Ruth's Reviews > Merciless

Merciless by Diana Palmer
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It was tricky rating this one. I couldn't decide between 1 star "I didn't like it", and 2 stars "it was OK". The basic plot is actually good, and I really liked both the hero and heroine, they were fresh and real to me. However, there were so many problems with the writing and the attitude that I just couldn't bring myself to really like it.

What I liked about this one:

- There is an honesty about the the hero and heroine which is charming. It is fresh and very real to me that they have some "normal" level of morality. Most people, after all, don't jump into bed with other people all the time, and we all make mistakes that we regret, but learn to move on from. I very much liked the office-side of their relationship, and the banter between them is exactly how it is at work. Having said that, I felt the hero was short-changed on the emotional intelligence quotient. The author has given him such a lack of emotional engagement (way beyond anything I've ever come across in a human being), that at times, it felt like I was staring deep, deep into his soul and seeing.. an amoeba. And I really don't think it matched the rest of his character, which was that of a normal, caring, nice person.

- The plot was actually pretty good. It ran too much together with the previous book in the series, which I didn't read, but it was still a solid plot.

What I didn't like so much:

- My number 1 pet-peeve about this book was the author's constant lecturing, which completely detracted from the story. I do not read books to be enlightened on the author's views on parental responsibilities and other such issues. If I want to read a book on those subjects, I'll buy one. It's a fine line between having interesting characters revealing quirky and realistic views on ordinary subjects, and feeling an author is ramming their political, moral and social opinions down your throat, and I'm afraid this author crossed that line for me, which was an incredible shame. With a bit more restraint, it would have made this book intriguing and fresh.

- There was way too much hokey stuff. A sick child, multiple reformed hitmen and guard dogs that are fabulous with kids, but can kill at a single command - I'm sorry, but it was too much, too much, too much. It was also full of pointless platitudes like "the internet has revolutionized the way we share information", and a whole range of "stuff" about American tribal history, and I was left wandering where on earth these gems had come from. I mean, I do find American history really interesting, but again, if I want to read it, I'll get a book on it. I don't expect to find it in a romance/suspense

- The writing is pretty poor in places. There is way too much staccato dialogue, and it all feels very uneven, very choppy, and with absolutely no flow whatsoever. It was written like a very tedious episode of CSI. This kind of ties into how the heroine's Big Secret is handled. I mean, I guessed straight away what the Secret was, but if the writing handled it in a sophisticated way, it really wouldn't have mattered, but how the hero forgave her? I'm sorry, I just couldn't believe it one little bit.

So, I gave it 2 stars, because, well, I just thought the hero and heroine were really very nice people let down by poor writing, which was a dreadful shame.

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