I seriously didn't expect this book to be this good when I first started reading it. In fact, it seemed a bit confusing after the usual paranormal rom...moreI seriously didn't expect this book to be this good when I first started reading it. In fact, it seemed a bit confusing after the usual paranormal romance books I recently read with the happily ever after couples in each one. But this one was complicated in that area and the plot was really good.
The story takes place in a world where people are familiar with angels and vampires, they live side by side and somehow the community works itself out. We're welcomed into this world when one ordinary -yet extremely talented- vampire hunter Elena is hired by the charismatic and sometimes-cruel archangel Raphael to hunt down another archangel gone bad.
The iinteractions between these two characters were really hot. Elena is a strong heroine, I mean really strong. She can fight, she can talk back to those who annoy her and she's a very free spirited woman. Yet somehow that strength in her doesn't make her annoying as unfortunately in some cases that is what happens. But Elena was likeable, and a true kick-ass heroine. Now, Raphael, on the other hand, was a bit more complicated character. He's an archangel, he's not human and he's lost most of his humanity with his age and the years of ruling over humans. He sees things from a different view, so humanity is not a priority for him. That is, you might've guessed, until Elena comes along. But don't mistake me when I say this, he still doesn't become the merciful perfect man, nope, by the end of the book he's still a bit merciless, a bit cruel, he's still a control freak, but somehow he's also more in touch with his human side.
The story, like I said before, was very complicated yet not that hard to follow. Although I admit there were parts where I had to re-read them to grasp the whole meaning of things but in the end all these made me appreciate this book and Nalini Singh's storytelling even more. The way she's connecting the dots is a total pro work. At times she's left me wondering how the hell did she come up with such plotlines.
Since there's so much going on in this book, there are naturally not just those two main characters. We're introduced to a bunch of other personalities. Vampires, ordinary angels and other archangels, all of which only add to the story's beauty. Especially there's a group who are Raphael's men that I couldn't help but adore till the end. The story leaves at a point where you get your loose ends tied up in the end yet you know nothing's over yet and there's more to come. So you're still left with wondering.
A definitely great book with a great plot and wonderful characters that make you think about your own humanity, I recommend this to those who love to read paranormal books.(less)
**spoiler alert** I usually try not to include any spoilers for a book that is the first in a series but man, I have to write with spoilers for this o...more**spoiler alert** I usually try not to include any spoilers for a book that is the first in a series but man, I have to write with spoilers for this one because I have a couple of comments about certain parts of the book that I loved so.
I feel like I'm having a Lisa Kleypas month here, I haven't yet found time to squeeze in another author or genre yet! This book sort of picks up from where the Wallflowers series left off. It tells the story of Cam Rohan, the half Gypsy who works in Jenner's, and the oldest girl of the Hathaway siblings, Amelia.
We've already met Cam in the Wallflowers series and with his protectiveness over Evie and his sharp mind, I think it's safe to say that he earned his place in the hearts of the readers. He sure did in mine. Cam was smart, devoted and loyal. He has this half Gypsy side that makes him look at life a bit more untraditionally than the usual English gentleman. And it is this side that makes him an outcast in the society where Gypsies are known as the criminals, trouble makers. I have to say I liked the idea of a hero who couldn't truly belong to any part of his heritage. This may sound cruel but it gave the book a sense of diversity and when he finally got his happy end, it also meant more.
I liked Amelia as well. She's the oldest sister in a family of five, with an older brother who's irresponsable and uncaring. So it's up to Amelia to grasp the control of the family and try to do what's best for everyone. And I guess when you're responsable for a whole family in a world where, as a woman, your actions are limited to finding a husband to support you and those around you, it can get pretty frustrating. So I sympathized with Amelia. I gotta admit, she handled things much more calmly than I think I could ever have.
There were many other characters that we were introduced since they're all going to come together and make the Hathaways series, including the constantly drunk brother Leo, the Gypsy Merripen who's been rescued and taken in by the Hathaways, the fragile sister Win, and the more playful younger sisters Poppy and Beatrix.
Which brings me to my spoilers. First among all the people above I have to mention Merripen. He's another outsider, a Gypsy, who's been with the Hathaway family for years, he's practically become one of them. And 20 pages into the story or something we realize he's in love with the fragile sister Win. I can't believe that we've got so much intensity for those two's relationship before their own book. There are two things in this book that I'll never forget that include Merripen and Win; when Win got the scarlet fever and was bed bound, her complaining about her dirty window and Merripen cleaning it everyday saying something like she should always see a blue sky, and the part where Merripen was figthing with his burn injury after the house fire, and when Win comes in to give him a large dose of morphene in order for them to operate on him and he thinks she'll overdose him as a final act of mercy. I shed tears in those parts. Actual tears, not watery eyes, tears!
And then there's Leo. We got to see that there's so much more to his carelessness and it tore me apart. Even though he was a jerk most of the book, I couldn't blame him. He suffered so much and was in so much pain that neither could I blame him nor could I hate. And the minute I had internet access I went on to check if he has his own book and was extremely happy to see that he does. After such trauma I'd hate it if he was just passed over lightly.
Last but never least, my beloved Wallflowers. It just makes me so happy when I catch a glimpse of them in any of the future books. I loved Evie's appearance and advice to Amelia, not to mention St Vincent's brilliant mind advertising marriage to Cam! And Lillian and Marcus of course, the couple that acts as a bridge for the two series :)
So I loved this book. And I'm so thankful I discovered such a brilliant author who manages to directly speak to my heart with her characters and stories.(less)
I was really disappointed with this book. Not only the author has put me under her spell with a previous series-first I've read by her, Delicious, but...moreI was really disappointed with this book. Not only the author has put me under her spell with a previous series-first I've read by her, Delicious, but also the plot had so much more promise.
It tells the story of the clueless pianist Claire and the single father Wyatt.
I'm gonna be harsh about this book and the characters. Claire is a pianist, she's very very talented and is taken away from her home when she's like 6 years old to get her music lessons and is plunged into the world of orchestra. In all her 28 years of life, everything is done for her. She's pampered and all she had to do was to devote her life and talent to shows, concerts and charity events etc. The idea we need to get is that she's clueless about 'real' life because, well you know, everything's always been done for her. But I truly don't believe one person, no matter how pampered or spoiled they are, could be this clueless about life. All through the book she's portrayed as clueless. I know I keep using that word but that's exactly what she is, clueless clueless clueless. It's as if she hasn't come from a different, pampered upbringing but from a different time, one where there are no cars, no microwaves or no jeans or something. Now, although she manages to learn all that in short time, it still annoyed me that she was so..yes, you know what's coming..clueless!!
Let's move on to her two sisters who are the heroines of the upcoming books. One of them is the nurturer, Claire's twin, Nicole. Who is, one of the most annoying, self-centered women I've read so far. All through the book all she did was to complain, complain and complain some more. She was a total bitch, pardon my french. She kept blaiming Claire for being taken from the family when she was only six years old! She was just a child when she was forced to leave and even though she tied to contact Nicole when she grew up, somehow she still ended up as the bad guy. I thought Nicole didn't deserve Claire's attention and love. Not at all.
And then there's Jesse. The youngest of the sisters whose actions and reasons behind those actions are questionable, unclear and confusing. She supposedly slept, I say supposedly because I'm still not clear about that, with her sister Nicole's husband and now Nicole naturally hates her. All Jesse did in the book was to pop up from somewhere and refuse to acknowledge the fact that she slept with Drew, Nicole's husband. She doesn't exactly say she slept with him, but neither does she completely deny that she did! When she's asked to explain she's being vague and then when someone accuses her of her mistake she pouts and says they don't understand her! She was utterly frustrating.
Wyatt was a weak hero, if not altogether as annoying as the rest of the bunch. But really, he didn't strike me as the kind of man I'd want to read in my romance books either. I think the only good thing about this book was Amy, Wyatt's little girl. She was 8 years old but she was more than adult than any of the actual adults in this book. Now, if she gets a book years later with a man worthy of her, that I'd be willing to read but other than that, I don't have much interest in what happens to the other sisters here.(less)
I gotta admit, I didn't expect this book to be this good. I've only read one book by Susan Mallery before, and I think I was told that it was one of h...moreI gotta admit, I didn't expect this book to be this good. I've only read one book by Susan Mallery before, and I think I was told that it was one of her early books and after reading this I can totally believe that. It was clear she had improved her writing between the two books, I enjoyed this very much.
This is the first in a series where we're told the happily ever afters of the four Buchanan siblings. The first one takes the oldest brother Cal Buchanan and pairs him up with his ex-wife, successful chef Penny Jackson.
I'm not much into rekindling passion. Nor am I into children involved romance stories. I don't know why. Of course I'll have to correct that statement now cause Susan Mallery did a marvellous job in making me interested in all of them in this one book. In addition to all this, with the ex-couple and a troubled family line, you'd be right to expect some emotional baggage. And when I found out about the said emotional baggage I thought any other time, it would've been too much for me in a contemporary romance. In this one? With Susan Mallery's writing skills? Well, let's just say emotional baggage? Yes, please.
I'd really like to congradulate the author here, for taking the heavy subjects and making them lighter and the whole story just as much enjoyable and delightful and funny. There were many times I laughed in this book, many lines of the characters that made me love them. A lot.
And then there's the whole chef thing going on, which is something I'm most interested in with a sister planning to go into the same business. With all the internship stories I've heard from her, I can say that what goes on in the kitchen intrigues me. And, I don't know much about the business, but I thought Susan Mallery did her research here. At least enough to engage this cooking-allergic gal.
The romance, the emotional problems, the humor and the down and dirty were all well balanced in this book. This is a series I'll definitely be following on, and an author whose books I'll watch out for. Thanks, Leah, for recommending this book and author to me, you did a great service to my romantic mush side :)(less)