I stopped reading this book because I couldn't handle Tack's too-sharp personality, but I realize that people who've read the series from the beginnin...moreI stopped reading this book because I couldn't handle Tack's too-sharp personality, but I realize that people who've read the series from the beginning (I started with this book) seemed to love the book. Don't let my review keep you from reading if you've read the first three books.
I'll never understand a woman who likes to read (or write, for that matter) about a man like Tack. In my opinion, there's nothing attractive about a man who manhandles a woman, who constantly invades her space when she has said no more than once, and who insists she shouldn't fear him when he's done nothing but prove that he wants to be feared. It really doesn't matter that Tyra slept with him once and seemed to enjoy his company for an evening - if she's changed her mind and said she doesn't want to "play his game," then that should be the end of it. Just because he thinks she still wants to play - even if he is right - doesn't give him the right to push her up against a wall and make her fearful he might harm her.
At only a quarter of the way through the book, I can't take his attitude anymore. None of the good qualities he's said to possess - humor, an "easy-to-be-with" presence - have been shown, we've just been told they're there, and apparently we're expected to believe it. In fact, Tyra, the one who insists he is funny and easy-to-be-with, has said repeatedly that he's a jerk. And all I've seen so far is a man who thinks he can have his way whenever he wants it, and that he isn't above physically forcing a person to do what he wants.
If Ashley had set the book up so that it was clear Tack's attitude isn't appropriate, if the blurb on the back of the book had made it clear that Tack is going to get an attitude adjustment, I'd keep reading. But I think Ashley (and Tyra by extension) is ok with Tack the way he is and that's a problem.
I don't think it would bother me so much if I didn't know that men like this exist out there. That there are men who think that because a woman said "yes" once, it somehow gives him exclusive right to her person. That if she changes her mind, it doesn't matter, he still has a right to physically demand her compliance in his fantasy world. Ashley, by writing about a man like this and having a woman fall for him even though he treats her pretty awfully, has condoned this kind of mind-set. And ultimately that's why I won't keep reading.
I wasn't impressed. The plot was predictable and the characters were mostly annoying. I think Frost has some potential with the world she's building,...moreI wasn't impressed. The plot was predictable and the characters were mostly annoying. I think Frost has some potential with the world she's building, but if she can't come up with some less-predictable baddies and resolutions, her series is going to be a flop (at least in my estimation).(less)
What's funny is that I actually read this book years ago but forgot to add it to Goodreads, so when I saw it was available to read at my library, I th...moreWhat's funny is that I actually read this book years ago but forgot to add it to Goodreads, so when I saw it was available to read at my library, I thought I hadn't read it. About a chapter in, I realized that I had, but couldn't remember much about it, so I decided to re-read it.
The book was just awful. My main problem was the timeline. (view spoiler)[I just couldn't understand how Howard could say that "hours" had gone by when the action seemed to indicate that mere minutes had passed. For example, when Gabriel and Lolly escape from the house, they run down the driveway to the woods, and manage to keep hidden for a few minutes before the druggies find them and start shooting. The action seemed to state that maybe, at tops, an hour passes from their initial escape and the crash that injures the girl druggie. Also the "romance" between Gabriel and Lolly just seemed forced - and not based on anything but animal attraction. I couldn't believe in a HEA for them at the end of the story.
Which brings me to my final complaint: there wasn't much of a story. In the course of a day or two, these people kill a couple of drug addicts and survive an ice storm - and suddenly they're thinking of moving in together. When the book was over, I was thankful, but could hardly believe that so little had actually happened. (hide spoiler)]
In my honest opinion, don't waste your time with this one!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The story is fairly predictable, the heroine is pretty whiney, and the hero is cold, calculating and Romanian. I rolled my eyes through half the book...moreThe story is fairly predictable, the heroine is pretty whiney, and the hero is cold, calculating and Romanian. I rolled my eyes through half the book and decided more than once to stop reading it, but somehow I ignored myself and finished. Worth it, you may ask? Meh...I at least didn't hate it.(less)
In the end, I felt O'Shea's contribution to the series was about as helpful as Maverick's. The character development was better, but stilted. The per...moreIn the end, I felt O'Shea's contribution to the series was about as helpful as Maverick's. The character development was better, but stilted. The personal interaction between Mika and Conor wasn't exciting to me and there were very few characters other than the two main ones to care about. Ultimately, I finished the book because I wanted to see what the addition of demons to Crimson City was going to do, but I could have done without this story altogether, especially after A Taste of Crimson.
My biggest issue with the book, however was Mika's (view spoiler)[big lie. I get that she perceived it to be necessary to lie to Conor in order to fulfill her duty to the counsel. But if I knew I was some guy's soul mate and was supposed to steal something of his, I would do my best to figure out a way not to lie so that our relationship would have the best chance of survival. In my opinion, big lie plots are as bad as secret baby plots. At the point that the big lie is revealed to the betrayed party, I feel like the person is a fool if they stay with the liar. And it's even worse if the liar is surprised by the betrayed person's mistrust. I will hand it to O'Shea that she mostly kept Mika from that folly, though. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Quite an improvement over the series opener. Liu actually invests the majority of the book in character development, so I cared about Keeli and Michae...moreQuite an improvement over the series opener. Liu actually invests the majority of the book in character development, so I cared about Keeli and Michael's HEA, plus almost all the other characters as well. Liu gives her characters consistent motives and actions for the most part and it made this book a joy to read.
I loved the view into the world of the wolves, and I love how down-to-earth the wolves are. Also, Liu knows how to hold on to character secrets for a while in order to keep you reading more. For example, even though we're told quite a bit about Michael's past initially, we don't find out all the implications of his torture all at once - it's nicely spaced throughout the book.
One thing I found disappointing: when Eric first said "she," I knew exactly who he was talking about, and I wasn't wrong. It's possible that Liu wanted it to be fairly obvious to the reader, though not to the main characters, but it could also be that her plot twist wasn't much of a twist at all.
That leads me to another thing I didn't like. (view spoiler)[ Granny Mae vacillates between good and evil so much that I had a hard time trying to figure out what Liu was trying to accomplish. If she was going for a sympathetic villain, she failed because Granny Mae was way too cruel. If Liu was trying to make us think that Granny Mae is a "realistic" character because she only acted cruel out of her desire to protect her family, Liu missed it because most people's actions aren't so polarized. (hide spoiler)]
I'm excited about the next book - I hope it is at least as good as this one!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Predictions about half-way through (I promise I haven't read anyone's review - though that may be obvious): (view spoiler)[1) I think Fleur's cousins...morePredictions about half-way through (I promise I haven't read anyone's review - though that may be obvious): (view spoiler)[1) I think Fleur's cousins are at the heart of the attack on Fleur and her brothers. I think they want Fleur on the "throne" so they can manipulate her how they want because they think she is weak. 2) I think Dain never was married. I think he was in an accident or "they" wiped his memory, told him he was married and that his wife was killed by vamps. They wanted him to be able to be manipulated where the vamps are concerned. (hide spoiler)]
Issues (I am about 3/4 of the way through the book): (view spoiler)[Why does Dain "love" Fleur? I mean, so far there hasn't been anything in the book to indicate why they would be in love except that they're both attractive and Dain has a "darkness" in him that Fleur understands. There has been such shallow character development for both Fleur and Dain that I just can't bring myself to care that they are together. Dain is a cop without a lot of his memory. Fleur is a "warrior" and heiress who doesn't know why her brothers were killed. Not much to care about there.
And then there's that "darkness" in Dane and Fleur that's supposed to be there. Frankly there was more darkness in Syd's little finger than in Dain and Fleur combined so far. I mean, sure Fleur killed that "dog" and somehow that was supposed to show how "dark" she is. But she's a vamp and she was threatened. I don't find it "dark" when a lion kills because it's threatened, so why would I find it "dark" in a vamp when it's in her nature as much as it is in a lion's? And Dane's "darkness"? Where is that? I haven't seen it.
Now Syd was a good character and why Maverick chose to kill her off, I'll never understand. Syd was dark: a drug addict with a lot of demons; an overachiever who paid a very high price for her success. Her past was a big question mark. What did she see in R&D that made her go a little crazy? It would have made more sense for Dain and Syd to be together than for Dain & Fleur. At least Syd and Dain knew each other - a believable relationship can be built on a solid friendship.
Anyway, I'm less-than-enthralled with this book right now. I should probably see how it ends so I can finish this review. (hide spoiler)]
Finally finished. I was right about prediction #2 (go me!), but not #1, which is a shame. I wasn't impressed with the book overall. As I mentioned earlier, Maverick doesn't do character development very well. But the idea of the series is good and since most of the books in the series are written by other authors, I'm going to give the second book a try. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The thing I loved most about this book was just how much the kids are growing up. Frank, Leo and Jason all went through various ordeals that taught th...moreThe thing I loved most about this book was just how much the kids are growing up. Frank, Leo and Jason all went through various ordeals that taught them more about themselves than they knew before - and brought them closer to leading men than they have ever been in the series previously.
Leo actually went from being a character I cared next to nothing about to one of the characters I care most about. A little (view spoiler)[heartbreak (hide spoiler)] has done him a world of good. Jason became less of an enigma and more of a real person - with strengths, weaknesses and thoughts of his own - and less the golden boy on a pedestal he'd been before. And Frank, the baby-faced sweetheart, became a warrior I could believe in, a man I could look up to in this series.
Percy and Annabeth seemed to come out stronger for their trials in Tartarus than I thought they would. Hazel, too, even had her moments in this story. I wish Nico had stuck around a little longer. That boy needs the chip on his shoulders removed; he needs to realize that the others aren't going to judge him for his "flaw" (as Nico would see his (view spoiler)[homosexual feelings for Percy (hide spoiler)]). I also have some hope for Piper, who has seemed like a very shallow girl and not a very obvious match for Jason. Hopefully she'll grow up a little in The Blood of Olympus.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Brockmann has a gift for story-telling. I've said it before and she proves it time and again. Even if I find fault with some of the aspects of the sto...moreBrockmann has a gift for story-telling. I've said it before and she proves it time and again. Even if I find fault with some of the aspects of the story she tells, I can never put one of her books down. She gets under my skin and only finishing the book will set me free.
I loved that this new series takes place in the Troubleshooters' world. I was a fan of the Troubleshooters, so when that series ended, I was a little sad. I like that Reluctant Heroes won't try to duplicate Troubleshooters, but that those beloved characters aren't gone forever. I loved Martell and can't wait to get more of him. I thought Ian and Phoebe's romance, though rushed, worked (and I don't often say that of rushed romances). I liked getting to know a new set of characters and I can't wait to see where Brockmann takes them!
A note about my rating...I gave it four stars, but I think this was probably a solid 3.5. I don't like to hand out 4 or 5 stars unless I feel they're especially deserved, but I didn't feel that the book merited a 3, which is why I'm qualifying my rating. The plot itself was a 3, but Brockmann's style and voice gave it that extra .5 of a star.(less)
Most of this book, I kept wondering why Robards even bothered to write this "romance" story. Charlie spends almost every moment she is with Michael telling him that, essentially, he means nothing to her and she wishes he would leave. The only times he's good enough for her are when she's in the mood for some ghost sex or when she needs him to save her. It got old fast.
The only reason I am going to read the next book is to find out what happens to Michael, because honestly he's the only character worth reading about so far in the series.
If Robards had left the romance out, this series would actually be pretty interesting. Not horribly original (pretty sure "psychiatrist who sees ghosts solves crimes" has been done lots of times before), but interesting.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Somewhere along the way I lost interest. I think it was sometime after (view spoiler)[Teal was kidnapped (hide spoiler)]. That seemed like the start o...moreSomewhere along the way I lost interest. I think it was sometime after (view spoiler)[Teal was kidnapped (hide spoiler)]. That seemed like the start of the logical climax to the story, but it wasn't and the whole thing just threw me off. Teal's attitude was annoying, the characters were less-than-engaging, and half the time, the storytelling was confusing. I just couldn't keep forcing myself onward.
I was sad to quit, though - if only because the treasure hunt and romance part of the first half of the book was good and I was enjoying it. There was a lot of potential here, but Adair just got lost along the way.["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's clear to me after reading this book that Brockmann's style has greatly evolved over the years. Many times during this read, I forgot I was readin...moreIt's clear to me after reading this book that Brockmann's style has greatly evolved over the years. Many times during this read, I forgot I was reading a book by her because it is so different in tone, setting and pacing than her more recent works. But all that is not to say that this book wasn't a good read, because it was.
This story reminds me, in some ways, of Brockmann's other book Body Language. The story is simple, but so sweet. And that's the word that came to mind after finishing Future Perfect: sweet. Oh, there were some moments in the story where I just shook my head at the characters, but most of the story made sense and was, well, sweet.(less)
While there were plenty of things to roll my eyes at while reading ((view spoiler)[ghost sex, really poor witness protection, poor decision-making on...moreWhile there were plenty of things to roll my eyes at while reading ((view spoiler)[ghost sex, really poor witness protection, poor decision-making on the part of the heroine, ghost sex, irrational hostility toward a profiling psychiatrist by an FBI agent, etc. (hide spoiler)]), I did somehow somewhat enjoy some of the ideas Robards had. I am going to read the next in the series just to see if some loose ends are tied up.(less)
Of all the books in the series, this was probably my least favorite. Although I really appreciate Briggs having Mercy take the high road in her relati...moreOf all the books in the series, this was probably my least favorite. Although I really appreciate Briggs having Mercy take the high road in her relationship with Christy, I dislike that the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack (as we're so often reminded when Adam is with cops and other baddies) didn't stand up for his mate more openly. I didn't need him to yell at Christy, or put her down or make her feel unwelcome, but when Christy asked to (view spoiler)[put her stuff in his and Mercy's bathroom, he could have said no. He could have drawn the line at his and Mercy's space. He should have drawn that line. I lost a little respect for Adam because he thought it was more important to protect Christy's ego than defend his new life with Mercy. (hide spoiler)]
I'm guessing that Christy will probably move back to the Tri-Cities, which will make future installments of the series interesting. Hopefully the dynamic won't keep eroding my respect for Adam. Also, I'm looking forward to the (view spoiler)[walking stick and Stephen being fully back. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have said this in other reviews of Brockmann's books (see this review), but when it comes to Jules and Robin, Brockmann has a tendency to become pre...moreI have said this in other reviews of Brockmann's books (see this review), but when it comes to Jules and Robin, Brockmann has a tendency to become preachy.
I get that Brockmann's son has struggled to thrive in a often anti-gay culture. I get that she loves her son and wants to normalize his lifestyle. I even get that she would choose to use her gift of storytelling to get her message of acceptance out to the larger heterosexual community. And I'm ok with that, really I am. Force of Nature was one of my favorite Troubleshooter books.
Anyone who has followed Brockmann's writing for any length of time understands that she is comfortable writing about gay relationships. I think most of her fans are ok with reading gay romance - many even cheer just as hard for them as with hetero romances, if not harder. But as Brockmann has deteriorated from great author of homo- and heterosexual romance to preachy, pro-gay reformist, I think she's forgotten who her audience is.
We've gladly followed her lead into what for many of us was new territory and have found we like where she brought us. We are loyal and have been convinced that gay people can have happy endings just like straight people can. Brockmann should no longer have to feel like she must take every opportunity to get on her soapbox.
Fans shouldn't have had to sit through 2/3 of book that harps on how hard it is for a closeted gay actor to come out and still have a successful career. We know it's hard. While there are many successful real-life gay actors in Hollywood and on TV (Ian McKellan, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Ted Allen, just to name a few), they undoubtedly have a lot of hate and other issues to work through to keep their careers intact. I'm not trying to downplay the issues they face, however I don't think anyone who would willingly read a short story specifically about a gay couple needs to hear the whining. It just isn't attractive in anyone - gay, straight, whatever.
My other complaint about this story, which some other reviewers have brought up as well, is that most of this book centers on the coming out of Robin's TV alter ego. Why do we care whether Joe Laughlin gets a happy ending or not? I certainly don't. Laughlin was just a character Robin played, no matter how closely Laughlin's life followed Robin's. Robin got his happy ending when he married Jules - why do we need to re-hash that in Laughlin's character?
One last thing: why didn't we get to hear more about the baby? I would have loved if this short story followed Robin's and Jules' journey to fatherhood. I mean, Laughlin was a job; the baby is a real life-changer and something worth reading about.
I think going forward I will probably forego any exclusively Jules and Robin stories. I just don't have any desire to read whining and there are lots of other good books to read instead.(less)
While there was nothing really wrong with the story, it was just a little too ho-hum for me. The characters, dialogue and ending were predictable; a l...moreWhile there was nothing really wrong with the story, it was just a little too ho-hum for me. The characters, dialogue and ending were predictable; a light read to fill the time.(less)
Frost Burned had a different feel than most of the other Mercy books before it. Sometimes I had a hard time seeing the connections that Briggs made be...moreFrost Burned had a different feel than most of the other Mercy books before it. Sometimes I had a hard time seeing the connections that Briggs made between vampires and the governmental mercs they hired to kidnap the pack. That could be my fault - maybe I wasn't reading as closely as I should have been; it might have been Briggs' writing. Either way, I enjoyed the story well enough that a spotty read won't be enough to keep me from the next in the series.(less)
Banks is a mediocre author at best. The dialogues in this book were stilted, her characters were one dimensional and her plot-line was unbelievable. T...moreBanks is a mediocre author at best. The dialogues in this book were stilted, her characters were one dimensional and her plot-line was unbelievable. This is the last book I plan to read by her.(less)
I loved the pacing of this book - for the first time Mercy and Adam get lots of one-on-one time and of course things have to go to hell. A river monst...moreI loved the pacing of this book - for the first time Mercy and Adam get lots of one-on-one time and of course things have to go to hell. A river monster, some fae otters, the Coyote, and a host of other Native American legends come together to add depth to Mercy's world. Love these books! (less)
Yet again Brockmann's amazing story-telling abilities have drawn me into a start of a great series. The setting of the story is unique among Brockmann...moreYet again Brockmann's amazing story-telling abilities have drawn me into a start of a great series. The setting of the story is unique among Brockmann's works and while I've read similar story lines from other authors and have been disappointed, I have high hopes that Brockmann will do something good with this world of hers.
Although Mac was probably my least-favorite character overall, I loved Shane, Bach, Anna, Nika, Stephen, and Elliott - and I can't wait for the next book!(less)
As I'm now reading the fourth Mercy Thompson book, I'm starting to see more overlap in these coexisting worlds. For some reason, though, I like Briggs...moreAs I'm now reading the fourth Mercy Thompson book, I'm starting to see more overlap in these coexisting worlds. For some reason, though, I like Briggs' writing style more in this series than in MT. Briggs repeats herself less, it seems, in this series than in the other. Anna and Charles are great characters and I'm looking forward to more!(less)
I enjoyed getting to know the pack better in this installment. I loved the scene where Bran shows Mercy (view spoiler)[how to use the pack magic (hide...moreI enjoyed getting to know the pack better in this installment. I loved the scene where Bran shows Mercy (view spoiler)[how to use the pack magic (hide spoiler)]. I'm still annoyed by the repetitive nature of some of the exposition, but I like the story enough to keep going.(less)