and that there are many women out there who want their men to communicate as clearly as we see in Carr's books.
However, I think that the preachiness and the know-it-all nature of many of these characters just got old for me.
I think anyone who has read all of the books in the series so far would prob. like this book a lot. I, however, did not.(less)
**spoiler alert** I liked the book a lot, although it really isn't new material. I do like that Bach has gotten away from the "good debt, bad debt" st...more**spoiler alert** I liked the book a lot, although it really isn't new material. I do like that Bach has gotten away from the "good debt, bad debt" stuff and is focusing on getting rid of all debt.
As I don't own a home or have any student loan debt, there were two chapters that really held nothing for me but other than that, it was a pretty helpful book. I had read the Automatic Millionaire before and so was familiar with Bach's basic system but it was great to get a refresher where the focus was on digging yourself out.
Not as passionate or motivating for me as reading Dave Ramsey's book was but still a good one.
I was a bit annoyed that there was a who chapter devoted to a product from Equifax. It made me question some of the material and the reason for some of the advice in the book, as though it was all a sales pitch. I don't really believe that the book is just a sales pitch but the chapter on the Debt Wise program was pretty heavy handed.
I did, however, sign up for the free trail and was shocked at how low my credit score is right now. That made me rethink my sourness on the Debt Wise chapter a bit.
All in all, a quick read with helpful advice. (less)
**spoiler alert** I loved this book. Too short but a lot of fun.
Just a theory but I'm thinking the author is a White Collar fanboy and instead of writ...more**spoiler alert** I loved this book. Too short but a lot of fun.
Just a theory but I'm thinking the author is a White Collar fanboy and instead of writing fanfic, wrote this. Neal morphs into Noel, Peter into Robert and funny enough, there is still an "El", even though she's only at the beginning.
I think this was a lot of fun and I wished there had been more. I almost wish that there had been a crime that had been committed so that Noel and Robbie would have to solve it together to clear Noel's name.
But, looking at what this story was and not what it could have been, I still loved it. I loved that Noel was so kind to help his neighbors, even with Robert under foot. I loved that Noel kept writing about Robert because he missed him. I loved that Robert left the FBI and went to find Noel because he still had feelings for him.
I'm a sucker for the old-lovers-reunite story line and this really hit those buttons for me.(less)
I am not a mother but I am someone who is trying to run despite having a lot of commitments and not a lot of time. I found this book to be inspiring,...moreI am not a mother but I am someone who is trying to run despite having a lot of commitments and not a lot of time. I found this book to be inspiring, esp. for someone who will have children in the the future.
The books is funny and really, really honest, which was fantastic. It gave me a lot of information that I didn't even know that I needed.
Highly recommend to any runners out there who have to make choices with their time. (less)
**spoiler alert** I really, REALLY loved the first book in this series. I loved the voice, the characters and the story itself. I forced Bear to read...more**spoiler alert** I really, REALLY loved the first book in this series. I loved the voice, the characters and the story itself. I forced Bear to read it and he loved it too.
We were SO PSYCHED when we saw that the sequel was out and that it was available at the library. We waited to a long time, as our poor (literally) library only had one copy.
I've finally got and finished this book and I have to say, all the hype (made by me or otherwise) has left me disappointed.
This felt like an "Empire Strikes Back" kind of story- the middle of a trilogy that doesn't resolve the story and leaves you wanting- but without the kind of punch that ESB had.
The book took entirely too long to get to the zombies. Way, WAY too long. And then the finale with the zombies felt like it came out of nowhere and was a bit anti-climactic. There was plenty of time in the book to get to the zombies faster and make that entire storyline deeper and more important than it turned out to be.
The misdirect about Lucifer as Stark's father was good but not fantastic, although if he HAD been Stark's dad I would have been done with the series entirely.
The whole "Angels are dicks" thing is getting old- Supernatural does it better and with more style. There wasn't enough with the Vigil or Alita for that whole spin to really work for me.
I think Allegra needed and deserved better than what she got here, as did almost every other character outside of Stark.
There was a lot of filler, not enough meat.
I don't know. I mean, I like Stark and I like this world and for the most part, I enjoyed the book. But it wasn't what I wanted or expected and maybe that's all on me. However, this was a let down.(less)