I'll let that one speak a bit for me, or else my rant would not be pretty:
This was, without a doubt, The Absolute Worst Book I've Ever Read. Everything that was annoying and inept in the first book - the "see Spot run" writing, the endless internal questions of the characters, the perfectiousness of Alisha, the interminable Big Mis - Janelle double-downed on it all. What a gooey hot mess this book was. And not a good mess like fresh S'mores. This was a driving-through-fresh-asphalt-patching-and-wet-yellow-road-paint-in-your-newly-washed-white-convertible mess.
Nothing happened. I repeat, Nothing. Happened. After 150 pages of waiting, I finally gave up all expectations of even "Things Are Doing Things" and had to settle for the endless spinning of wheels as nearly all the words in this book took place in the heads of the characters. No, really!
Alisha wonders what Gray Eagle is thinking, Gray Eagle sees her expression and knows what she's thinking, but doesn't correct her (cuz it's never The Right Time to let her know he speaks English), Powchutu/White Arrow/Brave Bear sometimes enter the mix to think their own thoughts about the other's thoughts, and so on and so on.
Boring. Boring. Boring.
Alisha, so fragile, delicate and adorable (so we're told) in the first book, becomes a flailing hysterical mess this time around. I lost track of how many times she cried, tears spilling beautifully from her eyes and down her cheeks. She was always The Victim, seeing every event in the book as a "cruel joke" at her expense and hated by all (even when their actions spoke the opposite):
But now, the most unforgivable part of this book. What Janelle Taylor did to Gray Eagle. He was The Best Part of the first book, an awesome alpha hero whose actions were somewhat mostly explainable due to his honor and pride as a chief's son. But this time around, he becomes pretty much a cardboard cipher, helplessly wringing his hands on the sidelines because it's not yet The Right Time to speak English and clear everything up. I went from
and then after
Would this be his last chance to tell her everything within his heart and mind?...Would he die without her ever knowing how much he loved her and why he was doing this? Would he never see the look on her face when he said those words of love to her?...I love you too much to tell you these things now, Cinstinna, he thought. If I am killed this day, the pain of forgetting me will be far greater. It will be easier to forget your enemy than your love. She would not have the time to know if I spoke the truth and would be in torment for a long time. She would think it to be a last, cruel taunt. It would be far too cruel for her to know of my love just before my death. I will remain silent until you are mine. If it is to be, I will carry your love to my death.
And that pretty much sums up my reaction to this big giant flaming turd of a book.(less)
OK, right up front, this is not a well-written book. I mean, it's Carole Mortimer, fer cryin' out loud. She was loud and proud in all of her inept di...moreOK, right up front, this is not a well-written book. I mean, it's Carole Mortimer, fer cryin' out loud. She was loud and proud in all of her inept dialogue tag glory but the alphadouche hero, the dimbulb heroine, and their WTF confusing motivations ramp this one up to 4 teary-eyed-from-laughter stars.
Seriously, this was me as I read this:
Templar is a model who has left her career behind in order to take care of her sister's newborn orphan (yes, mom died in childbirth). Templar doesn't know who the father is, but after some prompting by a friend to go through her sister's things, she finds a letter from "Alex Marcose." So she sends a letter. This letter is naturally vague, because otherwise all the misunderstandings would be resolved in 10 pages, right? So Leon Marcose, Alex's brother, shows up at her door, because Alex is dead too! He instantly jumps to the conclusion that Templar is the mother. Because she fears that if she says, "Uh, no, AUNT," then she'll never see the little bundle of joy again, she lets him think she's the mom. There are some double-edged lines that make him think she's a total slut who isn't even sure who the baby's real father is. Now I can't quite remember why/how it happens, but GETTING MARRIED is the solution to the problem. (So much of what happened was nonsensical, so your guess is as good as mine.)
Married life ain't so great, because this is just for convenience. Leon's a possessive asshole (have the Greek millionaires always been Harley heroes?) and launches those slut-shaming barbs every chance he gets. Templar is a total doormat who does the dumbest shit and then is surprised when her plots and lies all blow up in her face.
Finally, when these 2 are about to give into their "yearning needs" and I'm thinking "Hallelujah!" she fights and scratches her way out of bed because it would give everything away. *scratching my head* How so? Huh? What? Another confusing several pages for this relative newbie Harley reader. And then..... why of course! Because she's a VIRGIN!
The grovel scene turns alphole into grinning lovey-dovey hero, but... a douche is still a douche.