I don’t think you need to hear me wax poetic about Linda Howard, so I’ll leave that part out of thisThis review was originally posted on Ruby's Reads.
I don’t think you need to hear me wax poetic about Linda Howard, so I’ll leave that part out of this review. However, I did read Ms. Howard’s last collaboration with Linda Jones and thought it was a decent read, but that’s it. My expectations for Running Wild weren’t terribly high. I love me a handsome cowboy, but I don’t read much straight-up romance these days. I thought Running would be a fun, quick and light read that would come as a welcome break from nonstop teenage angst. Well, it was a different, that’s true. Sadly, the change wasn’t quite as welcome as I’d thought.
Running Wild‘s story is pretty basic. Carlin is a girl on the run from a deranged stalker. Why didn’t she tell the police you ask? Why, because said stalker is the police! Not that Carlin did anything to encourage said stalker–oh, no! He’s just psycho. And since he killed one of Carlin’s friends while she was wearing Carlin’s jacket, clearly it was time to run.
I don’t mean to imply that women are responsible for their stalkers. Rather, my point is that the villain is completely one-dimensional. Why does he want to get at Carlin. Because he’s a crazy egomaniac. The authors apparently felt that was explanation enough. Maybe for a series romance it is…which would explain why I don’t read many of them.
Aside from the lackluster villain, the other (equally dull) characters and the multiple mundane descriptions of Carlin’s new life as a housekeeper made Running Wild incredibly boring. When Carlin isn’t cleaning or cooking, she’s driving to or from Zeke’s isolated ranch to get enough food to keep the menfolk fed. Carlin and Zeke pussyfoot around each other in a bickering, non-sexy way and then she does his laundry. Again. Or cooks. Again.
I’ll be honest–I DNF’d this book. I tried to go back to it multiple times, but there wasn’t enough there to keep me interested. I wasn’t expecting much from Running Wild–which is why it was so frustrating to get even less....more
The description of this book is kind of misleading, especially as regards Kiara's personThis review was first published on http:/www.rubysreads.com.
The description of this book is kind of misleading, especially as regards Kiara's personality. She is certainly not intimidated by Carlos, and at no time does Carlos think that Kiara thinks she's too good for him. In fact, Carlos begins the novel thinking that Kiara--with her shapeless clothing--isn't his type. Also, it's not that Carlos is determined to carve out a life for himself, it's that he's as trapped by gang culture as Alex was before him. Carlos is also determined not to get close to anyone. He's derisive of Alex and Brittany's relationship and pushes people away any which way he can. He even has a hard time accepting help from his brother. You wouldn't think it would be possible, but I loved this book more than I loved Perfect Chemistry. Carlos easily escapes the fate of middle siblings everywhere. I liked Alex--but I looove Carlos. He's got the kind of snarky sense of humor that I love in a guy. He's pretty and makes jokes about it--I love it when guys do that. Sure, Carlos has emotional baggage (he's a Fuentes), but that's just part of his appeal. His romantic counterpart, Kiara, I definitely liked better than Brittany. She's not popular or perfect. She's outdoorsy and athletic and has a good relationship with her parents. But though she's interested in certain "unfeminine" things (fixing cars, rock climbing), she's also self-aware enough to want the things most girls want: a boyfriend, and a date to the Homecoming dance. When someone frames Carlos by putting some pot in his locker on search day, he finds himself living with Kiara's family. It's entirely different from anything he's ever known. It's normal--and Carlos doesn't know normal. Despite himself, though, he meshes with Kiara's family. This was the most touching part of the story for me. I loved the moments Carlos spent with Kiara's little brother. And Carlos' internal reflections on her father were both funny and heart-wrenching. This isn't just a book about Carlos finding love with Kiara--it's about him finding a family. You'd think that odd given the fact that he has two brothers and a mother, but it's not. Simone Elkeles has a gift for creating teen romances that feel as though they're going to last. Most of the time, when I read a teen book, I assume the happily ever after has a shelf-life that's longer than most high school relationships, but I don't generally picture the couple at the alter. They're so young! But I buy it with Alex and Brittany and Carlos and Kiara. I buy it for Alex and Brittany because they're each others' support system, each others' family. And I buy Kiara and Carlos because Carlos becomes part of her entire family before the two even become a couple. That said, I could still do without the epilogues. I don't need 'em. Now that I'm finished with Rules of Attraction, I'm looking forward to Chain Reaction, though my anticipation isn't what it might be. I love that Carlos and Alex were bad boys, and it makes me less interested in Luis to learn that he's not. I will read it, however, simply because I know it means reconnecting with Alex, Brittany, Kiara and Carlos. In the meantime, I'd love some recommendations for some YA romance. Hook me up, guys! ...more
You'd have to be completely dim-witted to have missed seeing or hearing about Perfect ChThis review was first published on http://www.rubysreads.com.
You'd have to be completely dim-witted to have missed seeing or hearing about Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles is sort of like the new Sarah Dessen. Her books have teen angst, teen romance and plenty of emotional baggage. Well, I've only read Perfect Chemistry so far, but that's my take, having read the descriptions of her other books. If you're like me, and you've waited to pick up this book, then you're in for a treat. I haven't read much "normal" teen fiction lately (try none) and this was the perfect reentry into the genre. I frankly loved it. In the beginning, I felt the writing was a little clunky. Brittany was a little too Miss Shallow and Perfect (but with Hidden Depths), and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to like her or relate to her. Alex I saw through right away. But, then I knew he wasn't going to turn out to be the stone-cold gangbanger of the reputation which precedes him. He is a bad boy, but for all the right reasons. Plus, it's part of what makes him so sexy. Roarrryum. Brittany and Alex are the classic star-crossed lovers. He's from the wrong side of the tracks, a rule-breaker, a hellion and a, er, um, a ladies' man. She's the blond cheerleader with wealthy parents, perfect clothes and an expensive car. Not to mention a boyfriend. Don't worry, he doesn't stick around long enough to be a sticking point between Brittany and Alex. He's also the quintessential current-boyfriend-who-isn't-the-hero (a cheating jerk with a side of prove you love me with sex). Of course, the cliches dissolve once we get to know each character. Brittany's life isn't as perfect as she'd have people believe, and Alex isn't a sociopath. Furthermore, he isn't a banger by choice, but necessity. It's also a fate he's determined to save his brothers from sharing. The secrets that rule Brittany and Alex are both heart-wrenching, but of the two, I found Alex's story affected me more. Brittany has a sister with cerebral palsy. It's had the kind of consequences on the family dynamic that you'd expect. Alex, however, is a boy who was born without a chance. His father was in the Latino Bloods before he died, and he was fated to become a member before he even understood the concept of choice. Highlight for the upcoming spoilery bit: I couldn't forgive Alex's mother for the things she kept from him. I think she was in a terrible position, but I find it hard to fathom a mother who wouldn't at least try to save her son from getting mixed up in a gang. I couldn't help thinking she could have moved back to Mexico--or ANYWHERE else--if the alternative was to allow her son to become a drug dealer and, eventually, a murderer. The love story between Brittany and Alex is both sweet and hot. I was worried, at first, that the climax of the book was going to be Brittany finding out about the bet. It comes out, but the conflicts in Perfect Chemistry go deeper than that. Neither does it become a story about Brittany and Alex keeping their relationship a secret from everyone. The story doesn't only focus on their relationship, either. There are subplots about Brittany and her best friend, and Alex and his brother, Carlos. There's plenty of angst to go around, but that doesn't mean a happy ending isn't waiting for you. This book really got me thinking about gang life, prejudice and criminality. It's as thought-provoking as it is a love story that makes me go all squishy inside. I have to say, though Alex sounds like a superb adult male specimen, not an adolescent. I don't remember guys looking like that when I was in high school. Do you? Of course, I could just be justifying my crush on an eighteen-year-old character. Hm. I also want to add that, while I love a happy ending, I didn't need the epilogue. I would have been perfectly happy without it, especially since I've heard that Alex and Brittany make an appearance in Rules of Attraction. If you haven't already read this book, do so now. I'm not kidding. Buy it, check it out from the library, borrow it from someone on Lendle. Get your hands on a copy asap. Oh, what's that you say? I'm the last person on earth who hadn't already read it? Oops, my bad. ...more