This book was recced to me by soooo many people. I had extremely high expectations for it, and was excited to start a new urban fantasy series. What IThis book was recced to me by soooo many people. I had extremely high expectations for it, and was excited to start a new urban fantasy series. What I got was boring, banal, middle of the road dreck.
It took me forever to finish this book. The plot had no urgency to it, the characters irritated me, the action cheesy, and the romance had me rolling my eyes. The writing itself was ok, not horrible, and there were some funny moments, but not nearly enough to overcome the other failings of the book.
The plot relied way too heavily on coincidences. First, there's Merit getting turned, oh, so conveniently, but I excuse that because that's the setup for the book, and I can ignore one major coincidence. But then there's her grandfather's job, her roommate's magical skills, and other coincidences on top of coincidences. After awhile it just gets to be ridiculous.
There's also a serial killer plot in there, which everyone talked about, but no one actually did anything to solve until the last few pages of the book. (And the resolution to that was completely unsatisfying, and went against the world building set up earlier in the book.)
Vampires in this universe are poor, misunderstood woobies, the humans persecuted for no good reason (other than being used as snack food).
Merit, was annoying, and a giant Mary Sue. The strongest, fastest, bestest at everything. Able to learn everything in the blink of an eye. I much prefer an imperfect heroine.
I like a bit of romance in my urban fantasies, but the relationship in this one just sucked. I get that the author was probably trying to build up chemistry and tension by having the two of them begin with an adversarial relationship, but I found the conflict between them to be laughable, and since this is from Merit's POV, we get to see her feelings for Ethan, but the author does not do a very good job of conveying his feelings.
Merit's set up as some tough-as-nails ass-kicker, but she came off as pathetic. There's a big dramatic scene towards the end where Ethan does something that makes Merit feel all betrayed, but considering that they're not dating and are barely friends her self pity just made me roll my eyes. In fact, the entire scene had me cringing. It was just so embarrassingly bad.
Plus, there's a weird obsession with clothes by all the characters, and it gave the entire book a bad chick-lit feel to it. I think Merit was supposed to be perceived as some bad ass in her leather outfit, but I just ended up laughing at her.
I do not recommend this book. I already have the 2nd and 3rd books in my TBR pile, but I doubt I'll read them. ...more
Fantastic use of medieval time period, great writing and characters, but really disliked the paranormal/religious storyline. It seRating: 3 1/2 stars.
Fantastic use of medieval time period, great writing and characters, but really disliked the paranormal/religious storyline. It seemed extraneous to the plot. I really liked the romance, except that I thought the secret that Gwen was keeping went on too long (it's the well used the-heroine-keeps-getting-interrupted-when-she-tries-to-tell-the-hero trope). But the resolution was believable, and I thought not too rushed. Considering the dearth of medievals in the romance market, I really enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of the time period....more
This is a hilarious urban fantasy/comedy/romance with zombies! The villain(s) are hysterical and a bit scary at the same time. TheyRating: 4 1/2 stars
This is a hilarious urban fantasy/comedy/romance with zombies! The villain(s) are hysterical and a bit scary at the same time. They run focus groups in order to take over the world "through the manufacture of collagen-derived gelling agents", in a PR positive way. But they're not such complete bumbling fools that make you wonder how incompetent the heroes must be, being unable to kill them.
I thought the romance was very well done, and neither overwhelmed or overshadowed the action plot, but was intertwined perfectly. Same with the humor, a lot of times in paranormal books, the humor can get a bit too zany for my tastes and completely take over the book, but Melton was in complete control of the humor, and the book was genuinely funny. It helped that most of the humor was character based and not just slap stick. The heroine wasn't there just to be the punchline, I really dislike it when humiliation = comedy, and Melton avoided that.
I love how the author took common tropes from urban fantasy and twisted them a bit, such as the horny, exhibitionist werewolf; the gorgeous, shy incubus; the unemphatic empath; the ninja wannabe healer; and the exiled gay demon.
And then there's Andrea Walker and Captain Jake Sanders, the heroine and hero of the book. I really appreciated that Andrea Walker could actually fight (I love the cover, cause that's how I pictured her in my head), and is tough. I liked the friction between Andrea and Jake over command style, and the conflict between them rang true, but was never dragged out to absurd lengths in order to create drama, and only a bit of mental lusting. I'm totally convinced of their romance and HEA. Jake was a badass, but I liked that he was willing to compromise and stand up for Andrea. Alpha does not always mean asshole.
It just misses being a five star read because of the way the final conflict between the heroes and the villains are set up. It wasn't exactly a TSTL moment, I understood why the characters did what they did, but it was too obvious. I would have preferred something more subtle.
I really hope that we get more books in this series. Zero Dog War is a very entertaining read, and I recommend it to fans of urban fantasy, romance, and comedy.
I am sooo tried of emo/angsty heroines (and heroes) in urban fantasy, so this was a refreshing change of pace. The heroine of the book is so not emo,I am sooo tried of emo/angsty heroines (and heroes) in urban fantasy, so this was a refreshing change of pace. The heroine of the book is so not emo, she's smart, practical, ruthless, and awesome. There are also some great secondary characters, including a kick-ass, cross-dressing, hot ex-navy SEAL. I really appreciated that Priest included Adrian/Sister Rose, and had him be an actual fully-fleshed character instead of merely comic relief.
The plot is fast paced and the author manages to keep the tension up. There is no cliff hanger ending (yay!), but there are enough questions unanswered to warrant more book in this series.
I recommend this to fans of urban fantasy, but it came out as a trade paper back, and it's a bit more pricey then other books and the ebook is over priced as well, so you might want to try the library or a used book store first. But if you do have some extra cash, I highly recommend Bloodshot....more
Chess is a perfectly imperfect heroine. I was totally sucked into this book. The world building was fantastic, there were no info dumps here. The plotChess is a perfectly imperfect heroine. I was totally sucked into this book. The world building was fantastic, there were no info dumps here. The plot was fast paced. All the characters were fully drawn. I wasn't sure about the dialect at first, but it fit into the Downside world and helped to define it. After the first couple of chapters I stopped noticing it.
The book isn't in 1st person, but it's still all from Chess' perspective, so if she doesn't work for you, your probably not going to like the book. I loved Chess. At times she was frustrating, but I love an imperfect hero/heroine. Someone who's personally screwed up, but still tries their best to do what's right. And this is Chess. Her closest acquaintances are pimps, drug dealers, and enforcers, not to mention her addiction problem.
I think this quotation sums up her attitude about her drugs: "Sometimes her addictions were more trouble than they were worth." It'll be interesting to see how her addiction plays out in the series. So far she's like a functioning alcoholic. The drugs help her cope better, and her addiction is far enough that without them she has severe withdrawal symptoms. I wonder what would happen if/when the drugs start to seriously affect her work as a debunker.
I also love Terribe. Lex is a great foil to Terrible, but I hope this isn't going to turn into a long drawn out love triangle. This is a fascinating world, and I have more to say about the dystopian setting, but I have to go read the next book....more
The writing was fine, there were a few nice romantic moments, and for a HP, the plot was believable. But the heroine drove me insane.
The hero, Rio, "The writing was fine, there were a few nice romantic moments, and for a HP, the plot was believable. But the heroine drove me insane.
The hero, Rio, "who hadn't gone ten days without sex since he'd lost his virginity" (apparently the author thought this was an important character trait) was better than most HP heroes, alpha but not too dickish. And he has believable issues about why he doesn't like Christmas.
But the heroine, Evie, was a total wet blanket. In the beginning, she has a shitty job, has been evicted from her apartment, dumped by her fiance, and is standing around crying for a knight in shining armor.
This is her after she's been kicked out of her apartment, and the locksmith has just left after changing the lock on her door, "and this man was about to leave a vulnerable woman alone in a big, scary city with nowhere to spend the night." Really? A knight in shining armor type story only works for me, if the heroine isn't completely pathetic.
And who the hell sleeps on top of the covers, naked, in winter?
She bitches about Rio only thinking about money, but maybe if she had given money a little thought, she wouldn't have been evicted for not paying her rent.
And most confusing of all, while on a shopping trip with Rio to buy toys for a little girl she says this, "Whatever anyone says about feminism, most little girls love pretending dolls are babies." What does this even mean?
Are there feminists running around snatching dolls from little girls? I thought that feminism was about making sure that girls aren't forced into a rigid gender role, so they can play with dolls and Star Wars action figures. IDEK. I don't expect characters to have my political viewpoints, but I do expect them to make sense.
Aside from my problem with Evie, I didn't really believe that the two of them fell in love in such a short time, but it is a HP. I did like that the majority of "misunderstandings" I thought would happen, didn't. And there are some funny lines in the book. If you can get past the stupidness of Evie, you might enjoy this HP better than I did....more
I was disappointed with The Earl's Dilemma, but I had already bought this during a sale, so I thought I'd give it a try. This was a much better book bI was disappointed with The Earl's Dilemma, but I had already bought this during a sale, so I thought I'd give it a try. This was a much better book by Emily May. There's less repetition and exclamation points. Characters are fully realized. There were some plot points that I thought could have been expanded, didn't detract too much from the story.
I love a good beauty and the beast story, and this one delivered for me. Nicholas comes back from the war scarred and just wants to marry a young bride who won't give him any trouble. Isabella accidentally starts some gossip about Nicholas, and tries to atone by helping him find a bride.
I liked Isabella's self awareness. She's social and enjoys the ton, but isn't shallow. She's secure in herself and in her station as a Duke's sister. She enjoys her life and sees no reason to marry. Nicholas was a great tortured hero. He's self-conscious of his scar and just wants to quickly find a bride so he can escape from London. A young bride who he can mold. The complete opposite of Isabella.
I loved watching the two of them get to know each other and fall in love. The two of them fit together wonderfully. Neither of them acted like an idiot to further the plot. Their reactions were totally in-character and appropriate. The ending was a bit too dramatically convenient for my taste, but the resolution still made me go, "awww".
This was such a wonderful book. I plan on buying her next one, The Unmasking of a Lady, as soon as my wallet recovers from the holidays....more
I only had time for some quick reads, as we were flooded with friends/family during the past week. This one was an ok read for me. I liked the author'I only had time for some quick reads, as we were flooded with friends/family during the past week. This one was an ok read for me. I liked the author's voice enough, but the characterizations felt shallow. And I was seriously irritated by too much repetition of certain phrases and an overuse of exclamation points.
The story is simple, James needs to marry in order to inherit. The deadline to marry is coming up and he decides that his best friend's sister, Kate, is his best bet. Kate has loved him for years, and she's been able to hide her feelings for James, but never got over him. Kate overhears James's plan and rejects his offer. She believes that James can do better than a marriage of convenience, so she sets out to find a love match for him.
The heroine, Kate, is plain, has freckles, and is a red head, and this point is hammered into the reader over, and over, and over again. The hero, James, wants a "love match", really, really wants a love match, cause it's said over and over and over again. After awhile I couldn't help wondering if the author thought I was an idiot, and couldn't remember what I'd read two pages ago.
There's an attempt to make James a three dimensional character, and the reader gets to know him a little bit, but Kate is never really developed. Her entire personality is that she's plain, and has loved James for years. I liked that she isn't throwing herself at him, and seems to accept that James' feeling for her are platonic, but I wish she had made an attempt to move on. But instead she's quietly suffering, and never seems to make an attempt to move on. Her martyrdom was a little tedious.
There's a lecherous neighbor, and an insufferable aunt. Both of them just irritated me and had no depth. The ending was odd and very abrupt.
There were some genuinely humorous moments that kept me reading, and I liked a lot of the women that Kate tried to set James up with. But otherwise this was a disappointing read....more
**spoiler alert** I picked this up because it was on Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010 list for romance. I loved three of their recs: The Forbidd**spoiler alert** I picked this up because it was on Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010 list for romance. I loved three of their recs: The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne, The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, and Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan, so I thought I'd give this a try.
I couldn't finish this. I just couldn't get into the author's style. There are a lot of positive reviews for this book so it's probably a matter of taste. I don't think I'm the right audience for this book.
I'm not that picky about historical accuracy. As long as the book is engaging I'm more than willing to overlook inaccuracies. But if the writing doesn't capture me, small details that I can usually overlook start to bug. In this book there were too many anachronisms and they kept jerking me out of the story. The characters' attitudes felt modern to me. And there were way too many dialogue tags, e.g., concurred, countered, replied, asked.
My problem wasn't with just the writing. There were so many unbelievable plot points, and I only read the first third of the book:
1) At the beginning of the book the hero, Westhaven, had a mistress that didn't like sex and the hero knew this, but continued to keep her. I found this to be really uncomfortable, it's not a matter of consent, the hero isn't forcing himself on her, she's in a business agreement with him after all, but if he knows that she doesn't like sex he should have found another mistress. Why would anyone continue to have sex with someone who doesn't like it, unless he's a sadist?
2) The hero's father, the current Duke, convinced Westhaven's mistress to get with child by another man, because apparently this would convince Westhaven to marry her, and claim the other man's baby as his own. What the everloving fuck? There are soooo many things wrong with this scenario.
3) In order to avoid his father's matchmaking the hero's brother is pretending he's gay. In regency England. Where the punishment for sodomy could be execution. What?
4) The hero's family was too accepting of him marrying Anna, his housekeeper. I didn't find this to be believable. I thought there should have been some resistance to the idea that a housekeeper would be the next Duchess.
5) Anna doesn't want to become a mistress because having to pay for sex is degrading to men. Really.
6) By chapter 5, the virginal Anna gives the hero a hand job. Then the hero proposes, even though she's his housekeeper and knows nothing about her.
I read about a third of the book, and we know nothing about Anna, except a vague mention of a SECRET, that she's a great housekeeper, and is in lust/love with Westhaven. I have no idea what her personality is, her likes/dislikes, or her background.
But I kept reading because I bought the ebook, and the huge drawback with ebooks is that you can't sell them. So I kept reading until we reach a scene where there's suddenly a huge influx of characters. If this wasn't a first novel from the author, I would swear that these were characters from a previous book in the series, cause they way they're written gives the impression that the reader should be familiar with them. Especially with Gwen. But I wasn't, so I just ended up confused.
There's so much info dumping, but at the same time not enough info is given to make sense of these new people. Like the niece, Rose, who can't be a niece, cause neither of her parents are Westhaven's sibling. At first I thought it was a close friend who is an uncle situation, but Rose called the Duke Grandpapa. There's a mention of a step-father. But it's all really vague. Maybe if I read farther it would have been explained. However, I just couldn't care, and I gave up before I threw my ereader against a wall.
Best impulse buy of the year. Funny and poignant at times. There isn't anything new in this, but the execution is fantastic. The plot is fairly typicaBest impulse buy of the year. Funny and poignant at times. There isn't anything new in this, but the execution is fantastic. The plot is fairly typical contemporary romance/chick-lit. Heroines' husband is a cheating bastard, she finds out and dumps his ass. Then goes off to a cabin to recover/hide and runs into the hot author hero.
Humor is very subjective. I tend to like my humor a bit dry, with a smidge of broad/slapstick humor. And this book managed to hit my humor sweetspot. The heroine, Lacey, was great, I loved watching her pull herself together after her life with her ex-husband crumbled. I have a soft spot for grumpy heros, and Monroe was perfect. Grumpy but lovable.
The email that she wrote (and accidentally sent) informing all of their acquaintences about his affair was hysterical. I also appreciated that the reprecussions of the letter were taken seriously. Harper managed to keep a light tone for most of the book, but there are enough serious moments to ground the story in reality, which prevents it from becoming a sitcom.
I also really appreciated the lack of focus on shoes. I like a pretty pair of shoes as much as the next gal, but my life does not revolve around them, so I appreciate chick-lit that manages to avoid this cliche.
My only quibble were the cliche romance moments. I read mostly romance, so I have very little patience for these even outside of the romance genre. Especially last minute seperations that gets made up in the last few pages of the book.
However, that's only a slight quibble, and I highly recommend this book. 4.5 stars really....more
A Man For All Seasons was surprisingly enjoyable. I only bought this because the book was on sale at Harlequin, and I wanted a Christmasy read.
The prA Man For All Seasons was surprisingly enjoyable. I only bought this because the book was on sale at Harlequin, and I wanted a Christmasy read.
The premise sounded cute, but not romantic, the hero, Ty, buys twelve dates for his roommate Marlie to get her out of the house so he get have some alone time with his girlfriend. I wasn't sure how Heather MacAllister was going to create a believable romance since both the hero and heroine are dating other people, but I thought the author did an admirable job getting the two of them together.
The author's voice is engaging, and she managed to avoid several cliches that I thought were going to be inevitable. I loved the humor in this book, there were several moments where I actually laughed out loud. And thanks to this book, whenever I think of tinsel, I will imagine it turning the hero's "manhood" all "silver and sparkly".
A lot of this book is told from the hero's POV, Ty, who is a total dufus. A lovable one, but a total dufus. It was fun watching him struggle with the whore/madonna dichotomy. He started out convinced that Marlie was a wife/mother kind of woman, and that meant he couldn't have sexy fun times in bed with her. It takes awhile, but he eventually gets over that.
Marlie is recovering from being dumped by her fiance. And uses this gift as a way to jump back into the dating pool. I liked that she enjoyed her dates with the 12 guys. I was kinda afraid that they were going to turn out to be total duds, but instead she had fun and her flirting was cute.
The Christmas stuff was fun. I really liked that it was the hero who wanted the holiday decorations and not the heroine, which is what usually happens.
I also liked Axelle, the woman Ty was dating. She could have easily turned into the bitter other woman, but the author avoided that, and I liked how Ty's relationship with her turned out. I thought Axelle was an interesting character and I hope that we get her story someday.
This was a fluffy, fun, quick read, and I'm glad that I took a chance on a new-to-me author. I'm definitely looking forward to her next book....more
I bought the ebook version, and formatting errors kept getting in way of the story. Sentences kept getting chopped up, so the last word would end up oI bought the ebook version, and formatting errors kept getting in way of the story. Sentences kept getting chopped up, so the last word would end up on the next line in its own little paragraph, which was annoying but didn't detract too much from the storytelling. But when paragraphs ran on together, especially quotations, then I would have to pause and figure out who was saying what. After awhile, I stripped the drm off the book, and sat at my computer and edited the book as I read, so when I reread it, I'll have a much better experience, but it kind of ruined my enjoyment of the book.
As for the book, I really enjoyed the story. It wasn't my favorite Goodman, but I liked going back to Reidsville and seeing old characters and meeting the hero and heroine. The two of them just seemed to click and they had a simmering chemistry between them. The book deals with some heavy issues, but there's plenty of humor to balance it out. The writing is smooth and subtle, the pacing is never rushed, the characters are allowed time to develop, so when the plot does pick up, I became invested in the outcome.
I loved watching Rhyne gain confidence and learning to value herself. I loved the scene between the Cole and Rhyne in the hotel. Cole was such a great guy. I loved his sense of responsibility, intelligence, and overall competence. I loved how he encouraged Rhyne, and was just there for Rhyne when she needed him.
I also adored the relationship between Cole and Whitley, at first I thought she was going to be a precocious little kid usually found in romance books, but I underestimated Goodman. Whitley was a fully developed character and wonderful, she added so much charm to the story.
There's a plot with a villain here, and I won't say too much about it, just that part of the resolution ended up surprising me.
My only quibble is with the ending. It was kind of like The Return of the King movie, where the ending just kept going on.
I think this is the last we'll see of Reidsville, since Goodman has switched publishers, but I've really enjoyed the books in this town. And I hope that we get Whitley's story one day.
Cover: Such a bland cover. There's no indication that it's a western, or anything else about the book. This book deserves a much better ocver....more