Mel's Reviews > Zero at the Bone

Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville
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's review
Sep 20, 11

bookshelves: e-book, m-m
Read from September 11 to 19, 2011

Warning: I’m not going to make friends with this review. In fact: I might lose some, ha! But Zero at the Bone -practically considered a classic in the m/m genre- didn't do it for me. Most I can make of it is: ‘meh’, which translates to 2,5 stars.

It started out well: I really liked the premise of the story, I liked the fact that Jack held his own despite being helpless in the situation and I was intrigued by the dark and brooding D. I loved D's internal monologue about his vault, in which he kept his dark secrets hidden from the world, and I really liked the way the men interacted... Basically: I was pretty much satisfied until around 40% in.

Sadly: as the story progressed, the plot became more silly, the characters more annoying (Jack) and flat (D) and the whole thing just got too sappy for my taste.
Jack turned into a damsel in distress. And I don't use the term 'damsel' loosely: he became a girl. His level of passive aggressiveness rivaled that of many (annoying) PNR heroine. On top of that, he kept wanting to talk. And when I mean 'talk' I mean: pressuring D for his inner most thoughts -to the point of coming across as inconsiderate and demanding.
And as for D: his short sentences and his aggravating accent (does anyone actually talk like that?) got on my nerves after a while. He seemed like a caricature, the archetype of the brooding, dangerous mystery man. Intriguing initially, but silly after a while.

The plot was far fetched but made some sense until about halfway into the book. Ending the story there (and leaving it semi open) would have been a better idea, I would have given it a 4 star rating at that point. But no: the book just went on and on and on. And with that, the story lost its pace, excitement and most of all: credibility. It became a weird mixture of bad action movie meets bad soap opera.
The main plot about the bad guy following D didn't make any sense at all. Besides: I was surprised by the fact that all supposed professionals turned incompetent and the amateur Jack suddenly had professional skills. I also didn't get how our guys changed from grown men to two adolescent girls, to the point of getting into some PDA while they had a gun to their heads. Also: (minor detail but no less annoying) what was up with sex in the beginning? No lube, no preparation? Really?
And to top off all this silliness: there was a huge dose of sap. And I hate sap.

So, all in all: Zero at the Bone was a huge let down for me. I'm sure it's enjoyable for some, but if you're one for a more realistic and nuanced approach and you're not a big fan of sap, skip this.
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Reading Progress

09/11/2011 page 1
0.0% 14 comments
8.0% "“I’m sorry,” Francisco snapped. “I’ve just never met a professional killer before, and I’m having a little trouble with the degrees of morality here.” Oh Jack, I like you!" 6 comments
16.0% "Never even fired a weapon during two years in Desert Storm? Now I find that very hard to believe."
26.0% "He's freaked out. The bullets and the near-assassination and the fiery gas stations were okay, but the hand-holding freaked him out."
31.0% " The bed creaked as D moved up behind him; he could hear D’s breath scraping in and out in harsh bellow pulls, a faint mumbling beneath it, the heat of his hands on Jack’s hips. He put his head down and tried to relax; then a press and a deep throb and D was inside him. Wait, what? Like that? No foreplay no lube no nothing?" 4 comments
48.0% "I'm sorry to say, but it's almost getting a bit... sappy!"
53.0% "Special Forces? Special Forces?!? And he doesn't know the first thing about infections and illnesses? Pooh!" 12 comments
58.0% "I think I figured out who Petros is..."
71.0% "“No. That was the you that was. You’re not that guy, not anymore. You’re my guy now, my D, and my D doesn’t kill people.” Argh! Hand me a bucket, please!"
80.0% "This is bad action movie meets bad soap opera..." 13 comments

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I'm actually starting to get bored. And a little annoyed. I liked Jack, but he's turning into a drama queen.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

You could cut the last 20% of this book and it wouldn't be missed.

Just sayin'.

Gor93ous Yup, the story was pretty much withering around halfway of the book. I like Jack too, but he was being too irritating for my liking at some points. I think the book could have been executed better if the pacing of the 2/3 of the book was carved nicely.

Lauraadriana Damn you're a tough cookie! I trust my Josh! He'll wear you down baby!

message 5: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL sorry.

Yes I have very high hopes for Josh! :)

message 6: by Casey (new)

Casey Cox Hm. Now I don't know whether or not to give this one a shot. I've been putting it off and putting it off, then I advanced it through the ranks a little and was going to read it before SF. Now I don't know again.

WOuld I like it, Mel? Or is it going to piss me off too?

message 7: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh that's a difficult call. I think you'd be annoyed at some instances, but you have a higher tolerance for sap than I do. I can't see you rating it any lower than 3 stars. Maybe just try it anyway, if you own it already?

Lauraadriana Mel wrote: "Oh that's a difficult call. I think you'd be annoyed at some instances, but you have a higher tolerance for sap than I do. I can't see you rating it any lower than 3 stars. Maybe just try it anyway..."

NO SAP!! Josh really does not so sap. You'll like it. YOU HAVE TO!...No pressure :O)

message 9: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL. Noooo pressure. ;)

message 10: by Casey (new)

Casey Cox I don't own it yet. Maybe I'll leave it til after SF. I'll wait til I'm inspired again and have forgotten the hype.

I'm usually always let down by books that have a lot of hype.

Nile Princess Love your review. I'm halfway through and beginning to think I must be missing something, what with all the 5 star ratings. This book feels amateurish at best. I'll keep reading but I'll have to stifle the eye rolls.

message 12: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Thanks Nile Princess. And sorry to say but it only gets worse! Prepare your eyes for some heavy duty rolling!

Nile Princess I'm seriously thinking of quitting while I'm ahead. I just realized I'm not even halway through, more like 33%. I really like the premise though. Badass assassin falls for the guy he was supposed to take out. Any recommendations?

message 14: by Indie Reviews (new)

Indie Reviews Hi Mel,

I know this one is very popoular with m/m romance readers, and it's been in my TBR pile for a while. I started reading it a few months ago but for the life of me could not get into it. It wasn't holding my interest, so I put it down. I won't give up just yet though and will try reading it again eventually when the mood strikes I guess. Thanks for the review.

message 15: by Mel (last edited Oct 23, 2011 11:24AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Nile Princess, I see you're already reading Special Forces and to me, those books are the best. I'd also recommend Jordan Castillo Price. She writes good books with great characters, humor and hot sex. Her stories are mostly UF-ish. Tere Michaels has very sweet books, Josh Lanyon is a wonderful writer though he is light on the romance and heavy on the mystery. If it doesn't sound like your thing, do try the Adrien English series out anyway. I'm not a big fan of mystery myself, but I ended up living the series.
I also like some books by Chris Owens and Andrea Speed. For on line reading, check Sonny& Ais.

Hey Indigene. I really do hope you end up liking it. For me the best part was the beginning and if that doesn't catch your attention then I'm afraid you won't like the rest of the book. But who knows? Let me know if/how you ended up liking it! :)

Nile Princess Hey, don't think the PsyCops series is my thing, so I guess it's back to Book 2 of Special Forces. Thanks!

message 17: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Enjoy SF. Oh and try After Midnight by Sonny.

Nile Princess Ok, will do!

Nile Princess I just stumbled upon this thread again and realized you recommended After Midnight almost 2 months ago. I'm halfway done with it now and loving it!!!

message 20: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh I'm glad! It's a great story. I hope Sonny does a lot more solo writing.

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