An odd, but interesting mash-up between apocalyptic and historical romance. I liked how the heroine remained true to herself & her personality, bu...moreAn odd, but interesting mash-up between apocalyptic and historical romance. I liked how the heroine remained true to herself & her personality, but the hero wasn't as well drawn.(less)
I made the mistake of starting this at a red light. I mean, I read at red lights all the time, but the prologue was filled with foreboding. I just kne...moreI made the mistake of starting this at a red light. I mean, I read at red lights all the time, but the prologue was filled with foreboding. I just knew something awful was going to happen. When I got home, I turned the car off and kept reading. Truthfully, this book probably only deserves three stars, if one goes by the writing quality alone. However, I found the emotional resonance of the book, especially the parts where the characters discuss abused women. Be forewarned, this is not a book for the fainthearted. There is one particularly graphic, and probably unnecessary, scene of violence. Still, when all is said and done, I'll definitely read the other books in this series or something else by this author. Recommended for fans of Tara Janzen and Maya Banks's KGI series.(less)
I'm normally a big fan of Enoch's books, but I found the heroine to be extremely unlikeable. I was eventually able to sympathize with her, but it took...moreI'm normally a big fan of Enoch's books, but I found the heroine to be extremely unlikeable. I was eventually able to sympathize with her, but it took the majority of the book to bring me around. I also had a lot of 'But what about' questions at the end. The premise was unique, but the execution wasn't up to Enoch's usual high standards. (less)
Edited to add that I am so surprised that this won RT's Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance. I felt many of the other nominees were...moreEdited to add that I am so surprised that this won RT's Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance. I felt many of the other nominees were MUCH stronger.
Whenever I get my new issue of the Romantic Times magazine, it tends to jolt me into action regarding my ARC backlog. These days, that's mainly NetGalley.
So, what to say about this one? Hmmm.
It didn't suck?
Faint praise, I know, but I don't know what to say. I blew through it and it was a comforting read because nothing really happens. Hell, Grace and Noah spend half the book apart. I loved Noah's family and I was disappointed when they disappeared from the narrative. I also thought Grace's career was fascinating and I was looking forward to learning more about that, only to have that disappear as well.
Oh, I know, okay, A Home by the Sea is like a TV episode on a serial drama. Nothing gets really gets resolved, but enough happens to keep you interested. (view spoiler)[Caro doesn't have her baby, we never find out what's up with Jill, Grace and Noah don't figure out where they're going to live, Grace's grandfather doesn't leave the hospital, etc. (hide spoiler)], but things keep moving forward and readers will tune in for the next episode.
That's all I got. I kinda want to go back and re-read the early Draycott Abbey books. I loved those. And there wasn't a knitting needle in sight. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It kinda surprises me, every time I finish one of the Harmony books, how much I love these books. I'm actually interested in seeing how the triangle o...moreIt kinda surprises me, every time I finish one of the Harmony books, how much I love these books. I'm actually interested in seeing how the triangle of Noah/Reagan/Brandon plays out. (less)
I feel that if I'm going to rate a book below three stars, then I need to explain why I rated it that way. Especially since this one is freaking nomin...moreI feel that if I'm going to rate a book below three stars, then I need to explain why I rated it that way. Especially since this one is freaking nominated for an award.
I hate to keep re-using the phrase 'soap opera in a can,' but I can't think of anything else that describes how I feel about these books. The very best secret child reveal I've ever read was in Lauren Dane's Never Enough. In that book, the hero and heroine handled the situation mostly like adults and they always had the best interest of the child in mind.
By contrast, while she did have some basis for keeping the baby's existence a secret from the hero, the heroine, Gypsy, annoyed the ever-living shit out of me. Your child should come first. You get fired from your job, the job that's keeping food in your child's mouth and a roof over her head, because the hero's sudden reappearance makes you wibbly. Woman up. The hero, who is very wealthy by the way, tracks you down in the ghetto where you are living (with no heat!) and wants to move you to a better neighborhood, but you fight him on it because of your stupid pride. Woman up. Even if you believe you can cover your child's immediate needs, what about college? What happens if she gets sick? At least in Maya Banks's Wanted by Her Lost Love, the heroine kept the check the hero threw at her, just in case she needed it.
I'm not saying Gypsy should've rolled over and let Rico call the shots. She could have laid down some ground rules, like demanding a separate residence or child support or something. In fact, I feel like the whole book could have been solved with a two-hour couple's therapy session and a lot of 'How does it make you feel when your partner...' questions. It seemed like every freaking time Rico tried to initiate an adult discussion, Gypsy threw a hissy fit. WOMAN UP!
Also, because I am me and a champion nit-picker, the fact that Rico was able to whisk Gypsy and the baby to Greece without nary a word about passports didn't sit right. I would have thought that, even with private jets, you had to have some kind of documentation. Especially in today's day and age.
*sigh* I don't know. I've read categories that I've liked so I don't think it's entirely just me, but now I'm a little scared to read the other nominees.(less)
Why are all category books about rich people? Okay, okay, I know I'm generalizing and it depends on the line and blah di blah, but it feels like every...moreWhy are all category books about rich people? Okay, okay, I know I'm generalizing and it depends on the line and blah di blah, but it feels like every Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice nominee I have read in the 'series' categories have been about rich people. Tentative relationship happens between a commoner and a rich person or two rich people, some horrible miscommunication occurs, and then they have to find their way back to each other. I know this is a case of brand identity and that I shouldn't be surprised by all this, but it just reinforces my opinion that I am not the target audience for these books. I always want to know more about the interesting stuff and less about the whining. Like the antiquities thing in Reclaiming His Pregnant Widow was intriguing and still mildly relevant to today's time.
I wanted to learn how Brand got his start in the field, not read about his complete & total freak-out over the possibility Clea might have moved on. It's been FOUR years, you ass. Why wouldn't you go to an American Embassy? If you'd died of cancer, would you have expected her to sit around and grieve over you forever? Given Clea's sensitivity over her mother's perceived 'desertion,' isn't it possible she's going to be a tad kerflumpt about you striding back into her life after FOUR years of no contact?
Clea, on the other hand, has a fascinating job as a museum curator, one she gained after she worked her way up. Do we learn about this or what a 'museum mile' event is? Noooo. Instead, the reader deduces that Clea has never seen an episode of Gossip Girl as she proceeds to drag out the 'fake fiancee' bit with the companion 'I'm furious, but I'll sleep with you anyway' cliche. One would have thought Clea would be on a roller coaster of emotions, considering the fact that she's pregnant and her dead husband just crashed her workplace gala after FOUR years. Instead she kinda whiffles between indignation, fury, lust, and depression. She needed a therapist and a carton of ice cream.
Despite my own whining, I don't think the book is poorly written. Radley does her best within the limits of the structure of a category romance. I think, what I really want, is to find an author who can take the category formula and me forget that it is a formula. (less)