Melody's Reviews > Standing in the Shadows

Standing in the Shadows by Shannon McKenna
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Aug 26, 14

bookshelves: genre-erotic-romance, me-love-you-long-time, scars-are-sexy, wish-i-hadn-t-bought, contrived-plot, annoying-hero, wtf-was-that, love-me-some-dirty-talk, opposites-attract, crazy-ass-psycho-villain, possessive-jealous-hero, arrogant-cocky-hero, unique-hero, disappointing, one-and-only-love, hero-with-long-hair, brooding-dark-quiet-heroes, cornball-dialogue-plot, reviewed-by-me, virgin-heroine, stalker-alert, raging-asshole-award, pink-themed-cover, alpha-hero, tortured-hero, bad-boy, love-at-first-sight, grouchy-pants, disfigured-disabled-hero-or-heroine, headstrong-h-hr, much-older-hero, books-i-gave-out, i-burn-for-you-love, pushed-the-wrong-buttons-for-me, creeped-me-out, genre-romantic-suspense, choking-on-the-cheesy, good-girl-meets-bad-boy, begging-for-snark, whomp-whomp-whomp-fail, really-wanted-to-love-it
Read from June 12 to 18, 2011

This was meh. Interesting set up, story had a lot of potential but it kinda deflated for me for a few reasons. The main thing that made it a 3 star for me was the hero, Connor's obsessive-controlling-bullying-borderline-abusive tendencies when it came to the heroine, Erin. I'm all for alpha-male possessive heroes um yes please but there is a limit to how far they go, and in this case the author pushed it a *little* too far and started to veer off into that grey area. Staking a claim on a woman by using rough sex, insulting her and overpowering her is not love nor is it cute. It lost all fun and flavor with how he would go about getting her to 'listen'. There were several scenes that made it a little uncomfortable to read because I couldn't help drawing parallels between Connor's behavior with how a jealous controlling abusive boyfriend would react to finding out his girlfriend went somewhere without telling him. I mean really?? Being protective is one thing, but keeping tabs on everywhere you go and going completely ape shit (to the point of getting physical) because you didn't tell him beforehand is two seconds away from a restraining order for me. That's not healthy or normal behavior for ANY man to have towards a woman. I just couldn't get into the overall story cause Connor's creepy obsessive controlling behavior kept ruining it for me. I thought his reactions to things were extreme and way over-the-top.

Plus the condescending attitude he used whenever he talked to her and kept using that stupid pet name 'babe' didn't help either. It made me cringe. That's more a personal thing but I've never found it cute or sexy when guys call their girl's babe. That particular nickname just gets under my skin I don't know why but it comes off so patronizing especially the way the hero in this used it. It's a turn off and pet peeve of mine. And using sex (rough dominating sex I might add) and feelings as manipulation to get your way doesn't score points for me as a rootable hero. The story had it's moments but it quickly lost my interest cause of one or several reasons I'm listing got in the way. I wanted to enjoy it more but couldn't.

Also as far as plot and 'suspense' there really wasn't much of that in this. The villain was kind of laughable and ridiculous at best. I didn't really care much for his 'revenge' plot that only popped up in a few chapters here and there. It was like the author wanted to make the guy so vile and creepy and deranged (cliche much?) that he came off a little cartoonish for me. I kept waiting and waiting for something explosive to happen between the H/HR and the villain but nothing did except in one chapter at the very end. So predictable. RME. More then 2/3rds of the book was focused on the H/HR getting together and having hot monkey sex every which way and playing out kinky fantasies.

The other thing that I couldn't get passed and made my eyes roll was every time Connor and Erin would get sentimental or have a sweet tender serious moment it was ruined with Connor getting a hard-on and wanting to have sex like some hormonal teenager. I mean are you kidding me? Slow down there buddy. Just got kind of corny and unrealistic for me at times. Cause gosh! it's so freaking sexy and a turn on when she would simply thank him. Oh please. And I'm not exaggerating in the least. The guy would be firing and ready to go the minute she would say 'thank you. His instant reaction: 'OH YES! Baby let's fuck!' WTF?? Am I in the High School version of the Twilight Zone? O_o Slow it down there and reel some of that in. That's another thing that just lost all interest for me. The author loved to lay it on rrrreal thick when it came to the sexy talk and the constant swearing, cause you know it's just oh so sexy and macho for the guys to cuss and swear every other minute. lol I don't mind a dirty mouth or swearing but when it's necessary, using it every other line is just OTT and trying too hard. Guys have potty mouths, yes I get it. We all do but it doesn't need to be used all over the place to get the point across IMO. In this case, less is more.

Oh and Connor's kung-fu kick ass brothers who talked like teenagers didn't endear me either. More like cornball cheesy cliched characters then anything else.
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