I am really torn up about what to rate this book. In fact, I’m going to make my decision as I write this review and see what it feels like in the end.I am really torn up about what to rate this book. In fact, I’m going to make my decision as I write this review and see what it feels like in the end. I like reading about Greek mythology. I like how the possibilities are endless when you write a story that’s based on myth, and some authors really do come up with some original ideas. Not only they tweak what happened, but they also play around with the characters and create many more different versions and you get to take your pick. This was such a book. The story revolves around Ambrosia, daughter of the infamous Medusa, and Perseus, the famous hero who defeated and beheaded Medusa. But of course this story is not this generalization. In fact, Ambrosia is a prostitute, finding it the best way to gather information about her mother’s killer in order to return the favor one day.
This was actually a fun book. It started out as very interesting and fast paced. I was instantly sucked into the story, the world building. I admired and respected Ambrosia’s determination of living the life of a prostitute in order to achieve her goal, in fact, this way her character had a head start in complexity and depth compared to Perseus. As for Perseus himself, he was the mysterious, hard stranger in the beginning, kind of reminded me of Aragorn’s first introduction as Strider from Lord of The Rings. He wasn’t as surprising as Ambrosia but he was solid.
A few chapters in though..It all went a little downhill. And this is the point where I have trouble with my rating. I don’t want to be unfair to the nice beginning, but then the middle and end-what can I say?- disappointed me a little. The two leads started showing signs of childish behavior, most of the time they acted like teenagers rather than the mythical beings that they were, and so their plight lost its initial appeal to me. I kept imagining-and desperately looking forward to- them going back to who they started out as, but unfortunately this didn’t happen. As the story unfolded and they went ahead on their path one step and one obstacle at a time, they became more and more like young adults. Actually, has anyone seen the Percy Jackson movies? I haven’t read the books so I can’t compare this to the books, but if this story was to be made into a movie, it’d be something like Percy Jackson. And though I enjoyed those movies, it would be not what I expected and wished for this book.
For starters, I liked the idea of Ambrosia taking on the tough job of being a prostitute for a purpose, and that, in my opinion, should’ve provided her with a certain level of maturity. I expected her to be wary of Perseus, to be as strong as she had to be for doing what she did, and very, very determined. Even if she was those things, as a reader, that message lost its effect by the time it reached me. As for Perseus, I expected a man who loved and lost, who was determined just as much as Ambrosia to finish the task he started, and generally be the-yes, clichéd- tough stranger. Instead, he was a young man who sulked and was resentful most of the time, and childish and funny in the rest. He didn’t impress me, actually they both didn’t impress me considering how they started out as lead characters.
The plot was a bit better than the hero and the heroine, I gotta give it that. It was what you’d expect from a retelling of a mythical story, it revolved around one general idea, the past and fate of Medusa, and kept throwing in obstacles in the way until the end. Action was not scarce which was okay by me. I liked to see some of the most well known characters making appearances in unexpected places in unexpected conditions and that was good too. But then again, the whole story had a childish vibe to it that I couldn’t shake off. And this is probably going to be why I’ll shave off from my rating.
This was an okay story that had a lot of potential that simply just fell short. Potentially deep characters, potentially good plot, everything was there and yet they failed to reach their true desired effect....more
This book came at a tough time in my life and it still managed to grab and hold my attention from any issues I was having, and that says a lot. Ice hoThis book came at a tough time in my life and it still managed to grab and hold my attention from any issues I was having, and that says a lot. Ice hockey is not a sport I had a chance to watch in real life-though I do like to watch people ice skating- but Game Play interested me enough with its actual sports details to seek it out when no one minded me hogging the tv.
Within a male dominated sport, Samantha felt like a breath of fresh air. Not just as the strong and deep love interest of the hero, but as someone who’s involved and successful in the game itself. I liked that part of Samantha’s character. She was just as driven, competitive and talented as the hero and the rest of his teammates. She was the message that women should and could not be underestimated in the world of sports. For that very reason I liked her. But other than her position as a hockey player, she was also a free spirited, hardworking young woman. I could easily understand and relate to her standpoint, and could see through to her reasonings behind some of her reactions to certain situations.
Dylan was also a very likable hero. He had all the charming characteristics I like in a romance book hero, plus, he could appreciate what Samantha was doing and admire her for that. I like men like Dylan. Just like Samantha, Dylan represented a mindset that I could appreciate as a reader. When delving into a story, this is what makes it worth reading, apart from the joys you get from meeting people who you want to take out for drinks and maybe a competitive game of bowling. As solid as they were individually, Samantha and Dylan were very well fitted as a couple. They had an easy banter that was laced with a dose of passion ever since they first met, and that went on and got sexier as they got to know each other better and advanced things further both on and off the ice. I liked the fact that they were both involved with the sports and had a sort of camaraderie when it came to skating.
I can honestly say my first book by Lynda Aicher was a success. There is a reason I love reading sports romances and when they put me right into the mindset of the game itself along with the sexy and romantic, it’s more fun. I’ll definitely be looking forward to seeing more heroines playing the sports of their romances, it brings more intimacy into the relationship. I think as good as their chemistry was, Dylan and Samantha bonded more and better on the ice through the game they both loved.
Yet another new series I’ll be looking forward to, another set of new characters to go crazy about, and a new sports to try to follow in my spare time. Now, I’m off to watch some games and take notes, and then maybe I can trick a hockey player into teaching me how to skate, you know, arms circling me when I almost fall down and all....more
I honestly, honestly don’t know where to start with this book. I think the saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ was meant for this one. You guysI honestly, honestly don’t know where to start with this book. I think the saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ was meant for this one. You guys know I can be shallow at times when it comes to covers, and I admit I was first attracted to this book because of it. Reading its plot-and even though yours truly isn’t much of a fan of love triangles- I wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience.
I love small town romances. The southern charm. It usually feels like home to me, these people connecting with each other and being a big family. Sadly for me, the characters in this book lacked that southern charm that I was looking forward to. The hero and the heroine were not likable people at all. They meet while the heroine, Mary Beth, is engaged to the hero’s younger brother, and though I could understand an undeniable spark that they had to fight-and eventually lose- against, but they made things out in such a way that not only I couldn’t feel sorry for their predicament, but also I secretly wished some sense would be knocked into them.
Mary Beth, for starters, wasn’t a woman I’d call a good heroine. In romance, strong and independent women are important, but Mary Beth was neither strong, nor independent. In fact, her existence in the short while we get to know her, seemed to revolve around the two brothers. But mostly on Parr, really. She’s back and forth between both emotionally-and at times physically- cheating on her fiancé, and her unjustified and meaningless sense of duty to the same fiancé who she suspects is cheating on her. And half the time I didn’t know what she was doing and why. Not for one moment I felt sorry for her, being in between two brothers. She was clueless not in a naive way, and the few times she seemed standing up for herself, I didn’t know what she was fighting for. That’s a big problem if I can’t connect with the female lead. When reading these books, like we all do, I look for a woman I can relate to and root for, not just to get the guy in the end, but also to find her strength and her own voice throughout the story. I’d like to see a change for the better for these people, for them to heal if they have wounds and problems, for them to be the better versions of how they started out. Mary Beth and Parr? They were exactly the same in the end as they were in the beginning. I don’t want to have that.
As for Parr individually, he was supposed to be the responsible older brother, the one who took care of everything, the one, probably, to make a sacrifice in falling for and letting go of his brother’s fiancé-albeit unsuccessfully- but he came off as a selfish, one dimensional character. His brother was no saint mind you, but still, with his self centered personality and cheating ways, he was the better of the three if you can believe that. But he didn’t have much page time anyway.
Apart from my disappointment with the two leads, I wish I could say that I still got that homey feeling of being in a small town, of everyone knowing everyone else’s business and that nosy neighbor thing, but alas, that didn’t happen either. The plot went nowhere, again, half the time I didn’t know what was happening. We spent a little too much time being dictated the characters’ movements rather than delving into their psyche. This way, I felt like they only moved around until it was the end and time to say goodbye.
I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t enjoy my time with Mary Beth and Parr, and couldn’t feel for their romance. Just the one star from me....more
I admit, I seem to have a turbulent relationship with Michele Mannon's Worth The Fight series. In the first book, I simply couldn't click with the preI admit, I seem to have a turbulent relationship with Michele Mannon's Worth The Fight series. In the first book, I simply couldn't click with the premise, in the second, though I stumbled at the beginning, I caught up and loved it, and this one, I find it hard to explain how I felt. Which is why I'm going smack in the middle in my rating.
Bracken Kelly is an undercover cop. We met him in the previous book as the brother of the hero, MMA fighter turned model, Caden Kelly. Since he was still undercover and going through some tough stuff, we never got a chance to know him. We've watched all the cop shows, we know what we're dealing with when it comes to undercover cops who get involved with gangs who fight and deal drugs and god knows what else. So, by the time we meet him again, Bracken is not in a good place psychologically. He left behind a job that went wrong, and now is trying to finish off another one to clear his name. I liked the fact that no matter he was the hero, because of his past with his previous gang, he was no gentleman. He wasn't a beastly caveman, mind you, but he didn't do sweet either. And I do admit, at first it bothered me a little that he was so cold-even though I like the cold ones. But the way he respected Huntley and her determination at wanting to win an MMA title for herself was admirable. He could've treated her just like any other male fighter and underestimated her, but he chose to take her and her efforts seriously and gave her the respect she-and all the female fighters- deserved. Wise man.
In a world where women can still be undermined in certain aspects of life, Huntley was a woman on a mission. Having suffered her own trauma years before, she left her hometown to reinvent herself to be able to fight her own battles, both physically and emotionally. Being a female MMA fighter must be a challenge, I gather. Especially in such a male dominated sport. But Huntley, being the fighter that she was, handled herself pretty good. She was determined and strong, never letting anyone walk over her, and she most definitely earned her respect from her male counterparts. There will always be those who'll only see her in her tiny outfit exposing skin, sweating and wrestling with another woman, but a good chunk of the spectators in the book looked past that. I liked it. And I liked the parts where her fights and her technique was described also-sometimes in books of this genre the sports they talk about can be overlooked a bit but it wasn't much the case here.
Aside from Huntley's quest for title in MMA, and Bracken's struggle to solve his case, there was also a somewhat of a mystery involving Huntley's family. I wished that mystery was explored a bit more, I like a good mystery as much as the next gal after all. I felt like some of it was told in a hurry, the main focus being Huntley and Bracken's romance. The same I felt with Bracken's case. Maybe that's why I'm going for the middle rating. It was a good story, but it lacked something. Perhaps, since they were thrown in, the mysteries could've been more challenging to me as a reader, more attractive, or perhaps it's because in certain scenes, I thought Huntley was being overly offended-even though I could understand that. Or maybe, it was because the romance-though fitting in both chemistry and motivation- simply didn't touch me all too well. I liked that the two had their pain and determination in common, and their desire of course, and they did spend a lot of time what with Bracken signing up as her instructor and all, but it felt as if a collage in a movie, complete with inspirational background music. I couldn't help but think we missed some quality bonding time between Huntley and Bracken. ...more
This book first hit me with that bad boy on the cover, and then with the second chance at love theme that seems to be my fascination in romance latelyThis book first hit me with that bad boy on the cover, and then with the second chance at love theme that seems to be my fascination in romance lately. I’m beginning to think I like a challenge when it comes to these books, and what better challenge than a man and a woman who loved and lost a common person? For Evan, it was his wife, the mother of his son, and for Charlie, it was her best friend, her sister from another mister, so to speak.
Since I somehow like the angst these kind of stories bring into my life, I liked the beginning of this book, with our introduction to Charlie and Evan, and their memories involving Rae, Evan’s late wife. It was particularly Charlie to helped bring the emotion through those flashbacks, and in those scenes I was affected. I liked-and you can believe I use that term loosely here- that Rae was a common loss between Evan and Charlie, and that they both missed her and connected over her memory. It must be very difficult experiencing that kind of pain and I felt it. By the time we meet with Evan and Charlie, it’s already been years since Rae is gone, so we know it only makes sense for two people who’ve known each other for so long, and who’ve enjoyed each other’s company, to get together. The two of them had a somewhat of a friendship going on for the years after their loss, Evan even had an endearing nickname for Charlie, but I felt like I personally could’ve used more time to delve into their years long friendship and camaraderie. Perhaps a few more flashbacks to those times after Evan’s wife’s death, more moments shared by the two of them to bond them the way they seemed to be by the time we meet with them. And after things started to heat up, they were hot, they made me go a little crazy and start considering stalking tattoo parlors, but there was a back and forth thing going on especially on Charlie’s side that crippled the story just a tad for me. I imagine her situation to be a tough one to be in, falling in love with your best friend’s widow, and I was okay with her inner dilemma over her guilt for that very situation and her own undeniable feelings for the man she was slowly coming to love, but I could do well without her self doubt for as long as I did. She had a strength in her that not only had her move on from a bad relationship, but also from the loss of her friend, and support Evan and his as well. I thought that strength seemed to falter a bit with these parts where she doubted so much, over and over.
I know I talked more Charlie than Evan, but that’s because I felt like she was the one who made the biggest progress, rather than Evan who seemed to properly mourn his wife and move on together with his son. He was more open and ready for the relationship than Charlie was from the beginning. He was what you could expect from the story, a sexy artistic man who had a teasing and caring side that came from being a family man. Well, maybe not your one hundred percent regular family man, but his own tweaked version of it. And he was creative too, what this bad boy could do with his paint. Yep, you’re going to have to read it to know what I’m talking about.
I gotta say, I was very intrigued by the side characters, and possibly future couples, too. I see more challenges awaiting in the upcoming books which I’m looking forward to. Give me couples who have to fight to get what they want, and let me watch them struggle. Evil reader here, I know, but hey, I made my peace with that.
A nice start to a new series, where bad boys get their good girls, and good girls get their happy endings....more
I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Ever since his first appearance, Dmitri both intrigued and seduced me with his no nonsense characterI’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Ever since his first appearance, Dmitri both intrigued and seduced me with his no nonsense character and dark and silent demeanor. Over the years I’ve come to realize, if done right, these are the characters that are most explosive in their own books. Dmitri? Wait, is there more explosive than most explosive? Because he was that. I skimmed through the first half of the book without even realizing, and stopped only when my eyes wouldn’t open any more or I found myself reading the same sentences over and over. I simply didn’t want to lose one moment of Dmitri and Gwen’s experience.
Those who are familiar with this series will know that these guys and gals are reapers. Working for Fate, they capture the souls of the departed and lead them on to the next leg of their journey. Those who haven’t read though, please do so starting from the first book so you don’t miss the great previous reading experience. When summarizing like this, it all sounds like drama unfolding between reapers and their human charges, but it’s far from that. They have to battle some supernatural creatures and other miscreants as well. And let’s not forget about the romance. They have to battle evil, reap souls, try to stay in one piece and find and keep their one and only after all.
There aren’t enough words to describe how I felt for Dmitri. So far, he was tough, cold, completely immersed in the work he had to do in order to redeem his soul, and working alone while doing it. There isn’t much to tell about who he was as a reaper, since it was all pretty straightforward. But who he used to be, and who he became when he was around Gwen is another matter, and most definitely worth the read. When he was with Gwen, he was surly only a little, but mostly he let us see the man he pushed back inside. And what a man. Not only was he passionate and caring, but the hurt he bottled up inside really tore at my heart. The way he loved Gwen and warred with the shadow of both their pasts played a good long melody with my heartstrings I tell you. And Gwen. A tortured soul through and through, she was more open than Dmitri. We discovered more about her before Dmitri could finally open up, and seeing the emotional woman inside the kickass heroine really made me love her all the more. When it came to no nonsense, she was the same as Dmitri, and coming from the opposite sides of the same past made their connection even stronger. Plus, the way they became reapers, call me weird but, I thought was romantic as hell. Yeah, I have a twisted idea of romance. There are a lot more I want to talk about these two but there’s no way I can do that without spoiling this story and I can’t be that cruel to you guys.
But I can talk a bit more about the plot. As much as I love a good romance-and Dmitri and Gwen give us that- there’s a good amount of action in there too. This book was also a turning point for the plotline, one I can’t wait to see resolve. I’m just glad to know there are more reapers to go around whose stories I can still anxiously await, and believe me when I say I do. I so do.
A top notch addition to Lori Sjoberg’s Grave series that I recommend to everyone who wishes for a fresh look at the concept of death, and who would love to try something new in paranormal romance. I know I’m not supposed to be shallow, but I can’t help but point out the covers too. Would you look at them? Aren’t they so pretty sexy that you wish you were the model?...more
It’s been a long time since I was this riveted by a story. And not just any story, but a mystery thriller involving an FBI agent who tries to do the rIt’s been a long time since I was this riveted by a story. And not just any story, but a mystery thriller involving an FBI agent who tries to do the right thing, and a female serial killer who is his to catch. Sounds vague and too general I know, but once you start the story, believe me, you get sucked right in. What drew me to this book was the author. Although I’ve only read one book by her so far-and that was a ghost story- it affected me. It kept me up at night just like this one did, it scared me and made me think of it long after I’ve finished it. And that’s how I picked this one up.
This was a good, solid, captivating story. It is told in both the FBI agent Matthew Roarke’s and the female killer’s points of view, and different conjugations are used to tell their stories. While Roarke speaks in the commonly used third person past tense, the female killer-I’m referring to her this way for a reason- has a more urgent voice-at least that’s how it felt like to me- where she speaks in present tense.
The characters come off the pages. You start reading and there they are, in front of you while you read their story unfold. From the moment they both first appear, you get a sense they’ll have big things coming for them, either good or bad is unclear. But you know it’ll be big, and explosive, and it’ll probably change their lives. I liked them both. Roarke was the voice of reason and the female killer was a mystery. But as the story unfolded, I got different sides, different dimensions to both of them. They were faulty, broken in their own ways, wrong on so many levels but also right in so many more. Whether that makes any sense, I have no idea, but once you start reading, I have no doubt you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The two of them, and the little boy and his father who get included in the story later on, Roarke’s man Epps-who happens to have a way about him- his whole team, they are all connected in such a way that I can’t talk about them separately. Everything’s connected. Everything’s a mystery, everything is ugly, but all is also beautiful.
Alexandra Sokoloff has a way with her when telling a story. It becomes an engaging piece of work that you can easily visualize in your head, and then you become one with the characters but also a spectator holding your breath. It’s most certainly a worthwhile experience for a reader.
I recommend this book strongly. To those who love a good thriller, those who love compelling characters, a solid plotline, a mystery filled backdrop and to those who don’t mind being disconnected with the world around them for the period of time it takes for them to finish it....more