**spoiler alert** I'm mildly ashamed to admit that I liked this book lol
First things first, let's get the major point of contention out of the way.
The**spoiler alert** I'm mildly ashamed to admit that I liked this book lol
First things first, let's get the major point of contention out of the way.
Their first sexual encounter, if not strictly "rape", was most definitely "dubious consent"... Honestly I'm leaning towards the "rape" designation, as seen in my keywords. He doesn't physically force her, but when a man tells you to get naked and get in the bed or else he'll have his men come and forcibly undress you, that's rape.
I still liked the book *hangs head in shame*
It was nice to find out that while Alex hadn't been a saint, that a lot of his previous reputation was exaggerated, and it was plain to see that he was actually devoted to Natasha...
Of course, it earned a spot on my notorious "oh noes u saw me nekkid" shelf, which is, as some of you may know, a pet peeve of mine... I can't stand when a hero sees a heroine naked without her knowledge or consent -- drives me bonkers but it seems to be so popular in romances for some reason. Get a clue authors -- that's not sexy!
*clears throat* Er. Sorry. Soapbox issue and all that..
Anyway, Natasha earned a place on the TSTL shelf because she actually went along with her brothers' scheme to begin with *facepalm* Yeah sooooo wouldn't have happened in real life, but hey, it's an HP -- that's why we read them, true?
And yeah, I guessed what the sister's deal was waaaaaaaay back in the beginning, though I didn't have the specifics quite worked out in my head.
Yes, it was contrived. Yes, it was melodramatic, and yes, the ending was way too neat and pretty, but that's all part of being an HP. You wouldn't read them if you didn't enjoy a bit of a literary soap opera, now would you? :D
So despite all the negatives, I have to say that overall it was an enjoyable read.
I recently discovered Shiloh Walker as an author, and let me tell you, she's quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Even though Broken is a sequel to FrI recently discovered Shiloh Walker as an author, and let me tell you, she's quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Even though Broken is a sequel to Fragile, I do think it would stand well on its own.
Quinn is just delicious. I do adore my tortured heroes *swoon* I also really liked Sara, and how hard it was for her knowing she shouldn't stay but desperately wanting to anyway.
The romance was sizzling. The chemistry between Quinn and Sara was simply to die for. However, sensitive readers should be aware that there is a scene involving explicit back door action. I do hope, however, that even those who don't like that sort of thing in novels will just skip over that part, because the rest of the book is truly worth it.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the twisty end. I had it partially figured out but not completely, and when the truth was revealed, I truly smacked my forehead because looking back, Ms. Walker had done such a fantastic job of planting the clues all along and yet my mind still failed to come to the correct conclusion.
It's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romantiIt's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romantic storyline in my novels, with a clear "hero" and "heroine", possibly some steam, definite monogamy, and a clear Happily Ever After (HEA)
And yet, despite the fact that this book had none of those save the bit-o-steam, I adored it.
Kara Gillian is definitely one of my new favorite heroines. She's kick-butt awesome (I mean, she is a cop y'all) without being all Xena-Warrior-Princess.. She's able to hold her own with the Good Ol' Boys she works with, but still shows just the right amount of vulnerability -- emotional and physical -- to keep her real without making her a pathetically delicate little flower always in need of saving.
Rhyzkahl. Is awesome. *falls over* I absolutely adored how scary sexy cool he was and was so thrilled to see Diana Rowland throw in a nice tasty reminder that HELLO! HE'S A DEMON LORD! DON'T F*** WITH HIM! lol He kind of reminds me of an Anne Stuart hero *snickers* Y'all AS fans know what I'm talking about here -- the man (er.. demon) is not a traditional "hero" -- rather he's completely self-serving, and while he does have distinct moments of being super awesome to the heroine, you can NOT forget that he's not only a demon, but a demon lord and as such you shouldn't try to manage him or treat him as you would a human because he will f*** you up!
When I started the book, I was absolutely Team Rhyzkahl, but as I continued to read, I started to understand why so many people are Team Ryan (gah. I'm getting flashbacks to my Twilight days :P). Ryan is.. *dreamy sigh* Yeah. Ryan's great.
I'm actually about a third of the way through the next one, Blood of the Demon.. It's going to KILL me waiting for Secrets of the Demon (the third book in the series) which is still being written. I typically try not to start a series until there are at least three or four books in already out because I'm not a very patient person. At all.
I would recommend this one for fans of police procedurals (Law & Order and CSI fans for example) who also enjoy a healthy dose of the arcane, and don't mine a few mildly explicit love scenes thrown in for seasoning.
I have two main things to say about this book. First, this book was awesome and has landed Gail Dayton a solid spot on my AutoBuy list from now on. SeI have two main things to say about this book. First, this book was awesome and has landed Gail Dayton a solid spot on my AutoBuy list from now on. Second, it's not steampunk. Or, at least, it's not steampunk as in what I envision when I think of steampunk. To me, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Iron Duke are steampunk, with things like airships and nanites and whatnot. The only thing that this book (and its sequel) had that, to me, screamed "steampunk" were the critters (which were metal, and that's all I'm going to say so's not to ruin anything).
If I had to classify this book, I'd say it's an Historical Fantasy (I'd say Victorian Fantasy, but I'm not 100% sure of the timeframe lol)
So, even though I first picked up this book because it was labeled as "steampunk", and even though in reading it I kept waiting for something that was more... well.. steampunkish, I still loved it.
What worked for me:
*Tortured hero just coming out of many many years of servitude to a cruel sorceress, and convinced that his ownership has been transferred to our heroine, who most decidedly doesn't want it. Freaking Awesome :D
*Average looking woman who only dabbles in magic (since the big stuff is illegal for womenfolk to use), who finds out Holy Crap -- She's a Blood Sorceress who will be totally badass once she figures out what the hell she's doing ;)
*The worldbuilding and the descriptions of how the magic worked, as it worked. Made you feel as though you were the one weaving the spell :)
What didn't work for me: *The cover. It's ugly. lol Okay that's mean -- I like the idea behind it (with the old font and such), but just really, REALLY not my thing. Thank goodness for Kindle, amirite? lol
*The beginning bits in the camp were boring. I realize they were giving a lot of background information not just on Amanusa but on Jax and the magic as well, but still, it got tedious there for a hot minute.
*The critters (which do have a better name, but I can't say since it's a spoilerrrrrr) -- at this point (having read both this book and the sequel, Heart's Blood), I still feel as though they're a bit pointless. I'm HOPING that book three will flesh out that bit of the plot a bit, completely making me eat my words :D
*Crenshaw annoys the pie out of me. I want to smack him. With something heavy. Repeatedly.
*Guild Secrets were annoying as well, even though I understand and agree with the reasoning behind keeping them. It's just frustrating when keeping those secrets only makes the prejudices and misogyny in the populace worse, but hey, that's part of the story development, right?
What was kinda iffy for me:
*the sex scenes. I don't want to say why as it is a possible spoiler, but even though they were beautifully done I didn't care for them. lol I may have to come back and check the spoiler box and just flat out say what I mean, but we'll see.
*Not really a "cliff-hanger" ending, but definitely left open-ended. I have mixed feelings about these types of endings. While I definitely like to keep stories open for sequels, I don't like going to turn the page and saying "wait, what? that's it?? what about ____??".. It's not so bad in this one because, hey, I had Heart's Blood already on my Kindle waiting to be read. But still.
Overall, I really loved it :) Solid 5 Stars...more
**spoiler alert** Ahhh this book was SO much better than I was expecting it to be!
I admit, it got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Lina met Deme**spoiler alert** Ahhh this book was SO much better than I was expecting it to be!
I admit, it got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Lina met Demeter, things definitely picked up.
Hades. *fans self* Oh my. *fans self some more*
Hades was delicious! How I adored him! He was absolutely everything a romantic hero should be - dashing, tender, sexy, wealthy, compassionate, and above all, willing to own up to his mistakes, all the while maintaining his powerful aura. He was the perfect blend of alpha male, full of the natural arrogance of a god, and a closet romantic who was compassionate and fair (well, most of the time lol).
I also thoroughly enjoyed the liberties that Cast took with the original myth, including that of Orpheus and Eurydice, Minthe, and of course, Persephone herself (including the bit about the Pomegranate)...
It was also refreshing to have an "older" heroine -- in her early 40's, though obviously for the majority of the story, her outward appearance didn't reflect her mortal age.
The ending was sweet (but left me slightly confused for a moment -- nothing major, just a question of dates really), and throughout the entire story was a nice "chick lit" undertone of loving people for who they are inside and not for their outer appearances. While this theme was pervasive, however, it was definitely subtly done, unlike some other "chick lit" stories where you feel that the author is lecturing you the whole bloody time.
The bathing scene annoyed me.. Granted, it was hot, but I have this.. aversion, I guess you could say, to heroes in romance novels seeing the heroine naked without her knowledge or consent. While she never discovers that this took place, it still irritated the bejesus out of me. Blech.
Other than that, though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable, sweet and romantic story, and I would highly recommend it (and boy did it make me want some authentic Italian pizza lol)
Meh. It was alright but not grand. There were too many loose subplots for my tastes -- such as who was behind the intrigue at the inn, and more detailMeh. It was alright but not grand. There were too many loose subplots for my tastes -- such as who was behind the intrigue at the inn, and more details on what happened between our hero and his previous fiancé. Other than that, I liked it... The heroine's subterfuge was completely understandable given the time period, and our hero's masculine pride (while irritating to the extreme) was also realistic.