You guys don’t think I’d ever pass up a Tessa Dare novella, do you?
This story begins with a wedding, sort of. Mary has beReview posted on Got Fiction?
You guys don’t think I’d ever pass up a Tessa Dare novella, do you?
This story begins with a wedding, sort of. Mary has been left at the altar and Sebastian is there to rescue her. He’s always been there to rescue her. He’s her younger brother’s best friend, and spent a lot of time with them when they were younger. When her brother was killed in the war, Sebastian couldn’t rescue Henry, so his protective instincts intensified.
Sebastian’s form of rescuing her is to marry her himself so her reputation wouldn’t suffer as much as if she stayed a jilted spinster. It doesn’t take much to convince her, although Mary does argue against the idea at first. He isn’t above forcing her hand a bit, and she seems relieved to not have to deal with the groom not showing up.
This chance to rescue her isn’t entirely selfless, though. Sebastian has been in love with his best friend’s older sister since he met her as a lad. But he’s always known that you don’t touch your best friend’s sister. Once they’re married, he starts to think that maybe marrying a woman who was supposed to marry someone else that day wasn’t the best idea. She might tell him that she never loved the fiance, however he thinks maybe she’s still conflicted about the whirlwind jilting/wedding.
They ride all night to a small cottage he owns and there’s a scene, the best scene in any book ever. Guys. They have to assemble a bed, a Swedish bed, with no directions, and it goes about like any couple who has ever gone to Ikea and tried to assemble a piece of furniture would think. Tessa Dare, I see what you did there. 🙂
This story could have easily veered into the old He doesn’t love me, he’s just honorable/She doesn’t love me, she’s just out of choices territory, but I’m so glad it didn’t. There’s no Big Misunderstanding, but there is a big twist I didn’t see coming. I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. I wanted more! I hope we see these characters in future books, because it’s a fun and happy story, with enjoyable characters who you just love. With her trademark wit and light hand, Tessa Dare tells a delightful tale.
This book picks up exactly where the last one left off. This is important because there's very little going over of olderReview posted on Got Fiction?
This book picks up exactly where the last one left off. This is important because there's very little going over of older events. You should read this series in order.
In the last book, Luce's house was trashed. I mean, dragon-sized demons will do that to a house. So she's rebuilding and trying her hardest to keep her secret self hidden, but still keep her humanity.
I did not spoil this in the last review, but it's integral to the plot...
Luce was found in the swamps as a kid, but it turns out the reason she has no memories of her past is because she has no past. At least, not an earthly past. She was a queen of a certain world, what we would consider demons, but they're more like dragons, and she's punched into our universe, our world, but instead of coming into our world as herself, as Conquest, one of the Four Horsemen, she was brought into our world as a child. She then grew up as a child. She's about 25 now, and she's just learned she's the worst of the worst. She has no idea about demons, dragons, castes, any of it. But since she's either going to destroy the Earth or save it from her sisters War, Famine, and Death, she's learning fast.
In trying to keep her hold on who she, Luce, is, she's learned that she'll have to embrace Conquest inside, but she can't let Conquest out for fear of destroying everything she holds dear.
She begins to understand, that while she is Luce, she is also Conquest. She has to reconcile that, but she's also trying to feel out her new role as leader of her coterie. They need her. They're bound to her, literally, and they need her attention and affection, just as she's learning she needs theirs.
Meanwhile, there are some rather interesting murders happening in her small Mississippi town. Once she finds out that humans aren't behind them, finding out who's influencing them becomes priority number 1. She's been recruited to work for an FBI type team that's made up of only dragons/demons. She has no choice but to go, as she can't stay near her friends and family without putting them at risk. And their safety becomes her number one priority.
Her father hasn't recovered from the ending of the last book, so while she rebuilds their house, they stay with her father's partner and his wife, Luce's Uncle Harold and Aunt Nancy. This makes it harder to keep them safe. But it shows Luce some hard truths. She's going to have to leave, and she's going to have to lie to keep everyone safe. Luce spends most of this book lying. She's lying to her partner and his wife, to keep them safe. She's lying to herself that she can handle this alone. Facing the truths that she will be leaving not only her friends and family, but her old life is harder than she expected. But moving proves to be the best decision she can make in these circumstances.
Adam Wu is an interesting character. It turns out, he's going to be her new partner. She doesn't trust him, and I don't either. That being said, I don't think he's a villain, or a bad guy, but he's in that gray area of not quite hero, not quite not. I'm super intrigued by him, and I hope he has more page time next book.
I think the next book will be more of Luce moving on into the next phase of her life, but a lot of threads have been left hanging, so I don't see her old life being left in the dust. I'm really excited to see where this journey takes her. If you like Urban Fantasy like Ilona Andrews, or Amanda Stephens, this is definitely up your alley.
***ARC courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley...more
I know, I know. 1 star. Guys, I never give 1 star to books. Buckle up. It's about to get bumpy.
In this book, Katherine is in a terrible position. Her parents have an obscene amount of money, but money can't buy class, isn't that the saying? Her parents have given her the best education money can buy, but she was caught making out with a teacher, he of course blamed her, and her poor young teenage heart learned that lust is bad (more on this later).
Her parents left her in that boarding school for a long time, so while they are terribly gauche and put on airs, she's very well-mannered. Her parents are trying to marry her off into the peerage so they can finally be accepted. Katherine has felt as if she's never had any control over her life at all, and she's been so smothered she's about to scream.
Hugo is the eldest in a family of eccentrics, I guess. His family is a house full of ninnies. I have no other word for them. They are all immature and ridiculous. His mother was so silly. Just silly. Not a lick of sense amongst them. He's constantly being described as a Greek god, and that was so pointless. Seriously. Once was enough. He's back from the sea, he's in the Navy I believe, and he's decided based on a letter from his mother, that he's going to propose to Katherine. They were neighbors in their youth and he remembers liking her well enough, she has money, he has one of the oldest names in England, so win-win.
Katherine sees Hugo and instantly she feels lust. It's uncomfortable, especially as she desires nothing but control, and these feelings for Hugo are uncontrollable. However, she figures she'll ignore it or something. She asks him to marry her for her money, and she'll get freedom and control. They both get their wishes. But...
You know there's a but here, right?
Hugo is super laid back. He recognizes early on that Katherine seems to prize control, so he's okay with her taking over. However, she's just a horrible person. Once they get engaged, she goes to her parents, tells them she'll be getting married, then tells them her monetary demands and basically says peace out, folks. I'm leaving. It's an awkward scene for Hugo, but it shows that Katherine is just...immature and mean. This entire book felt as if everyone was much younger than they truly were.
Now, her parents are supposed to be just horrible, terrible, awful human beings. I saw two very rich middle class parents who wanted the best for their daughter. And yes, they are incredibly gauche and vulgar, and they want to ride Katherine's coattails all the way to London. I get it. They were bad parents. But they weren't evil. They weren't that bad. There's a comeuppance scene for them at the end, and it felt so wrong. Like, they weren't that bad, so why write that scene in. It's supposed to be freeing to Katherine, but yet again, she just comes off spoiled and immature and makes rash decisions.
This is a terrible romance. It's more a book about Katherine finding herself, and I sure don't like who she is. It took 200 pages for me to DNF, and really I skipped to the end anyway, but Hugo is a side character, a foot note, a cardboard cutout of a hero. He is bland, he has very little in the way of page time, and he by 200 pages in is thinking (even if only for a split second) of hooking up with another woman, and I can't say that I blame him.
Katherine thinks she's acting polished and proper but really comes off constantly as stiff and priggish to everyone. At first, you don't blame her since her upbringing was absolutely horrid, but by 200 pages into a 300 page book, we should see some sort of change. At 2/3 of the way through this book, she should have at least an inkling of who she's becoming. But she's still horrible. And seriously, this far in, there should be a connection between the hero and heroine. This is a book about Katherine trying to figure out who she is now that she's achieved her goal of being free and in control. And Hugo is just along for the ride.
Avoid this book. It's really tedious. The characters are silly and behave much younger than their ages. It's not what I've come to expect from Avon books.
I'd also like to add that I decided to read the first book in this series immediately after to see if I'd have the same problems, and I did. This author is not for me, at all, in any shape way or form. I won't be reading her again.