I received an event showing this would be offered for free. It sounded interesting, PLUS it's short... something I could knock out in a few minutes.
I...moreI received an event showing this would be offered for free. It sounded interesting, PLUS it's short... something I could knock out in a few minutes.
I imagine it was a heartfelt endeavor for a father to take the opportunity to write letters of love to his daughters. Kudos to him. Not everyone takes the time to say, "I love you" to the ones they care about.
The letters were told in a fairytale fashion--once upon a time. I can imagine in later years his daughters sitting with their children at bedtime and reading the letters. One child might even ask, "Who is he talking about, Mommy?" And the daughter would say... "Me." Or "My sister."
So what did I think of the work overall? Well, it wasn't for me. I wasn't fond of the story telling and couldn't get into the once upon a time style. It also had an air of repetition. I think it'd work for a children's book, as I mentioned, a bedtime story, but not so much on an adult level. And since the letters were written for grown daughters, I think it missed the mark when it comes to the adult audience.
For the most part, I think these letters are something his daughters would appreciate. Perhaps the letters would even appeal to his family and friends, since they'd have a background knowledge. As for me the reader, I didn't connect with the work.
One last item I'm adding. This work could use another round of editing. It's short enough that a pass through a critique group would likely do the trick. As it is, it makes me wonder if English is the author's second or third language.
Just my opinion: An interesting conversational piece and keepsake for the author's descendants but lacks commercial appeal.(less)
A Beautiful Dark was an easy book to get into. I...moreExpect my complete review September 24, 2011 at Ramblings of an Amateur Writer: http://wp.me/pPz8s-1Ni
A Beautiful Dark was an easy book to get into. I originally had concerned about the dialogue, which seemed like nothing more than a series of fast paced lines thrown together. However, the dialogue faded away to some interesting turn of events. From then on, the book had me hooked.
Each character had a definite personality. We had the star of the show, Skye, who a conscientious rule follower, the perfect student (always on time, straight As, on track for a wonderful college future). Sure she was a high achiever, but for the most part, she just seemed, well, normal… except for the funky mercury eyes she had at times.
Then there was Cassie, Skye’s best friend. She was what I’d consider the life of the party… and a bit boy crazy. Whenever she appeared, the atmosphere brightened. Skye’s other best friend, Dan… well, Dan was just Dan. More of a side kick than anything. Finally, we had Ian — the boy crushing on Skye, but also a very good friend. Of all the characters, I would have liked to see more of him — the thoughtful, concerned friend who was willing to give a hand. With the implications at the beginning of the story, I just thought he’d play a greater role.
The angels: We had Asher, the fun one, and Devin, the goodie-goodie. I have to say, I didn’t like either one of them after the initial introduction. If they’d come sniffing around my daughters, I’d probably have a word or two to say. It wasn’t until later, they started to grow on me. Despite Asher being the play boy and Devin looking smug half the time, they seemed to be caring (deep, deep, DEEP) inside. Still, the characters seemed well developed, though mysterious.
One thing I might note: though the setting was high school, the characters seemed quite grown up. In fact, it made me think more of an office than a high school, most of the time. Their dialogue, behavior, attitudes — none of it had that high school feel to it. It lacked the silliness I’ve seen in high school students in general. Instead, it was like watching a bunch of late 20s-30 year-olds interact.
So the plot: Excellent. I never knew what to expect next. Who was the good guy? Who was the bad guy? Maybe they were a little bit of both. And what was with Skye? Exactly what was her role in the universe? Where would the events lead her? Unfortunately, it was a cliffhanger, so I have no idea. Grrr. It was more than a cliffhanger. It was just incomplete. Nothing had been resolved. None of the initial questions were answered. Leading up to the end, was great… pieces were following into place, at least I’d hoped. But alas, I only got half the story.
It was like The Matrix Reloaded… you’re getting into it. “Yeah! This is great!” Then the words “To be continue” pop on the screen, and you think WTF? I remember the silence in the theatre as the audience read the word. We all sat there… stunned for the longest moment. Then we quietly got up and left like zombies. That’s how A Beautiful Dark ended. Not really a cliffhanger, just half a piece of work.
What I’ve read so far, 4 out of 5 stars. Would I recommend it to others? I don’t know. The ending of a book has a lot to do with the overall recommendation. Since I haven’t read the ending, I can’t determine if the story is even worth starting.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.(less)
I really wanted to like this book. Honestly, I did. The first chapter started all tell and no show. However, I pushed that aside, thinking it might just be a prologue labeled as the first chapter. It wasn’t. It was the writing style. That’s okay, I told myself. I’ve read a few books where the writing isn’t my style, but the storyline rocked enough to make me forget. I’d heard so many great reviews about this book, I was hopeful. How could I not be?
This was written in the first person from Kitty’s POV. I really had nothing against Kitty. On the other hand, I wasn’t cheering for her either. She was a tough cookie, I’ll hand her that. If you’re looking for a strong heroine, she’s your gal. But for some reason, I just didn’t connect with her. I’m going to hazard a guess and say it was because she was just too damned perfect. Not only did she not make mistakes, but she had a solution for everything. EVERYTHING. And let me tell you, the book was riddled with sticky situations. Kitty had plenty of time to shine in this novel. As for me, I look for characters a bit more flawed. I want things to go bad for them so they can show their strengths. I want them to have trial by fire. Speaking of fire, look at that cover! You’d think the gal’s been through hell and back. Not so. Kitty made the events in the story look like a stroll through the park. Add that to Kitty being a know-it-all, and well, I just couldn’t muster up any feelings for her.
Then there’s Martini. He rubbed me wrong from the beginning. The guy seriously had tunnel vision with the jump Kitty’s bones thing. There was no romanticizing. It was, Marry me, and I’ll fill your belly with my spawn. I imagine some guys think like that, but most are smart enough to keep their mouths shut and at least offer a rose here and there. On top of that, the aliens, including Martini were as lacking in common sense as Kitty was resourceful. Sure, the A-C were brilliant in the brains department. Give them an equation, and they could solve it in a fraction of a second. Have them apply that knowledge to an everyday situation, and they were stumped. Okay. Now that I think about it, they didn’t lack common sense. Kitty just seemed to connect two and two together without there being any leads whatsoever. So it kind of made the aliens look stupid.
As to the plot, it had potential, but the info dumps really slowed the entire story down. Something significant would happen, followed by 20-30 pages of folks catching Kitty up to speed. No action, no moving the story along, just pages and pages of info. I understand the purpose of story building, but I would have liked to see a bit more balance.
In terms of romance, yes Kitty and Martini had sparks flying and ricocheting off the walls. But from Kitty’s viewpoint it really seemed like a arbitrary first-come-first-serve kind of situation. All the aliens, she found hawt. I got the impression if any other alien had shown interest first, Kitty would have been fine to let that alien into her pants.
This is one of those novels I complained a lot while reading, but in all honesty, it wasn’t a horrible book. I can see the appeal others might have with it. It reminded me a lot of Men in Black but with a woman as the main character. The dialogue was quirky and brought many a smiles to my face. But in the end, it just didn’t fit my personal tastes. It was more of a bleh book. I didn’t feel like a total loser finishing it, but can’t see myself recommending it either.(less)
I heard such great things about this book, I really wanted to like it A LOT. Unfortunately, it rather let me down. I'm thinking the series gets better...moreI heard such great things about this book, I really wanted to like it A LOT. Unfortunately, it rather let me down. I'm thinking the series gets better as it progresses since I hear so many great things about the Mortal Instruments. I might give the next book a shot soon. We'll see. I really want to like this series, especially since my daughters loved it.(less)
First off, I have to say Forsaken by Shadow had an awesome set up. Chapter 1 begins with Cade Shepard (age 23) waking up, not knowing who he was, and trying to piece a life together–quite a bold plot. I had no idea what to expect, and neither did Cade. I was thrilled to have my first young male protagonist. I quickly learned chapter 1 was more of a prologue, occurring 10 years earlier from the rest of the novella and not giving any pertinent info which wasn’t revealed later. I have to admit, I was rather bummed since that put my young male protagonist at a ripe ole age of 33. I think time clues at the beginning of the first two chapters would have curbed a bit of disappointment. I didn’t realize the story had a 10 year gap until deeper into chapter 2. Guess that’s what I get for skipping the blurb, right?
So I got over my sadness of little Cade growing into a man and got full swing into the story. Cade reminded me a lot of Downey in the Sherlock Holmes movie. He seemed to anticipate future moves. Not sure if it was an supernatural ability or just his natural ability to guess how things would go. The novella never really went into that. I did like Cade. He was a friendly sort of chap and made friends wherever he went. The guy knew his limits and was quite practical at times even when pushed by Embry.
Embry wasn’t so bad either. She was the wild card in this story. Headstrong, reckless–I never knew when she’d screw things up. She’s the type of gal who needs a handler so she doesn’t get into too much trouble. A lot of times I didn’t understand Embry. She really frustrated me with her secretiveness. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t more forthcoming with her information. She had everything Cade wanted–his past… his affection. The girl was a mystery to me. But I guess some folks are like that. As the reader, I would have liked to be a bit deeper in her head. Most of the time I knew as much as Cade when I was in her POV. It made it difficult to connect with her as a character, at least early in the story.
Plot wise! Their plan was so mission impossible. All I could think about is, how are they going to pull this off. Even Cade AKA Gage knew the plan sucked, which totally rocked cause it kept me wondering what’s next.
Overall, I thought this was an okay read. I liked the idea of different supernatural creatures, though I never got a clear definition of what the Mirus species was. I’m thinking it’s all supernatural creatures, but the term species makes me think they’re related in a scientific classification kind of way. There were a few plot holes in my mind and a bit of missing information. I think this work could have benefited from a bit more fleshing in some areas, but all in all, it was a fun read. (less)
I'm seeing some definite improvement with this series as I advance through. This one started out with the good stuff and had very few everyday mundane...moreI'm seeing some definite improvement with this series as I advance through. This one started out with the good stuff and had very few everyday mundane things happening. This was a 3.5 star read for me, but since there are no half stars, I'm pushing it to the next level. :)(less)
Before I started this book, I skimmed over the...moreMy complete review available October 10, 2011 on Ramblings of an Amateur Writer: http://wp.me/pPz8s-1Np
Before I started this book, I skimmed over the Goodreads blurb, which is a bit different from the one above. Apparently, I skipped over a few too many words, because I didn’t realize this was a search and rescue type mission. Right off the back, I have to say, I’m not fond of those kind of books. HOWEVER, Ashfall reeled me in.
I loved the author’s voice. Let’s start with Alex. I immediately connected with him because he reminded me so much of my daughter, Alex. Same name, same hobbies, if you can call World of Warcraft a hobby, and same moody attitude. It didn’t take long for Alex to reevaluate his life and realize what was really important. And I can guarantee it wasn’t making it to level 85 on his Death Knight.
Throughout the story, Alex had just the right amount of childishness about him to make him seem real. Not his attitude so much, but rather the way he went about his everyday life. Though he talked about conservation and how long his supplies needed to last him, he never seemed to change his consumption rate. For him, it was feast or famine.
Darla was the wildcard. Okay… the whole book was a wildcard, but Darla was full of her own surprises. She was the ultimate tinkerer. If I could give her a motto it would be: Just give me moving parts, and I’ll do the rest. I loved Darla’s inventiveness. She could get out of just about any situation. On the other hand, I wasn’t quite fond of her over all attitude. Honestly, I hope I never meet an individual like her. She was unreasonable rude way most of the time. Other times she overly verbal with her every-(wo)man-for-(her)himself mentality. For someone her age, one would think she’d learn how to curb her tongue a little and be a bit more subtle. With her out of her comfort zone, it’ll be interesting if she changes her talk in the sequel.
Despite the search and rescue theme, I quite enjoyed the storyline. There were enough close calls to keep me wondering who’d survive the ordeal (besides Alex, that is). Overall, this was a great read. It had a definitely conclusion, but provided a new opening for the next book, which I’m definitely looking forward to reading.
Notes for parents: Safe sex was addressed in Ashfall. However, the benefits were totally squashed with the idea of reusing condoms. I’m also not sure why the teens were such eager bunnies. (less)
A+ read! I wish I had time to write a review for it RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, but alas I've got to get going. As my son would say, "It's ohshum!" :) 201...moreA+ read! I wish I had time to write a review for it RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, but alas I've got to get going. As my son would say, "It's ohshum!" :) 2012 Favorite Read!(less)
I was a bit leery of this novella. Instead of diving in head first, I just did a little tentative dip of my toes…disclaimer. I didn’t even hit the first paragraph before I was intrigued. And a bit uncomfortable, I might add. Non-consensual BSDM and slavery. Oh Dear! My first thoughts were, I didn’t think I was going to like it, but I wanted to see how much it would take to mentally disgust me. I honestly didn’t even expect to finish the book. I was sure I’d just get far enough to give the author a psychic scream, then rant at my husband later at the nerve of the woman for writing the book.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Ms. Thomas immediately drew me in by connecting with me on a female level. She addressed the many fears I have as a woman, even though I don’t acknowledge them on a daily basis. I don’t obsess about my fears of victimization. It’s just something which is a part of me because I know I’m vulnerable because of size and strength. It’s the idea something bad could happen, but the possibility is unlikely (the rationalization I give myself so I don’t end up balled in some corner cowering in fear)…even though the chances of being a victim is horribly high. 17.6% of women have survived an attempted or completed rape, that’s not even taking into account other types of physical assaults. Think of 5 or 6 women you know. Then consider 1 of them might have been a victim of sexual assault. Sad and scary.
I loved how Ms. Thomas addressed the low level of fear which is healthy enough to keep most women cautious, but not so extreme it debilitates us. I’ve never read a book which provided that kind of balance and understanding despite the fact most books I read were written by women and about women. Well done! Even thinking about it now makes me want to shake Ms. Thomas’ hand and say thank you for sharing what it feels like to be a woman.
Back to the novel. It was fiction made real…a journey which took me into the mind of a woman (Emily) who was a victim of kidnapping. She was dehumanized, broken, and pieced back together like a Picasso painting. It wasn’t a comfortable read which gave me the warm and fuzzies. Yet I couldn’t put the book down as it pulled me in page after page.
The door creaked open then, exactly like doors do in scary movies. At least now I knew what kind of story I was in, no sense fooling myself about it. I imagine this was what Ted Bundy’s victims felt at some point, that it was utterly impossible he could want to hurt them and be so beautiful at the same time. But I had nothing else to call him, except the monster who had take me. I started this book with a bad attitude. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one sitting, page after page after page. If you’ve checked out my sidebar, you might have noticed I added a new widget “2010 Favorite Reads.” Comfort Foods was so good, it made my list, which only includes three books at the moment.
My biggest disappointment about the entire experience was reaching the end and finding Kitty Thomas has yet to publish another book. Please Ms. Thomas, don’t make us wait too long!
I started this book with a bad attitude because of thoughts of BSDM and slavery. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one sitting, page after page after page. Comfort Foods was so good, it made my "2010 Favorite Reads" list, which only includes three books at the moment.(less)
By far the best read I've had all year. I'm totally buying "What a Boy Needs" RIGHT NOW! I'll add more to me review later. Right now I've got to get that book!
First of all, I love Nyrae Dawn’s voice. Her style was a bit different that I’m used to… she actually wrote as if she was talking to the reader. Often I’m put off by the random “you” in a story. Who is you? Are you talking to me? haha In this case, it worked. I say it’s because of the consistency throughout the story. It was always Sebastian talking to me… telling me what was going through his head, as if I was along for the ride.
Speaking of Sebastian… let’s talk about him. My boy was jaded. In his world, love didn’t exist, only heartbreak. He did his best to keep the “no-strings attached” attitude. He was so out of touch with romance and love that when it did hit, he was so flustered he didn’t know what to do with himself. Oh, my man thought he did… but he was wrong… so very wrong. In fact, I have one note that says “why you so stupid, man?”
The parent in me loved this book. First, I loved how responsible the kids were in this book. Like the PPP — pre-party plan. What a wonderful idea! I totally had a talk with my teenage daughter after reading about that. And since I have a girl, let’s talk about hanging with boys. Awesome idea, if you have friends like Sebastian and Jay. When I hit the partying age, I never felt safer than when I had my guy buddies around. I know a lot of parents are like “no way is my baby girl hanging with boys,” but I’m more on the lines “who’s the boy who’ll stand up for you when you’re in a tight bind?”
So I had in my head this was going to be a fabulous review, because the book was that great. Unfortunately, I looked through my notations and most say things like “this is going to be a fave,” “I’m going to start reading more contemporary books because of this,” and “I want to buy Nyrae Dawn’s other books so bad, but I’m afraid I might not like the ending… better wait.”
Needless to say, this book was good. So good, there came a point I just wanted it to end. What?!?! I know. Crazy right? I just couldn’t wait to get to the end so I could rave about how much I loved What a Boy Wants. This was definitely a favorite read. Best book I’d read all year.
I devoured this book in a few hours then immediate purchased the next in the series. Stop by on Wednesday for the review of What a Boy Needs. I haven’t written it yet, but I hope my notes are better than the ones I took for What a Boy Wants. I guess I just got too involved to take time to make notes. Anyways… get it. It really was that good.(less)
Unlike the last novel, The Darkest Passion, where the first six chapters dragged and gave me a feeling of deja vu, The Darkest Lie started quite well. Gideon was the first Lord I’ve seen who actually got along (somewhat) with his demon. It added an air of originality. And the voice for Gideon was also quite different from the other Lords. It was almost as if the YA novels Ms. Showalter’s been writing filtered into this one. Because he so like totally used the lingo, if you know what I mean? Okay. I’ve dated myself to the 80s and haven’t a clue how kids talk today. Let’s move on. Later in the novel, I didn’t notice the kid talk so much. So maybe Ms. Showalter needed to make the transition into the adult world.
So opposite day with Gideon Lord. How did it go? Well, as I suspected, it got on my last nerve. And really, I didn’t think it had to be so bad. I swear 100 words could have been shaved off the book if Ms. Showalter had let me think for myself. But no, she insisted on interpreting EVERYTHING Gideon said. “I hate you.” Which in Gideon talk really meant I love you. “You, devil.” Devil as in Angel. Yes, the entire book was like that, I kid you not (I wish I could add a smiley face with the mouth drawn across in a straight line, but I don’t know how.)
And I hate to say it, but when Gideon told the truth it got on my nerves even more, cause it was pointless. Remember how he lost his hands in the first place? Come on… let’s not be stupid.
Scarlet was okay. Actually, she started out great. She’s the first female Lord who’s had a major role. Tough? Yep. Spunky? Double check. An unlike the other Lords, she really knew how to use her demon to be most effective. I love that she didn’t shy away from going all kickass. Unfortunately, she lost some of her backbone as the story possessed. I swear she turned into a totally different person. Not until the end did she become the Scarlet I grew to know and love from the beginning. Odd, I always thought the characters were suppose to experience growth, not decline then end up where they started. Go figure.
So I liked the beginning. Then we hit chapter 6. I don’t know what the deal is with chapter 6 and the switch to a secondary character POV, but it happened in the Darkest Passion also. Only this time, there were more switches to secondary characters than before. All I could think about was, “Please don’t do to the Lords of the Underworld what J.R. Ward did to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.” Oh my word did I hate the billion and seven story arcs in Lover Mine.
The other thing about the POV switches for the Darkest Lie was they were awkward. It’d go from a sensual scene to a blood and gore scene, then back to sensual again. My mind was like, WTF? After visualizing folks getting beaten to death with their own arms, I’m so not down with a tender caress. Not only that, but a lot of the secondary character scenes trumped the Gideon/Scarlet scenes. I found myself caring more about Strider and Amun than any of the horizontal tangos the hero/heroine had planned. Which is a shame, cause the couple really deserved their own book rather than share the glory with folks soon to have their own titles.
I guess my bottom line is that the book didn’t have to be 444 pages long. Cut the translations and the side character arcs, and I think the book would have been okay. Not the greatest, but certainly a lot better than it was.
By the way, and I don’t think this is a spoiler, but Paris didn’t appear even once in this novel. Anyone remember what happened to him? I totally forgot what happened to him in the last novel.(less)
Ms. Roth addresses so many issues in this short book, one might be hard pressed to find everything applies to them. I didn't jive with all she said 10...moreMs. Roth addresses so many issues in this short book, one might be hard pressed to find everything applies to them. I didn't jive with all she said 100%, but quite a bit of it hit home.
One item I disliked about this book, but at the same time found beneficial was the repetition. Ms. Roth said the same thing a hundred and seven different ways... and sometimes exactly the same way twice. Here's the thing, whenever I thought to myself, this doesn't apply and can we just get on to the next part, she repeated the information in a way which was relevant to me personally. If I could take all the filler out to get to just the parts which inspired me personally, this book would be perfect.
If you're struggling with weight, if you're tired of dieting, if you want to love yourself, I highly recommend reading this book.
And last year, I won Soul Deep from Diane from Book of...moreExpect my full review October 8, 2011 at Ramblings of an Amateur Writer: http://wp.me/pPz8s-1Nf
And last year, I won Soul Deep from Diane from Book of Secrets
The first thing I hit was chapter 1 (well, duh), which happened to be written like a prologue, completely in italics and everything. The information was useful though, if not a bit dry and mislabeled. Seriously? I was a bit apprehensive. Later I discovered even though Soul Deep was the first of the Coyote series, it wasn’t the first of the ENTIRE Breed series. So the upfront information really helped and made Soul Deep a standalone story.
Okay… my review might sound a little harsh, but I’m telling you, I really liked this story (4 out of 5 stars). It was just what I was looking for when I went in search of a bit of erotica.
My first impression when the sexy got to happening was Amanda was every man’s dream come true. Kiowa pretty much got to do anything to her, and she loved it. Dirty little slut came to mind. I was like, what’s with her? It was like reading a porn movie. Keep in mind, I was looking for erotica, so a little naughty wasn’t a bad thing.
Later, I found out why she was behaving the way she was, and it totally reminded me of Shadow Cat with the uninhibited lust due to being in heat. One awesome thing about Soul Deep, the sex scenes were evenly spaced throughout the work rather than clumped together in the center like Shadow Cat. For an up and coming writer like me, Lora Leigh offered an excellent example.
So here’s the bottom line. I DEFINITELY look forward to reading more Lora Leigh. Thanks again, Diane! (less)
Overall, this was a most excellent read! I felt like I was reading a comic book in novel format. Other times, it had me laughing so hard, I couldn’t c...moreOverall, this was a most excellent read! I felt like I was reading a comic book in novel format. Other times, it had me laughing so hard, I couldn’t continue because the tears blinded my vision.
I’ll be honest. I grudgingly started Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. The cover didn’t attract me–no sexy half-clad men on the front, just a kickass gal with a knife. The back blurb wasn’t catchy. Hello? This didn’t look anything like the paranormal romances I loved to read. So, I avoided it. It certainly wasn’t a book I’d pick up in the bookstore. So you might ask why I bought the book in the first place. Well simple, it was recommended by twitter peeps. Stepping out of my comfort zone is hard a times, but I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.
The first thing I noticed about Mind Games was the first person present tense narrative. Not a style I’ve seen often, so it immediately intrigued me. I have to admit, I didn’t really like the present tense. Each time I picked up the book after a break, I had to reorientate myself to the style. But that’s okay, cause the book itself made up for not conforming to my personal and highly selective preferences.
The entire book was one big surprise for me. It was like getting on a roller coast without the preview of the previous riders. Each turn was a thrill, and I never knew what to expect. Ms. Crane threw things at me that made me want to read more just to figure out the big picture. It was excellent! And the plot–what can I say about the plot. It was like an onion with each layer being peeled away piece by piece.
Justine was odd to say the least. She definitely wasn’t the typical heroine with external issues ruining her life. No, Justine’s biggest problem was herself. Her obsession with vein star syndrome made her dysfunctional in so many ways, it amazed me she was able to live life at all. I absolutely loved this atypical heroine. She was refreshing and even a little bit wicked. In this novel, Justine has to dig deep to answer Jordan the Therapist’s question, “When is good not good?” It’s certainly a thin line.
As for Packard, the conniving bitch, he was a character I loved to hate even as I almost felt sorry for him but couldn’t quite muster the feelings. Throughout the novel, I couldn’t tell if he was a good guy or a bad guy. In the end, I just settled for the thin line, because he certainly walked it.
I also loved the group dynamics. The disillusionists were like a bunch of kids playing games–immature but full of good times while being naughty.
Overall, this was a most excellent read! I felt like I was reading a comic book in novel format. Other times, it had me laughing so hard, I couldn’t continue because the tears blinded my vision. (less)
I’ll start by saying that I had mix feelings about this book. Pleasure was more of two and a half novellas spliced together rather than a full novel with a continuous storyline. It took me a while to warm up to the book.
The story started where her last novel Rapture left off with Sagan. We find out what happened to him and meet his heroine, Valera. For me, Sagan played such an insignificant role in Ms. Frank’s other novels, I really had no interest in him. Unfortunately, the way the storyline played out, at the end I still had no interest in Sagan or Valera.
One item that continued to bother me with the Sagan/Valera story line was the lack of urgency. I had this issue with the characters in Rapture also. It reminded me of Stephan R Covey’s self-help book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in which he talks about the Time Matrix activities which includes four categories, urgent/important, urgent/not important, not urgent/important, and not urgent/not important.
For Nightwalkers, everything seems to fit into the two Not Urgent category, which doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Think about it. If our President’s life were in danger, it would be bumped to the Urgent/Important category. If someone kidnapped your child, it would be in the Urgent/Important category. There seems to be too much dinking around and sex when bad things are about to jack up their world. If the main characters don’t care enough to do something about a potential disaster, why should I?
Another other thing which bothered me about the Sagan/Valera saga, and I don’t think this is much of a spoiler since every romance has a scene where the hero and heroine part ways for whatever reason was their departure from one another. It reminded me of the old romances. “Run, Johnny. And don’t look back! You run as fast as your legs can carry you.” Kinda of cheesy, but oh well.
As the story progressed, I began to wonder where was Sagan? I couldn’t understand why no one had thought to bring him forth to ferret out the culprit with his mind reading skills. I don’t know. It didn’t jive with me. Sure having him use his powers would end the novel, but I still like things to unwind logically.
Guin and Malaya’s story I liked better and actually had been looking forward to it after the last novel. In many ways it touched me. I thought it awful to have the one you love romantically bump and grind another in your presence. It seemed odd at times, making Guin’s love more brotherly. It was hard for me to put myself in his shoes even though I sympathized with him.
As far as sex in the novel, I liked some aspects of it while others not so much. For instance, I found the characters thinking or talking too much without a lot of action. I always imagine good sex to be too sensual and breathtaking to have a coherent conversation. Not the case with Malaya and Guin. They had all sorts of conversation. And when not talking, they were heavy in thought. It made the time they spent in sexual exploring seemed more like an examination—just too clinical to blow my mind.
Then again, it had a bit of realism to it. The idea of being distracted or stressed during the midst of sex can lead the mind to wander rather than getting wrapped in the erotic senses. But then, would the sex be as mind blowing as the characters said if they were so distracted? I’d prefer not to have distractions rule majority of the erotic scenes though. To me, good sex is free of external worries. I also found Malaya to be a bit inactive during the sex scenes, kind of like a limp doll. It might have been because she was too busy thinking to bother with moving.
Malaya’s ignorance annoyed the heck out of me. Sure, she didn’t realize Guin was interested in her at first. I can see that. But once he came out and said it, why did she continue to play dumb? Well, actually, it wasn’t even playing, she just was oblivious. I don’t know. I can’t imagine anyone being that blind or being that far out of touch with reality.
Drae and Magnus made a significant appearance in this novel. I’m not sure why, since they already had their story. Personally, I didn’t think the two deserved such a large role in a book featuring other stars. I don’t like the secondary character POV, but this area definitely made the exception. For once the secondary characters had more at stake (Drae and Magnus). It was definitely fitting to see the world through their POV. But then again, why did they have such a big role in this novel anyway? The shift pulled me out of the Malaya/Guin story. Even so, as a separate storyline, I thought it was well done. I would have loved Ms. Frank to pull something like this in Rapture instead of this novel, though.
It brings to mind advice I found on Nalini Singh’s website. She suggested thinking of the most horrible thing you could possibly do to a character, and then do it. Awesome job, Ms. Frank! It truly brought out my empathetic side for Drae and Magnus. Only thing, the details of how the culprit managed to accomplish the evil deeds were a bit sketchy. I would have liked the details brought to light. As it was, I really don’t believe the culprit could have gotten away with it all.
So, let’s fast forward! I may have had problems getting into her books, but one thing for sure, Ms. Frank really knows how to write an ending. Kapow! I think this is why I continue to come back to her books. Her endings are so powerful it’s easy to forget the struggles of getting to the finish.
The Nightwalkers novels build upon each other. Definitely start at the beginning (Ecstasy) if you plan to read these books.(less)