Is it fair to give this book 4 stars solely based on the fact that I know Rex doesn't get his HEA in this trilogy even though Novak blatantly set him...moreIs it fair to give this book 4 stars solely based on the fact that I know Rex doesn't get his HEA in this trilogy even though Novak blatantly set him up for one? You don't freaking introduce a character like him and then just toss him out. (less)
Four stars because it's THIS series, but if it were another series...it would get three stars, max.
1. Eden is an immature, stupid, impulsive child. I...moreFour stars because it's THIS series, but if it were another series...it would get three stars, max.
1. Eden is an immature, stupid, impulsive child. I expected her to mature in this book. I expected her to beg for Izzy's forgiveness. Instead, Brockmann throws in a bunch of excuses that supposedly let her off the hook. And, Izzy does SO MUCH apologizing to Eden!!! Over and over he has to apologize to her! She does completely stupid things and then he has to apologize to her for calling her on it. Any time she doesn't get her way, she runs away, often into danger. Izzy deserves better. All she has to do is cry (which happens in pretty much every scene)--AND, Brockmann constantly tells us that Eden is "stoic" and hides her emotions.--um, in what world are you living!?!?!?!! This "woman" bursts into tears every five minutes and then runs away, slamming doors like a toddler.
2. Ben. He was fine at first, but then he started acting all self-righteous, bossing people around and telling them how to live their lives. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when a side character butts into the business of the two MCs, telling them how to act, and it's even worse when it's a freaking KID telling them! What right does he have??? AND THEN, there's the thing he does toward the end: (view spoiler)[Goes out to get himself kidnapped! The idiot! HE KNEW baddies were after him. (hide spoiler)]
3. The cliches. In 99.99% of romance novels, at least one character threatens the life of the hero - "I'll kill you if you hurt her" etc... Why does that have to be in EVERY book? I find myself waiting for it to happen. Is it in some rule-book?
HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE NOVEL 101
Step 1. Make the heroine a whiny, I-turn-independence-into-bullheaded-idiocy, immature b**ch.
Step 2. Have at LEAST one character threaten to murder the hero for no reason whatsoever.
Step 3. Throw in a stupid kid who acts more like an adult than the heroine, then have him boss the MCs around, telling them how to live their lives (since we all know 15-year-olds know EVERYTHING about relationships and totally have the right to tell adults what to do, since they clearly are smarter).
Step 4. Remember that heroine? Yeah, make sure she bursts into tears in EVERY SCENE! You can't have a strong heroine unless she also has a vulnerable side, aka she tends to act like a 10-year-old. Also, be certain that the heroine's tantrums lead to the hero begging for her forgiveness, even though he's done nothing wrong.
Step 5. If you're going to have two couples, this is what you should do: Make ONE of the men likable, and ONE of the women likable. You CANNOT have more than TWO likable characters. This is important. You don't want your readers to like or relate to the characters.
Step 6. The UNLIKABLE hero, aka Hero #2. Make sure he's an a-hole up until the VERY LAST PAGE. Have him hold onto irrational anger and hatred for no reason. He needs to INSULT his heroine, too, and make her feel insecure. Also, he absolutely HAS to hate the other hero and heroine for no reason. Preferably, have him call the other heroine a whore or slut throughout the book.
Step 7. Let the "other" heroine get her revenge on Hero #2. What you want to do is set it up so she thinks Hero #2 is physically abusive, and have her accuse him of this to his face for extra drama - be sure the whole situation is unrealistic. For example, set the scene up like this:
Hero #2 is attempting to push his heroine out of his path, but then somehow he accidentally punches her in the face. Now, we know that her shoulders are not on the same level with her face, so we also know this is borderline impossible. Perfect! I know I grab someone's shoulders with clenched fists! All the better to GRIP onto said shoulders!
Step 8. Continue the theme of Heroine #1 throwing pity parties for herself, and have this lead to the hero apologizing to her some more. Now, this is very important, so read carefully: It is ESSENTIAL that the heroine come off as ridiculous, self-pitying, immature, whiny, stupid, and ungrateful. AND construct it so your readers are on the hero's side, but then have him grovel anyway. Why? Readers LOVE when books make them so mad they want to rip out their own hair. In addition, have the heroine say something like "You are not allowed to look at me anymore" while screaming at the top of her lungs in one of her tantrums, but ALSO have her boss the hero around to make her a hypocrite, 'cause who doesn't love a hypocrite? AND, have her say "I hate you" to her hero over and over, like a little kid. Remember, make her A TOTAL witch. Have her cry while she's being a witch so no one can get mad at her for said witchiness.
Step 9. Throw in an irrelevent subplot just because you can, and also to add more drama and force the book to be bulkier. Have the subplot be really, really annoying, and have it go nowhere until the VERY end. Make sure each time you switch to the subplot, you essentially write the same scene over and over. For example:
Create a little illegal immigrant girl. Have her evading baddies. Every time she's on the scene, make sure she's either A. running away from baddies, B. running away from the good guys, or C. spying on the baddies. Try to make all the scenes feel the same, and make the girl have the same exact thoughts during every scene, too, because readers like to be bored and annoyed at the same time.
Step 10. Sprinkle in little things here or there that are sure to annoy your reader. Have your likable hero portrayed as the bad guy and your unlikable heroine as the good guy. Have your likable heroine forgive your unlikable hero for everything he does after he says "sorry." Don't have him elaborate.
Step 11. Your unlikable heroine must also be REALLY FULL of herself. She must constantly think about how beautiful she is. Have her dwell on how she can never get a job, because no matter where she works, guys will be pawing her. Have her say the only two places to work are McDonalds or a strip club. No other stores exist. Now, we all know pretty women go to work all the time without getting pawed and having hands stuffed up their shirts, but that doesn't matter because we want this to make no sense. We want readers to be thinking: Well, I'm considered pretty...why don't I have this problem? Or, I know someone gorgeous, why not them? WELL, because NO ONE is as beautiful as EDEN! DUH!
Step 13. Give the unlikable heroine a long, drawn-out, extremely ridiculous sob-story so all the characters will think she's awesome! As a bonus, have every single male character in the book, save for Hero #2 and his little gay brother, be a pervert who forces the heroine (view spoiler)[into some type of sexual situation. (hide spoiler)] Have these sexual situations be unavoidable and make her be seen as a hero.
Step 13. In the end, have your unlikables both be just as unlikable as they were at the start. Maybe give them a few moments of nice, smart, kindness, but then forget it! They're back to being jerks.
Step 14. Have this book be the last in the series (for now, at least) so that people will already like the series, and won't be able to give it a low rating, since, well, THEY LOVE YOU!
Love Izzy and Jenn. Hate Dan and Eden. I did enjoy the book because I love this series and like I said, Izzy and Jenn. Dan had a few redeemable moments, while Eden had maybe one, but all the same it WAS interesting, and there were moments I really enjoyed. Plus, Izzy is hilarious. It so completely annoyed me, though, hence my 101. That being said Brockmann's talent is in creating unique, stand-out characters, whether they're annoying or not. I've NEVER read about characters like ANY of the ones in this book--or this series, for that matter, so three stars for that alone, really, and one more for Izzy. No doubt she's an amazing author and I'll pick up anything she writes in the future. Oh, and despite what I said about the subplot, I do love Nisha. I want to adopt her haha.
I really don't mean this review to be totally negative. It really isn't a bad book. ["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm just so confused as to why people like this book. I really am. Maybe I'm missing some necessary gene that, I don't know, gives me bad taste in boo...moreI'm just so confused as to why people like this book. I really am. Maybe I'm missing some necessary gene that, I don't know, gives me bad taste in books?
So, for the storyline...predictable, boring, not good at all. Absolutely nothing, and I do mean nothing, happens until the very end of the book. The whole thing is just the main female character whining while pretending to be so tough and smart and hard-to-get and getting injured and getting massages from the main male character, who is a stereotypical invincible robot, meaning he is omnipotent and cannot get injured under any circumstances, since he is there merely to please and offer his body to the heroine on her command. The romance is frankly ridiculous. Why would these two love each other? They wouldn't. I didn't see it at all. They barely talked, and when they did, they said nothing nice. Ever.
After hours and hours of nothing at all happening, the only action we get is at the very end, during which a good 80 percent of the characters get systematically slaughtered. This is supposed to serve as pleasurable romantic entertainment? Then some nice hot sex after watching said slaughter (ahh, how romantic). I know I'd be in the "mood" after watching a near-massacre. Nothing gets me hot and bothered like a good bloody, brutal murder of a bunch of people, one of whom was my brother.
No, no, no. This is not romance. I wish I could un-read this drivel. Maybe there's something wrong with me, but if this is typical Linda Howard, I am officially her only non-fan.
Three stars because I love Clay and I like hunter a lot, but wanted to see Madeline dead. Really. This book was...bad. Boring, repetitive, annoying. I...moreThree stars because I love Clay and I like hunter a lot, but wanted to see Madeline dead. Really. This book was...bad. Boring, repetitive, annoying. It went on and on and I had to force myself to continue reading about how much of an imbecile/b*tch Maddie is, especially to Clay, who would do ANYTHING for her.(less)
This book gets four stars because I was so shocked by the fact that the killer's main objective was to torture the hero and not the heroine (I've neve...moreThis book gets four stars because I was so shocked by the fact that the killer's main objective was to torture the hero and not the heroine (I've never read a romantic suspense like this ever) that I was able to overlook the absurdity of the whole story.(less)
I would have enjoyed this so much more if only Ric and Annie were either eliminated from the book completely, o...moreJules + Robin = yay! Ric + Annie = yuck!
I would have enjoyed this so much more if only Ric and Annie were either eliminated from the book completely, or if they had a very, very small role. There just wasn't enough Jules/Robin here, and I couldn't have cared less about either Ric or Annie, who both spent the entire book fighting with each other. No thanks. Robin and Jules didn't even see each other until almost halfway through the book :(
Sooo I had to take away a star for Ric and Annie's unfortunate existance.(less)
I'm not sure why everyone thinks Brandon is at the top of the tortured hero charts, because, yes, what happened to him is awful, but compared to some...moreI'm not sure why everyone thinks Brandon is at the top of the tortured hero charts, because, yes, what happened to him is awful, but compared to some of the other heroes i've read about, his past wasn't that shocking (though that didn't stop me from wanting to give him a hug and take away his pain).
I think there was too much of the secondary characters. Yes, I think the author was making an attempt to develop them, but...she didn't even really do that. There was one character who spent the whole book mentally ill and then at the end, bam, she was suddenly healthy and sane. It made no sense.
As for Brandon, I liked him but didn't find him original or special in any way. Everyone in the book kept saying Brandon had this horrible awful temper, but he never showed it. Maybe one time, but, still, it wasn't anything that big. And he was supposedly a psycho when drunk, yet the one time he actually gets drunk during the book, he's completely calm and rational, even nice. Contradictions much?
The issues of his past where barely brushed and discarded too quickly, not that I really WANTED more details, but I would have liked a little more of his mother, who only appeared at the very end for about two pages. After Brandon confesses his past to Aly, she say not one single word, literally. It could have been done better.
Aly was all right. I honestly can't say I liked her that much. Didn't hate her, didn't love her. She was annoying at times, but generally okay. Henry was supposedly, as Aly thought, the "ideal father," though I didn't think so...he once commented lightly that he used to beat Brandon with his belt, and unless he meant that figuratively, I don't see how he is "ideal."
There was too much of Aly. At one point toward the end, we go a good fifty pages without once encountering Brandon. And the whole end was drawn out for about 100 pages too long. The characters spent time making small talk while Brandon was in serious, life-threatening danger.
As for Anticipating...I knew who this person was during their very first scene. It was very obvious.
Aly seemed confused as a character. One second she is thinking how kind and tender and caring Brandon is toward his uncle and invalid aunt, then next she's describing him as a man with "no conscience" who "cares for no one but himself."
I'm not going to blame Aly for this. I blame Sutcliffe.
Brandon...self-centered w/ no conscience? Really? Then why does he hide all of his problems from his uncle b/c he's afraid of weakening the older man's health? WHy does he donate millions of dollars to charity? Why is he so kind and nice to his aunt and uncle? Why did he refrain from commiting suicide simply becase he knew it would hurt his uncle? If that's a man w/ no conscience who only cares for himself, then I'm a teapot.
Also, I don't think it was very nice of Aly to be waving beer in Brandon's face ALL NIGHT when he's a recovering alcoholic. She's kind of a bitch. Minus the "kind of."
Overall...it was an entertaining read, and I liked that, for once, the stalker was after the hero and not the heroine (that's never happened before). The heroine made an attempt to rescue the hero, but it really turned out to be the hero who rescued her in the end, which was annoying, because I thought it would be different at first. Pretty fast paced, worth reading, but...nothing I'd like to read again and again.(less)