I've been feeling the lack of a good m/m story for a while now, so this book was very much welcome....moreFind the review also over at Under The Covers blog
I've been feeling the lack of a good m/m story for a while now, so this book was very much welcome. It's a spin-off from the 'Partnership in Blood' series by the same author, and even though I am obsessed with reading a series in order, this didn't turn out to be as scary as I thought it would be. This was also my first time reading a book by Ariel Tachna and I can say that it won't certainly be the last.
Since this is a spin-off story, it takes place after the events in the main series, but not having read them -yet!- wasn't much of an obstacle. A powerful werewolf pack comes to the wizard/vampire pairings for help about their mating rituals, the couples are unable to have children and they're afraid the pack might be dying out because of that. The helping hand comes in the form of an enthusiastic, werewolf fanboy, newbie wizard named Marc, who's sent in to the pack to observe the ritual performed by the pack's shaman, a gorgeous black wolf named Adenet.
The book mainly is about the different relationships from the previous couples, as well as how Marc tries hard to make Adenet acknowledge their inevitable bond. Gotta say, I loved the sexuality in this book, my god it was hot! More than once I wished I had a vampire partner of my own to be wild with in the bedroom, or perhaps a werewolf to mate with in abandon, but let's just get back to the review. The characters were likable, especially Marc, and I enjoyed the dark way the vampires were handled here. I don't know, I've always been a fan of the darker side -they have cookies and all!- The plot wasn't hard to follow since the main thing is the relationships, but still I think it would help if one reads the previous books first, for the sake of connecting to the characters more.
My biggest problem, however, was the constant use of French words. The author has lived and worked in France so I can understand her choice of including the culture, since the story is set in France, and I could understand a few commonly known words here and there, but whole sentences in French, or words that may not be widely known to non-French readers is another story. Thankfully my sister helped me with this, but for those who don't have French speaking sisters, this might be a bit of a challenge, not to mention it disrupts the flow of the story.
Overall, I still liked the book, it was an interesting world where different races are made to mingle, and I'll definitely work on getting my hands on the other books. Who knows, it might also help improve my French!(less)
Being probably one of the last ones to hear about the New Adult genre, I say this book was just okay. The low rating isn't because the book was bad bu...moreBeing probably one of the last ones to hear about the New Adult genre, I say this book was just okay. The low rating isn't because the book was bad but rather it felt like it wasn't yet completed.
The story is told from first person by our heroine who had to deal with some devastating experience. We come into the story after the initial crisis following this experience, but before the full recovery. This gives us time to both discover in bits what exactly happened to her, and to see step by step how and with who she gets over things. Even though I can't say I'm a big fan of first person narration, I have to admit this helps get into a character's head, especially in a plot such as this where psychology is the big chunk of the story.
The subject matter of this book is not an easy one to write, I give that much to the author. You gotta tread carefully, giving the necessary care to the character's condition. I think in this case the author did right by the heroine but unfortunately failed to cue us in. Even though for the whole of the book I was inside the heroine's head, I was unable to make a connection to her and I think that's where the book fails. As the most important person in this story, Tabitha makes not much of an impression on me, even though I try hard to sympathize with her concerning her past. And not only Tabitha herself, but also the rest of the characters feel as if they might or might not have existed and it wouldn't matter for me. Her father, who help pick up the pieces together right after her incident is hardly there to make me feel for him. The new best friend Tabitha makes is also supposed to be a big help for her in getting over things but again, her existence is like a shadow. And Noah, the hero of the story, the one who's the biggest support, the biggest step in her recovery, fails to be that big. It felt like everyone had the right amount of potential, and they came so close to make the story reach its climax, and yet, there seems to be no climax in the end.
Another problem I had with this book was the unanswered questions. Sure, we do get why she's the way she is, what happened to her and how it affected not just her but everyone around as well, especially her family. But we never get any more detail than the overalls. I felt as if I was an outsider, and it frustrated me not to get any more information concerning the heroine herself and her relationships with those around her, or the hero, who seemed like his story was a bit more than we're told.
It was things like these, the little details that were neglected yet if told, they would've made a difference, and the fact that I couldn't connect with any of the characters, that made me rate this book this low. The story had potential, it's a real life problem that I'd be happy to read the heroine get over and move on with her life, but somehow it ended up being short of that potential. I would've preferred to read a hundred more pages if it meant I'd get the full of the story and a chance to click with the characters. (less)
How different this book turned out to be than what I expected, not that it was anything bad, but what I did expect, was a light romance with a little...moreHow different this book turned out to be than what I expected, not that it was anything bad, but what I did expect, was a light romance with a little bit of sports for seasoning. What I got, however, was a lovely romance that involved characters who had to deal with their personal demons, characters I was able to connect with.
Kelly Maxwell is the publicist for the San Francisco Blaze baseball team, and it is her job to arrange and deal with everything media related for the team. She loves her job, she handles things pretty good, but all that happy soon meets the wall that is Matt Scanlon. Matt is the new catcher, transferred to the Blaze after a year he spent in ruining his reputation, he now wants nothing but playing his game, especially no more media relations, and it's up to Kelly to get him to open up.
All the elements for a nice romance are there. A screwed up hero, a strong heroine that gives him a hard time, and men playing sports, hitting the showers after every game. Okay, maybe that last part was just for me. But there's gotta be a plot, and the sports aspect of the book helped that a lot. Even though I'm not familiar with baseball, a fact that I plan to compensate for in the near future, I was still able to read through the games without being completely lost. I think when done good enough not to make the clueless reader alienated, a romance with a backdrop of any sport is a wonderful idea.
The characters are what make the story though, and I loved the ones in here. Kelly Maxwell was the kind of heroine I'd like to read in books. She was smart, talented, she knew how to hold her own around too much testosterone, and I especially loved how strong she was when it came to dealing with her own problems. She was a reminder that not all bad things come to an abrupt end in time, but some things you have to constantly struggle with along the way.
Matt Scanlon was also my kind of hero. We met him right after his screw up, so he was already on his way to redemption and that's always a turn on. He was a much more decent guy than you'd expect from a man in his situation though. Even though he had the life of the party before he came to the Blaze, all alcohol and one night stands, once he decided to clean up his act, he truly meant it. You don't see that a lot with a hero who wants to hide and forget a certain past, they tend to snap and bite at every turn until they find their love, but it seemed with Matt, the only time he attacked was when people came too close to hitting home in regard to his painful memories. In all other times, he was a gentleman.
I liked how the romance took off from clear animosity, to a certain degree of friendship, to lust, and to finally end up at love. The pace was the right one for me, it wasn't too rushed and it didn't stretch out to eternity. We were able to see the exact moments when they both realized their true feelings for each other and I liked those scenes. Their romance was a sweet one.
I did think, however, that towards the end, for the sake of tying all loose ends and to make things final, it felt a bit rushed. Everything unraveled evenly up until that point when suddenly, things were wrapped up and the book ended. There were a couple of side characters who I felt like had more to say, and there was a certain little twist that I wished we could've done without.
A sweet romance with a side dish of baseball and a few sprinkles of the emotional that I'd recommend. (less)