Ever felt left out? I felt that way when I tried reading Vision in White back in May of this year, and I felt that way again trying to read its succes...more
Ever felt left out? I felt that way when I tried reading Vision in White back in May of this year, and I felt that way again trying to read its successor, Bed of Roses. I attempted to read this about two months ago after having finished and disliked the first book in this series. Normally I would drop a series after disliking the first installment to the degree that I did with Vision in White, but since I own the first, second, and fourth installments in this series I thought I'd give it another go. Plus I felt left out. Many women love Nora Roberts, and after having fallen for her In Death series that she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb at the end of last year, I figured, why not try her other works? How different could they be? At the very least, shouldn't the characterization be as good? That was my reasoning . . . but that just isn't the case IMO. For me, this series is very flat and fluffy; the characters are cookie-cutter, the plots seem to be slight variations of one another, and because of the uninteresting characters there's not much to say about the sexy factor. I think what makes a series and/or its characters sexy is having good character development and good chemistry between the MCs - but I'm just not seeing that with this series.
And I'm sorry to all NR fans out there, but I honestly can't imagine her other works being any more suitable to my reading tastes, either. I shall stick with her alter ego, J.D. Robb, where I know I'm in for a treat.(less)
Let me just start by saying that I am a huge fan of Robert's In Death series, which she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. I've only read the first...moreLet me just start by saying that I am a huge fan of Robert's In Death series, which she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. I've only read the first four, but I'm a complete addict when it comes to that series. However, there's a good reason why I've never tried anything from Nora Roberts outside of that series. I guess I've always had this supposition that Robert's books are basically contemporary, chaste bodice rippers (oxymoron, I know) with an extra helping of fluff - based solely on Vision in White, I wasn't far off. Vision in White started off really good. The prologue is cute - but not in a root canal way - it sucked me in and made me think I'd like this. You know how they say don't judge a book by its cover? Well, I guess that applies to prologues, also. Most everything past the prologue was a disappointment.
Vision in White begins with Mackensie "Mac" Elliot and her three BFFs - Emma, Laurel, and Parker - prepping for another "wedding". Now, at this time, they're only in grade school, but, just like any child, they love to play make-believe, and their favorite game is Wedding Day. One of them dresses up like the bride, the groom, and the rest act as bridesmaids. Around this time, Mac also gets a gift from her grandfather - a camera. Now, at the tender age of eight, it seems a rather inapt gift. But what Mac doesn't know is that she'll one day be a photographer - and her and her friends will own Vows, a highly successful wedding planning company. Talk about fate.
My feelings toward Mac seemed to fluctuate rapidly while reading this. Mac's character started out vapid and uninteresting to me; then slowly she became semi-likable; then she did something really stupid that made me dislike her again; and by the end of the novel I settled on annoying. Carter's an English teacher in his early thirties who's had a crush on Mac since high school. Carter seemed cute in some instances, and in others his character seemed overdone when it comes to the whole geeky role. As the male lead, he was just OK for me.
Mac's mother, Linda, is easily one of the most vexing characters I've ever read about. Normally, I wouldn't count not liking a character that you're intended to not like toward my overall enjoyment, but she pissed me off too much for me to ignore it. Linda is emotionally manipulative when it comes to her daughter and I found myself wanting to do the impossible and strangle her character. And she's not the only one! Carter's ex girlfriend, Corrine, is just as strangle-worthy. Mac's mother and Carter's ex should start a club: The Bitches Who Live to Screw Up Everything club.
What follows is the scene where everything went downhill for me (bear in mind, this scene is between only Carter and Mac, and the "me" part is obviously just my inner thoughts as the reader. Also, this isn't a direct quote from the novel, only my satire summarization):
Mac: Ahhh! Carter, you geeky stud puppy! If I would've known you were this good in bed, I would've paid more attention to you in high school! Carter: *mentally recites Shakespeare* [Me: If you've read one sex scene, you've read them all. *boredom*]
Mac: Mmm. Carter, I'm so happy right now. Here, with you. *thinks to self: Wait! Happy? I can't be happy! I'm Mackensie Elliot, happy is horrible! I must ruin this moment!* [Me: I see where this is going, and I don't like it.] Carter: Oh, Mac! I've waited for this moment since I was a geek-in-training! I'm so happy! Mac: *mumbles* There's that bloody word again! Carter: What did you say, honey? Mac: *jumps out of bed, heads for the exit* "Thanks for the fabulous dinner and multiple orgasms! 'Kay, bye!" Carter: *sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted. [Me: What the fuck?]
That's my summarization of that scene, but her actual departing sentence was "Gotta run. Thanks for everything. I'll call you." - Yeah. Not much better IMO. See, I have this little List of No-Noes, and running off after sex - whether it be the male or female doing the running - is on that list. So while things were indeed beginning to pick up for me, that scene proved to annihilate my enjoyment pretty fast. If it were Carter that had done the running, I don't think Mac would've been nearly as forgiving. In fact, Carter doesn't even mention the incident. The whole thing just gets swept under the rug.
Mac describes their first time together to her friends as "the most amazing, world-bending, melt-you-brain-cells sex in the history of the planet." (That is a direct quote, BTW) To which my reaction was, Oh, come on, Mackensie! It's not as if you've just had sex with Roarke! Sorry, that's a bad reference if you've not read the In Death series. Anyway, I thought that was just a tad on the ridiculous sounding side.
Now, let me be clear - despite my myriad complaints - I really did like a fair amount of this. It's just that the parts I didn't like eclipsed the parts I did, making the whole thing exasperating and disappointing. One thing I will say, though: The side characters - Emma, Laurel, etc. - seemed more interesting and likable to me. Since I've already bought books 2 and 4, I'll probably end up reading the rest of this series - depending on how the next installment, Bed of Roses, turns out. I'm crossing my fingers.(less)