It felt like we got a more concentrated focus on Eve's feelings and attachments to certain people than we usually do. I liked the change up of Eve alr...moreIt felt like we got a more concentrated focus on Eve's feelings and attachments to certain people than we usually do. I liked the change up of Eve already knowing who the bad guy was. I read this book mostly because I wanted to see the Christmas gift exchanges that we missed in Holiday in Death. I would have liked to see it in the moment, but hearing about it after the fact was better than nothing. I loved the bits with McNab and Peabody and liked that we got to see a lot of Mira. I'm not a huge novella fan, but this was a nice little short. It whet my appetite for the next book. (less)
It’s not often that I read a book with quite this dynamic. The heroine is the daring, dynamic one in the investigating duo. The hero is the adorably p...moreIt’s not often that I read a book with quite this dynamic. The heroine is the daring, dynamic one in the investigating duo. The hero is the adorably proper and nerdy Archivist who finds his combustible new partner a trial to him. Eliza and Wellington have both become rather set in their roles. When they find themselves partnered and forced to work together it’s a learning experience for them both.
All poor Wellington wants to do is work behind the scenes and rule his little domain in the Archives. He has no interest in doing field work and is appalled to find himself stuck with someone who can’t see herself doing anything else. Unfortunately for him, their boss in the Ministry isn’t pleased with what happened when Eliza rescued Wellington (a scene that starts the book off with a bang!) and punishes them both by sticking them together in the Archives.
The first hundred or so pages are slower paced than the rest of the book. This is necessary to set up the dynamic between the characters—and I wouldn’t have wanted that skipped—but I can’t deny that it dragged a bit. I liked that their tentative steps toward becoming partners weren’t rushed, but I wish there had been a way to tighten this up a bit so it flowed as well as the rest of the book.
I loved the fact that Eliza and Wellington didn’t get along at all in the beginning. They weren’t quite at each other’s throats, but I think they were both fast approaching the point where just the sound of each other breathing would have made them want to strangle each other. These were two completely different people who had to learn to work together. They both had a hard time learning how to value what the other person did. Eliza couldn’t see the draw of being stuck in the Archives with nothing to do but sort the adventures other people had, and Wellington couldn’t see the point of being out there risking his life when there were plenty of other people who wanted to do it.
Wellington and Eliza didn’t just clash heads on their opinion of what they should be doing to serve the Ministry. They were opposites in practically every way. Eliza was bold and rather crass. She delighted in shocking the opposite sex with her behavior and she would much rather blow something up than reason her way out of the situation. Wellington was not a lady’s man. He was exceedingly proper and was rather horrified with himself for occasionally being unable to overlook Eliza’s charms. He was calm and thoughtful and refused to carry a gun. They seemed completely unsuited to working together, and no one was more surprised than them when they realized they were the perfect team.
Eliza and Wellington (or Welly as Eliza insists on calling him) are not the only well drawn characters. The villains of the piece are surprisingly interesting as well. Eliza and Wellington both find themselves with the uncomfortable realization that in another situation they might have found themselves good friends with some of the villains.
Eliza finds herself particularly drawn to an assassin. They are both ruthless women with a similar draw to fighting and weapons. Watching them battle at the opera was particularly funny—they both took a moment to comment on each other’s seamstress in the middle of the fight. Although he enjoys the Archives, Wellington only ended up there after his application for the invention section was denied. He has a particular love of mechanics and when he finds a kindred soul in one of the villains it’s hard for him to ignore his fascination with his devices.
This is not a Romance, although there is a very, very light thread of romantic potential between the two leads. Mostly, they just bicker and pick at each other as they investigate. The dynamic between them reminds me strongly of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie. Watson and Holmes had the same bickering camaraderie between them that Eliza and Wellington do. The language is also another delight in the book. There are lots of slang words popping up here and there (especially from Eliza) like dollymop and Fabian. It added a nice flavor to the dialogue.
I felt that we got to know Wellington more than Eliza. He was more open and vulnerable, letting us see his shyness with women, his insecurities, and his inner struggle with the way his father raised him. Eliza was a much tougher nut to crack. She’s having a hard time getting over her old partner—and Lord, was I tired of hearing the partner, Harry, brought up all the time—and she misses New Zealand. She dislikes the stereotypes about Colonials and she likes shocking men with her forward behavior. That’s about it for her. We occasionally saw a hint of her turmoil over her past, but it was never fully addressed. I’m hoping we get more insight into her in a future book.
All in all I thought this was a strong first book and that anyone who was a fan of the adventure in the Blades of the Rose series and the dynamic in Sherlock Holmes movie might want to check this series out. I’m very eager to see where this partnership takes Eliza and “Welly” in the future.
"The time has come to divide and conquer, Welly. Get back to the Archives. You do what you are good at. I will do what I am good at."
He glanced at her, "Blowing things up?"
Eliza gave a nod, shrugging lightly. "I stepped into that one. No, I have other skills, you know," she returned. It was fun to see him blush. "Interrogation."
"You mean investigation."
She was barely able to contain a little snort. Life had sheltered dear Mr. Wellington Books down in the Archives. Unfortunately life had not been so kind to her. "Investigation. Interrogation. What you will. As you'll be in your element, I'll go back to Charming Cross and see if I can find out a bit more about the good Doctor Smith."
I am…conflicted over this book. I had some issues with it, and they were very much “me” issues, so I had a hard time rating it. But then I figured I s...moreI am…conflicted over this book. I had some issues with it, and they were very much “me” issues, so I had a hard time rating it. But then I figured I should just do what I always do and grade it based on my enjoyment. I did enjoy it, but I’m going to detail the “me” issues so you can see if they’ll bother you too.
When I picked this book up I didn’t know anything about it other than what I read on the back blurb. Part of the fun for me in reading historical fiction is becoming intrigued by facts in the book and researching to see if they’re true. I find it really interesting to see the little tidbits that the author found during research and included to make it authentic. You might find this odd because I run the risk of spoiling myself, but I can’t see how I’d spoil myself on historical record. LOL.
During the book Barbara has a painting done of her. The painter, Fra Pandolf, also did one of the first duchess and I was really hoping they were real so I could see them. I googled them and found that Fra Pandolf wasn’t a real person. He was a fictional character taken from Robert Browning’s poem, My Last Duchess. This really threw me for a loop until I talked to another friend who told me that the whole book was based on the poem. So the painter and the sculptor mentioned in the book were pulled directly from there.
I don’t know why that bothered me so much, but it did. I know that I’m going to get some fiction with my history in a book like this (of course), but I was not expecting to read fiction based on fiction. I just wish I could have known that going in because it continued to nag at me through the book. Once I figured out that I was reading characters based on a poem that was based on real people I didn’t bother to google anymore. I just lost enthusiasm for it. This won’t bother everyone, though. The same friend who clued me into the fact that the book was based around a poem thought it was pretty cool. So different strokes for different folks and all.
There was also a very unwanted pov that was featured in every chapter. I won’t get into whose pov it was—because I don’t want to spoil anything—but it never grew on me. I found it clumsy and rather irritating in an otherwise interesting book. I just thought that it was a rather lame way to keep the reader interested in the mystery. I also thought it was included as a convenient way to dump facts and outside knowledge without making them flow with the story.
Another thing that bothered me but was very much a “me” thing was the relationship between Barbara and the duke. I don’t think I can think of another book that I’ve read like this that has tried to sell me so much on the relationship. The crazy thing is that the author almost did! But then the duke would crack the whip again and we would be back to square one. The duke was not an evil man, but he was very much a man of his time. He was the master and his wife was his property. She didn’t breathe without his say-so.
That’s where the whole “me” thing comes in. I can’t complain about historical accuracy in a historical like this. That would be incredibly stupid. But I also had an incredibly hard time reading about Barbara falling for a guy like that. If it hadn’t been such a large focus of the book it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But the duke could be charming in a cold sort of way and I found myself being drawn in only to get pushed back out once he bent her to his will.
I guess I’m just used to reading biographies and historical fiction where the heroine never fell in love with the jerk who mistreated her. She may have been stuck with him, but she made herself happy in other ways. It was hard to adjust to a woman who accepted her situation despite hating Alfonso at times.
You might be having a bad feeling about this by now. But wait! I’m about to get to the good stuff. :)
This book was incredibly readable. It started a tad slow, but I quickly got sucked in. Even when I wished I could reach through the book and throat punch the duke, I still couldn’t stop reading. Barbara was really easy for me to like. I liked that she wasn’t a hysterical ninny. She was fully aware of her position and her husband’s consequence and didn’t let anyone run their mouth with rumors. She was a nice duchess, but she was also firm and knew who was at the top of the pecking order. I liked that about her. She felt real.
I was really into the mystery of what really happened to the first duchess. I liked watching all the facts slowly reveal themselves. Especially about the duke’s interactions with her. I didn’t know what would happen and how things would resolve until the end. I liked being surprised by it. Speaking of the end… It rocked! The end was fast paced and I loved getting to know the truth of everything. Plus, what happened to Barbara and the duke’s reaction to it was very awesome. I really think it was my favorite part of the story because everything flowed together so well. Very nice.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters we got to meet. Watching the political games and hidden barbs thrown around was really interesting. Even unlikable characters were interesting to get to know.
See why I was so conflicted? There was so much to enjoy, even with the parts that bugged me. I was pretty set on giving this 3.5 hearts until I got to the dramatic ending. I really enjoyed that part and it swayed my grade. So this gets 4 hearts from me after all!
"His reaction had been nothing but pride, of course--his self-importance had been stung by his friend's open contempt for the Duchess of Ferrara, and at the same time he had been gratified by that lady's dignified response. The humiliation of Barbara, a living and breathing woman, his wife, was nothing to him."
I really liked the way this book started out, with Eve and Roarke out for a normal night out. As the series progresses we are seeing more and more of...moreI really liked the way this book started out, with Eve and Roarke out for a normal night out. As the series progresses we are seeing more and more of them in a normal couple environment, and I love it. It can’t always be about work. ;) Of course, they have the bad luck to witness a murder in the middle of their date, but the intent was still there. Eve is slowly becoming more than just the job.
Once again Robb keeps things fresh and offers up a completely different murder case for Eve. This time it involves the theater, and as Eve discovers, it’s irritating to try to get a handle on a bunch of actors. They lie. A lot. The plot twists around and surprised me quite a few times, but the overall pacing of the story was a lot slower than I was used to. Certain things in the case hit a little too close to home for Eve, and she has to balance the case with her struggle to control her past demons.
I really liked that we got to see more of Trueheart. It’s nice that the side characters aren’t ever forgotten. We might not see them constantly, but they’ll pop back up eventually. Nadine finally gets an opportunity to step forward in the series, which is nice because we rarely see her since her job pits her against Eve when she’s on a case. McNab and Peabody continue their relationship and poor Eve is left to grumble about how uncomfortable she is with it. Charles comes back into play and, although I like him, I find myself really uncomfortable with the situation he has going with Peabody.
I loved that Eve started to take steps to treat Roarke to some romance instead of letting it continue to be so one sided. Of course, I also loved how suspicious said romance left him. Although Eve had quite a few abrasive moments that had me irritated with her, she’s continuing to soften toward Roarke and lean on him more and more. They had quite a few lovely moments in the book that had me sighing.
Though I liked the book, I still thought it was slow. I was interested in the plot, but it felt like it took forever for it all to unfold. Hopefully I’ll agree more with the pacing in the next book. (less)
First off, I have to thank the author for finally bringing all that sexual tension in between Peabody and McNab to a boil. And in such a dramatic way!...moreFirst off, I have to thank the author for finally bringing all that sexual tension in between Peabody and McNab to a boil. And in such a dramatic way! The fact that Feeney witnessed it (and was disturbed by it) was simply icing on the cake for me. Such a hilarious scene. I simply loved them in this book. :D
We get introduced to a new character here. Zeke, Peabody's brother comes to town. I loved that we got a deeper look at Peabody and her family, but he was a little too childlike for me. I didn't mind it at first, but it eventually got on my nerves. Still, I'm all for more depth for the side characters. I've come to love the whole cast.
I really love that each plot in this series (so far) is so distinctly different. Here we have a terrorist organization that wants to make a difference and overthrow the current government system. They consider Eve a worthy opponent and gift her with all their transmissions. They're blowing up symbols of the rich elite, so naturally Roarke is a target. :)
I liked watching Eve deal with a different division of the police while trying to solve the mystery. It took us away from our usual stomping grounds and forced Eve to rely on some new people. I also liked how things wound around and connected Eve's cases together.
Eve and Roarke had a few marital disagreements in this book, which I liked. They're usually pretty perfect together, so it's nice when we see them struggle to work things out. Also, the drama of the end, combined with the way they connected in that moment, was wonderful.
Wow. Just wow. This is one of my favorite books in the series to date. It was, quite simply, fabulous.
Whether you've read one book in the series or e...moreWow. Just wow. This is one of my favorite books in the series to date. It was, quite simply, fabulous.
Whether you've read one book in the series or eight, you know one simple fact. Eve is a cop. It's everything to her. Her role as a police officer is tangled up with her identity as a person. Her self worth, her purpose in life, is all tied into her job. In this book that is taken away and it breaks her. She is not the tough as nails cop that we have seen before. She gains a fragility and vulnerability that cracks her open for Roarke and the reader. We get a raw look at how she views herself and what being a cop means to her. It was as wonderful as it was devastating.
Roarke takes a backseat through much of the beginning sections of the book, but as soon as Eve's world starts to crumble we got a heavy focus on them together. We've seen their love for each other before, but in this book it shines especially bright. With her world shaken, her feelings for Roarke are painfully open. She leans on him and he never falters. He's also not afraid to kick her in the ass when she needs it. The ups and downs in life will either make you or break you and this experience seems to have made their connection even stronger. I've always loved them together, but I think this experience has really solidified their relationship.
The case was pretty interesting. I liked seeing something focused on that is so common in today's world. It was interesting to see how organ transplants have changed in Eve's time and how society regards them. It was nice seeing all of Eve's core circle subtly tied into the plot, and it seems as though we might have a few more future characters. Maybe we'll see Louise Dimatto and Officer Troy Trueheart again?
I have always loved Eve's relationship with Feeney, but he impressed me anew here. The speech he gave her and his threats to kick her ass made me grin from ear to ear. It's wonderful to see the loyalty and love that Eve is surrounded by. I was also pleased to hear Feeney mention Jamie. I've been hoping we'd hear about him again.
Although I was happy with everything in the book, I was secretly hoping that Eve wouldn't accept her badge back right away. Procedure or no procedure, I was still pissed. She should have let them sweat and grovel. (less)
I have to say, the serial killer in this book was disturbing. He liked to dress as Santa and rape and kill his victims. There was a jolliness to the m...moreI have to say, the serial killer in this book was disturbing. He liked to dress as Santa and rape and kill his victims. There was a jolliness to the murders, the way he staged them and the 12 Days of Christmas theme he was following, that absolutely creeped me out. I agreed with Peabody, the way he used a symbol of happiness and cheer to commit his crimes was perverted.
I really enjoy the way Robb easily weaves Eve's personal life in with her professional life in this series. That aspect was strong in this installment because it was Eve and Roarke's first Christmas together. Eve grumbles over Christmas as it is, but having so many new and important people in her life has her struggling to pick out the perfect gift for each of them. It's not just her, Mavis, and Feeney anymore. And finding the perfect gift for Roarke is even more difficult because what do you give that man that has everything? I liked all the bits we saw about this because it added an often needed softness to Eve's otherwise tough personality. Also, I thought it was adorable how Roarke got so into the holidays. He was determined to make up for the lack in both of their childhoods and make new holiday traditions and memories together.
I was really glad to see more of McNab in this book. I really enjoy his character and enjoy the tension between him and Peabody. Or "Shebody," as he calls her. They both gained a larger focus here because of their undercover operation. I hope we continue to see so much focus on them in the coming books. Watching Peabody veer dangerously close to whining when she found out he'd be working with them made me giggle. The way they bicker and hiss at each other provides a much appreciated lightness to such a grim investigation. I also thought it was funny that Roarke had to point out McNab's attraction to Peabody to Eve. Her stunned reaction was hilarious.
I enjoyed so much about this book--although I would have liked to have seen everyone's reactions to their Christmas gifts, and to see what Roarke got Eve--but I had some problems with Eve. I know some people find her hard and abrasive, but I don't usually have a problem with it. I like her, despite her occasional jerk moments. But she crossed the line in her behavior toward Peabody and acted like a complete b*tch. She lashed out in a completely inappropriate way and hurt and embarrassed Peabody's date. Peabody neatly put Eve in her place over the issue, yet somehow everything twisted and in the end Peabody apologized. What?!?! She wasn't wrong! Eve was completely out of line.
That part of the book really frustrated me and dimmed my enjoyment of the book. Everyone's aware of Eve's rough edges, but her willingness to eat crow and reluctantly apologize for wrong behavior makes up for that, so I was especially irritated that she was cast as "right" and Peabody as "wrong" even though it was clearly the other way around. Hopefully this will not become a trend in future books.
I listened to the book in audio format and loved the narrator's style just as much as usual. She really makes the book come alive--in all aspects. Of course, that talent can make the uncomfortable scenes even harder to read/listen. Eve's flashbacks were particularly upsetting, and listening to an excellent audiobook narrator do the voice of a rape victim describing the attack and her reaction is quite disturbing. I've ran into this before in the series, of course, since I've listened to most of it in audio, but I must have forgotten exactly how creepy it is to hear sexual abuse scenes. I'll have to try to keep that in mind for the rest of the books so I'm more braced for it. (less)
This is one of my favorite books in the series. I loved getting to delve into Roarke's past and I won't deny that I loved seeing Summerset on the hot...moreThis is one of my favorite books in the series. I loved getting to delve into Roarke's past and I won't deny that I loved seeing Summerset on the hot seat. That man is not a favorite of mine.
This entry had an emotional intensity to it that I enjoyed. The cases tie closely in with the lives of Eve, Roarke, and Summerset, although Eve doesn't know it at first. I liked that the author brought up a past storyline and deepened it for the reader. There was a gore and grit to the storyline that isn't always present in the other books. It was quite an eye opener for Eve and the reader to learn Roarke's connection to the crimes and to imagine his past actions in detail. He is not a man you want to cross.
I loved the struggle Eve had between her loyalty to Roarke and her loyalty to the law. I imagine that was quite difficult for a woman so convinced of what's "right" and "wrong" that she tried to turn herself in for murder. It was nice to see that she actually values something more than her badge.
I really liked the new character McNab. He reminds me a lot of Mavis and he provides a fun freshness and abrasiveness that shakes up the current cast of characters a bit. If nothing else, sparks will fly between him and Peabody. :)
The only thing that frustrated me about this book was the way Roarke got away with keeping Eve in the dark for so long. I know he walks on water for a lot of people, but the lack of remorse frustrates me. Eve wouldn't be so suspicious of him if he didn't keep things from her. (less)
I've jumped back into this series after taking a little break. I didn't want to accidentally exhaust the series for myself. It was great getting back...moreI've jumped back into this series after taking a little break. I didn't want to accidentally exhaust the series for myself. It was great getting back into Eve's world! I'm listening to this series in audiobook, because I've found that this narrator makes this world come alive for me. If you are interested in giving audiobooks a try or you're looking for a new audiobook, I recommend this series. The narrator rocks! Especially when she does Roarke's voice. Am I supposed to find a female imitating a man so alluring? How confusing! Lol.
I enjoyed the Wiccan/Satanist storyline. It reminded me a tad of Nora Roberts's book, Divine Evil, which I also enjoyed. I especially liked what we found out about the murder plot at the very end. I liked how the author twisted it a bit and managed to surprise me. I have to say, I didn't see the true reason coming. That's one of the things I love about this series. I may know who the villain is, but the fun is in watching Eve discover the reasons why. I enjoy watching her slowly compiling evidence and seeing the picture piece itself together.
I enjoyed the way Robb set up the case so that Eve would have to stand apart from Feeney on the case. I absolutely loved the emotional impact this case had on their friendship. It made me wince a bit at times, but a lot of stuff was brought out into the open that drew them together. And Roarke had an excellent opportunity to shine. I really loved Roarke and Feeney in this one.
But I can't forget about Peabody. I love her character. She is an excellent foil to Eve. She brings a softness and a more open well of compassion that Eve occasionally needs to balance out her out on the job. Such is the case here. Eve identifies too much with a suspect and ends up being harder on him/her when evidence leads her to believe that he/she is guilty. Eve was really harsh. She even slapped down Peabody after she disagreed with her. Now, I think Eve was in the right to chastise her, but I also think she was harsh. She could have put her in her place a nicer way. I was glad when they had that talk and they both admitted to being wrong.
I enjoyed this book and thought the plot was interesting. I especially loved the inclusion of Jamie. He was such fun. He was arrogant and cocky and walked around like he had a pair of brass ones. He made me think of Roarke as a child. :) The only reason I didn't give this book a higher grade was because Eve felt a little too cold in this one. I still enjoyed reading about her, but I didn't feel as much heart from her as I usually do.
"So how do you feel about using your...skills to access Frank's personal unit and logs?"
His mood lifted as he started the car, guiding it down to street level. "That depends, Lieutenant. Do I get a badge?"
Her lips twitched into a smirk. "No. But you get to have sex with a cop."
"Do I get to pick the cop?" He only smiled when she punched his arm. "I'd pick you. Probably."
I first read Naked in Death last December and really enjoyed it. I ordered a ton of books in the series and vowed to glut myself, but someh...more*4.5 Stars*
I first read Naked in Death last December and really enjoyed it. I ordered a ton of books in the series and vowed to glut myself, but somehow found myself buried in other books and other commitments by the time they arrived. I put them to the side, promising to make time, but somehow never did. Recently, I had a road trip coming up and was trolling for an audiobook to pass the time. I heard Sophia raving about the Naked in Death audiobook and decided to give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did.
I enjoyed NID a lot, but I didn’t click with Roarke the way that most readers did. I was a little disappointed since everyone else raves about him. Imagine my surprise to find that listening to his voice through the narrator jump started that connection and I found the spark that I was missing. I was totally on the Roarke and Eve bandwagon by the time I finished and dove into this one as soon as I was able.
I liked that this book didn’t start off where the last one ended. Time jumped forward a couple months and that gave the author the opportunity to show Eve and Roarke more settled in their relationship. They hadn’t solved any of their issues, but they were past that nervous, newbie couple faze. That gave Robb the opportunity to really delve into their issues. Roarke had enough time to become dissatisfied with crumbs and start pushing for more, and Eve had enough time to come to start admitting to herself what Roarke meant to her. I really loved this deepening of their relationship. You can see them circling each other and really starting to open up and share the inner them. Sometimes it takes a push to get them there (*cough*Eve*cough*) but they both care enough to keep working at it.
I love getting to see the ins and outs of Eve’s job. Watching her rise to the occasion is always interesting. She is like a bulldog once she sinks her teeth into a case. This one was particularly eventful. Her commander put her in charge because he knew she would remain impartial, even when he couldn’t, yet he let personal feelings get in the way and behaved like a civilian. The shifting politics and tension in friendships is one of the things that makes the relationships and interactions between characters feel so real in this series.
I spotted the killer very early on—yay me!—but that wasn’t a negative for me. I like watching it all unfold and watching Eve piece together the events and motive. I even liked watching her interrogate people. I never thought I was much for the boring procedural aspects, but when Eve does it, I enjoy it. The way she just keeps coming and coming and circling until she cracks the case is awesome. No wonder Roarke respects her so much. It was great getting more of Feeney (love him) and I enjoyed watching Eve’s unofficial family tighten its bonds.
The bit at the very end? Well, I had no choice but to dive straight into the next book. It’s not a cliffhanger, but it made it impossible for me to think of anything else. ;) (less)
Well, it has been quite a while since we got a new release in this series, hasn’t it? It feels like I have been counting down to the release of Fair G...moreWell, it has been quite a while since we got a new release in this series, hasn’t it? It feels like I have been counting down to the release of Fair Game forever. I reread the last book, Hunting Ground, to get back into the swing of things, and it was just as awesome as I remembered. Perhaps the change in tone in the series wouldn’t have been so glaring if I hadn’t reread the second book, but I did, so it stuck out. It’s not that the new tone was bad, it was just…different.
In the previous books we have seen Anna struggle to get over the abuse she was subjected to by her first pack. Charles has always been a rock for her, despite struggling with the worry that he wasn’t doing everything exactly right to help her recover. So flipping things around and making Charles the one to struggle this time around perked my interest. I found it a bit surprising that Anna seemed to be so completely over her past issues (even up til the last book), but I suppose she had to step into the role of the rock while Charles struggled.
I find it amusing that I mentioned in my review of Hunting Ground that I thought this series was more PNR than UF, because it wouldn’t feel the same or be quite as good without the romance, and I got to turn around and test my theory with this book. The change in tone in the series stems from one simple reason: the romance was pushed into the background. Charles’s personal demons led him to close himself off from Anna. A lot of this book featured them interacting like acquaintances, not a married couple. I understood why Charles was acting that way, but I have to be honest and say that it gave the book a very subdued feel. Anna spent a lot of time upset about the distance between them and Charles spent a lot of time worried about his issues bleeding off onto her. But there wasn’t much quality interaction together. As the romance is one of the main draws of the series for me, that wasn’t a good thing.
Other than that, the mystery and world details were just as wonderful as you would expect to find from Briggs. We’re taken out of our normal comfort zone when Bran sends Anna and Charles to Boston to help the human authorities track down a serial killer. I liked seeing a more capable Anna, working on werewolf PR and smoothing the waters with the police, and I liked that we got such a strong focus on Anna and Charles only. I missed the usual werewolf dynamics and the uniquely animalistic characteristics we’re usually treated to, but I liked getting to see a whole new cast of characters and getting a glimpse of the human side of things. The crimes were quite disturbing, and some of the people they called in to consult on the case gave me the willies. Witches certainly can be a creepy bunch. o_O
Although most of the book felt subdued, the last quarter of it really kicked it in gear. That’s when the action started to get thick and Charles and Anna started to work things out. My enjoyment, as well as the book’s final grade, was bumped up considerably during this time. And when the very end came… Well, I have to hand it to Briggs. I did NOT expect that. AT ALL. I gaped at the book a bit and frantically tried to figure out where she was planning on taking on the series. I don’t know. All I know for sure is that I plan on sticking around to find out. Based on that end, I bet it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
His brother maintained that what sent people backing away way neither his size nor his mother's blood, but solely the expression on his face. To test Samuel's theory, Charles had tried smiling--and then solemnly reported to Samuel that he had been mistaken. When Charles smiled, he told Samuel, people just ran faster.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. There were a few things that I would have liked to have more depth, but overall it was a lot of fun. I really th...moreI had a lot of fun reading this book. There were a few things that I would have liked to have more depth, but overall it was a lot of fun. I really think this book could have done with more pages. I wanted more focus on the relationship, but I would have hated to lose any of the details about the investigation.
Has anyone played clue? I, personally, love Clue. (I also loved the movie version they made of it.) I think the premise is fun. A group of strangers are all staying in a house (or an inn) when there's a murder. Suddenly everyone is a suspect! You learn complicated little plots and side dramas while you hunt for the answer to the larger question of who the murderer is. I just find it a blast. So, this book was already a winner for me in that regard.
Christian got involved in the investigation while they were snowed in and dragged Kate in too. They ended up being the sole investigation team so a lot of time was spent running around discovering clues. It really made the book seem like a romp. There was funny dialogue and an assorted mix of characters to add to the fun. The murder plot wasn't very complicated, but I still had fun watching it unfold.
I really love the way that Anne Mallory writes her characters. They just seem like such likable people. Christian was a fun character with hidden depths. He had some issues caused by his childhood but he never really sat around and moped. When he was an ass he would admit to it and apologize. Unless he was intentionally trying to irritate Kate, of course. I really liked him and thought he had a great sense of humor.
Kate was a very levelheaded, cautious person. There was no useless hysterics or drama from her. She was suspicious of Christian and was the straight man to his funny man role. She was the polar opposite of Christian in terms of fathers, but they complimented each other.
My favorite part of the relationship was the sense of camaraderie and friendship they had. It got to the point where it felt like they knew each much longer than they actually had. When I actively recalled the time frame it was a surprise to realize everything had happened that quickly.
That's actually where my issue with the book comes into play. I think I would have been more satisfied with the relationship if it had stretched out longer and if there had been more of a passionate feel to it. I have no doubts that they cared about each other and that they were great friends, but the actual passion felt a bit missing.
It was a small gripe overall. I had too much fun with the book for it to have bothered me too much.
One other thing that I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It alternated from Christian's father to Kate's father. It really helped me get a good picture of their childhood without having to be told.