I know that a lot of people love Kristen Ashley. I'll even admit that she can tell a good story. It was good enough to draw me in for a while. HoweverI know that a lot of people love Kristen Ashley. I'll even admit that she can tell a good story. It was good enough to draw me in for a while. However, I thought that the technical quality of the writing was atrocious. Her punctuation was all over the place, and her limited use of vocabulary made the tone and imagery monotonous. I can understand that if you can get past that, her essential storytelling is engaging, but every couple of lines, I was jerked out of the story by the need to scream....more
I haven't rated this, because I've loved all the books in the series apart from this, and I really want Jennifer Lyon to continue writing this series,I haven't rated this, because I've loved all the books in the series apart from this, and I really want Jennifer Lyon to continue writing this series, despite losing her publisher. However, I absolutely loathed this novella.
There's no HEA. Ram's real mate is still Shayla, not Ginny. His thunderbird is evil. What is this that I read? It's like the anti-PNR book....more
It only took me five days and twenty-odd pages to decide that I really didn't want to read any more of this. To be fair, I knew that it was going to bIt only took me five days and twenty-odd pages to decide that I really didn't want to read any more of this. To be fair, I knew that it was going to be anachronistic and, because I'm a medievalist, that was going to bother me more than it would in, say, Victorian romances. That's why I've by-and-large stopped reading medieval-set romances. But I was drawing towards the end of Outlander and really wanted to read a romance with a Scottish hero. I thought I could overlook the anachronisms, but, it turns out, I couldn't. I just felt that this book wasn't even trying.
Her name was Jamie. I knew this before I bought the book, and it should have been a dead giveaway. Her sisters had sensible names that actually sounded like they belonged in the period (Alys, Mary, and one which I forget now), but the heroine's name was Jamie. Every time I read it, I bled a little from the eyeballs. Equally, her father's name, Jamison, didn't ring true either. Was it meant to be his surname? There weren't any. Was it meant to be his first name? A name like that would be improbable. It may seem petty, but the sort of names you choose affect the atmosphere, the sense of place and time.
The hero and his friend decide who gets first pick for a bride by tossing a caber. Really? So, you go, find a tree, strip it, find someone to judge your competition, fling this log around at the English court... Couldn't you just toss a coin or draw straws? It just felt like Garwood was looking for the most Scottish thing EVER to settle a dispute.
This is set in England and Scotland around the year 1100, and yet there is nothing that distinguishes it from being any generic high-medieval setting. The Norman Conquest was within living memory, and yet there is no sense that this book couldn't be set in some generic version of the fourteenth-century. As members of the aristocracy, Jamie and her sisters would most likely have spoken Norman French, not English, and would not have thought of themselves as English. Just a couple of years earlier, England was invaded by Robert Curthose, Henry I's brother. There's no sign that this kind of event was even possible in the book.
Equally, the portrayal of Scotland could have been of a very much later period. During the time when this book was supposed to be set, parts of northern Scotland (such as Caithness) were under heavy Norse (Viking) influence. Of course, this is first and foremost a romance novel, so I wouldn't necessarily expect much detail on this, but I would have liked a sense of a Scotland which wasn't neatly divided into the Highlands and Lowlands and one which was not the same as the Scotland of the fifteenth century or the eighteenth.
It would have been extremely improbable for King Edgar of Scotland (or any king, for that matter) to have broken up a contracted marriage alliance just to make sure a baby got a good home. Not only would that be one way to really piss your more powerful subjects off, it would also be bad politics. Give me a plausible reason for this to happen, and stop making medieval kings into kindly, meddling uncles.
Oh, and the attempts to render accents/dialects. I don't know if they were meant to be yokel-y or medieval-y, but, owww, my brain, my eyeballs. Replacing is/was/were/are/am with 'be' does not constitute rendering an accent. it. Individually, I think even I could have dealt with these things, but taken together, they drove me round the bend. In addition to this, all the characters seemed like cardboard cutouts - oh look, a kindly, avuncular servant who shows how down to earth the heroine is! Oh look, her sisters are wailing idiots who show how practical she is! Oh look, her father had barely tie his own shoelaces - she's caring but needs someone to take the weight of the world off her shoulders! And Jamie herself was an egregious Mary Sue. I can deal with a little over-perfection in a heroine (more in a hero), but she made me want to yell and throw the book against the wall.
I know that many people absolutely love this book, but I just couldn't bear to go on with it. At least I've got Pamela Clare's Surrender on order now....more
I think this is the most disappointing book I've read so far this year. I really wanted (and expected) to like it, but found it almost painful to getI think this is the most disappointing book I've read so far this year. I really wanted (and expected) to like it, but found it almost painful to get through. As other people have said, too much is going on, leaving not enough time for the romantic relationship and emotional connection between Rifter and Gwen to develop. The huge, inappropriately placed info dumps really disrupted the plot, and I found myself repeatedly forgetting what was going on. Much of the information in the info dumps is repeated multiple times, particularly the information about the Extinction.
I'm not usually bothered by violence, even graphic violence, but I got really fed up of being told how violent the Dire culture is without having enough information about other aspects of their culture (or individual personalities) to make them sympathetic. Yes, I get that they're violent; what can you tell me that should make me love them despite this? I thought that this was a particular problem with Vice. In some ways, this relates back to the problem with the info dumps: while we do have big chunks of information thrown at us, it's repetitive and doesn't necessarily give a good idea of the world and the people in it.
This bit particularly annoyed me: 'Today the story on the Vikings was that they weren't crazy or barbaric or pillaging, but the reality was that they had been. And Vice had reveled in that'. Not everyone will get as annoyed about this as I was (in fact, I guess most people won't), but I thought it was really sloppy. It basically comes out and says that while generations of scholarship have suggested that just perhaps the Vikings had a more nuanced culture, the author can't be bothered to work this into the story and just wants to go with the cartoon image of big, blond men in horned helmets smashing everything in their path. It's not that the Vikings didn't pillage (they did), or weren't barbaric (by modern definitions, they were), or weren't crazy (well, some of them were batshit insane), but that there were other aspects to their culture AND that these were traits that they shared in common with a lot of the rest of Europe at that time. Gah. Yes, my PhD topic touches upon Viking/medieval Scandinavian culture, and this really bugged me. While this is a point that irritated me in particular, it also seemed symptomatic of a lack of depth in world-building.
I will be reading the next book, as I've enjoyed other things by Stephanie Tyler, but if this was a new-to-me author, I wouldn't be bothering to continue with the series....more
I've been in a book slump recently, and it took me a long time to get into this. I didn't feel quite the level of passionate intensity from Noel/NimraI've been in a book slump recently, and it took me a long time to get into this. I didn't feel quite the level of passionate intensity from Noel/Nimra and Sara/Deacon that I'd have liked, but I adored Angel's Dance, so that made up for it. ...more
A good, solid read. I thought that there were too many villains. The numerous suspense plots centred around them meant that the romantic relationshipA good, solid read. I thought that there were too many villains. The numerous suspense plots centred around them meant that the romantic relationship didn't have enough time to develop. Nevertheless, I think this series has promise, and I'll be buying the next book....more
I didn't quite like the first book in this series as much as I thought I should. The second book dragged. It took me ages to decide whether I'd even bI didn't quite like the first book in this series as much as I thought I should. The second book dragged. It took me ages to decide whether I'd even bother to read the third, and I'm so glad that I did. This was just wonderful. There was such genuine passion to the relationship between Rune and Carling. I loved the plot twists. Ah, I loved this book so much that, even a week after finishing it, I'm still incoherent. I've already pre-ordered Oracle's Moon....more
This was probably my least favourite of the series so far. I thought it dragged in the second half. There were whole sections of the book when neitherThis was probably my least favourite of the series so far. I thought it dragged in the second half. There were whole sections of the book when neither the hero nor the heroine seemed invested in their relationship. I know that this was supposed to be because they have traumatic pasts/problems committing to relationships, but I couldn't really see how the relationship could progress if neither of them really wanted to be in it. The connection between them was at least evident in the extremely hot sex scenes, which made up for this somewhat.
To be honest, if I didn't like the series so much, I'd probably have only given this three stars, but I couldn't bear to do so. While I wasn't that invested in Anthony and Parissa's relationship, I was still invested in the world, particularly the hints of Thorne's HEA....more
Given that this is only the first book in a series featuring Max and Cee Cee, I expected it to be an urban fantasy novel with a romantic subplot. It'sGiven that this is only the first book in a series featuring Max and Cee Cee, I expected it to be an urban fantasy novel with a romantic subplot. It's not, nor is it a murder mystery/police procedural, despite the blurb. Although it does have some features of both genres, the main set of murders are never really a mystery, nor are they the focus of the book. This is, first and foremost, a paranormal romance. In fact, the romance is more dominant than in many books I'd classify as romance. The love story between Max and Cee Cee is heart-wrenching, beautiful and sad and poignant. Max's devotion in particular was fantastic. I can see why people don't like Cee Cee and the way she turned on Max at several points in the book, but, considering their positions and history, I can see why she reacts like this. Masked by Moonlight definitely piles on the angst, and, if you don't like this, you'll probably find this overwrought. For those, like me, who do, it'll just keep you turning the pages.
I was put off buying this book because of Max's position as a mob enforcer. (view spoiler)[I didn't buy it until I found out that he goes legal in the later books (hide spoiler)] I'd have probably kept on putting it off, if I hadn't been in the mood to read about shapeshifters. However, it is clear that it is gratitude to Jimmy Legere (and brainwashing) that keeps him in the role. Jimmy is a truly nasty piece of work, particularly in his attitude towards Max, keeping him on such a short lead that Max literally doesn't know what to do without him. Another reviewer has commented that Max looks, but doesn't act, like an alpha male. In relation to Jimmy, I'd agree that he's very submissive, because of his conditioning. Jimmy is the only father he's ever known, but his affection is conditional, and keeps Max entirely subject to him. However, we see hints of the man Max could be, and I hope this is explored in later books.
As I've been writing this, I've been restraining myself from going to Amazon to buy the next book. I'm really not sure how long my restraint will last, because I'm dying to know what happens next.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
While this book had its moments, the structure of the world (especially the slavery of the lycans and the punishment of the vampires) and the hero's hWhile this book had its moments, the structure of the world (especially the slavery of the lycans and the punishment of the vampires) and the hero's hypocrisy in relation to this was massively off-putting. I found myself on the side of the lycan rebels and the vampires more than the angels....more
Overall, very enjoyable (hence the rating), but I did find myself rolling my eyes at the depiction of heaven as essentially a glorified office block.
(Overall, very enjoyable (hence the rating), but I did find myself rolling my eyes at the depiction of heaven as essentially a glorified office block.
(view spoiler)[I'm a bit worried about the hints of a relationship between Alex and Seth, as I thought the emerging relationship between Aramael and Alex was the highlight of the book. Please, no more urban fantasy love triangles. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
Oh wow. I think this may be my favourite book by Nalini Singh. The passion - both romantic and sexual - between Dmitri and Honor is palpable. SpeakingOh wow. I think this may be my favourite book by Nalini Singh. The passion - both romantic and sexual - between Dmitri and Honor is palpable. Speaking of Dmitri, he has to be one of the hottest heroes I've ever encountered. I knew what the big reveal at the end of the book was going to be (I glimpsed those pages), but that didn't stop it being one of the most romantic scenes ever.
I'm currently rereading the Psy-Changeling series, and I'm going to have to move onto the Guild Hunter series afterwards, not only because I love Raphael and Elena, but also so I have an excuse to reread Archangel's Blade soon....more
I really enjoyed this, and found the world especially interesting. The love story between Antoinette and Christian didn't take up as much space in theI really enjoyed this, and found the world especially interesting. The love story between Antoinette and Christian didn't take up as much space in the book as I would have liked, and didn't feel as if it had yet been fully resolved. For that reason, I'm in two minds as to whether to classify this as paranormal romance or urban fantasy. However, I'd already ordered the next book....more
**spoiler alert** I reached the point with this where I realised that the only reason I was persevering with it was that I usually like Shayla Black's**spoiler alert** I reached the point with this where I realised that the only reason I was persevering with it was that I usually like Shayla Black's books. There was actually nothing about this that I enjoyed.
When I saw the summary of this book, my initial thought was that I had to buy it. A BDSM romance by Shayla Black with a curvier/plump heroine? That sounded like something I definitely wanted to read. Sadly, Kata was the biggest problem with this book. Like other reviewers, I soon got really fed up with her endless 'no one own me' speeches. I heartily agree with her that being a doormat is a bad thing, but she seemed entirely unwilling to recognise the difference between this and enjoying sexual submission, which she clearly does. I can also understand that, given her background, she would have problems making this distinction at first, but her attitude simply doesn't change. After about the twentieth iteration of the same speech, it got really, really boring. She pretty much ends up doing the opposite of whatever Hunter suggests, no matter how sensible that is. Equally, Hunter never seems to engage with her issues or make any concession to how genuinely difficult she finds submission, beyond telling her that this is what she really wants/needs. Kata and Hunter seem to proceed through the story on parallel tracks, never meeting - or even trying that hard to meet. In the end, it was this lack of emotional connection that made the story fall flat for me. Kata doesn't even learn to submit with Hunter - she goes off to be trained by other people. I found this deeply awkward, and also emblematic of the failure of their relationship: she can't trust him to that extent, can't learn with him, can't grow with him. To my mind, the process of training or accepting that D/s nature of their relationship should have been part of the story and the growing emotions and intimacy between them, rather than divorced from it. It only emphasised the lack of connection between them.
I did think about finishing this. I always feel bad when I give up on a book, and I knew that I could probably read the rest of it in a day, but, in the end, I knew that every time I picked this book up, it would only be with a sense of grim determination. I have the next book in the series, but I think it'll take me a long time to get around to reading it....more