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)
Despite its label of Romantic Suspense, this book has barely any romance. In the beginning of the book, when I was enjoying it, I thought I might like...moreDespite its label of Romantic Suspense, this book has barely any romance. In the beginning of the book, when I was enjoying it, I thought I might like the overall story despite my irritation with not delivering on the promised “R” in “RS.” Unfortunately, that optimism only holds true when I’m actually enjoying said book.
I really liked the beginning of the book. It opens with the hero and heroine already sleeping together, which I haven’t seen very often in Romance. But don’t get the impression that they’re in a relationship. They’re not, they’re just knocking boots. Daniel, the hero, wants more, but Charlotte, the heroine, is not interested in ties. She just wants sex. Although it was weird to feel like I was a few steps behind in their relationship, I liked seeing the stereotypical gender roles reversed and was interested in seeing them slowly grow toward an intimate connection.
Charlotte is an attorney and Daniel is a cop, so their professional lives occasionally intersect. When Daniel starts investigating a string of murders related to the carnival that Charlotte used to work for, she finds herself involved in the case. It was a good thing that Charlotte was drawn into the case, because otherwise they would have had no interaction together. Their separate lives had way more page time than any time that they spent together. At first I liked getting to see all the mundane aspects in their day to day lives, but it eventually became old. I wanted to see them together. I liked that the author maintained some realism and made their professions feel necessary to their lives and to the plot, but I needed a better balance on the romance end. Charlotte was so cold that relationship building was really necessary to make their eventual connection believable.
Charlotte was an interesting character, although I didn’t like her much. I was put off by her cold behavior in the beginning but looked forward to her shell eventually cracking to show us the real woman. Well…that shell only seemed to reveal more ice. It wasn’t until approximately 40 pages from the end that the heroine would even consent to use the hero’s first name. She preferred to call him Detective to avoid any false impression of intimacy. She was…odd. I didn’t understand her, but I found her interesting in a distant, character study sort of way. I couldn’t really figure out why anyone liked her, though. At one point her coworkers stop to have a quick celebration (with her) at work and all she can think about is how many wasted man hours are in the room with her. Seriously. That was not a rare comment, either. That’s just the type of person she was.
She was neurotically ashamed about her past “carnie” connections and ruthlessly groomed herself to appear like she was educated in a private school. I didn’t really understand her hang up. Especially since nothing earth shattering happened once she was forced to reveal it to the world. It made her seem a little snobby and small minded. I know that some of the carnival workers lived down to her expectations, but I felt it was a little too two dimensional to feel realistic. Also, I found it hilarious that she was more ashamed of growing up around the carnival than she was about the fact that she stripped her way through college.
I liked the hero, although I never understood why he liked the heroine. His grandmother was great and I loved the little bits we saw of them together. His interactions with his family and his partner really emphasized what a downright decent guy he was. I think that’s why the differences in between him and Charlotte were so glaring. Although I liked Daniel more than Charlotte, I still never felt a strong connection to him. The whole book felt a bit clinical. I stayed distant from everything throughout the read.
Other than that, there were a few things that seemed out of place or just plain wrong. There was a supernatural/seer angle that seemed odd and out of place. I really don’t know what that added to the story. I won’t bother to list all the things that rubbed against me wrong, but I can’t finish this review without mentioning something that drove me nuts. (view spoiler)[The heroine reveals that she, not her sister, is the mother of a girl from the carnival. She is upset with Grady (her stepfather growing up) because he did not fulfill his promise of giving the girl up for adoption to offer her a better life.
I just had to stop and stare. She expected him to offer the baby up for adoption??? Uh…isn’t she the mom? If her kid’s welfare was so important to her, why didn’t she put her up for adoption? It was her kid. You can’t just leave her and hope that someone else (who ISN’T her guardian or her parent) will take care of it for you. (hide spoiler)]
I found the serial killer creepy and liked the parts of the book revolving around him, but for such a long build up the story sure wrapped up in a hurry. All of a sudden it was over in a snap.
"I'm living vicariously through you, Danny-boy. My love life is a wasteland. Plus, I like to watch you get revved up when I mention her name. Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte."
*Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
After reading the first book in this trilogy, If You Hear Her, I was very excited to dive into this book. The serial killer plot spans the...more*3.5 Stars*
After reading the first book in this trilogy, If You Hear Her, I was very excited to dive into this book. The serial killer plot spans the whole trilogy, the romances are the only things resolved in the individual books, so I couldn’t wait to see what came next. The first book was great! And the way it ended whetted my appetite to see what would become of Hope and how she and Remy would eventually hook up.
If you’ve read the first book, you are probably familiar with Hope’s past. She was abused by her husband for years. Not just physical abuse, either. She was cut off from everyone and lived in a small town that worshipped her husband. Her attempts to tell the truth about him were ignored, and he was eventually able to convince everyone that she was mentally unbalanced. After trying to commit suicide to escape him, he manipulated the system and had her committed. She’s been free of him for two years, but she has still not recovered. Her best friend, Law, finally got her to quit running and come stay with him. But things got complicated in the last book and now no one is sure what Hope will do.
****NOW’S THE TIME TO STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST BOOK****
This book picks up right after the first one left off. Hope is suspected of being behind the attack on Law and everyone thinks she tried to kill herself again. Remy is put in the uncomfortable situation of having to dig into her past to find out how disturbed she really is. He doesn’t think she’s guilty, but he’s afraid that his attraction to her might be clouding his judgment since the facts don’t support his belief. While working to find out the truth, he discovers more about her past and has to come to terms with how impossible a relationship between them might be. But the attraction between them won’t go away, regardless of any hesitation on their parts.
Jumping into this book, I thought that we would spend a lot more time on the serial killer plotline than we did. It was still there in the background, but we didn’t get to see any further investigation on it or find out anything new. I found that really disappointing. This book was all about Hope, her past, and her mental state—both in the past and in the present. I found her interesting, and liked the slow building romance between her and Remy, but I found myself impatient at the same time. The lack of suspense made the book feel like it was dragging by the end.
We had the development of a stalker pop up, which the serial killer got involved with, but it didn’t satisfy my craving for more development on the original storyline. I actually found it pretty unbelievable that the serial killer was tied into the stalker plot at all. I never understood why the woman he wanted to protect was different from all the rest, and I ended up feeling like she was different only because the serial killer had to be tied into the story somehow. I still found the story enjoyable to read, since I enjoy the way Walker writes, but I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that this will be my least favorite of the trilogy. It felt like a bridge book and that was just not what I wanted or expected.
Despite my issues with the book, I still enjoyed a lot of things about it. Hope, for one. The events of the last book were finally enough for her and instead of crumbling, she developed some steel. She finally gained strength and sass and started to recover from the abuse she had suffered. Remy was so nervous about spooking her that it was cute to watch him slowly try to woo her. I really enjoyed them together. I also liked seeing more development with Remy’s nephew, Brody. I felt bad for the kid and I hope that one day his dad will stop being a douche. I won’t hold my breath, though.
For all you Ezra and Lena fans, there are some parts with them in this book too! There was a development at the end involving them that made me grin. Unfortunately, Law lost some of my admiration in this book. I’ve always loved his rock solid friendship with Hope and his devotion toward her, so it was like a bucket of cold water in my face to see that shaken. And for such a lame reason! Hope may have taken steps toward forgiving Law, but I’m still ticked. Hopefully he’ll convince me he’s not such a thoughtless little turd when I start reading his book.
Once again, the author impressed me with her realistic characters and engaging writing. I may have been disappointed with the lack of development about the murders, but I guess that just means the author is saving it all up for the third book.
"You know, you didn't have any problem cussing last night around me."
He snorted and rolled out of bed. "There's a difference between cussing and talking dirty. And my mother would have my hide for cussing around a lady."
This is my first book by Shiloh Walker. I’d heard good things about her, but I never seemed to find the time to seek her out and give her a try. Let m...moreThis is my first book by Shiloh Walker. I’d heard good things about her, but I never seemed to find the time to seek her out and give her a try. Let me just say, this was a great introduction to her work and I’m glad I finally took the plunge. Romantic Suspense doesn’t always work for me. I find that a lot of authors tend to focus more on one of the elements; Romance or Suspense. But some authors have the skill to balance both features well. Walker is one of those authors. I never felt cheated on the relationship or the suspense. They both blended well together to create a gripping story.
Before I discuss the story and the characters, I have to mention something first. This is a trilogy and the books are very connected. In fact, some of you who do not realize this *cough*me*cough* might finish If You Hear Her, stare at it in shock, and wonder, Where is the rest of the book? Apparently the story that begins in If You Hear Her will carry over into the following books, If You See Her and If You Know Her. Nothing but the relationship is wrapped up in this one. I DO think that this trilogy is worth the time investment, but I would have liked to have known that fact up front. So…here’s your heads up, guys. ;)
I really liked the characters in this book. There are the protagonists, Lena and Ezra, of course, but we also get to spend time with three other side characters that will most likely feature heavily in the next two books. We are given the opportunity to spend sections in their POV’s and it really helped cement my interest in them. They never felt like sequel bait. We spend time with them because their storylines are woven together with the main plot and it would have shortchanged the reader if we didn’t get to see things from their POV. I really loved getting a rounded picture of the players in the story. We spend the most time on those characters, but we are also treated to a couple of other POV’s that help build the suspense plot. They all twined together to create a fascinating tale.
You want to know what one of my favorite things about Walker’s characterization of the heroine, Lena, was? She was blind, but the plot didn’t revolve around that fact. She was a woman, same as any other RS heroine, who became entangled in a criminal investigation. Her blindness had nothing to do with it. The author kept from creating an ”issue” book and made her blindness feel natural. I loved that!
Beyond that, Lena was a very normal woman. She had friends, she had a career. The hero didn’t swoop into her life and give her purpose, she already had that. In fact, he didn’t swoop in at all. They met, became attracted, and went out on a date. Sure, things got a little complicated after that, but my point remains the same. The author made their relationship completely feasible and avoided adding any unneeded drama and tension. The circumstances of the case added enough of that. I’m thrilled about this, because that is what keeps me coming back to certain contemporary authors. I get an eye twitch when I read about contemporary characters that don’t fit in with the modern world.
The suspense plot was very well done. It was the sort that slowly crept up on you. The book covers a nice little chunk of time, and the reader gets to see the tension slowly start to wear on the people. Everyone is scared and not sure what to think. I loved getting to see the people, and the town in general, slowly start to unravel. Tensions are high and people are starting to turn on each other.
I’ve tried to be vague about the plot since I think a big part of the fun in RS is watching the plot unfold. More than the obvious murder plot is going on during the book and I’m curious to see if my initial guesses will turn out to be correct. The book ended right after a couple of really big events took place. I’m very eager to see where the next book will take us. If you are in the mood for a good Romantic Suspense, I recommend giving this one a shot. Just be ready to rush out and buy the second one when it releases, too. :)
I really had no expectations going into this book, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with an absolutely engrossing story. There is a defini...moreI really had no expectations going into this book, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with an absolutely engrossing story. There is a definite romantic angle at work here, but it would be a mistake to go into this expecting a HEA at the end. I’ll get into that more a little later, but I just wanted to make that clear up front. Sins of the Angels stays true to Urban Fantasy and has set up a romantic arc to span multiple books.
One thing I loved about this book was the fact that the romance never overshadowed the main storyline. I know that is an odd compliment coming from me–since I’m usually the opposite–but it really worked for me here. The connection between Aramael and Alex was intense enough that you could feel the tension in the background, waiting to spring up, the minute they let their eyes lock. There is barely any sexual contact in this book (they only kiss once) but the tension sizzled for me.
She didn’t know how long they’d stared at one another, neither moving, before she had blinked and the wings had disappeared. Before his eyes had taken on the torment that made her want, once again, to reach out to him, as if her touch could heal something in him. Heal something in herself.
I just loved them together. The romance was “forbidden” at its finest; A woman who refused to open her mind to the impossible and an angel unable to love a human. What made it all so excellent was the fact that their star-crossed status made complete sense. Alex spent a lot of the book in denial, which could be occasionally frustrating, but it felt authentic for a character with her background. I also appreciated the dislike she had for his role as her partner. Her fear of the flashes she saw of his true angelic self drove her dislike and determination to end their partnership, but it felt lifelike for her role as detective. Who wouldn’t be angry and suspicious over someone with no experience and a sealed file? Then again, her boss’s decision and eventual frustration with her also felt authentic.
Those realistic actions are one of the things that made me enjoy this book so much. It’s also why I liked the relationship staying low key. It wouldn’t have been realistic for a lead detective investigating a serial killer to let her hormones get in the way of finding the killer. At times the daily grind of Alex doing her job and investigating the murders felt slow, but it also fit. I occasionally wished that Alex would hurry up and face the truth so that we could hurry the story along, but I think I would have found it a little too unrealistic if she had. (See how fickle I am?) The author spent her time slowly developing Alex’s eventual belief and convinced me that the way it unfolded was the only natural way for it to have occurred.
The author’s take on the angelic and demonic world felt pretty fresh and new. I found parts of it a little frustrating–which had me a bit personally conflicted since the one I was frustrated with was the One (aka God)–but I really liked it overall. I felt religion was flirted with a tiny bit, but was avoided for the most part. What we learned about the angels had me intrigued. There were so many factors to it–The Highest Seraph, the Anointed, the Dominion, the Powers, the Guardians, the Fallen, the One…it all came together into a really interesting world.
Although I enjoyed most of the book, there were a few things that bothered me. One was the multiple POV’s we were treated to. I understand why they were included, but I got a bit impatient with being drawn away from the main storyline to peek into someone else’s head. It gave the reader a more well rounded picture of the events, I know, but it got a bit boring. Luckily they weren’t too long and I was able to quickly sink back into the main storyline. The other thing that I did not like was the ending. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, and while this one did wrap up some of the main threads of the plot, it also left us hanging on quite a few. Namely, the future for Alex and Aramael. We’re left with hope that they’ll hook up eventually, but I hate leaving a book like that. I don’t even know where the next book will find them individually, let alone what will happen to them together. I just find it frustrating to be left with so many questions after such a climactic event at the end. I’m definitely going to pick up the next book (and would have even without being left hanging) but I’m hoping the end of the next won’t be as jarring. I hate closing a book feeling frustrated.
Time, and Alex’s heart, stood still. For what seemed an eternity, she felt nothing but Aramael’s hand against her cheek. His truth. And then, with a ferocity that stole her capacity to breathe, elation exploded through her entire being and the universe narrowed until it encompassed just the two of them. Until she became nothing more than the heat of his body, the whisper of his breath against her face, the longing that flooded her veins.
This was a fun read. It had a light suspense plot running through the background, but overall its tone was light and fun. Thanks, Tammy, for the rec!
T...moreThis was a fun read. It had a light suspense plot running through the background, but overall its tone was light and fun. Thanks, Tammy, for the rec!
The hero and heroine of the book used to be childhood friends, but then things went a little far on prom night and their friendship ended. The hero, Matt, was completely uncomfortable with introducing sex into their relationship (although the heroine was all for it) and decided to deal with the issue by ignoring it. Unfortunately, that meant that he ignored the heroine, Carly, too, so it's no stretch to see that it spelled the end of their friendship.
Years later Carly is back in town and back to square one with Matt in no time at all. She's still pissed at him, which is demonstrated by hilariously childish snipes and outbursts, but he insists that they are still friends. Their interactions together made me laugh. Carly was childish and resentful, but it worked because the book had such a lighthearted tone to it. I thought it was hilarious how they kept repeating the same kiss-and-run pattern again and again.
There were quite a few times that I winced over Matt's obliviousness. He was determined to keep Carly in the friend zone and uncomfortable anytime sexual attraction came into the mix, leading him to be harshly honest with her. I didn't blame him at all for his stance, but his delivery and the casual way it beat down Carly's ego was ouch-worthy.
I liked the way everything resolved, but I needed more time spent in Matt's pov to be completely convinced of his turn around in regards to his feelings toward Carly.
"Listen, I know what I saw, and what I saw was hot." Sandra made a big production out of pretending to fan herself with her hand. "I practically melted where I stood."
"Give it a rest, Sandra, will you please?" Carly asked tiredly.
"Then you went and kicked him. Honey, men in general don't like that. Not unless they're kinky, that is. Is the that hunky sheriff kinky? 'Cause I want him if he is."
I knew going into this book that the romance would not be a central feature, because that was the case with Deadly Dreams. But I didn’t exp...more*2.5 Stars*
I knew going into this book that the romance would not be a central feature, because that was the case with Deadly Dreams. But I didn’t expect it to be even more lacking than it was the last time. I was really looking forward to getting to know the Mindhunters boss, Adam Raiker, and watching him fall in love. But I ended the book feeling like I still didn’t know him very well and that he never had much of a romance.
The suspense aspect of the book was really well done. It wasn’t as fast paced and action filled as I personally prefer, but I imagine it reflects actual police work and crime solving more accurately. It was filled with procedure and small details that aren’t exactly exciting, but are very necessary. Reports are filed nightly and the investigators’ actions are always checked by what they are and are not given permission to do by the Assistant Director. Adam is able to get around this more often than Jaid and the other partner are, but even he has to be very careful about what he does, so as not to give the Assistant Director an excuse to kick him off the case.
I thought I knew who the killer was quite a few times, but something else would always crop up to change my mind and make me guess someone else. I did guess who the killer was, but I had moved past that person and on to a new one, so I suppose it doesn’t count. I liked the grisly nature of the case and trying to solve it alongside the characters, but at times I felt a little bored. But that was because of the focus on the procedural process instead of the action. I think if you’re more of a fan of that than I am then you won’t have the same problem.
I was disappointed in the lack of romance in the last book, but I liked that the author showed us the characters’ world outside of the case. I felt that those details were lacking in this book. We saw Jaid call her kid a few times and try to juggle babysitting, but those details felt hollow and lacking any real depth. I never felt I got to know Jaid or Adam very well, which is a shame because I would think that a man who could survive so many assassination attempts, and still get up every morning without fear, is a very fascinating man indeed. And this is a second-chance-romance where one side was very unwilling to break up. Where is the emotion? Where is tension? There was none, and I was a tad bitter over the lack.
I was more forgiving of the lack of romance in the last book, Deadly Dreams, but since this one had even less than that, I feel I have the right to gripe. Why is this billed as a Romantic Suspense if no time is spent developing the characters or the romance? I’ve heard Romance referred to as an emotional voyeur’s paradise, and I can’t say I’d argue that description. I want to know this hero and heroine inside and out and feel invested in their relationship. I want to understand why they are behaving in certain ways without it having to be spelled out to me. I want development and tension and intensity. I just want a Romance, people! And I want all that while still having a banging suspense plot. It’s why I picked up a book in the genre, after all.
The lack of character depth made me feel a bit like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. I go into a movie knowing that I am not going to get any personal insight into a character—unless they’re narrating it, of course. I know that the only depth I’ll get is the kind that I am shown through their actions and other characters’ comments about them. But that’s okay, because I knew that going in. It’s all about expectations. I expect more than that when I read a book. Especially when I don’t have any vocal inflections or facial expressions to analyze, like I would in a movie. I just have these words that are supposed to suck me in and make me a part of the world. You can’t just say
He hadn't made a move since that was less than circumspect. But there was a renewed awareness between them. A current that snapped and sparked to life at the oddest moments. She'd intercepted a couple odd looks from Shepherd lately, as if he, too, had picked up on it.
and leave it at that. Why didn’t you show me these glances? How come another character has picked up on it when I have seen nothing to indicate this? I need to be shown, not just told.
I think that the author does a good job with the suspense aspect of the book and that the Suspense genre is really where the book belongs, not the Romantic Suspense one. I can’t see myself picking up any more books by this author, though, because I look for more of a focus on the romance than Brant seems to prefer to write.
"You didn't lose me, Adam. You pushed me away. There's a difference between the tragedies that befall us and the ones we bring on ourselves."
Wow, this book gave me exactly what I needed, even though I didn’t realize I was missing anything. It was a refreshing palette cleanser that...more4.5 Stars
Wow, this book gave me exactly what I needed, even though I didn’t realize I was missing anything. It was a refreshing palette cleanser that I was in dire need of. Romantic Suspense is one of the least frequent genres I read, but every once in a while I need a book like that to shake things up. You may be wondering why I mentioned the Romantic Suspense genre when the cover blurb reads like a Paranormal Romance. I guess it’s because this read like a Romantic Suspense book that had people with paranormal abilities in it, as opposed to a Paranormal Romance with a suspense storyline in it.
I love, love, love Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard, and this reminded me of it. Not in storyline or humor, but in the way multiple POV’s were featured in order to make a well rounded picture of the plot. We saw POV’s from the main characters, the villain, some coworkers of the hero and heroine, and even one of the victims. Sometimes too many POV’s can make me feel a lack of depth in the characters, but Parrish managed it beautifully. Instead of feeling a lack, I actually felt like the author built a whole cast of well rounded characters that I couldn’t help but become invested in.
This book does not shy away from the grim details of bad events happening to good people. If you do not enjoy your books with disturbing events that you could see in real life then I would recommend steering clear. Not only was Liv a victim herself, her experience gave her the ability to experience death again and again. The scenes showing her past and the ones we see that highlight her ability are not pretty. They are dark and upsetting, and the author nailed the emotion of the characters so well that it’s hard not to get sucked into the moment. I absolutely love that we’re actually shown those scenes instead of just being told about them.
The heroine, Olivia, is absolutely wonderful. She has her issues (totally understandable), but she doesn’t let it control her life. She still has friends and doesn’t isolate herself from her family, dysfunctional though they may be. She doesn’t spend her life moping about the past. She picked herself up and tried to rebuild her life. I have to admire her for that. I also like that the abilities that she and her coworkers have are not convenient and easy to manage. Sometimes it’s hard for them to tell whether their abilities are a gift or a curse.
I liked that the author managed to illustrate that tragedy breaks down any division between the rich and the poor. She wasn’t in your face about it, but having the rich girl heroine and the poor boy hero both experience tragedy in the childhood put them on equal footing. Liv and Gabe even had a couple discussions about it. Gabe kept thinking that their backgrounds were a hindrance to their relationship, but Liv wouldn’t let him see a stereotypical rich girl instead of the real her. She was so much more than that label.
Although this book took place in short amount of time, I never felt that the romance was too rushed. Gabe was authentically suspicious of Liv’s legitimacy in the beginning, and his trust was earned slowly. The attraction between them was immediate, but the relationship took a while to blossom. I liked that things were developed slowly between them and that they never let their attraction get in the way of the case.
The only thing that kept this from being a perfect grade was Gabe’s attitude toward Liv’s job near the end. I understand and appreciate that he was concerned about the toll her ability was taking on her, but the things he said to her and her boss really put my back up. I did not like that he put that crap on her about it being impossible for her to have a family or a relationship if she continued to use her ability. His dismissal of the occasional necessity of her ability really put a bad taste in my mouth. Especially when a good portion of the plot relied on her using that ability! I really wish she would have turned his accusations right back around on him. It’s not like being a cop treats you to nothing but the good in people.
Beyond that minor irritation, I really liked the book. I could tell by page 30 that I loved the author’s writing style, and I was never proven wrong. Although some parts of the book are dark, the author manages a nice balance with humor from the characters. I can’t wait to see what the next book will be about.
"Gabe," she eventually whispered, her voice lazy, sated and thick with sex.
"Thanks for pushing me out of the path of that car."
"Pushing doesn't sound heroic enough. I didn't push you; I swooped in and carried you."
Wow, this book was so intense! I read the first book in the Dirk & Steele series, Tiger Eye, last week and I couldn’t stop thinking about reading...moreWow, this book was so intense! I read the first book in the Dirk & Steele series, Tiger Eye, last week and I couldn’t stop thinking about reading this one. I gave in, jumped into it, and was instantly hooked.
This book can be pretty dark. It loosely ties in with Tiger Eye--although it’s a loose tie, I think they’re best if read sequentially--but they are very different in tone. The villains in this book were very creepy and the situation Elena and Artur woke to find themselves had my stomach clenching in sympathetic horror and helplessness. Both Elena and Artur were kidnapped by a mysterious organization interested in using their special skills. The organization, the Consortium, had no interest in protestations. They were willing to do whatever it took, including torture, to get what they wanted.
A serial killer—a seriously frightening man—plays a very large role in the book. If that doesn’t warn you to be prepared for some violence and fear, I don’t know what will. The Quiet Man, as Elena calls him, is beautifully cast. The way he instantly hones in on one character in the book had my skin crawling. Especially when paired with the details we learned about him earlier in the book. His standoffs with Rictor, another prison guard, made each man shine in their respective roles. Liu did a fabulous job with this aspect of the story.
The romance between Elena and Artur takes place very quickly when you stop and think about it, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more convincing connection in such a short time, or a more convincing reason to have said connection. These were two people that seemed to fit perfectly together. Their connection together was quite beautiful, and it was lovely to see two such deserving people find each other.
And, if she were being honest with herself, the way she felt toward Artur went beyond friendship. Went far beyond anything she had ever imagined she could feel. Tenuous, thrilling--more magic than the magic she had already encountered--and the wonder of it was that she suspected he might feel the same. That was worth a little danger.
Don’t worry that this book is all doom and gloom. Yes, it is very dark at times, but Liu does a good job balancing that out with sarcastic characters and humor. Elena had a great dynamic with Rictor, but the lines that seemed to pop the most for me occurred between Artur and the creepy Ms. Graves.
"I do not think you want to kill me. I do not think you want to kill any of us. You are not that wasteful."
Graves stared at him. "You're wrong about one thing, Mr. Loginov. I do want to kill you. Either that or fuck you. I can't decide."
"I prefer the killing."
"I'll try not to be insulted."
"No," Artur said. "Feel free to be insulted."
The characters and their interactions are what really drew me in the most. Artur intrigued me from the first book and it was great getting to know him more. I found his past heartbreaking and was by turns both horrified and intrigued by his power. His first scene after he was captured shows you the dark side of a power like his. Elena was also a great character—although slightly less compelling than Artur. I like that although she was cast as pure of heart, she never let her morals get in the way of survival. She felt real and imperfect and I was really pleased with the way things turned out in her struggle over what she could live with using her powers for. Little complexities like Artur’s past love and his past with the mob, and Elena’s past with her mom really helped make these characters feel well rounded and full.
This is also the book where we meet one of my favorite characters, Rictor. Looking back on this series, with only a hazy recollection of the details of this story, he is the one thing that I remembered perfectly. He just fascinates me. His character is hard to get a handle on. Is he good? Is he bad? Who is he? What is he? I think Liu did a great job portraying him and giving him a mysterious grayness to his character. If her aim was to intrigue, she succeeded in me.
Although I loved most of this book, it isn’t perfect. Just like in Tiger Eye there came a point where it felt like the action hit a lull and the story seemed to drag a little. I wish the pace had kept up throughout, but the rest of the book impressed me enough that I couldn’t give it less than a 5.
"Okay," Dean finally said, hard, fast. "I should have told you this a long time ago, but it's difficult. You understand, Artur? This isn't easy for me to say. I'm not good with this kind of thing. You know...emotional stuff."
"Dean, stop." Artur tried not to smile. "You know we cannot be together. Ours is a forbidden love."
This is the fifth book in the Mindhunters series, but it stands alone well. I haven’t read any of the previous books but I never felt lost...more*3.5 Stars*
This is the fifth book in the Mindhunters series, but it stands alone well. I haven’t read any of the previous books but I never felt lost while reading this. We meet some of the previous characters—and it’s possible that the heroine’s problems with her last case may have been shown in a previous book—but there was nothing tying them to the events in this book that would necessitate reading the previous books before this one.
Although this is listed as Romantic Suspense on the author’s website, I would be really hesitant to label it as such. The romance aspect was light--very light. I, personally, think it would fall more in line with regular Suspense. Even though it did show the main characters getting together, it was subtle and more of a background feature.
I really liked how well the author showcased the main characters’ lives outside of their case. The location wasn’t focused on enough to be memorable—I honestly couldn’t remember what city they were in until I checked the book—but that didn’t bother me at all because the characters and the case were made memorable.
Nate’s outside life was particularly heartbreaking. He was stuck with a troubled sister who he couldn’t trust to be responsible for her own son. They all lived together for stability, but it was a tense situation with no real right answer. I really felt for Nate and although I wouldn’t have made the same decision he did, I still understood his reasons. Besides, I’m way meaner and less forgiving than he is. ;)
That wasn’t the only time the author threw in personal complications to add depth and complexity. Nate’s partner kept making the wrong decision in her personal life and it started to bleed over into her work. There was no easy out for her and I felt really bad for her, but I couldn’t really blame the police force either. Even Rissa had problems with her mom. She loved her mom, but the two women didn’t always understand each other. I just really appreciated these details because it helped present a well rounded cast. This was definitely not a book where the hero and heroine lived in a vacuum while they fell in love.
The author did a great job pulling me into the case. The attitude toward the investigation and the procedural aspects of the story seemed very well done. The book started a little slow, but I was soon pulled in. I liked that the author showed Rissa’s dreams as fragmented and full of symbolism and throw away details, just like a real dream would be. It was up to Rissa to find the important details and interpret them.
One of the more fascinating characters was Adam Raiker, Rissa’s boss. What he has been through, and the strength that he has shown in not only surviving but living, captured my attention right away. He is a man who has been through hell and back and it shows, literally. I was already interested in checking out other books in the series, but if I hadn’t, the details about him would have clinched it. I can’t wait to learn more about him.
Although I did enjoy the book once I got into it, it doesn’t change the fact that I picked it up expecting a Romance. The fact that it was pretty nonexistent and that their I-Love-You’s at the end seemed to come out of nowhere really dimmed my enjoyment. Added to that, the author’s writing style always kept me distant. I can’t seem to find the words to express what I mean, but the author’s style read more like a horror or suspense, not a Romance or UF. I was never quite able to forget that I was reading a book.
"'Nate the Great?'" Risa read off the note. Her mouth quirked as she turned slightly to prevent his grab for the paper. "One of your conquests, detective?"
"She's sixty if she's a day, and has a strange fixation on me. I don't encourage it."
Risa flicked a nail at the message. "So inviting you over for borscht and kotlety isn't an ethnic euphemism for sex?"
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."
*sigh* I found out Eve’s answer. How awesome for them both. I’m glad Robb skipped ahead in time again and took us closer to the big day. I loved watch...more*sigh* I found out Eve’s answer. How awesome for them both. I’m glad Robb skipped ahead in time again and took us closer to the big day. I loved watching Eve and Roarke’s nerves. Of course, neither of them was worried for the same reasons. Eve worried about making it work long term and Roarke worried about Eve going through with it. LOL.
Eve’s team is expanded beyond the usual people—namely, Feeney. Eve pulls in Peabody, a cop she took a shine to in the last book, and finds herself stuck having to cooperate with a cop from another department. Although Eve has dealt with Roarke being involved in her two previous cases (that we’ve seen, I mean), she suddenly finds herself faced with Mavis’s involvement. We see a very stressed and vulnerable Eve here as she struggles to juggle doing her job with protecting her friend.
I loved getting to see more of Mavis here. She’s loud and flamboyant, but she loves Eve to pieces. It may be an unlikely pairing on the surface, but they have a very strong bond. I think Mavis being involved hurt Eve more than Roarke being involved in the past because Mavis is more easily bruised than he is. She thinks of Roarke as stronger and knows he can stand of his own. With Mavis, Eve is furious to find herself forced to hurt her and scare her as she does her job.
It was pretty awesome to finally have a clear picture of what led to Eve being found when she was a child. The flashbacks were disturbing and hard to read. Just as with the murders we’ve seen so far, Robb pulls no punches with the truth of Eve’s situation. We are faced with the grim and horrifying truth up close and personal. There is no way I could have remained unaffected. I’m glad she shared with Roarke, but I was ready to strangle her there for a while. I know what led her to say the things she did about their future together, but I felt that she needlessly (and thoughtlessly) wounded Roarke. I’m glad Dr. Mira was able to help them both through that situation.
Speaking of that situation, it showed me another side of Summerset. I have disliked him pretty consistently til now, but he finally softened me. How can I not thaw just a little bit after hearing about his past with Roarke and seeing the way he cared for Eve when she had a nightmare? He’s still a jerk, but now that I’ve seen his marshmallow heart I don’t think I can hate him.
There were quite a few amusing scenes in this book. Eve is forced out of her comfort zone to help cheer Mavis up and to prep for the big day. She’s stuck getting her hair cut, getting naked in front of multiple people for vanity’s sake, and is forced to endure someone rubbing crap on her boobs too. ;) I’m sure you know how well that went over. Mavis and her crew are hilarious simply by being them—over the top, wonderful them. But the part that I really loved was toward the end when Mira, Peabody, Nadine, and Mavis all got together with Eve and got drunk. Peabody in particular was amusing.
I found parts of this slower than the previous two. I loved all the personal stuff, but some of the case work felt a little tedious. That slight slowness is really the only thing that dropped the grade. I just had a hard time getting into parts of it. (less)
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.
This one was a big disappointment for me. The mythology of the fallen could have been interesting but I felt that it wasn't fleshed out ver...more*2.5 Stars*
This one was a big disappointment for me. The mythology of the fallen could have been interesting but I felt that it wasn't fleshed out very well. The action, actually just the writing in general, felt disjointed and it was not a very smooth reading experience. I had hopes for the inner strength of the heroine but said strength wasn't consistent and the relationship as a whole was pretty underdeveloped and unbelievable. I never felt any actual emotion developing, just the standard lust. I actually found the side romance more interesting than the main one and wished we would have seen more of it. (less)
I've known about this series for quite a while, and I'm a big Nora Roberts fan, but I hadn't really wanted to pic...more*Originally read 12/10/10 - 12/11/10*
I've known about this series for quite a while, and I'm a big Nora Roberts fan, but I hadn't really wanted to pick this series up. There's about a billion books out in the series. What if I ended up loving it? Then I have to commit myself to buying those billion books just to catch up! But after hearing such glowing things about this series from most of my Goodreads friends--especially about Roarke--I had to finally bight the bullet and get the first book.
Now that I've finished it I don't know whether to cheer or comfort my wallet. I think I'm going to have to run to the bookstore and swoop up a bunch of the next books in the series so I can get my glom on.
I didn't connect with Roarke the way that most readers seem to, but I expect it comes with time. The relationship and attraction in this book develops pretty quickly--faster than I expected or wanted--but I can't say I expected any different seeing as this isn't actually a Romance series. Most of the focus was on the case with the romance as the side story. Luckily, I know there's plenty of time in this series for the author to develop their relationship.
It's no hardship for me to watch their relationship develop over the course of the books since I know that they are together and the author didn't throw any retarded love triangles in there. So I'm willing to be patient and won't complain about the lack of a lot of depth to the relationship and characters yet.
It was odd for me to read a book so similar, yet different, from Nora Roberts's usual style. The characterization, interactions, feel to the developing relationship, and writing felt the same, but the focus wasn't on the romance. I liked it. It's nice to find a new series by this author that I can glut myself on. I was a little nervous that her style would be completely different under the pseudonym, but it wasn't where it counted.
The details about all the little futuristic gizmos weren't really explained in depth. Everything was mentioned matter-of-factly like talking to someone already familiar with the technology and world. I think some will dislike that, but I honestly preferred it. I don't mind if authors want to explain, but a detailed explanation about how the spray that seals in oils and fingerprints works is not something I personally need to know. The way it was all presented worked for me.
The case (and Eve's background) really tugged at my heartstrings. I thought it was handled well by the author, but I still feel helplessly enraged to know stuff like that happens constantly.
I really enjoyed seeing our timeframe discussed and researched for the case. It was fun to see the differences between that time and this one and it provided a nice opportunity for me to see where their culture differed without huge infodumps.
I'd been meaning to try out this book for a while, but for some reason I always bypassed it when looking for something to read. I guess I was never in...moreI'd been meaning to try out this book for a while, but for some reason I always bypassed it when looking for something to read. I guess I was never in the right mood. Well, I finally bit the bullet and read it.
Interesting is the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The author did a fabulous of setting the atmosphere. Everything felt dark and gothic and intense. One of the lead characters, Dante, stayed pretty mysterious throughout. Even when I learned more about him I still felt kind of confused. I expect more information about exactly who and what he is will come further into the series.
I liked how all the characters had a bit of depth to them, even the side characters. The little family that Dante has gathered for himself was quite interesting. I wish that we had been given more detail about the specifics of it all. But I think the one I found the most interesting was Lucien. I was kind of hoping Heather would eventually drift his way, but alas...
I was not a fan of the frequent pov shifts in this book. I don't mind more than two pov's--it can really present a well rounded picture of the story--but this was way too many. It became tedious for me because I had very little interest in reading from most of their pov's. Also, it jumped too frequently to really get a handle on the person. So, a little less of that in the next couple books would be a boon for me.
The whole book was centered around Dante. How hot he is and how so many people worship him. I found it interesting as an aspect of his unique birthright. But his personality didn't really endear him to me as a romantic lead. He felt very, very young. He was all teenage angst and drama. Combined with his problem remembering things it intrigued me, but that was about it. Although once I learned about his childhood I felt much more sympathetic and patient with his mood swings.
Heather was likable, but she seemed to only be cast as an agent as a reasonable way for her to get close to Dante. She didn't seem to actually follow any police rules and I found it odd that she ran around in the field by herself. Also, why was an agent carrying a purse around constantly on the job? I could go on about the various unprofessional ways she behaved, but why harp?
I really felt that this book needed to be tightened up to really work for me. The plot was pretty simple, so it was odd to have it matched to such a languorous pace. The pacing was odd, and the actual delivery of the events and information was hard to read. It was like someone continuously talking. It makes it hard to focus on specific details so you keep having to ask the person to repeat themselves (or reread a section). It all just seemed to stream together for me in a blur.
Even though this was not a huge hit for me I still plan to read the next book. I was interested enough in it to want to know what happens next, especially after the way Heather left things at the end. I'm really curious to see where the author is going with Dante's story, and I hope we get more background on Lucien's race. (less)
This was pretty disappointing for a Nora Roberts book. Usually I inhale her books the day I get them, but this one didn't hold my attention. It wasn't...moreThis was pretty disappointing for a Nora Roberts book. Usually I inhale her books the day I get them, but this one didn't hold my attention. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't engrossing. It took me a couple days of picking it up and putting it down before I finished it.
The beginning chapter was really interesting. It really helped get me in tune with what she did for her Search & Rescue job. I didn't mind all the details of the training for the search and rescue, most of it was interesting, but I didn't really enjoy so much detail spent on her job as a dog obedience trainer. It was very tedious to me. Maybe if I was a dog lover I would have more patience with it, but as it stands I found it incredibly monotonous. I was turned off by the thought of being expected to devote my entire life to my dog if I wanted them to be well behaved. *Shudder* Then we spent page after page having that belief drilled into our heads. It was just too much.
It wasn't only the details about the dog training that I found irritating, it was the dog trainer too. She held this faintly superior air that set my teeth on edge. In the beginning whenever she talked to Simon about his dog and how he was the one failing the dog she sounded really snotty and superior. Maybe all dog trainers think they're above all the regular dog owners? Then again, maybe not.
I swear, any situation that popped up seemed to be no match for the awesomeness of the behavioral specialist. This woman even outclassed all the police and FBI combined. She knew everything because she worked with dogs, and we're all exactly like dogs, you know?
Simon was a character I wish I got to know better. He was so cute and grumpy. I loved that he liked Fiona despite himself. He didn't want to get involved with anyone. He just wanted to hide out in his house and be left alone. He didn't want to have to comfort anyone and he definitely didn't want someone depending on him. It was cute watching him rush to do something sweet and then try to brush it off like it was nothing. It's too bad that there seemed to be so little focus on him. I never really felt any depth to him. The bones were there, but I never got to the meat of him.
I was tolerating Fiona and trying to ignore her irritating habits, but after she starting staying with Simon, because of an unfortunate situation, she started getting on my last nerve. Fiona is a freakishly clean and organized person. Whenever Simon stayed at her house he respected her unspoken wishes and cleaned up behind himself, even though he's a naturally messy person. When they're in his house she can't show him the same respect.
I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, who wouldn't want someone to clean their house, right? But it was a big enough deal that Simon brought it up in the beginning and told her to leave his stuff alone and not to clean anything. Why couldn't she show him the same respect that he showed her? She organized his freaking drawers! Does that not strike anyone else as crossing the line in someone else's home? Also, when his phone rang she picked it up and chatted with his mom on it. I was just flabbergasted that she didn't see any of that as pushy and crossing boundaries. She wasn't even my girlfriend and I started to feel claustrophobic thinking about living with her.
Simon and Fiona's relationship was a little odd. He kept talking about making compromises with her, but he seemed to be the only one who was doing any bending. Fiona never seemed to have to sacrifice any behavior or belief like he did. Also, he knew that she was subtly training his reactions like she would a dog. He would get ticked thinking about it and go to confront her, but somehow it would fizzle out. It really bothered me, because I could see her doing that abnormally patient dog whisperer thing. You don't treat your boyfriend like you do your dogs. There were just way too many dog similarities to Simon in this book.
Even though I did have problems with the book, mostly Fiona, I did find parts of it entertaining. The dialogue between Fiona and Simon was pretty funny. Really, Simon's internal thoughts about his dog and his relationship were pretty funny on their own. I liked Fiona's friends and I really like the glimpse at Search & Rescue.
I just wish I could have liked the book more. I also wish that Fiona didn't sound like a shrink all the time. She would start to do something foolish, but the minute someone said something to her about it being a bad idea, she would talk herself through her reaction to discover her hidden motives. What was making her act that way? Is it rational? It was really freaky! Who thinks like that?
If this is your first Nora Roberts and you didn't enjoy it, I urge you to pick another and try again. This is really not a good representation of her usual style. (less)
This book started out a little slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't put it down.
I really liked the fact that Kara is just a regular girl (w...moreThis book started out a little slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't put it down.
I really liked the fact that Kara is just a regular girl (who's also a summoner, of course) who gets caught up in a crazy situation. Her normalness is one of the reasons you can't help but root for her. She's a cop, but she's not automatically a bad ass. She has to work out to battle the stomach bulge like most everybody else. She has a weakness for chocolate donuts and she doesn't have the best social life. She's just doing her best to catch criminals while trying to be fair.
I found the demon lord, Rhyzkahl, to be an interesting character. I liked that the author made him dangerous and kept him dangerous. The author reminds us right alongside Kara that he'll make you regret it if you try to use him. He's not human and he lives by a whole different set of rules. He kind of reminded me of Raphael in Angels' Blood. He's not some one to toy with. I'm interested in seeing more of him in the next book. He won some cool points for what he did for Kara at the end of the book.
I liked all the time spent on describing the different levels of demons and the difficulty summoning them. I appreciated that those facts seemed to get as much attention as the police facts. I found the explanation of the origins to be interesting. They're not demons in the sense of heaven and hell. They're from another world entirely.
The sex scene in the beginning didn't really seem to fit with the rest of the story. It was kind of jarring. Kara seemed like an intelligent girl, but her actions didn't really fit with what I learned of her personality. She's scared for her life (with good reason) but suddenly that doesn't matter because she's turned on and ready to do it? It didn't seem like a very smooth transition from in mortal peril to hot sex.
I thought the police stuff was very well done. I, of course, speak from the position of no personal knowledge of that sort of thing, but it seemed authentic. The crime scene and autopsy descriptions were interesting. I feared that I might become bored by the surplus of details about it, but the author kept me engaged. The one thing that I found really odd about the investigation had to do with the man who had a connection to the victims of the Symbol Man. Shouldn't she (as a well trained cop) have considered him a suspect long before she did?
I liked that I didn't guess who the Symbol Man was. I enjoyed being surprised by it right alongside Kara. I found her relationship with Agent Ryan Kristoff a little odd. I didn't find him very interesting or compelling, but I thought it was really weird that Kara was totally fine with him basically turning into her roommate. You don't know this guy from Adam, why are you so accepting of him? Because I found him bland and a little irritating I hope that she doesn't get involved with him. I guess I'll find out as I read more of the series.
I'm looking forward to reading more by this author and thought this was a great start to a new series.(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)