I received a free copy of this book for review via Netgalley.
I've read several of Jacquelyn Frank's books, most of them from the Nightwalker series, a...moreI received a free copy of this book for review via Netgalley.
I've read several of Jacquelyn Frank's books, most of them from the Nightwalker series, and I've loved them. I don't know what I was expecting this time around. A much as I as looking forward to this book, I ended up being disappointed in the end. I think most of the issue I had with the book was because of the characters. They came off as flat and uninteresting, and often whiney. Ahnvil was nothing but a horny brute, and Kat was just...there. I didn't get much from the characters at all. Everything else- the dialogue, the plot- was just lacking. I'm hoping the next book in the series will be a lot better. (less)
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher for review.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. I love hurt/comfort theme...moreI received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher for review.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. I love hurt/comfort themes, and any book involving horses usually rates high on my list. But here's the thing: I was bored.
The beginning was great and the set up to this romance was interesting. I thought I was going to remain interested through the whole thing and finish the book with some amount of satisfaction. After the first few chapters, though, I realized that I was getting restless and wanted to read something different. Not a good sign. It seemed that after a certain point, there wasn't much going on that hasn't happened in every single chapter so far: Nathan gets help going down the stairs, they go visit Tsarina, they go to a restaurant to eat, they talk too long and leave the restaurant late, Nathan gets help going up the stairs, he crashes on the couch. Rinse. Repeat. Add in some sex scenes about halfway through and go through everything again.
Speaking of those scenes, I thought there were too many and after a while I just started skipping them. I do the same with any type of romance that tries to tell you how much the characters feel about each other by the amount of sex they have. It makes their relationship seem one-dimensional and I get tired of having to skip ahead.
The characters themselves were kind of...meh. There wasn't much emotional depth to them and it left me disappointed.
I regained a small amount of interest in the last two chapters, but not enough to make me want to read it again. (less)
I received an ARC of Never A Hero from the publisher through Netgalley.
This was a sweet love story about a socially-awkward loner who is too afraid of...moreI received an ARC of Never A Hero from the publisher through Netgalley.
This was a sweet love story about a socially-awkward loner who is too afraid of being laughed at to leave his own apartment for long, and a confident veterinarian with a dark secret. It dealt with some pretty heavy topics and I love that Marie Sexton wasn't afraid to delve into such dark waters.
I loved Owen's character. He is a nice guy but paralyzed with fear and self-doubt because of the fact that he has a congenitally amputated arm and an obvious stutter when he becomes anxious. Most of his low self-esteem comes from his mother, who is a bitterly unhappy woman, and who only seems happy when she is making other people miserable. I felt horrible for Owen because of some of the incredibly hurtful things she's said. No one should be that cruel, especially to their own children. I absolutely hated that woman. Hated.
Nick was a great character, for the most part. He helped Owen come out of his shell and gave him more confidence than he's ever had in his entire life. He was supportive, but not overly protective. He introduced Owen to his sister, who also has a congenitally amputated arm, but on the opposite side than Owen does. Pretty coincidental, right? That fact made me scoff a bit, but this is a romance and they've never been known for being entirely believable. I liked Nick, though I was disappointed in him for several things he did during the course of the story. Yes, he has a dark secret and he's afraid to tell Owen. Completely understandable, at that point, because they're only friends. But he leads Owen on and then backs off until he seems cold and unapproachable. Not a good thing to do to someone with such low self-esteem, man. And he allowed them to get 'close' before his big reveal. Absolutely unacceptable, in this case.
The relationship between them started as a comfortable friendship and built slowly. I liked that the author spent a lot of time developing things between them and didn't make them jump into bed within the first few chapters, like I've seen in many romances.
There was one scene in particular that I thought was especially well done. Nick invites Owen out to a friendly dinner at a restaurant. Things go from pretty bad to oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-here! The entire scene at the restaurant was wonderfully written. It made me extremely anxious and I wanted to crawl into a deep, dark hole out of empathy for Owen. If you have even a degree of social anxiety, it will be a very uncomfortable scene to read. Any book that can give me such an emotional reaction is very well-written, in my opinion.
There were a few things that I disliked. One, was that I doubted that Owen could completely get over his anxiety so quickly. Of course, the beginning of it was in stages, but toward the end it was like he was a completely different person. He's had a lifetime of serious anxiety and self-esteem problems, and I don't think it's possible to get over it so fast without having some lingering issues.
Another is that I have never in my life heard a man use the endearment 'hun'. I could be wrong and maybe there are a lot of men out there that use it and I just haven't met them. But to me it sounded more like something an older woman would say, and it completely ruined that moment for me. Luckily it was only once, but it stuck in my mind throughout the rest of the book.
Normally I would give this 3/5 stars, but because of that restaurant scene, I'm giving it 4/5 stars (less)
I had a very hard time reading this book. I just wasn't invested in the characters and the story just sizzled out about a quarter of the way through....moreI had a very hard time reading this book. I just wasn't invested in the characters and the story just sizzled out about a quarter of the way through. William was a very shallow character and his relationship with Elizabeth didn't seem real to me. There also didn't seem to be any chemistry or love between the two characters....(less)