When I first started reading this book I didn't think I'd like it very much. Every time I turned a page Olivia was crying again. I don't require my he...moreWhen I first started reading this book I didn't think I'd like it very much. Every time I turned a page Olivia was crying again. I don't require my heroines to be emotionally dead, but come on, you're embarrassing me and I'm not even in the scene! I feared that she'd spend the whole book sobbing at the drop of a hat. That is definitely not the heroine for me. Luckily, Olivia bounces back pretty quickly. She's still a little bipolar at times, but for the most part she becomes well adjusted.
This book was a quick, light read. I know that they're supposed to be angsty and tortured with the demons and all, but that's not how this series comes across to me at all. They had some really funny parts in this book. I liked watching Aaron struggle with himself. He cracked me up when he'd cave to her pressure and compliment himself on what a great guy he was. I wouldn't have been surprised if his demon had slapped him on the back and congratulated him for taking one for the team (metaphorically of course).
Watching Olivia learn to be human was also entertaining. She had the right idea in making sure she experienced the most in life. If you're going down, you might as well make it worth it. The angel council seemed pretty harsh. I don't know whether humanity should be worried or not with these guys pulling the strings.
Legion, and Aaron's blindness toward her, got old really quick. What a selfish creature. I didn't enjoy so much page time devoted toward her and after her actions in the bathroom (trying to avoid spoilers) toward the end I wonder what part she's going to have in the future of the series. Also, Aaron's willingness to do that-thing-to-save-them-all (vague again!) was totally upsetting to my romance-reader heart. It was really depressing because I didn't see a way out of it. Even though he was upset about it, it still pissed me off that he even agreed. That's not the way it's supposed to happen! The author did choose the one route I didn't see him taking, so it all worked out. Sort of...
The events at the end kind of seemed to come out of nowhere. I thought Olivia's explanation for why she was able to help Aaron was pretty weak. You argued that? And it worked? Also, meeting that friend toward the end left the book with a somber note. You're happy for Olivia and Aaron, but you still can't help but feel bad.
It was a toss up between 3 stars and 4 stars for this book. I swung toward 4 because even though the end seemed really weird and out of place, I had a good time reading it and was entertained. (less)
I really liked the storyline and relationship with Scarlet and Gideon, but there was way too much going on in this book. I alternated between bored, i...moreI really liked the storyline and relationship with Scarlet and Gideon, but there was way too much going on in this book. I alternated between bored, irritated, and exasperated as I read the storyline Amun, Aeron, and William starred in. I'm interested in seeing more of Amun and William (especially him), but I felt that way too much time was spent on them when this was Gideon's book.
I also wasn't that thrilled with the whole purpose of that storyline either. Ugh! The fact that Aeron would put his friends at risk for that. Obviously he learned nothing valuable in the last book.
I was very intrigued by the possibility that Scarlet and Gideon had been married. I was bursting with questions by the time I finally got to read this book. When were they married? Why did they separate? Why doesn't Gideon remember? What does "To Part Is To Die" mean?
Luckily, I got answers to all of my questions. I did not expect the answer, though. I can't believe it! Kudos to the author for really throwing me a curve ball. I did not see that coming. I felt so bad for both of them. I loved how Gideon didn't care what the truth was. He just wanted to be with her no matter what. I think he's my favorite Lord so far. I also found the scene where we found out the meaning of "To Part Is To Die" utterly romantic.
I loved Scarlet's character. She's had her knocks, but she keeps picking herself up. Very sad things have happened in her past, but she doesn't constantly dwell. She does give into her moments of anguish, but the fact that they are few and far between made them that much more touching. I loved how she would deliberately take Gideon's statements at face value just to irritate him. He would get so frustrated!
I really loved the big reveal about the relationship between Scarlet and Gideon's demons. I cracked up! I also saw more hints that Galen and she-who-irritates-me will have a future when Scarlet was in his dreams.
I'm kind of nervous about the future of this series. I keep giving high grades, but it's almost despite the events in the book. I don't like how more and more of the story seems to be slotted for storylines and events revolving around other characters. I want more focus on the romance that the book is purported to be about. I really thought this one would be focused exclusively on Gideon and Scarlet when he took her away, but no such luck.
This author has an extremely engaging style, but I'm afraid I'll have to give her up if she continues this trend. I don't want to feel like I'm reading two books anymore. (less)
While reading this series I have seen Harry face a lot. With each book he becomes a little more beaten down, and a little harder. Through it all he's...moreWhile reading this series I have seen Harry face a lot. With each book he becomes a little more beaten down, and a little harder. Through it all he's maintained his moral code. He's very firm about how far he is willing to go and what lines he can never cross.
Sometimes, an event will happen that is so viscerally important that you will be willing to do anything to fix it. Nothing matters, not yourself, not the future. Nothing except the person at the center of that event. This book is Harry's crucible. He will run the gauntlet and find out how far he is really willing to go.
This book is...epic for Harry. Everything he knows and depends on for stability seems to crumble around him. The author pulled no punches in this one. The things we have identified with Harry and looked at as part of his identity for this whole series are ruthlessly stripped from him. The author seems to leave Harry naked, with only his wits and a few friends willing to stand by him when it's important to him.
Always before, Harry gets into tough situations for someone else. He may get in a little too deep by himself, but the original situations are usually not of his making. He is always willing to help the underdog out. If it's important, even if he really doesn't like you, he'll be there. That's just the kind of guy he is. In this book it is finally a situation that Harry needs help with for himself. He's asking personal favors because this situation is personal.
As Harry searches for allies, we notice a definite split in the group of people he associates with. This is the book that shows who his real friends are. When your so-called friends turn their back on you, you only have so many options. Harry needs people on his side for this. It will be the biggest, most important fight of his life to date. If he can't find allies through his associates, he'll find them somewhere, one way or another.
It's really hard for me to talk about the sheer awesomeness of this book without giving away spoilers. While reading I was shocked. I never expected the author to do something like this. It's not just the obvious lines that Harry crosses that were so surprising. It was just the whole situation. As I saw person after person refuse to help him I got so pissed off! The people who stuck by him didn't surprise me, they'll die for Harry. It was all the others that made me so mad. They're supposed to be a unit! They're supposed to be there for each other! I hope that bridge is burned.
Even after being finished with the book for a while now, it's still so hard to imagine what's going to come next for Harry. A lot have things changed in this book and he's going to have to deal with the fall out in the next book.
By the way, Murphy really impressed me in this book. She's always been there for Harry, but she really steps up her game here. I was so glad she was there for Harry to lean on when he started to crack. I can't believe that her whole identity is a hairsbreadth from being taken too. So many changes for so many people.
One last point! I'm so impressed that Harry has finally decided that even if the situation is horrifically dangerous he won't hold back someone who wants to help him. He's grown enough to know that they're all adults and he can't shelter them all the time. He has to take help wherever he can find it. Kudos Harry!
I'm so anxious for the next book! That was a horrible cliffhanger at the end! What happened??? I need to know! (less)
If you've read the previous book "Start Me Up" you'll recognize Jane as Quinn's ultra professional secretary. She's just as organized and cool as she...moreIf you've read the previous book "Start Me Up" you'll recognize Jane as Quinn's ultra professional secretary. She's just as organized and cool as she seemed in the last book, but now we get a little insight into what makes her tick.
Chase is working with Quinn on a residential project and meets Jane when he goes to the office. He hits on her as a whim but Jane turns him down. He ends up giving her his business card in the hope she might change her mind and give him a call. When Jane gets a little tipsy out with a friend she ends up giving herself an early birthday present and gives him a call.
Jane was an interesting character. Her snobbery and prejudices made her a little hard to like, but the way that she owns up to her views and admits they're not valid made it easy for me to sympathize with her. She had a really hard time growing up and started acting out as soon as she hit puberty. At the time she didn't care what she was doing or what people thought, but after she changed her life she hid who she used to be and didn't want to be involved with anyone or anything that might associate her with the kind of girl she used to be.
The author definitely didn't spare Jane from her mistakes growing up. Her actions were described but they were never excused. It was up to the reader to decide their own opinion of it. I cannot think of a single other heroine I've read with a past quite like this. I loved that the author a chance and didn't sugarcoat Jane. I really liked her character and appreciated what she was able to build after having sunk so low.
Chase was a less in depth (though no less endearing) character. Even though he had a past of his own and issues with his dad he was a much more stable adult. He moved past the problems that he had in life and became comfortable in his own skin. I was pretty surprised about Chase and Jane's past association. How hard to be around someone who hasn't just heard about your worst but has seen it in person. I was glad they were able to move past it.
Chase and Jane were pretty perfect together. They really seemed like they fit together. I liked that Chase finally drew the line and wouldn't let himself be used anymore. I liked that he was able to indulge her wild behavior but also able to help her finally move past her low opinion of herself. This book really did a good job illustrating that you can't judge a person by how they look on the outside. I loved every time Chase popped up with another fact about himself that made Jane feel foolish for her assumptions.
I do have to mention one thing that bothered me though. What was the deal with everyone thinking that someone with a tattoo had to be low class? I totally understand Jane's view on it, and she admits that she has issues that make her classify people like that, but what about everyone else? When Jane starts having issues Quinn immediately jumps to some pretty harsh conclusions about Chase that seem to be based on how he looks. Also when Ben (hero of "Talk Me Down") meets him at the end it makes mention of him reacting to the tattoos. Where exactly are they living that tattoos are only on criminals and poor/low class people? I just find it odd that everyone in the book seems like they would be shocked if a rich person in a suit flashed a tattoo.
Great book and I can't wait to read another by this author! (less)
I've been in the mood for funny lately and have been on a marathon of Laurenston's books. This is definitely one of my favorites in the Pride series....moreI've been in the mood for funny lately and have been on a marathon of Laurenston's books. This is definitely one of my favorites in the Pride series. Lock and Gwen are so cute together and they are one of the most sane couples we have seen to date. They're sweet and happy together and most of the hilarious situations come from their dealings with their friends and family.
I absolutely loved Mitch through this book because I practically died laughing every time he was in a scene! He was constantly leaping out of closets or sneaking up on people trying to catch them scheming about Gwen, his sister. He was way overprotective and was against her hooking up with a bear. It was hilarious to watch him trying to rat Gwen out to their mom (even though she's 26) and trying to control the situation with Lock. It never went his way and he always ended up chickening out and (literally) throwing his brother, Brendon, under the bus and screaming, "take him!"
Blayne and the wild dogs were great as well. Honestly, anything with wild dogs in it seems like it will be a hit for me. They're so happy and fun, and it's hilarious to watch them get startled, scream, and run into each other while they try to run away. I really liked the strong sense of caring friendship Lock had for the wild dogs and Gwen had for Blayne. Plus, Lock's friend Ric (of the Van Holtz Pack) was great to read about. Watching him turn into a drooling idiot over Lock's old marine buddy was funny.
I really enjoyed getting to see a whole new type of shifter. Laurenston is great at giving her shifters characteristics like the animals they shift into. Lock was no different in that aspect. He was so sweet and cute until startled or angry. Then you better run! Plus, how can you beat an adorable Beta hero who isn't ashamed to admit that he likes to play with his toes?
This book didn't really improve my opinion of Ronnie (from The Mane Event) but it did warm me up toward Sissy (from The Mane Attraction). I skipped over her book because I really disliked her in the past books, but she seems more mature and less flat out mean here so I might backtrack and give her a shot.
If you haven't read any of the previous books in the series then I strongly recommend you not start here. There are so many prior characters in this book that new readers might be confused and not really get some of the jokes.
The only thing that I found perplexing about this book was the lack of mating/marking. What was up with skipping that? I thought that was one of the building blocks of this series.
P.S. I cracked up every time Gwen did that thing with her neck. The reactions were priceless. (less)
I was pretty excited to read this book in the Atlantis Series. Everything mentioned previously in the series describes the nymphs as the strongest war...moreI was pretty excited to read this book in the Atlantis Series. Everything mentioned previously in the series describes the nymphs as the strongest warriors in Atlantis although they are the most laid back. They won't bother you if you don't bother them first.
Valerian, King of the Nymphs, has led his army to capture a castle from the dragons. To retaliate the dragons stole the nymph females. Valerian's men are getting antsy and weak because even though Valerian is still getting sex to keep his strength up, his men aren't. Valerian finally decides to lead them to the surface world to capture unattached woman to have sex with, but swears that he won't claim any of the women from the men. Unfortunately for Valerian he recognizes his mate, Shaye, among the woman. Now he has to deal with figuring out how to claim her without breaking his word and how to get her to want to be with him.
As I was reading I was really curious to find out how the author would swing Shaye falling for Valerian. The man doesn't have any respect for women other than for their bodies. He has a huge ego and has slept with a gargantuan amount of women. For a women coming from modern earth I'd expect those to be pretty big issues that they have to work through together. Unfortunately there was much more time spent on sex and lusting to have sex. Shaye did try to make the nymphs see that what they were doing was wrong but she easily ignored her own objections when it came to lusting after Valerian.
The second half of the book where there was more interaction with the dragons and vampires was more interesting. It seemed like a little more time was spent on the plot and a little less on the sex. I wish more time had been spent making Valerian and Shaye seem like they were really falling in love. It's sad to say, but I felt more of a connection between the characters in the secondary romance. One part that I did think was funny though was in the beginning where Valerian kept asking Shaye if she could smell him. I thought it was pretty cute.(less)
For a while it seemed like every time I turned around I was getting another recommendation to try this series. I finally broke down and ordered Nightl...moreFor a while it seemed like every time I turned around I was getting another recommendation to try this series. I finally broke down and ordered Nightlife and I'm glad I did. The closest comparison I can come up with for this book is to the Harry Dresden series. The world is completely different and so are the characters but there's something similar there. Maybe it's the humor. Cal and Harry both have a sarcastic, self-deprecating wit. They both have a quality that makes you root for them and enjoy the time you spend in their head.
I really liked the world the author created. I was really surprised at the creature the Grendels turned out to be. I can't remember another time that I've seen the race portrayed like that. It was interesting though. I felt bad for Niko and Cal being stuck with that kind of mom.
The book is written in first person so if you find Cal's humor irritating I'm afraid none of the book will work for you. At times his inner commentary was irritating, but overall I liked him as a narrator. One thing that I wasn't really expecting was his young age. At times I just wanted to shake him and tell him to grow up. His brother Niko was a little too perfect for me to enjoy. He was too everything. Not only did he sacrifice whatever life he wanted for his brother, he never had any moments of resentment or anger about it. He was also human but almost indestructible. He seemed better at everything than anyone else. It was kind of irritating.
Toward the end of the book the reader will experience a narrator change. It was really disorientating for me. I had to reread and figure out what happened. I didn't really enjoy reading from this narrator's viewpoint very much. I found him irritating and it seemed like his experience went on forever. I also was confused about one point. Cal remembers everything that happened to him at the end, but I'm curious if he retained all the other memories from Darkling too. If he did wouldn't that mean he remembers everything that happened to him during his missing two years?
I'm definitely interested in reading more of this series. Hopefully Cal grows up a bit. I'm curious to read more about Georgina and Robin and Promise. Did anyone else think that it was odd that no one remarked how different Promise's name was? I think that I'm most looking forward learning more about Robin. He's my favorite character so far. (less)
I am big fan of Nora Robert's writing style. Even when I don't love her books I still enjoy them. It was more a case of enjoyment rather than love wit...moreI am big fan of Nora Robert's writing style. Even when I don't love her books I still enjoy them. It was more a case of enjoyment rather than love with this book.
One of my favorite things about Nora Robert's writing is her skill in creating interesting, believable friendships with the characters. I tend to stay away from contemporary books because I always feel like I'm reading about the Twilight Zone. No one seems to cuss, people seem to be naive to the point of stupid or just way too Pollyanna. Who are these people and what world are they living in??? I don't need to relate, but I have to be able to believe. I never find that problem with Nora Roberts. Her characters are not always nice, but I like them that way. It makes them real. Everyone has a bad day and acts cranky now and then.
I loved the relationship between all four friends involved in Vows. They bickered with each other and disagreed. Mac had some moments where she knew she acted horribly and had to apologize to her friends. Truthfully though, that's how real friends are. The interactions between Carter and his friends were just as hilarious though. I loved when Mac found the list that Carter's friend had made for him. It was adorable. I love reading little moments like that.
Now... on to what didn't work for me. Well, the relationship between Carter and Mac was pretty flat for me. I don't feel like I got a good enough picture of why/when they fell in love. I totally got that they liked each other, but I never really felt it cross over to love. That kind of thing is so subjective for the reader though.
Mac grated on my nerves a lot. I thought she needed to grow up and get a reality check. It was really hard for me to read her caving into her mom and feeling like crap about it. It drove me insane. That's not to say that I didn't find it authentic though. I have a friend just like Mac. Watching her act like that drives me insane too.
I felt like the ending was really abrupt. All of a sudden Mac has an epiphany and boom it's over. It just felt wrong.
One thing that I did like though... Obviously I know who the female leads of the next books will be. However, I like how the male leads weren't thrown in your face. I had my suspicions about who would pair with who (which I confirmed when I read the next book) but it wasn't blatant sequel baiting.(less)
Dexter is not your average blood splatter analyst. He's a serial killer. He works with the police but cannot resist, and frankly doesn't want to, the...moreDexter is not your average blood splatter analyst. He's a serial killer. He works with the police but cannot resist, and frankly doesn't want to, the urge to feed the dark need inside him. Dexter tries to keep his head down among people. He says the right things and smiles at the right times. Few ever notice that he's slightly off. When Dexter's foster sister, Deborah, asks for his help catching a serial killer Dexter is torn between his personal desires and the urge to help her.
I really liked the voice of this book. I was easily pulled through the pages. The mix of dark humor, confusion with human emotions, and unapologetic need to kill worked for me. I fell easily into the mind of Dexter and enjoyed my time there. I think that it is the mark of a skilled writer that I was able to like a character so much when he was clearly a sociopath. I couldn't help but feel for him even when I was repelled by his actions.
I enjoyed watching Dexter fumble with the emotions of people around him. Seeing him try to figure out what most normal people know by instinct was very amusing. I particularly enjoyed his confusion in relation to Rita. What seemed so obscure to him was obvious and hilarious to me (as well as most readers I'm sure). I really loved how he was disturbed and confused over what ended up happening with Rita. The embarrassment and definite yuck feeling was funny, but also kind of sad.
I was faintly disbelieving of Harry's reaction to Dexter. I mean, the guy was a cop. I really thought the teaching and honing of his setup and clean up was an odd thing to do. I don't know, maybe I'm just being idealistic.
I can honestly say that I wasn't expecting the serial killer to be who it turned out to be. It occurred to me when Deborah and Dexter were watching the video, but I discounted it. I guess I should have listened to myself.
The ending really bothered me. What happened exactly? How did that get resolved with all the cops? What happened in that final moment before it skipped to the last chapter? It's bugging me that I don't know. Hopefully it's covered in the next book. I'll definitely be buying it. I can't wait to see how Dexter's story continues. (less)
Let me start off by saying that Kiss of a Demon King is closely tied to another book in the series, Dark Desires After Dusk. To read this book you don...moreLet me start off by saying that Kiss of a Demon King is closely tied to another book in the series, Dark Desires After Dusk. To read this book you don't need to have followed the whole series, but I strongly recommend reading the book that I just mentioned. It is the story of Cade, Rydstrom's brother, and has a few scenes that are a duplicate of those in this story. Also, they basically follow the same time line and involve most of the same people.
Sabine, Queen of Illusions, is half-sister to Omort the Deathless. She's in a pretty messy situation. She and her sister, Lanthe, have been stuck with Omort because of the poison he has that they need to live. Omort is not her favorite person, and he's creeping her out with his incestuous lusting. She's determined to get her sister and her out from under Omort's thumb. She believes she has the perfect opportunity in Rydstrom. Omort knows of a prophecy that tells of Sabine being Rydstrom's mate. The child they produce together will unlock the secrets of the Well of Souls. He plans to have Sabine capture him and get herself pregnant. Sabine, being the ruthless individual she is, is totally ok with this plan. She knows that this is her perfect chance to take control. If she has a child she can unlock the Well of Souls for her own use. Better a queen of Rothkalina rather than a king anyway, right?
For Rydstrom's part he's determined to kill Omort and regain his crown. He believes he's finally answered the question of how to kill someone who is deathless. He starts his brother, Cade, on the search for the Vessel and plans to meet up with him. Unfortunately he gets caught in one of Sabine's illusions and becomes trapped in his own castle's dungeon. He's none too pleased about that and is incredulous over Sabine's plan. Unfortunately for her, even if she got pregnant the child wouldn't be recognized unless they were married first. While Sabine is plotting them getting married and getting pregnant, Rydstrom is plotting on how to get free and enact his own revenge against her.
I know that many people found Sabine unlikable, but I didn't. I was impressed with her `look out for number one' attitude. She's died again and again throughout her life. I'd think she was a fool if she wasn't always plotting about how to turn a situation to her advantage. I loved that she was able to move beyond the fact that her group, the Sorceri, weren't very strong compared to the rest of the Lore. I really liked the fact that she stayed basically the same character throughout the book. As she and Rydstrom got closer they had to adapt and be willing to bend with each other, but never did either of them break some supposed `bad' trait in each other. Very refreshing.
Rydstrom was less of a favorite character for me. However, I think it's because I sympathized with Cade more in the last book and thought his brother was a butthead. I guess I never really got over that. I liked that I got to see his point of view on the reasons that Cade got sent away. The reminiscing over little Cade made me have an `awwwww' moment for Rydstrom. I actually liked that Rydstrom was such a stick in the mud in the beginning. I think he and Sabine really complimented each other. I love that Cole did not make Rydstrom a martyr. I loved the insight into how he sometimes felt the burden of his people and all their expectations. I thought that was very realistic.
I guess my major dislike about the book was the ending. All that buildup through various books and the fight for Rothkalina is over? Hmmmm... Very unsatisfying. I thought I'd get more than a page of the fight. I had to re-read to make sure I hadn't skipped something. Very anticlimactic. Also, all this time was devoted to Rydstrom's kinky fantasies and there seemed to be no follow through. There was one spanking scene but that was it. I wondered why the kinkiness was brought up so often if nothing was going to be done with it.
One thing I really loved: A reason for being a virgin that makes sense. Finally! Also, someone who admits to being a virgin in only the technical sense. I thought that was more realistic than most virgins (or near virgins) who hated anything to do with sex because of one bad experience.
I'm also so glad that the titles have stopped being so similar. I was getting really confused!(less)
I think that this book strayed closer to the Urban Fantasy mark than Romance. I would be fine with that if that had been what I was expecting. However...moreI think that this book strayed closer to the Urban Fantasy mark than Romance. I would be fine with that if that had been what I was expecting. However, I bought this in the Romance section and was expecting those qualities. The relationship between Niko and Renata felt rushed and flat.
I liked Renata's character. I thought she could be dense at times, but her overall strength and lack of "woe is me" was very refreshing. Even though her physical strength and weapon skills didn't put her ahead of Breed males, her crippling mind attacks definitely did. I think that some might find her cold in the beginning of the book, but I enjoyed her stoicism. It seems like most of the time a strong male is paired with a weaker female, but I felt that Renata was the stronger of the two lead characters. Or at least I felt that way for the beginning half of the book.
For the first part of the book Niko was a mystery to me. It was kind of irritating because I wanted to see more of who he was as a character. There wasn't a lot of insight into him until later in the book. When we did get told about his past it was still rather "ho-hum" for me. I wanted to see more of who he was beyond his mission. I guess because we spent more time in Renata's head I had a better understanding of her character. The stray thoughts here and there built on each other to show what made her tick. I guess I wish we would have had more of that with Niko too.
I liked that Niko wasn't looking for love, but when he did realize he had fallen for Renata he owned it. There was no mental angsting about it. He may have been a bit surprised but he never tried to deny it and was actually the first one to admit it. It was refreshing, but leads directly into my biggest problem with the story: the romance.
I think Niko and Renata needed more time to develop their relationship. I liked the unwilling fascination with each other in the beginning. I also liked the thread of danger that ran through Renata when she thought of Niko. She had to be very careful to not put a foot out of line there or Sergei Yakut would crush her. I was intrigued by the faint disgust Niko had by his attraction to her when he thought she condoned what Sergei did and that he desired her when he thought she was blood-bonded to Sergei. I was really looking forward to see how the author would get the characters together with all those factors against them. Unfortunately that was never explored.
Niko seemed to want to be with Renata because of a hot vision he saw. He seemed to fall in love with her for the same reason, because I can't see any other reason why he'd feel that way so quickly. Renata seemed to want Niko because he can help her find Mira and because to heal she needs his blood and his blood makes her hot. She seems to fall in love for the same reason. I wish I could have seen a real reason why they want to be together. As it is I feel that after the adrenaline wears off and they don't have to rescue anyone they'll start to realize they don't know each other at all.
I was intrigued by Hunter right away. I predicted what would happen, but not how it would center around Mira. I'm interested in what part he will play in the upcoming story arc. I was very irritated by the inclusion of Andreas Reichen's story arc. It was blatant sequel bait. It added absolutely nothing of value to this storyline. I like to read connected stories in a series, but it is very irritating to have so much space in a book devoted to a character that doesn't impact the current storyline at all.
The book is well written and the storyline is intriguing. It's very easy to get caught up in the action of the book. I enjoy this author's books and will buy her again, but I wish she would bring back the balance of romance and action that she had in her earlier books.(less)
**spoiler alert** Something was missing for me in this story. I read it quickly, but it left me unmoved. It had elements that I usually like: initial...more**spoiler alert** Something was missing for me in this story. I read it quickly, but it left me unmoved. It had elements that I usually like: initial antagonistic relationship, a morally gray character, unwillingly falling in love, etc. Very few of those elements felt like they actually worked in the story though. None of it clicked for me and I was left feeling cynical and disbelieving of the main character's ability to stay together for the long term.
Chloe's character didn't do the story any favors. She blew past naïve and ran straight into too stupid to live territory. She starts getting uncomfortable with the people she's supposed to be translating for but instead of bowing out and going back home she won't leave until she has to because of Bastien. This is after she tells herself that he's married, a womanizer, and that there's no way they could be together because she has personal rules against being with married men. It seemed inconsistent.
When they have sex for the first time, Chloe realizes that he used and degraded her and criticizes herself because she still wants more. I thought we'd get some deeper personal struggle with her fascination with Bastien and her willingness to be used. I was really looking forward to it! It never happened though... She just seemed to get over it and be willing to jump on him if he showed the smallest sign that he might be interested in doing it again. Everything Chloe did seemed to illustrate how idiotic she was. It did not endear her to me. After Hakim tortures her she still doesn't think she's in that much danger! It didn't seem possible that she could be so stupid. I guess I was supposed to attribute it to her age? That's rather hard to accept though. I don't think I've ever met a 23 year old that stupid before. The fact that she had lived on her own for 2 years in a foreign country makes it hard to believe that she hadn't acquired even the barest smidgen of street smarts.
Bastien had the potential to be very interesting. Unfortunately I never got more detail into his characterization. I was eager to see a character who was on the "good guy" side but who had been killing people for so long that he accepted the very real truth that in the end there's no real difference between the good guys and the bad guys. Unfortunately he was just... there. I wanted insight into what made him tick. I didn't really need an unhappy childhood with a crappy mom, but I wanted to see more of his journey down the road he chose. Does he regret what he lost? Would he do everything the same? I just wanted more of what made him who he was. Everything about him seemed to be told, not shown. We're told that Chloe fascinates him; we're told that he loves her. I didn't feel that I was shown any of that.
The whole story felt like it skimmed the surface of everything. I thought that the "bad guys" felt like caricatures. I thought Chloe would have to face some inner realization that in the end there's no real difference between Bastien and the "bad guys". She would just have to decide if it's something she can accept or not. No such thing here though. I was amused by Bastien's refusal to lie to Chloe. When she kept thinking that underneath it all he's just a good guy who doesn't really want to kill a woman and he kept telling her she was an idiot to believe that he'd only kill in self defense I had to laugh. I appreciated his cold honesty but I think that despite his repeated assurances that he could kill anyone Chloe still had a romanticized vision of him. I don't think she ever saw who he really was. That was disappointing.
Despite my problems with this book I still read it quickly. I was hooked on it even as I was deeply unhappy with the story being told. How confusing. I ended up giving it a higher grade than I originally planned because of the story's readability.(less)
This story started off with a lot of promise for me. I liked the characters and the world the author built. As I read on I became more and more unhapp...moreThis story started off with a lot of promise for me. I liked the characters and the world the author built. As I read on I became more and more unhappy with the execution of the book. Events seemed disjointed and everything felt slightly off. There was also a pov tense change at the end of the book that seemed odd and out of place.
I'm interested with seeing how things will settle with Malik and Finn, but I really don't want to deal with so many unanswered questions again. I really can't tell if the author deliberately left things vague and mysterious or if I was just missing something.
I'd be interested to know more about 3V and exactly why it seems like there's a cure for some people but none for others. Also I really don't understand what exactly is going on with the alter ego and what the specifics are of that. I wish I did. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I wasn't so confused by everything. (less)