From Melinda Morel, the award-winning author of Prey and Devour
Vengeance has its price.
But you pay for passion forever...
Descended from werewolf hunters, Catherine Marais has vanquished countless of their vile kind-including the one that slaughtered her father. Her debt of blood and honor was fulfilled-but her heart is empty.
The only one who ignites Catherine's passion is Ian-a handsome, elegant vampire whose seductive touch she cannot resist. But when he offers her the dark temptation of eternal commitment to each other, Catherine must look within her heart-and her truest desires-to find the answers she seeks...
Melina is from New Jersey and spent many years teaching before publishing her first paranormal novel, DEVOUR. She always loved history and enjoys reading it, especially relating to the world’s great empires. She’s a big fan of the History Channel and has always adored costume dramas. Her love of history also led to an appreciation of art and fashion, and in fact, she put this to good use when she wrote two historical novels under another name some years ago. Delving into world myths and folklore led to an interest in the theme of the werewolf and the vampire, which seem to be quite widespread around the globe.
Review Courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Review: *Smolder will be released on January 5, 2010* I’ll admit that I struggled to get through the first half dozen chapters of Smolder. Things did pick up after that, but not nearly enough. If you read Melina’s earlier Devour and Prey, then you’ve already met some of the many, many characters in Smolder, but its not necessary to have read it, and if its anything like Smolder, I can’t recommend it.
Countess Catherine Marais is part of an elite werewolf hunting society in France known as the Institute (get used to that word, you are going to be reading it a lot if you pick up Smolder). When a wounded werewolf gets away and identifies her to the werewolf community she becomes #1 on their most wanted list. This new threat prompts her 200+ year old vampire lover Ian to start pressuring her to join the ranks of the undead. Meanwhile Catherine’s partner Paul and his now wife Julie want to have a baby, but only if they can be sure it won’t be a werewolf. Throw in an unresolved side plot about cloning, an anxious werewolf leader with a nefarious past and a son with an aversion to joining the pack, and there is more then enough story going on here. The real problem is with the writing.
There is a lot of dialogue in Smolder. Maybe as much as 75/80% dialogue verses 25/30% description. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if the dialogue is good. But I would venture to say that the dialogue is arguable the weakest part of Smolder. I found it unnatural, tedious, and cheesy in many places.
Then there are the characters. I never felt any connection with Catherine partially because the novel is told from shifting 3rd person perspective, but more so because despite copious amounts of dialogue, very little is revealed about her as a character (except that she really likes vampire sex). Some of the secondary characters have depth (Luc for example as the unwilling teenage werewolf), but there are way too many to keep straight especially with so many foreign names.
I did enjoy the Romeo & Juliet-esque subplot featuring Catherine’s human niece Solange and Luc the werewolf son of the Lupas Minor, and even the scenes where Ian verbally attempts to convince Catherine to become a vampire (95% of the time, however, he tries a more carnal persuasion with lots and lots of repetitively described sex). The main plot of the werewolves trying to kill Catherine was significantly less interesting.
Personal Pet Peeve: While the cover art for Smolder (and Melina’s two other paranormal romances) is gorgeous, apart from the wolf, it in no way reflects the actual book. Catherine looks nothing like the model, she favors guns not swords, and she is never described wearing anything close to the leather ensemble featured on the cover.
To be clear, I didn’t hate this book. I didn’t feel strong emotions about it at all. And having taken a few days to consider Smolder before finishing this review, I’m having a hard time remembering anything about the book that impacted me. So in a sense, Smolder does live up to its title if you consider that it is defined as: to burn slowly and without a flame. But that’s the problem: not one page has any fire.*Smolder will be released on January 5, 2010*
Sexual Content: Lots and lots of fairly graphic sex scenes (nearly every other chapter).
I'm not really sure what I think about Smolder to be honest. Morel's writing is very much like a story telling and not a story "show and tell", if that makes sense. We're told everything that is going on and while I don't have a problem with the storyline or the characters, it does give off a detached sort of feeling. The story itself is intriguing, but...there's a lot of words.
The relationship between Catherine and Ian is nothing I haven't seen in the previous two novels. It's almost as if the novel is suppose to be a romance, but the story didn't want to be. That the sex scenes are forced into the story, which results in small, repetitive scenes that are really easy to skim through.
Overall, Smolder is an interesting read, just don't expect to get captivated by it; don't expect to get lost in the book and lose track of time. The novel is good, but it was lucky I was in a reading mood. I could very easily see myself setting this book down in order to do something else without pause. I would definitely come back to it, but it just really doesn't inspire my imagination or desire to be a part of the characters lives. Smolder is one of those novels I would recommend getting at the library before deciding to purchase.
I was disappointed in this book. I really liked the first one and tolerated the second but this one was terrible. Catherine and Ian were the heroine/hero of the first one and I liked them there but in this installment, their relationship felt flat. Well, they didn't really have a relationship, it was just sex, sex, sex. And boring, repetitive sex at that. The only things Catherine said was OMG and I love you over and over. Instead of anticipating a good sex scene, my only thought was oh no, not again.
I really had to force myself to finish this book. It just rang false. Catherine's supposed to be this uber-werewolf killer but she just shoots them with silver bullets. It seemed rather unsporting and the werewolves (even the alphas) didn't even put up a fight. So unrealistic and ridiculous. The dialogue from all characters was stilted and strange. All in all a terrible conclusion to this series.
I should know better than to buy a book and a new author at that while I'm at work BORED. I'm on Chp 5 and wondering what the HECK, ummm its boring, and all the french/german/whatever is really boring. I'm going to try to stick with it but if it doesn't get any more interesting another one bites the dust, I have got to stop doing this 3rd one in a week.
paranormal romance. rich, beautiful lead female character who has so much money she does not need to do anything except hunt evil werewolves for adventure pro bono. Handsome, rich colleagues who do ditto. Handsome, rich, urbane vampire in love with lead female who routinely saves her from evil werewolves.