AMR is an autobuy for me, so it's no surprise that this makes my 'personal faves' shelf. However even among her own work, this one ranks high. Others...moreAMR is an autobuy for me, so it's no surprise that this makes my 'personal faves' shelf. However even among her own work, this one ranks high. Others have given wonderful synopses, so I'll not do that here.
The one gripe I have is that I wish something in the title or frontispiece or blurb had made clear that this was a sequel (of sorts) to Amor En Retrogrado. As I read, I kept thinking, 'damn, Bill and Kate sound familiar', but I was halfway through the book before I realized why. Since I read Amor well over a year ago, I'd've enjoyed this story a little more if I'd first skimmed to remind myself of Bill's story and where we'd left him.
One of the things I love most about Riley's writing is that her characters are flawed. Both protags behave pretty stupidly at times, enough that I wince, but their 'idiocy' is entirely in keeping with their character so it adds depth to the story. I loved the progression of Jeremy and Beckett's relationship: stormy, difficult, not always healthy, frankly, but very real for all that. Like in the ending of Amor, I'm left with the sense that the protags still have some work ahead of them, that all is not smooth sailing, but they'll make it. As if the end of this story is the beginning of another, full of its own conflict and angst, but with its own HEA. I kind of like that.
Among all of Riley's work, I think that this series is my favorite, and I'm glad to now see that she has a couple more in the works.(less)
Excellent book. Smart, serious, but fun, too. The people were so well-drawn, from the protags through the minor characters, teenagers and 'villains'....moreExcellent book. Smart, serious, but fun, too. The people were so well-drawn, from the protags through the minor characters, teenagers and 'villains'. Others have reviewed this well, so I won't try to repeat, but will mention a couple of things that stood out to me.
One, that Sinclair never took the obvious approach when drawing a character. To me, this is most clear in her portrayal of the teenagers, particularly Robbie. Robbie, though gay in a distinctly 'swishy' way, knows who he is, and though victimized, is no victim. The other teens in this west Texas high school are similarly not typecast into the behavior we expect from jocks/rednecks/ what have you.
Two, oh Lord, Sinclair, thank you thank you for writing about a country and people that are so near and dear to me. As someone who has spent more than one night in Marathon, who has family that could hail from this story's Gunning, who knows and loves Big Bend and the hill country, the grasslands, east and west Texas both, oh MAN it was lovely seeing it in a story so well written. With a love and respect for even the worst of the people in small Texas towns.
The only aspect of this book that I might crit is that I thought that Tom's introspection could have been tightened up. It got lengthy, I thought, and often I found myself thinking, 'yeah, I get it, now what happens next?'. Honestly though, it wasn't far too much for my taste, and the author could easily have gone the other direction -- which I would have like less. Because it was the in-depth understanding of what Tom was going through that really made this book.
Wow. That's two wonderful books in one week. How lucky am I?(less)
For the first ~half of the book, I was completely engrossed, and silly happy to have discovered a wonderful new writer. The characters were well-drawn...moreFor the first ~half of the book, I was completely engrossed, and silly happy to have discovered a wonderful new writer. The characters were well-drawn, complex, imperfect, and three-dimensional. The plot was interesting. But by the end, this very nearly became a DNF. Yes, the father situation got just too unbelievable. But mostly, it just got too freaking corny. By the time I reached the 2/3 point, I was skimming the sex and rolling my eyes at the rest. Just wayyy too heavy-handed and obvious with the emotionality/angst goodguy-vs.-badguy for me. The first half seemed to have a light, deft touch that the second half lost completely.
A lot of this is personal taste, but if you the type to gag at too much sugar, this one will probably not fit you.(less)
I was so jazzed to see this coming out, thinking that here was an anthology that I could really sink my teeth into. It lived up to expectations, each...moreI was so jazzed to see this coming out, thinking that here was an anthology that I could really sink my teeth into. It lived up to expectations, each story being a solid 4 stars or higher, and all rolled into one tidy Christmas present. Think I enjoyed the Fox and Lanyon offerings best of all -- just the characters really struck me right. Bravo, Carina Press, do it again!(less)
I was eager to pick up this book because I've read Thom Lane's others and enjoyed all of them. I love rich, flowing prose, enjoy submissive kink, and...moreI was eager to pick up this book because I've read Thom Lane's others and enjoyed all of them. I love rich, flowing prose, enjoy submissive kink, and am partial to a certain style of 'gritty' fantasy (as opposed to 'pretty' fantasy). Thom Lane's Tales of Amaranth (this is the 3rd in the series) combines all three of these beautifully, so he's really become an auto-buy for me.
The third of the series is different from the first two, with characters and personalities that are easily distinguished and a storyline that is fresh. I frankly loved both of the first two; the second, to me, was actually a more interesting story than the first, with more complex and ambiguous characters. Having said that, those who preferred the first of the three (most readers, I think) will probably feel that Lane got back with the program with this one. Captain Zander, while not as cold and hard as Lukas, is certainly a much more...erm...confident owner than Coryn was. And Tiffin is quite the sweet submissive.
One of the big questions in the story was left unanswered at the end (by design, not negligence), and like another reviewer, I was disappointed by this. Not a major issue for me, but a niggling one.