Seriously?? I loved this book. I can't believe it, though! Twilight Fan-fiction about a time traveling teen finding love with a caveFirst Impressions:
Seriously?? I loved this book. I can't believe it, though! Twilight Fan-fiction about a time traveling teen finding love with a caveman who acts like a protective puppy dog and I cried like a baby. Must be my time of the month.
My Frankensteinian review patched together from comments:
Shay Savage's Transcendence is no great work of writing. It's one of those pulled-to-pub Fan-fiction stories loosely based on Twilight. I have never read any of the Twilight books, nor read a sample, nor seen the films. I've never had a desire to do so, yet despite that, I know more about the series than I care to. If the names weren't Ehd = Edward and Beh = Bella, I never would have caught on. Other than the hair colors and the fact that the hero is *OMG* SO POSSESSIVE, I don't see any similarity between the series. There are no feuding groups, no love triangles, no baseball games, no battles.
80% of the book is just Beh and Ehd alone, dealing with the harsh environment with almost zero spoken dialogue throughout. A primal love story between a young, frightened girl and a young, frightened male both trying to survive in a brutal world.
I'm not proud, but I truly did like this book. It was written on a sixth grade reading level with the terms baby, mate or put a baby in my mate showing up on every single page! Transcendence was incredibly repetitive, simplistic, with a minimal plot, but it had its charms. I suppose it appealed to my inner 12-year-old, a being a I did not know was still in existence. Or, more likely, it reminded me of the film that I consider to be the most romantic movie with a happy ending: "Quest for Fire."
In a caveman romance it makes sense that the hero is all "You my woman, I am your man, we are mated, I protect you and throw you over my shoulder so we make lots of babies." That usually doesn't work for me in contemporary romance, whatever genre. But here it works; it makes sense.
I'm seeing that many readers have labeled Ehd an alpha, but he came off totally beta to me. Maybe my definition of alpha male isn't jiving with the accepted definition of the word. Ehd was always thinking, "I want to protect my mate. I can never let my mate out of my sight. I will growl at anyone who comes at my mate. My penis is hard."
He reminded me of my dearly loved and long departed American Eskimo dog. He was poofy, insanely loyal, hated being alone, loved to cuddle, barked at all strangers and had constant erections when he was happy.
My old doggie, standing by, ready to defend his pack, from all sources of danger, be it squirrel, bird or UPS delivery man.
Some readers have assumed that Ehd is a Neanderthal, with a sloping forehead and mouth full of huge teeth. But in her introduction to her book, Shay Savage states he is part of the "Homo" species, it's just that he lacks the ability to speak. Artistic license and all that.
So rather than looking like this:
Ehd looks more like this:
Transcendence was a rare experience for me as it was told from the male POV, which worked to add a sense of confusion. A young girl is propelled back in time and we have to put the pieces together to figure out what's going on.
As much as I loved this book, I hope there is no sequel or one of those alternate POV sequels. The story finishes rather definitively. There are some hanging questions, but for me the ending was an ending. It was both a sad and happy ending, and one of the best endings I've read in a long time.
Do NOT read this spoiler unless you really, really want to: (view spoiler)[ After many years, children and grandchildren together, Beh dies of old-age and illness while Ehd holds her in his arms, lets the fire in the cave burn out and dies heartbroken. Just like a loyal doggie would. (hide spoiler)]
What can I say? Sometimes a story appeals beyond all rationalization and reason. I loved this one.
Mary Gillgannon’s Storm Maiden was a book I was excited to pick up. The blurb told of an intriguing story with plenty of conflict. Fiona, an Irish lorMary Gillgannon’s Storm Maiden was a book I was excited to pick up. The blurb told of an intriguing story with plenty of conflict. Fiona, an Irish lord’s daughter, is dreading marriage to a man she hates. In her father’s dungeon is Dag Thorsson, an injured Viking captive. Fiona sneaks in to see him, cares for his wounds and tries to seduce him. This seemed to be a primal captor-captive relationship. Too often in these the Viking hero speaks the heroine's language because he was captured by her people as a youth! They cannot understand one another, but can communicate in other ways…
Soon after Vikings, led Dag’s brother, the chieftain of his people, come to Dag’s rescue. Despite his hindering injury to his sword arm, Dag takes Fiona as his captive.
Fiona has to adjust to life as a slave. She cannot communicate with any of the Norse, except for Dag’s brother, who hates her and all the Irish.
The book starts out well enough and the early love scenes are erotically charged. Dag and Fiona quickly fall in love and get along.
The main conflict is that Fiona is not well liked by the Dag’s older brother and his people. Her helpful but intrusive ways are looked upon with scorn by most of the men. Fiona helps the women with birth control and delivers babies. She gives a woman advice on how to sexually please her master. Fiona’s behavior brings negative attention upon her and she is thought to be a witch. Fiona’s a full-fleshed character and one to be admired. This was a strongest part of the book, and I appreciated her struggles to be accepted in this society. She just needed a more challenging hero. After an amazing beginning, things began to fizzle and the romance wasn’t thrilling.
Their romance is challenged only by outside forces, as Dag is torn between respecting his brother, his leader, and his love for Fiona. When there is so little inner conflict between the two it gets a little bland.
There are villains aplenty, but Dag is never there to save the day. This is the most annoying aspect in the novel as Dag’s sword arm is severely injured throughout the story, so he never gets to show off his warrior prowess, which is so essential in a good Viking hero. It’s Fiona who is more of a fighter. And she had many enemies who would make her life miserable.
Dag’s a nice guy. Too nice. As in boring. Hey, I like nice guys heroes, they can make me melt more them some sadistic jerk that treats the heroine like crap. I know the early Norse were democratic men and allowed women to divorce and own their own property, but when you read a Viking romance you expect a little bit of tough-guy persona. I liked sweet aspects of Dag’s, like his love for his dog companion. But when Dag started becoming a mouthpiece for 20th century beliefs like concern for women’s rights and access to birth control, it just rang a bit anachronistic, pulling me out of the story. I read historicals not because I want to see modern-minded characters with historical trappings. If I feel the need for a more modern-minded hero, then I read contemporary romances. I’ve come to believe that a true kick-ass Viking is the rarest hero in historical romance.
Speak Only Love is yet another Deana James goodie.
Here a mute heiress is forced to wed an alcoholic, viscount smuggler, a marriage arrangeMini-Review:
Speak Only Love is yet another Deana James goodie.
Here a mute heiress is forced to wed an alcoholic, viscount smuggler, a marriage arranged by the viscounts’ wicked father, the Earl. The hero is a dissolute mess, spending most of his time drinking or recovering from gunshot wounds or the many injuries he receives. The heroine doesn’t speak a word in the book, yet the love story unfolds and the two pawns in an evil man’s game soon form an intense bond that goes beyond words.
I prefer her westerns and medieval to her Regency & Victorian Era works, but James has yet to disappoint me in any of her books. I really enjoyed the way James wrote her heroines...they go through hell and back but retain their strength and dignity. Great stuff.