This was really good. I enjoyed it about as much as I did the first book in this trilogy - much more than the second. It is set in the same world, and...moreThis was really good. I enjoyed it about as much as I did the first book in this trilogy - much more than the second. It is set in the same world, and we encounter the same characters, so that was satisfying, however this book definitely had its own plot arc. I think the best thing about it was the quirky heroine. Rosemary is something of an outsider to the group we have been following the last two books, whereas Wes, the male lead, is a part of Adam Temple's kitchen staff. But her quirky genius, bumbling, dorky, romantic persona was just great. I mean, she wears Star Wars T Shirts, she speaks directly, she's honest and open, and I just loved that about her. Not to mention... a Browncoats shirt? Really? Gold Star, Ms Edwards. :)
My gushing aside, the love story here has depth, intensity, connection - really everything I want in a love story. Not only that, but we get to follow through to the conclusion of Jess and Frankie's story and I was quite interested to see that work out, after the mess it was left in in book 2. So, happy endings all around! Sorry if that is a spoiler... but what do you expect from a romance novel?! Really, the overridingly interesting dimension these books had for me (besides interesting, well-rounded characters I could care about), was how all the main characters are obsessed with food. In this book even more than the others, the preparation and enjoyment of food was a pivotal aspect of the romantic relationship. This fundamental connection rings true to me... can't wait for more of these books.(less)
I just finished this and while I did like it more than the last book by Julie James, A lot like love, it still was not on par with my favorites by her...moreI just finished this and while I did like it more than the last book by Julie James, A lot like love, it still was not on par with my favorites by her. I think the reason it worked better is that James wisely returned to writing a lawyer heroine. Clearly, her knowledge of law and affinity for witty, sexy banter is her strong suit and that is where she should stay! The last book, where the heroine was instead a wine shop owner (and heiress!) just did not work for me. Anyway, about this book!
Rylinn and Kyle have a sweet story. They met one fateful night and both were very interested, but life got in the way of their first date. Ten years later, she is assigned to be his prosecutor in a high-profile federal case against him. Sparks fly, and pesky prosecutor/ex-con ethics get in the way a bit, but they are indeed destined to be together.
What I liked about the book: Kyle. Kyle. and Kyle. What a winning sense of humor, my only laugh out loud moments in this book were from Kyle's internal musings. He was dashing, sincere, and just plain funny. I did not like Rylinn quite as much. She is methodical, very planned out, logical. I appreciated that Kyle brought her out of this a little, but I just wasn't that inspired by her. I did enjoy their banter together though.
If I'm rating my favorite Julie James books, then here they are in order of my preference: 1. Practice Makes Perfect 2. Just the Sexiest Man Alive 3. Something About You 4. About That Night 5. A Lot Like Love
So there, this one is my my favorite, but not my least favorite either!(less)
I'll admit that with the seemingly mad-cap plot that was described for this book by its blurb, it was going to have to work hard to impress me - but l...moreI'll admit that with the seemingly mad-cap plot that was described for this book by its blurb, it was going to have to work hard to impress me - but luckily my faith in Carolyn Crane was well-founded! I really had some doubts at the outset... magical computer programs? A fake super spy from a liqueur commercial? Um... er... yeah. But she pulled it off, reasonably well.
I was struck quite a bit at first by how the plotting seemed an awful lot like a Gwyn Cready novel - right down to the heroine prone to serious hijinks, duplicative heroes (who really are the same person), and a dire time warpy/magical plot device to raise the stakes. So this unfortunately started me off on the wrong foot, because I feel like Gwyn Cready does an excellent job with that particular brand of craziness, and it's not what I expect from Crane (who has her own brand of craziness! - or so I thought!). Ultimately I think the plotting fell a little short of a Cready novel (for an excellent example, see: Seducing Mr. Darcy). It didn't sparkle quite as much, it was not quite as hilarious. But what this book did have, if we're keeping to this comparison, is a depth of characterization well beyond anything in Cready's books. And I'm left feeling that this fact should not have surprised me - her characters are one of the best things about Ms Crane's books, for me.
So on to the actual story - Alix is a pretty directionless, all-fun-all-the-time kind of girl, who has inherited a Victorian mansion in the styx of Minnesota from her mysterious great aunt she never knew about. She really has no idea what she is doing, but she wants to turn the house into a B&B. We don't get off on the right foot with Alix - or rather, I didn't get off on the right foot with her. She comes off as totally flighty and promiscuous at the outset. It takes a little while to start to see Alix's redeeming qualities: her loyalty, her humor, her warmth, and the fact that she is more than a little lost.
Not to synopsize too much, because with a book like this I could spend all my time going on and on about the plot because it's a twisty thing! The other main characters are Paul ("Hardass Paul" - yeah!) and Sir Kendall. I found them a good bit more interesting than Alix, actually. Paul was my favorite character, because although he was conflicted, he knew what he wanted. I could never really stop pitying Sir Kendall, he was such a cardboard cutout. I thought the choice Crane made of writing Sir Kendall's viewpoint into a fair amount of the narration was a bold one - not really because it was necessary to move the plot along (which it was in some spots), but it was a bold choice because of how completely she had to construct this character. Who is to say what goes on in the mind of a spoofy secret agent who drinks peach liqueur and only exists in commercials? Well, Carolyn Crane is, obviously!
I would recommend this book. I think if you already like Crane's work (the Disillusionists series), you will like this. And, maybe even if you didn't like that - you might still like this, it is a few things that that series is not:
1. It's the first in a series but the plot is resolved in this book; ie, it stands alone 2. It has much more of a romance than a plot-driven feel 3. For me, it was much less dark and more farcical/humorous
Ultimately - for me, these are the things which made this a 4-star instead of a 5-star read. Because I loved Crane's Disillusionists books SO MUCH, and because there are just not that many authors who can grab onto me and move me so profoundly as she did with those books, this just fell a little bit short for me. I wanted that originality, the insanely visionary world-building, the intense psychological drama, the plot driven so much by love but not only by love. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat, I wanted to soar! So I could not help but feel this book was a bit fluffy- a totally great, zany, fun, still psychological (but perhaps psychological-lite) read, but just a bit fluffy for my taste! So with that full disclosure in mind, I definitely recommend this book. I will keep reading anything Crane writes... but I will keep hoping for something amazing like the Disillusionists from her!(less)
Definitely enjoyed this. I liked the dynamic between Alice and Jake better than the last book, these books seem to be better for me when the woman is...moreDefinitely enjoyed this. I liked the dynamic between Alice and Jake better than the last book, these books seem to be better for me when the woman is in more of the power position. Not that the roles don't flip around, as they always do in Meljean Brooks's books!
I both enjoyed learning more about Michael and the Guardians' history, and was kind of bored by it, all at the same time. Although I find the premise and world of this series interesting, it does not grip me in quite the same way that the characters/relationships do.
In all it was solid but it definitely felt to me like Brook needed a new direction with the overall plot arc and thus the whole plot line about Anaria, Khavi, etc. so a lot of time was spent setting up for the next book. And I feel I have to mention how very stilted this book felt at the beginning after having just finished that wonderful Stephanie Perkins book, Anna and the French Kiss. I know, not even the same genre, but the quality of that writing is just exceptional and made me feel more acutely what I have always felt was a lack of clarity in these Guardian books. Which is not to say I don't enjoy them. I am definitely going to continue! (less)
After finishing Tempted, the story of Anne, Jamie, and Alex's three-way romance that held unexpected emotional, somewhat twisted depths - I was left s...moreAfter finishing Tempted, the story of Anne, Jamie, and Alex's three-way romance that held unexpected emotional, somewhat twisted depths - I was left so unsatisfied by knowing only Anne's perspective throughout the book. Sure, Anne as a character I was committed to, and I cared about the resolution she received, but what about Jamie? What about Alex? WHERE WAS THEIR RESOLUTION?!?!
Cue book 2, this book, where we get to hear Alex's side of the story, from inside his own head. And for all the lack of emotion that Alex displayed in Tempted - such a lack of emotion that he clearly was hiding - well, this book really delivered. Yes, indeed, Alex felt a lot. Clearly he is conflicted about Jamie - he fools himself about it, but less than Jamie does. He is not as conflicted about his feelings for Anne, although he refuses to steal his best friend's wife... as we know after finishing the first book.
This is a short little satisfying book. It definitely whetted my appetite for book 3 - Naked where supposedly Alex gets his very own love story, instead of being a pawn in someone else's.
Warning: if you are freaked out by the cover - you probably shouldn't read this. It has some brief M/M action which is physical but completely devoid of emotion... it's definitely part of Alex and it deserves a place in this book. But Megan Hart has a way of writing erotica (is it really erotica? I don't think so) that draws such a clear distinction between love and sex, and you always know which one or two of those is in the room at any given point. Her writing is so very aware of those distinctions. It's a distinctive trait.
Once again, I applaud Megan Hart while at the same time giving her stink eye for making me feel so conflicted!(less)
I enjoyed this short novella set in the Kate Daniels world. It's a bridge between the last Kate book and the upcoming book about Kate's friend and par...moreI enjoyed this short novella set in the Kate Daniels world. It's a bridge between the last Kate book and the upcoming book about Kate's friend and partner Andrea. Ilona Andrews released this on Christmas as a free gift for their readers, I think because they recently announced that the publication date of Gunmetal Magic would be delayed in 2012. I had read the first part of the content as a snippet on their blog.
This story had its own little plot arc, about a dinner date gone awry for Kate and Curran, when a gift at a nearby table goes horribly, magically wrong. Kate has to step in and do her hero thing, save a young boy whose life is threatened. Along the way, we get treated to a new mythology just as in the regular Kate Daniels books; this time its Norse mythology and a crew of Vikings who get involved. I always enjoy the thoroughness with which Ilona Andrews researches and portrays the different mythologies that come into play in their novels, and this short novella was no different.
From an overall plot arc perspective, we get a little of the ongoing character and plot development. We continue to see more of Kate and Curran's partnership. I enjoy this immensely, they are two of my favorite characters - mostly because the author is not afraid to let them change and grow. We also get to see Kate's involvement in settling a dispute that lingers on in the mercenary Guild, related to the death of Red Solomon, the Guild's former leader, 2 books prior. I think this was my favorite element of the novella, seeing Kate's character continue to grow as she learns more about leadership and building relationships. I enjoy so much the thoughtful approach that is shown, considering what the fallout of the events of previous books actually would be, and then making the characters deal with it.
Definitely recommend this one for fans of the series. If you're new to the series, start with book 1. It's a bit slow to start but it's really worth the time investment.
Loved loved loved this book! Except it was too short and now it's over...
I am not sure how to objectively review this book, because it felt so incredi...moreLoved loved loved this book! Except it was too short and now it's over...
I am not sure how to objectively review this book, because it felt so incredibly personal to me. The main characters, Simon and Fawna (from the Disillusionists trilogy), experience feelings and revelations, a connection of sorts, that just rings so true to me. I really doubt that it rings true for everyone who would read the book. But I was totally swept away - my heart actually raced! - by the intensity of the revelations they had.
I probably can't say much without giving away the plot of this short e-book, so I suppose this may be spoilery - read at your own risk! When Fawna came to the realization that even though she could see the future!, that she could still control her own choices, that fate is never locked in, that there is power and freedom in choice - this is so powerful and so true to me. I was very moved by this short book for that reason. Crane drew me in so quickly to the white hot intensity of feeling these two people experienced, I am unable to distance myself enough from that feeling to consider this book objectively. I just... loved it.
Yes, there is a romance here - it is a short work and there is not a lot of room for more than the story of these two people and how they become connected. But somehow, this is more than a romance, it's a beautiful story about two people who are on incredible journeys of their own, and who happen to find each other along the way. It's the very best kind of love story. I recommend this - it stands on its own, but would probably be more enjoyable if you had read the Disillusionists trilogy first, as these characters have a little history there.
I subscribed to Carolyn Crane's newsletter and she actually sent subscribers a link to download this e-book free, before it was available for purchase, which is just all kinds of awesome. I am such a fan now of Carolyn Crane - and I CAN'T WAIT for what she publishes next!(less)
This was an awesome novella to introduce a new series by Courtney Milan. Although I have read one other full-length novel by her, this shorter piece w...moreThis was an awesome novella to introduce a new series by Courtney Milan. Although I have read one other full-length novel by her, this shorter piece was superior - in my opinion!
Hugh is the man of a petulant boor of a duke, and he's desperate to use his position to get himself settled in the world- to prove to his dead father that he really is worth a damn. Known as the "wolf", he's ruthless in getting what he wants.
Serena is a former governess who's been cast out of her position and who's come seeking something from the duke. All Hugh knows is, he has to get rid of her. Unfortunately, he hasn't counted on her spirited arguments being quite so irrestistable.
What made this short work such a winner for me were all the sparks between these two. Well before there was anything physical, it was clear from their arguing that they were perfectly matched. Throw in a truly memorable and character-driven love scene, and this little book was damn near perfect! I only wish it were longer. I will definitely look for more of Milan's full-length books!(less)
Review:I've thought about this book for about a week after finishing it, and I have actually read two other books in that week, but I still feel like...moreReview:I've thought about this book for about a week after finishing it, and I have actually read two other books in that week, but I still feel like I need to roll it around in my mouth a bit more to finish tasting it!
Hands down, Ilona Andrews has created the richest, most character-driven urban fantasy series out there. I am so incredibly hooked on this series, and I'll try (briefly) to explain why. Chances are, if you're reading this, you are also a fan since this is book 6 in the series, but I still think it's such an important reason why I love these books. These authors are masterfully plotting on two levels. They are giving us a solid end-to-end plot in each book, along with amazing worldbuilding, character development, biting humor, pain, love, griminess, and serious badassery. Each book is masterful. But then - they are simultaneously giving us a clear story arc that spans the whole series, in the grand tradition of fantasy series. I just don't think many other authors in this genre are writing this way. Yes, there are other authors who do this as well, but frankly most urban/paranormal fantasy has at least a little trash in it, and too often the focus in on jerking the readers around, and/or trashing up the story. So there is not enough continuity, and as a reader I frankly can't relax and fall under the spell of the story, because my big picture brain is not engaged enough. The Kate Daniels series, on the other hand, is like brain candy. Tantalizing in the characters, subplots, interactions, humor, love story, but then also at the same time, tasty and filling on the series arc as well. In other words, YUM!
So, on to this book. I mentioned I trust this author, and I have noted that some other reviewers felt a bit betrayed by at least one element of this book. I really disagree. At no point did I ever lose trust in them to take Kate and the gang (and me) where they needed to go. Was it painful at times - well, pretty much the whole time? Yes. Did I doubt if it could be resolved to my satisfaction? Yes. Ultimately, was I happy with how it ended? Yes. It's their story, and I trust them to write it- clearly they know what they're doing, and can do it better than I can!
Anyway, the series has never read like a romance novel to me. Yes, there is an amazingly successful love story in there, but that is not all it is, nor is that all Kate is. So I don't stake the success of the series on the success of the love story. It's integral, yes, but it's not what this story is about. This is Kate's story, and ultimately it's her battle, only she can fight it. I love that about this series. Her relationships, with Curran as well as with others, play a role, but they aren't the main event. And I think this book reinforced that, because of the separation that she experienced, and how that continues to shape her into the person she will be when she faces Roland. It's hard to believe that's the next book...
So overall, I found this book to be hugely satisfying, and it featured almost all of the characters I have come to know and love - Kate, Curran, Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Aunt B, Saiman. And some characters I know but don't necessarily love. And some I dislike, and some totally new ones! It was a fast-paced book and the new characters were exciting. Taking them out of Atlanta felt like it raised the stakes for the action, which was probably about right for this point in the series. Overall, the series definitely took books 1-3 to establish its groundwork and its stakes, and then it blew them all out of the water with book 4 (Magic Bleeds). Which meant book 5 (Magic Strikes) had to be a bit of a stop and take stock kind of book, re-focused on relationships and fallout before the big ending. So I view this book, the penultimate one in the main story arc (which is 7 books), as the beginning of the ramp-up to the end. I fully expect the next book to go at a breakneck pace. The dissonance here, with the different location and the deeply uncomfortable character dynamics, is meant to prepare us for the end. I can't wait to see what comes next!
A spoiler, and my vague prediction for book 7: (view spoiler)[ Astamur tells Kate that Roland is forbidden from going to Europe by the other ancient powers that reside there, and "If you come to these mountains with open hands, I will welcome you, but if you come holding a sword, you will die by it". So I predict that the ultimate battle will be Kate against herself, against her will to fight with everything that she is. She will have to somehow give up fighting to beat Roland, with the aid of other ancient powers, maybe as their agent? Just a thought. I am not sure how I feel about Kate potentially going against everything that she is, and that's probably too simple and it will be much more complicated than that. And, as I said - I trust the author to tell the story, so we'll see! (hide spoiler)]
So, if you're not reading this series yet, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? Get with the program! Start with Magic Bites, but be aware that it improves with each book. So don't get discouraged if you don't really like Kate to start with. That's kind of the point - she evolves. :) Oh, and this book just hit #1 on the NYT mass market paperback bestseller list, so clearly I am not the only one who loves it.
Original review: I can't review this yet. I read it, after re-reading books 3-5, and I loved it, it CONSUMED me. So, 5 stars, for sure. But I can't articulate anything about it. I need time to read it again and think about it before I can approach it that way. It's all a big emotional jumbly mess for me right now.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm not going to lie, I started this series one night alone on my couch and here I am, almost exactly one week later, having finished all the books in...moreI'm not going to lie, I started this series one night alone on my couch and here I am, almost exactly one week later, having finished all the books in the series written to date and then having re-read at least 4 of them. I read in a review somewhere that these books have some kind of crack in them, and I second that opinion - total book crack! :)
First and foremost, these books are scary. The first book had Perry and Dex visiting a haunted lighthouse and nearly getting killed by malevolent ghosts. The second had them in New Mexico battling shapechanging shamans preying on them in the wilderness. This third book takes them even further away from their comfort zones, visiting D'Arcy Island off the coast of Vancouver, an uninhabited island where an entire colony of lepers was left to die back at the turn of the century. It's terrifyingly remote, only reachable by boat and not in the season they are visiting (late autumn). There is absolutely no one there to buffer or help them, and boy oh boy is it haunted. This setting and story definitely scared me more than others have. And yet it's easy to deal with being scared, because the relationship that is developing between Perry and Dex is hugely and excitingly distracting!
Completely alone and hounded by terrifying events and people, these two are pushed deeper into their own minds than they are comfortable with. One of the things I find so intriguing and powerful about this series is how it takes the paranormal/supernatural, and inserts it right into our own reality. Perry and Dex see ghosts - and they are the only ones. Both of them have a history of mental illness, because although they believe they can see ghosts, in reality our society is not very accepting of this tendency. The lines of what is real and what is in our own head versus in a true objective reality, are very blurred in this book, even more so than in other books. Perry has never really trusted herself, because of the way she has been treated. Couple this with how deep her feelings are starting to get for Dex, how open and raw they seem to be with each other, and how insecure they both are in their feelings, and it's like a beautiful, twisted vortex of haunting and mental illness and love.
I found this book really very satisfying in how it met the need for a concrete, scary-as-hell plot about the haunting of D'Arcy Island, helped to fill in more blanks about why Perry is the way she is, as well as showed me more about Dex's history and current relationship (with the super hot and bitchy Wine Babe Jenn). And of course, it got Perry and Dex to open up more with each other, which is a huge draw of the series. (less)
3.5 stars. This book, first published in 1988, but new to me and my first by this author, nevertheless had a very nostalgic feeling. Perhaps this was...more3.5 stars. This book, first published in 1988, but new to me and my first by this author, nevertheless had a very nostalgic feeling. Perhaps this was because so many of the books I loved growing up were quite similar. I was reminded a lot of Charles De Lint's work when reading this as well, which may very well be from the same era but I am not quite sure which came first.
Anyway, this book is about Eddi McCandry, a young musician who becomes involved with the Fae against her will, as they are partaking in the traditional war between Seelie and Unseelie courts for the land itself ("the Oaks"). Each court must create a formal bond with a mortal, in order that they may engage in war - the magic shared between the Fae and the human allows them (the Fae) to die, for only as long as it lasts. Traditionally, this is for a season, as Eddi learns. She is lucky enough to be bound to the Seelie court (as opposed to the Unseelie) although she doesn't view any of this as luck but more as an annoyance - at first.
As Eddi is learning to navigate the Faerie court with the help of her bodyguard, a Phouka, she is also forming a rock band with her friend Carla. They recruit some local musicians and a fair amount of the book is spent describing their rehearsals, their writing process, and their gigs. Actually, this is what set the book apart a little for me. Although it may have been a very early urban fantasy book and perhaps groundbreaking for its time, now the magic and the Fae aspects seem a little bland. But the music, how Eddi creates it, what it means to her, and the way that Bull describes this stands apart. Indeed music plays a pivotal role in the plot development, ultimately, which was kind of a nice, non-violent alternative for once.
The other thing I really liked about the book was Eddi herself. The book is written in third person so she doesn't narrate; however we are often privy to Eddi's thoughts. She is wry, thoughtful, and pretty self-aware. I enjoyed listening to her thoughts more often than not. I also appreciated that she has guns and she sticks to them - also, that in this case I don't mean actual guns but morals. It's not so often these days that one finds an urban fantasy book with so little violence.
So the lack of violence, and the general lack of any kind of horror feeling from the book at all, is what made me feel like a kid again. And I liked that. BUT it also made the conflict feel a little tepid, after how integrated urban fantasy and horror have become these days and how generally dark most books about supernatural creatures are. In particular the Unseelie in this book were no scarier than a villain in a Disney movie. That lack of provocative horror makes this book feel a little more juvenile than it was perhaps intended to be. I would say it's suitable for young adults, definitely.
There is a romantic relationship in the story and I found that well done, if simple and not overly psychological. The romance aspect also makes me feel this is an appropriate read for young adults - while there is sex, nothing is explicit and the intent is very appropriate. Everyone involved in the romantic storyline gets to keep their dignity. All in all it was very sweet and... appropriate.
So thumbs up for nostalgia and great writing about the magic of making music. Less enthusiasm from me personally on the Fae conflict or the romance. While enjoyable they were not quite as memorable for me- my reading of this book may be suffering from my having read books that came later and proved more exciting, edgier... but alas that is how it goes! Still, I recommend this if you are a fan of De Lint or looking for something magical and non-violent for once.(less)
Oh that was fabulous and compelling and original and I loved it! I suppose I might write a real review later when I'm not high off of finishing it. Bu...moreOh that was fabulous and compelling and original and I loved it! I suppose I might write a real review later when I'm not high off of finishing it. But for now I'm just enjoying it...
So coming back to this after a couple of days (and having read another book), I find thinking of this book still makes me kind of giddy. I can identify perhaps a bit more clearly now that the book did have some flaws... mostly the same complaints I had with the first book (and with the second book, though I think that one distracted me quite soundly with the ending!). But I just don't care. It's not often that a book (or series in this case) so thoroughly enchants me that I am alternately enthralled and disgusted quite as powerfully as this series did.
I cared pretty deeply about what happens to these characters. The most significant plot of the book is entirely psychological and happens with Justine's head. Sometimes Justine's head is an uncomfortable place to be. I can see where some might gripe that the denouement was not significant enough after all the tension of the mystery component of the book, but to me it was because the real resolution of the (emotional) plot was within Justine herself and happened earlier. She finally came back to the version of herself that I could like and identify with.
I think I am probably not making much sense. This series is outstanding, to me, because it is very very original. It is incredibly psychological. The characters, the setting of MidCity, the story itself are all woven into this feeling very well. The book has the same distinct noir feel that the other two books have, but at the same time it feels very contemporary. As I mentioned - and I feel it bears mentioning - perhaps even a disclaimer! - there is some uncomfortable stuff here. Crane and her story of memory revision and disillusionments goes very deep into the psychology of fooling oneself, and rationalization. Spoiler for book two follows: (view spoiler)[ Justine is existing with a powerful memory revision of critical information that occurred at the end of book two, and yes, she is engaged to marry Otto. Fill in the blank of what happens between them that would be completely skeevy... (hide spoiler)]
In conclusion for my rambling review, I will say this. You should read this book, and/or series. Start at the beginning with Mind Games. You will not regret it!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I don't even know what to say! I should have waited to read this book until the 3rd one was out. I am stunned by what a total mindfuck the ending of t...moreI don't even know what to say! I should have waited to read this book until the 3rd one was out. I am stunned by what a total mindfuck the ending of this was. Really, just stunned. Wow. Great book, even a great ending in some senses, but so painful.(less)
Not a terrible book, my first by Sarah Mayberry. It's a friends-to-lovers romance premise. The characters were decently engaged and I did feel for Del...moreNot a terrible book, my first by Sarah Mayberry. It's a friends-to-lovers romance premise. The characters were decently engaged and I did feel for Delaney, pining away for her BFF like that as he's totally oblivious. But ultimately it just felt self-indulgent and I can't get very excited about characters who are so completely unself-aware. Plus, although there is a HEA (surprise!) it came right at the very end of the book - after all that dancing about and not loving her, Sam finally admits he loves her and then there is only 2 pages of denouement? Puh-lease! Guess this was just not quite psychological or twisted enough for me!(less)
I didn't actually finish, so much as I just got bored and disgusted with this and quit reading it. I could just care less where it's going, I am not i...moreI didn't actually finish, so much as I just got bored and disgusted with this and quit reading it. I could just care less where it's going, I am not interested!(less)
This book was kind of interesting. It started out as a complete wish fulfillment kind of thing. Like, let's write a book about lots of hawt sex and we...moreThis book was kind of interesting. It started out as a complete wish fulfillment kind of thing. Like, let's write a book about lots of hawt sex and we'll set it in this place where it's totally OK to f*ck everyone all the time, and act as if it's a dystopian thing - like in the future, we'll all be total prudes or sluts, with no in between. I mean, I just could not get very committed to the "world building" in this book, which from the very start seemed purely calculated just to let Noelle be a total dominated slut.
But then something happened that I was not expecting. In the middle of all the multiple partner, public (!) sex, the characters actually experienced character development. It went from being utter and complete porn to being a romance which just prominently featured sex. Color me surprised! So I ended up enjoying it more and caring more than I thought I would.
Noelle is a councilman's daughter who got ejected from Eden - the city - for being "promiscuous" and drinking liquor (illegal there). She is ejected out into the slums of sector 4 - where Dallas O'Kane's gang calls the shots. She happens to land at the feet of Jasper, Dallas' enforcer, and he rescues her from rape and slavery and they give her a shot at being in the gang. As long as she "serves drinks, cleans house, or sucks dick by the end of the week."
Since Noelle is a closet submissive, the idea of being forced to "suck dick" really gets her going. And then we are treated to many, many pages of her going and going. I think most of my issues with the book come in about here. Noelle is a supremely weak person, who does whatever anyone tells her to do - she wants to do anything anyone tells her. Jasper sees this and although he wants her, and he has her - sexually - he won't let himself love her until she figures out who she is and what she wants.
So I actually found the sex kind of tedious. Call me traditional, call me a prude - I don't mind the idea of 2, 3, 4 people having sex or getting off together - but I want them to have feelings for each other. It wasn't until Noelle started admitting her feelings for Jasper and Lex, that I started to care about what happened. And even then, I still had some issues with the sex in the book. Not that I object to it, but it was not very transportive for me. The things that Noelle is into - BDSM and exhibitionism, voyeurism - are pretty foreign to me. I don't feel that Rocha took me enough into why they made Noelle so jolly for me to find them hot or erotic.
But as I said, from a character development perspective, I was pleasantly surprised by Noelle's growth, Jasper's, and by the glimpses into the other characters - Lex and Dallas, Rachel, who seem to be featured in other books. I like Lex a bit more than I like Noelle, she is not such a doormat - rather she cannot yield. So I might check out that next book to see if the trend continues!(less)
This was just OK. I felt like the heroine's easy adaptation to her horrible transformation from human to vampire was a little hard to swallow. Oh, you...moreThis was just OK. I felt like the heroine's easy adaptation to her horrible transformation from human to vampire was a little hard to swallow. Oh, you killed me and brought me back to life as undead, but it's OK as long as you LOVE me! Garf!(less)
I liked this but not as much as the first one. Devon and Lilah Jane are all right but they don't throw many sparks for me. The unexpected highlight of...moreI liked this but not as much as the first one. Devon and Lilah Jane are all right but they don't throw many sparks for me. The unexpected highlight of this book for me was the relationship between Frankie and Jess. How often in a contemporary romance book with a straight (hetero) H/H do you get meaningful subplot love stories about gay men? Hmm, not very. Tastefully done in a mainstream way, in that the steamy parts were all straight as an arrow, and Frankie and Jess just do alot of cuddling. But their relationship felt much more authentic and reasonable (and relatable!) than the main attraction here. Anyway. Pretty fun light read.(less)