More of the same from the previous novels; a nice, tidy conclusion to the series. Bound by Flames didn't wow me but I didn't feel like it f2.5 to 3.0.
More of the same from the previous novels; a nice, tidy conclusion to the series. Bound by Flames didn't wow me but I didn't feel like it failed to meet my modest expectations either. Overall, the entire series is something fun that you could finish in a couple of nights, but in a few months you'll be hard pressed to remember any specific details. ...more
LADY SCIENTIST IN MY HISTORICAL ROMANCES? COUNT ME SOLD.
I loved Violet (To be honest, I don't get the complaints about her**spoiler alert** 4.5 stars.
LADY SCIENTIST IN MY HISTORICAL ROMANCES? COUNT ME SOLD.
I loved Violet (To be honest, I don't get the complaints about her being selfish or a bad person, sure she doesn't smile and sing songs while she frolics down the street, but how does that make her rude? Plenty of heroes in historical romances are broody assholes, but people eat that crap up and say it's OKAY BECAUSE HE HAS A DARK PAST!!!1111!!!!! But when it's the same case for a heroine, all of a sudden she's a "selfish chit"? Wow.), and Sebastian. Milan did a great job of developing their relationship, this is one of those rare romances where I never once had to ask why the h/H were attracted to each other.
I liked how it went beyond a simple physical reaction, that the relationship between the two protagonists were based on love and trust that'd been built over the span of years. And lady scientist in times when the 'fairer sex' were believed to be inferior to men in every way???????? YES!
Anyways, loved this, and will definitely be checking out #4 (FEMINIST????!?!?!??!?!! WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE?????? COUNT ME IN!!!!!!!)
TDLR: The Countess Conspiracy had characters that I could empathize with, a plot unique to the genre, and LADY SCIENTISTS. If you're looking for something a little different in your regency romance, this is it.
(Pardon all the !!!'s but this was just what I needed and, well, LADY SCIENTISTS!!!)
1.5 (I hovered between disliking it and thinking it was okay at different points in the book.)
The writing is incredibly simplistic an1.5 (I hovered between disliking it and thinking it was okay at different points in the book.)
The writing is incredibly simplistic and the plot and the characters really juvenile. They talked liked they were 15, and there was no insight into the world of being an international rockstar or even into the characters themselves. I'm told Lena likes Jimmy, I'm told Jimmy is super charismatic, I'm told this and told that but there was no showing at all.
I didn't get to know any of the characters, much less the world and lives that they inhabit. Maybe worth reading for an hour to pass the time and you have nothing to do, but that's it....more
**spoiler alert** Is this really by the same author who wrote the Fever series?
This book, even as fluff, didn't work for me. I wasn't a big fan of the**spoiler alert** Is this really by the same author who wrote the Fever series?
This book, even as fluff, didn't work for me. I wasn't a big fan of the heroine, she had potential and her past was interesting but neither really mattered in the end. I kept expecting a big reveal about "Ever-Hard" between Hawk and Adrienne, but in the end, nothing. The plot was weak, and the subpar writing and mediocre chemistry between the leads definitely did not make up for it. I couldn't really get a handle on who Adrienne is as a character--she lacked a distinguishing personality (besides blanket adjectives like being funny, witty, smart, etc, which we never get an actual example of), and it seemed as if the only reason the two were together was Adrienne's incredible beauty and the fact that she didn't slobber after Hawk as soon as they met.
And I mean, I don't care how tall and gorgeous and blah he is, there had to be have been at least a single women in all of Scotland that wouldn't be interested.
**spoiler alert** Incredibly cliched but well written enough for a fun, fast read. There was a lot of potential to be had from these characters (I act**spoiler alert** Incredibly cliched but well written enough for a fun, fast read. There was a lot of potential to be had from these characters (I actually found both Lucas and Sascha to be incredibly likable), sadly I felt like their development missed the mark. I don't know why Lucas and Sascha are in love beyond the fact that they're both incredibly attracted to each other and he wants to...protect her? Still, I went into this book expecting a quick, entertaining read and I did get that. I was also pleasantly surprised by the world Singh's created with the Psy and the Changelings, but again, felt like the promising premise was underutilized.
(P.S Also very, very pleased that the main female lead wasn't lily-white!)...more
I've always been wary of paranormal romances, something reinforced by being disappointed time and time again. Pre-Fever/Jericho Barrons, I would've imI've always been wary of paranormal romances, something reinforced by being disappointed time and time again. Pre-Fever/Jericho Barrons, I would've immediately bypassed Dragon Bound, but Fever had proven just how great paranormal romances could be, so I was hoping Dragon Bound would surprise me and do the same.
Alas, it was not meant to be.
Many of the reviews this book got raved on and on about how brilliant the leads were, how well developed the plot and secondary characters were, etc, but I found Pia and Dragos to be your straight forward, standard cut-out hero/heroine. You've got the big, hulking, mega-powerful alpha male who just happens to be so BORED with life and your standard snarky, snippy heroine who finally manages to intrigue him. I felt like what little depth the author tried to give Pia through her back story with her mother and history as a half-breed halfhearted and contrived, and Dragos also fell flat with his oft-used I-am-alpha-male-hear-me-roar routine. What you end up with is a bunch of run of the mill characters and a hardly inspired plot.
The saddest part, in my opinion, is that Harrison could have done so much more with her characters (like actually keeping them IN character. Small thing but it bugged me a lot: sometimes Dragos' speech would be really formal, and sometimes he'd say really...inappropriate things for a creature millions of years old. Like putting the WWF SMACKDOWN on a bunch of goblins. How does someone who find TV trite and slurpees unfamiliar know ANYTHING about televised wrestling?). She could have played off Dragos' history more, and maybe made it so Pia couldn't shift.
This book was only about a hundred pages, but it took me several hours to read because I kept losing interest. I went into this hoping for something just as half as good as Fever (and Jericho Barrons), but instead I only found the same old same old. ...more
This book was so, completely, ridiculously bad that it ended up good. The plot was flimsy at best, and from what I've seen in this book, Sands is theThis book was so, completely, ridiculously bad that it ended up good. The plot was flimsy at best, and from what I've seen in this book, Sands is the best example possible of telling instead of showing. Case in point, at one point early on in the book Radcliffe teaches Charlie how to shoot. Instead of actually showing us the encounter, and the nuances in the H/h's interactions that would signal their attraction to each other, Sands skips the scenes right out and instead makes Radcliffe recall in the driest, most elementary voice possible that he (to sum it up) got the tinglies when *gasp* he had to put his arms around Charlie to teach him how to shoot! We don't get a window on whether Charlie's affected by this or not either (same with when in the beginning Radcliffe finds the two wrapped around each other after starting the night out on opposite ends of the bed--one of the oldest, most contrived plot devices in the history of romances by the way--, we get a very shallow handle on how Radcliffe felt--"It felt pleasant. That disturbed him. Because Charlie was a boy."--but we hear nothing from Charlie).
The writing, the dialogue was completely uninspired, this book felt like it could've been on a sixth grade reading level! The characters themselves were quite bland, but, BUT.
I couldn't stop reading anyways. There was just something so self indulging about spending an hour or two on a book stuffed with so many warm and friendly cliches. Maybe it was because I'd had a long day and didn't want to really tax my brain anymore, but The Switch held enough of my interest that I was able to sit down and finish it all in one go. All in all, a really quick, pretty bad, but definitely comforting beach read. ...more
**spoiler alert** I really liked the first half of the book. Acheron's suffering was palpable, and to be honest I wanted to rip those horrible people**spoiler alert** I really liked the first half of the book. Acheron's suffering was palpable, and to be honest I wanted to rip those horrible people apart right along with his mother.
Despite how dark the content was, I really liked the insight into Acheron's personality and psyche, and the meatiness of the plot was intensely satisfying. As I neared the end of the portion set in ancient Greece, I was incredibly excited for when we would start the present day action of the book. Suffice to say I was completely unprepared for how underwhelming the second half of the book was.
Whereas in the first half we were got a glimpse into the world of Atlantis and Didymos, the second half felt rushed. I realize that it's probably because the present day Dark-Hunter world had had 7 books of build-up and exposition while Acheron's past is completely new to the readers, and that's understandable. What's frustrating though is how Tory and Acheron's relationship came to be portrayed. I didn't know why Tory was so special; there were no extraordinary examples of her innate kindness, no evidence of why she would feel love for Acheron besides the fact that he's incredibly good looking. I have no idea why Acheron was instantly attracted to Tory (why???), and would have appreciated a genuine friendship being built and his attraction to her stemming from a genuine appreciation of her personality rather than...what, nothing.
In fact, I felt like Artemis and Acheron's relationship was better developed, and I actually had a much clearer grip on why they were together. This is Acheron's story, but Tory is the heroine proper, and after reading about Artemis and Acheron, I expected his relationship with Tory to be just as rich and explored with just as much depth. However, that wasn't the case.
In summary, I immensely enjoyed the first portion (even if I became incoherently angry at times), but the second half was very disappointing. Without the first half, this would have been a two or one star book. Without the second half, this would've been a solid four stars.
(P.S WTF is the whole 'injuring anyone who tries to sleep with Tory' thing about??? I hate it when it's okay for the male leads to be extremely experienced but the heroines have to be pure and virginal. Also, given Acheron's history and how people tried to shame him for what he did, isn't it kind of ridiculous to make a point of his mother keeping Tory 'pure'?)...more
I /should've/ loved this book. It had all the right ingredients--the perfect tall, dark, mysterious, broodingly capable hero, t**spoiler alert** 3.5/5
I /should've/ loved this book. It had all the right ingredients--the perfect tall, dark, mysterious, broodingly capable hero, the intelligent, strong willed heroine who played him like a fiddle, an actual plot, and damn good writing. But, /but/, the relationship just didn't work for me. It was like the author was trying her best to explain why the two moved from lust (I certainly won't deny the couple their explosive chemistry) to love but just couldn't show it. The hero and heroine were just so emotionally closed off from each other that I had a hard time believing that Phin could've just sat up one day, went "well, I don't see why not" and decided that he was in love with Mina. I only really felt any real warmth and genuine love (based on actions, not just words) between the couple towards the end, and by then they were already planning their wedding. WYS would've definitely have benefited from being a longer book.
To talk of the things that /were/ great about this book though...The writing, first and foremost. Durant manages to write in a distinctly lush, elegant style that easily sets her apart from other writers of the same. Her style of writing lends density to the book and makes me feel like I'm reading something really substantial. Her characters too, I loved. Phin is the epitome of my guilty pleasure in heroes; smoking hot with a past, and deadly with his hands (this can definitely be taken both ways), once again though, it felt like some aspects of him Durant described through Mina (the quiet wit, the caution etc so beautifully exhibited in the beginning) were lost when she tried to make the hasty relationship (and inevitable HEA) between the H/h work. Mina was what really stole the show for me though. Yes, she is stunningly beautiful, and that usually does annoy me in a heroine, but /wow/ I just loved how she played Phin throughout the book. For some reason it gave me great vindictive pleasure to see the hero doing the guesswork and being all presumptuous (and WRONG) about the heroine this time, while the heroine had such a clear handle on both the hero and the situation. It was a lot easier to understand and empathize with Mina's motivations than Phin's, but once again the strongest aspects of her character were very abruptly lost when Durant forced the two to love each other.
Now, the plot. Plus, WYS actually had one and tried to build the relationship between the characters around it. However, though it started out very strong, it steadily lost steam as the book went on, and in the end felt like nothing more than a plot device to get the H/h together for long periods of time. A shame really, because if this book had been longer, if the plot was deeper than it ended up becoming and the characters had the chance and time to develop some sort of realistic love for each other, this could've been one of the much, much better romances I've read. As it stands, it just reeks of lost potential. ...more
Apparently I'd read this book before, four years ago, but I have absolutely no recollection of it. In fact, after rereading it, I had to turn my origiApparently I'd read this book before, four years ago, but I have absolutely no recollection of it. In fact, after rereading it, I had to turn my original 3 star rating into a 2. There just wasn't that spark that you usually find in a Julia Quinn novel, and the plot felt very paint-by-numbers, but likeable but utterly unremarkable protagonists.
Also, am I the only one who was sort of put off by the age difference--and the difference in experience--between Alex and Emma? Alex is a veritable rake and has allegedly had more than his fair share of mistresses and dalliances with women, and Emma just seemed so...young. Young and sheltered. She read much younger than 20, and the difference between the duke and Emma's life experiences just felt really, really obvious and off-putting. ...more