Dominic Paget awakens in the home of Julianne Greystone where he has been taken to receive care after being ghosted out of France by Julianne's smuggler brother, Jack. Dominic was shot in the back by an assassin, because, you see, Dom is an English spy working to help end the threat of the French Revolution. Unaware of his location, and the sympathies of the household, Dom pretends to be an officer in the French military, appealing to Julianne's Jacobin leanings. Will the love that forms between them survive his lie? Can two people on opposite sides of a war make their love work?
I didn't like this one as much as i thought I was going to. The prologue was very exciting and the concept intriguing, but the first half of the book really ruined it for me. The development of Julianne and Dominic's love while he is masquerading as Charles comes across as silly, fake, and over the top. Julianne's character is so naive. I get that she is innocent and doesn't really understand the world around her, but her thought processes come across very childish. Unfortunately, she makes for a very wimpy heroine and when paired with the very alpha Dominic, she just looks pathetic.
The second half of the book made this book more enjoyable for me because once Dom was no longer pretending to be Charles, I like him a lot more. I loved his uber alpha male attitude, for some reason, that cold exterior really did it for me. Plus, he doesn't baby Julianne at this point. I ended up enjoying the book just for him and the intrigue.
Speaking of intrigue, there wasn't much to begin with and I almost gave up and put this in the silly romance pile. However, the second half of the book makes up for this and brings to the table all sorts of plots, betrayals, and blackmail.
Even though I didn't like the heroine, I did enjoy the book as a whole. It was a very quick, and fun read once Dominic was unmasked. You could also see the author pulling the strings of characters who will star in books to come. Although this wasn't a great read for me, I will still be looking out for the next book. Sometimes, the first book in a series is just ok, but the rest ends up being amazing. I can see that being the case here. Plus, I want to read a romance staring the Greystone brothers! They sound dreamy! Lucas' blonde hair and grey eyes, Jack's roguishly charming demeanor! Oh and, Dom's ex-fiance, Nadine, just so happens to be lonely and in need! There is definitely lots of potential for future great reads there. (less)
Fifty Shades of Grey huh? Well James has certainly delved into the ethical grey area that's for sure. I know this trilogy has amassed a legion of fans in a fairly short amount of time, however I feel the majority of those fans don't realize their romance/smut fix is actually a re-vamped Twilight fanfic. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, a fanfic is a story written by a fan of a particular movie, television show, video game, book/series of books, etc. These stories are supposed to be written entirely for fun and the enjoyment of fellow fans of said fan base and usually come with a disclaimer that the characters, settings, etc. belong to the original author or creator and that the fan writer is in no way making any profit off of their fanfiction. Popular fanfiction archiving sites like FanFiction.Net require these disclaimers and even have a list of authors/creators who have specifically asked that their works not be reproduced and archived on fanfiction websites. Obviously, people are going to do what they want and write what they want about whatever they want. I myself have enjoyed reading fanfiction for favorite anime and book series. There is nothing wrong with exploring the depths of a world you love, as long as you realize it is not your world in any way shape or form. You do not own the world, the characters, or any of the plot lines therein.
This is where my issue with Fifty Shades of Grey comes in. Originally published as the Twilight fanfic online Master of the Universe, this story was James' attempt at taking Bella, Edward, and their fellow cast of characters, and setting them up in a real-world situation. Trading claws and fangs for whips and chains if you will. This is what we call an AU or Alternate Universe fic in the world of fanfiction. Yes, the characters find themselves in different situations than the original Twilight story, however not by much. There were several instances during the reading of Fifty Shades that I snorted with derision and shook my head because the parallels were so blatantly obvious. If this were being portrayed for what it is, a fanfiction of another author's work, I probably would have enjoyed it. However the case is, James is selling this as her own work. After her fanfic became popular, James decided to change everyone's names, slap a new title on it, and sell it as her OWN work. Some other reviewers who are aware of its regurgitation status are claiming that James has taken out all the Twilight references and made this book undoubtedly her own. This is absolute delusion as the characters, locales, and many of the plot and back story details mirror the original Twilight story almost exactly with only a minor tweak here and there.
The main character Anastasia is clumsy, plain, and works at a ... hardware store... Dear god, i wonder who that could be? It also doesn't help how wimpy and pathetic she is. She is constantly telling Christen no and standing up for herself, only to cave not five minutes later. There is a constant theme here of, "Oh gosh! I can't believe he likes me! How can someone soooooo gorgeous want me?" It gets extremely irritating as I like a strong, heroine who can stand on her own two feet without swooning every time her man comes through a door. There is nothing wrong with drooling over a sexy man, but when you start acting like a brainless husk, well, you've lost my respect. Ana is not the only character who has retained her Twilight character trait roots. She can tell her friend Jose wants more, but she just doesn't see him that way even though he is super muscular and sexy. Mexican Jacob, nice save.
Oh and our copper haired hero is none other than... Christen? He was adopted by a loving family and even at his young age, he is rich and successful and acts like a much older man. He warns Ana to stay away because he is dangerous, but doesn't do a very good job of actually keeping his distance. Stalker much? Oh and he is just OMG gorgeous of course! Literally he is just... the epitome of a beautiful man. No seriously, he's fucking hot, ok? If you're not convinced, James will keep reminding you that he is the hottest man ever without really explaining why. I was surprised he didn't sparkle at some point.
This book read more like a draft than a final product. I quickly got sick of hearing Ana's internal dialogue. Apparently she is not intelligent enough to come up with something better than "Holy Crap" "Holy Shit" "Holy Cow" or "Holy Fuck" She says these phrases constantly throughout the entire span of the book. It was so bad, it felt like she used at least one of these every couple of paragraphs. Also the number of reflections beginning with "I can't believe..." is just over the top. This baffles me because James spends so much time telling her reader how literary Ana is. Ana loves classic novels, especially Jane Austen, and is a graduate with a degree in literature. So why does she come across as a vapid teenager with a very limited vocabulary? Oh yes, that's because she started out as Bella, had her name changed, and underwent little to no character change.
Repetitive, unimaginative writing makes Fifty Shades of Grey a complete slog until we begin to hit the sex scenes. I admit, the concept of the Dom/Sub contract leading into their relationship was intriguing and is what ultimately kept me reading. However, as you get further into the book, you realize the promised BDSM element is a sham. Christen is constantly indulging in what he calls "vanilla sex" even though he insists it is just not for him. James is trying to get across to her readers that Ana is just so gosh darn special that even control freak Christen Grey can't help himself when he's around her. However, she continues to portray Christen as dark, unmoving, and unreachable. And the control freak thing? James continues to remind her readers how much of a control freak he is by having Ana reiterate it over and over and over again in her internal dialogue, emails, and conversations. We get it! He's a Dom! We are not children who need repetition to grasp a simple concept. As the novel goes on, the sex becomes less and less sexy until near the end, it became blase and anatomical at which point I was dying to finish the damn thing so I could get back to quality romance novels.
Overall, it felt like I was reading a fanfiction, probably because I was, but you would think the author and the subsequent publisher who picked it up, would have done some better cover up here. There is just no excuse for the poor quality of writing, shoddy narrative, and uncanny resemblances to another author's work. And what the hell is with charging $29.99 for a paperback copy? How can the publishing company justify that when it is so poorly written? At least do a good edit and take out every Twilight reference. The sad thing is, I probably could have liked this had she been original. The fact that this series has gained so much success riding on the coattails of Stephanie Meyer's empire makes me ill. Seeing a cover on my favorite book website has never made me so furious before.
Angry fangirls, I'm sorry I couldn't like this book. You have every right to like any book you want. On that note, I also have the right to not like any book that doesn't do it for me. If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, I'm happy for you and respect your opinion. Unfortunately I couldn't get past the completely unethical use of another author's material and the inexcusable poor quality for the sake of a cheap thrill. You want to take a shot at me? That's fine, but my opinion on plagiarism and sub par writing is not going to change.
Flat and underdeveloped narrative Choppy sentences Poorly edited Immature style Not Harlequin huh? Well these people sure gasp more than a flustered regency debutante who has found herself in a shamefully compromising position. And what the hell is wrong with Harlequin anyway? Snobs... (less)
Don't let the cover fool you! This book has a lot more to it than your average sexy romance novel.
"The first time I met Death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz, and I feared him, feared the things he made me feel, made me want. That night I ran from him, but Death was right behind me, chasing me and I wanted him to catch me."
Isabella has a scandalous past and a family reputation she is determined to prove wrong. Her mother's past mistakes and their consequences have made Isabella hide her passionate self. Lord Black, the dark and mysterious neighbor, is also determined...determined to seduce her! This tale is full of scandal, seduction, ancient templar secrets, and sexy Freemasons!
Seduction & Scandal is the first installment of the Brethren Guardian series and is not to be missed. I read through this very quickly and had a hard time convincing myself it was time to put it down and get soem sleep. Lord Black is one of the hottest alpha males in the Harlequin lineup!
Underneath the sexy surface, Charlotte Featherstone has woven in touches of Masonic lore and has carefully entwined her characters' fates. The next installment is set up very nicely and will be on my shelf as soon as it releases. Isabella's cousin Lucy's story, Pride and Passion, comes out in November.(less)
It has been awhile since I've read a chick-lit title. A very dear friend of mine gifted placed a shiny paperback copy of this in my hands a few weeks ago and requested I read it so we could discuss the relationship of the two main characters Darcy and Rachel. I was aware they had made a movie out of it and was a bit hesitant to read it due to the implied subject matter, however I am glad I did.
Rachel and Darcy have been best friends since they were kids, experiencing all the important mile stones in life with each other minus marriage. Now Darcy, the lucky beautiful one, is getting married to Rachel's old college buddy Dex and Rachel is the Maid of Honor. A few months before the wedding, after Rachel's birthday party, Rachel finds herself falling into bed with her best friends fiance and the craziness only escalates from there.
Giffin's writing style makes for enjoyable, page turning beach reading. The perfect summer pick. The dynamics of Rachel and Darcy's relationship will remind you of friendships you have had or are having leaving you to examine them with new light. I'm not really a fan of justified cheating novels, but there was really a lot more going on here. My only real complaint is that it almost feels like Giffin is trying too hard to make you hate Darcy, while Rachel is indecisive and kinda wishy-washy to be honest. The girl can't make up her damn mind!
The conclusion was satisfying and you will be left interested in finding out what happens next. The following novel, Something Blue deals with the aftermath of all this craziness.
The final verdict,, definitely give it a read.. You will love bitching about the characters and situations with your girls. (less)
This book is slow to get started, but has a lot to offer. I started to enjoy it once Claire traveled back in time to 1743. I realized, after much fret...moreThis book is slow to get started, but has a lot to offer. I started to enjoy it once Claire traveled back in time to 1743. I realized, after much fretting over the page count, that this book is so long because Gabladon gives her readers so much information about the time to make sure they understand the setting, culture, and hardness of the time she has put her characters in. Thanks to this description you'll feel immersed in the world of the book. It can get a little overwrought at times and the sexy highlander leading man talks way too much about his fond memories of how his father beat the crap out of him when he was a kid. Otherwise, the length isn't so bad.
As for the content, well... I found the story unique and compelling. Once I got about 100 pages in I couldn't stop turning them. Claire, a happily married WWII nurse, is transported back in time to the year 1743 where she meets the very hunky and adorably bashful Scottish highlander Jamie Fraser. Admittedly their are a few very convenient happenings that allow Claire to not feel so bad about cheating on her husband with Jamie, but I was satisfied when she makes a solid decision on which one she wants to be with. This isn't exactly the most moral of romances, but it is immensely enjoyable and fun to boot. (less)
Not bad. I enjoy reading this author when she writes under Nora Roberts and decided to give her sci-fi "In Death" series. The first has caught my inte...moreNot bad. I enjoy reading this author when she writes under Nora Roberts and decided to give her sci-fi "In Death" series. The first has caught my interest. Usually, when writing as Roberts, she tends to follow a specific formula, especially in her trilogies. However, I found that although a new formula seems to be introduced, it is very fresh and fun. These for serious novels lean towards the flavor of an episode of Law and Order SVU with a generous helping of romance. The male lead is an interesting twist on her usual sweet natured prince charming archetype. Roarke is strong, sexy, and in charge. The kind of dark hero we ladies crave. Great kick-off, great lead-up and great ending. I will definitely give the next installment a go. (less)