A bit of fluff. Not Brockman's best but enjoyable for what it is.The conflict between Maggie and Matt is pretty shallow and I'm not a fan of shallow cA bit of fluff. Not Brockman's best but enjoyable for what it is.The conflict between Maggie and Matt is pretty shallow and I'm not a fan of shallow conflicts. I dislike it when people get in the way of their own happiness....more
I loved several of the stories: "Alpha & Omega," "Gray," "Silver," and "Redemption;"
liked a few: "In Red, with Pearls," "Roses in Winter," "OuttakI loved several of the stories: "Alpha & Omega," "Gray," "Silver," and "Redemption;"
liked a few: "In Red, with Pearls," "Roses in Winter," "Outtake One" "Outtake Two" and "Hollow;"
and disliked a few: "Fairy Gifts," "Seeing Eye," and "The Star of David."
Alpha & Omega - After reading about how Anna and Charles met in the series, I was eager to read the encounter first-hand. It lived up to all my expectations and perfectly sets the scene for the series to begin. 4 stars.
Gray - Of all the short stories that are part of, but not intertwined with, the Mercy stories, this was my favorite. I love how strong the love between the main character and her fiance is: that it could stand the test of a century - and violent death - and still be strong as ever. I also love how the vampire endears herself to the humans and protects them. 4.5 stars.
Silver - I think any fan of Bran and Samuel's will love this glimpse into their past that is always hinted of but never really spoken about. And the story of Ariana and Sam is poignant, but good. 4 stars.
Redemption - I've always had a love-hate thing for Ben. This story, though, shows that even though he is broken (and we get to see why he is broken here), he is capable of good. 4 stars.
In Red, with Pearls - While I loved this glimpse into Warren's private life, loved seeing that there is more to him than even Mercy guesses at, I wasn't so enamored of all it revealed. 3 stars.
Roses in Winter - I did always wonder what happened to that reporter's daughter all those stories ago. I'm glad she was able to adapt in Bran's pack. I didn't love the story because it talked about the harsher aspects of pack life and, frankly, sometimes I like to forget that werewolves are vicious. 3 stars.
Outtake One - Predictable. That's all that is really important to know about this. It's a gratuitous happy ending (and there's nothing wrong with that!). 3 stars.
Outtake Two - Adam loves Mercy. The end. 3 stars.
Hollow - I actually enjoyed this short more than the others in this category. The only reason I didn't love it is because it wasn't memorable. I had to wrack my brains a moment to remember what happened. Once I did, I remembered that I liked it. 3.5 stars.
Fairy Gifts - This story intrigued me. I wanted more. I was mad when it ended because I felt like it could have really taken off for something grand. If these characters ever make it into another Mercy story, maybe I'll revise my review in light of new information. Until then, I'm still mad. 2 stars.
Seeing Eye - This one had the same issue as "Hollow." It wasn't memorable - and once I did remember it, I remembered I didn't like it all that much. 2 stars.
The Star of David - This is another glimpse into the darker side of being a werewolf, but without a known and lovable character to bolster it, it fell flat for me. 2 stars....more
I listened to the audiobook and while the narrator isn't my favorite (his voice is just too whiney), I did like the story. Anna and Charles work so weI listened to the audiobook and while the narrator isn't my favorite (his voice is just too whiney), I did like the story. Anna and Charles work so well together; it's hard for one of their stories to fall completely flat. I did find the lack of action in this one made it seem slower than some of the others in the series. ...more
I've read this series too many times to count and I love it every time I pick it up. Lewis creates a world so alive and fun; his characters are relataI've read this series too many times to count and I love it every time I pick it up. Lewis creates a world so alive and fun; his characters are relatable (especially if you first read the books as a child). Every time I finish I wish I could step through the Wardrobe myself. As an adult I've come to appreciate Lewis's considerable spiritual wisdom. He uses words and ideas that are understandable to even the least uneducated to convey deep spiritual thoughts. I always leave thinking of something new each time....more
I was searching for an author similar to Suzanne Brockmann and Melton's books were suggested. I guess I should have been more specific in my search beI was searching for an author similar to Suzanne Brockmann and Melton's books were suggested. I guess I should have been more specific in my search because I wasn't so much looking for stories about SEALs as I was looking for an author of the same caliber as Brockmann. Melton doesn't even come close.
While Gabe's story is relatively entertaining, Melton's characters lack depth and personality. All the SEALs seemed the same; all the women seemed the same. The story is predictable (I knew who the bad guy was long before it was revealed); the love story just a bit trite. Overall, I just wasn't impressed.
Will I continue on with the series? Maybe. If nothing else new comes my way, probably. But it's not a sign that I'm enthralled...just a sign that I'm bored....more
I feel like this entire book could have been avoided completely if Jax had just opened his first conversation with Kelly with, "I'm sorry (view spoileI feel like this entire book could have been avoided completely if Jax had just opened his first conversation with Kelly with, "I'm sorry (view spoiler)[I missed your 18th birthday (hide spoiler)], but I was (view spoiler)[in a Colombian jail (hide spoiler)]. It's tough to talk about but if you'll have dinner with me, I'll explain everything." A little awkward maybe, but I think Kelly would have heard him out and forgiven him. And they'd have lived happily ever after without all the other nonsense.
It was creepy of Jax to have fallen in love with a child...I just can't see how she could be that mature at 16 (at least not to a 22-year-old college grad). And for all Kelly's "maturity," she sure didn't act all that mature when Jax came back into her life. A mature person would have at least gone to dinner once to catch up with an old friend. Then Jax could have avoided revealing his inner stalker. Jax also came off as a little weird for having conversations with his characters out loud. Come to think of it, Jax doesn't seem like much of a catch: a pedophile, schizo stalker who is probably suffering from PTSD. Yeah, what a heartthrob.
Overall, not Brockmann's best work. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A really intriguing tale that picks up where Pax's loyalty predicament left off in Hawker's story. Though I knew Pax was never going to be kicked outA really intriguing tale that picks up where Pax's loyalty predicament left off in Hawker's story. Though I knew Pax was never going to be kicked out of the service, I was still itching to find out why they decided to keep him. I enjoyed Pax's HEA as much as Hawker's, though I sometimes wondered why everyone kept trying to talk Pax out of killing the Merchant. Even given their connection, I didn't see why Pax should have any more nightmares than he already does after killing the Merchant. Honestly, though, I wouldn't know what murders would be more likely to induce nightmares than others since I've (fortunately) never had to kill someone myself. ...more
Hawker is my favorite character in this series and I really loved how we got his whole story through flashbacks. Justine is one of the few female leadHawker is my favorite character in this series and I really loved how we got his whole story through flashbacks. Justine is one of the few female leads who hasn't annoyed me in this series. I'm looking forward to Pax's book next!...more
An interesting story and very different in tone from the two previous books, which is nice. I really enjoyed Hawker and am looking forward to his storAn interesting story and very different in tone from the two previous books, which is nice. I really enjoyed Hawker and am looking forward to his story next!...more
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 beginninI 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,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, 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)....more
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 thWhat'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"]>...more
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 bookThe 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....more
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 perIn 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"]>...more
Quite an improvement over the series opener. Liu actually invests the majority of the book in character development, so I cared about Keeli and MichaeQuite 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"]>...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this last installment of the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm hoping Riordan will write more stories in the Percy Jackson world withI thoroughly enjoyed this last installment of the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm hoping Riordan will write more stories in the Percy Jackson world with these characters!...more
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 cousinsPredictions 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"]>...more
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 thThe 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"]>...more
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 stoBrockmann 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....more
Most of this book, I kept wonderiWell, I guess Charlie finally got to find out that there really is (view spoiler)[a damn white light (hide spoiler)].
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"]>...more
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 oSomewhere 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"]>...more