What idiotic incoherent dramatic mess was this Julianne MacLean?
Jesus on a stick.
This had a really promising start. A rakehell hero and an AmericanWhat idiotic incoherent dramatic mess was this Julianne MacLean?
Jesus on a stick.
This had a really promising start. A rakehell hero and an American heiress spitfire. They meet under accidental clandestine circumstances when the heroine ends up at the wrong ball and meets the hero incognito. Both are enamored (turned on) by each other immediately and can’t stop thinking about each other. And the story goes from there.
What started to make things buckle was the obsessive focus on the hero’s sigh-inducing good looks and all his nonstop talk about his pleasure giving skills and wanting to boink the heroine. Like….we get it. He’s an Adonis. He wants to bone the girl. Please, move on. Every paragraph you are reminded how amazingly stunning this guy is, how perfect, beautiful and gorgeous he is that it quickly made things two-dimensional and overdone. Instant. mood killer. I honestly thought MacLean had a lady boner herself for this hero with how she kept waxing poetic about him. Unreal. I don't think I've ever read the words 'gorgeous' and 'beautiful' more in one book.
I mean you want to talk about purple prose...
He was the personification of sexuality. Charismatic, erotic and enticing, he made her quiver from within and forget all the concerns of the day. All that mattered when he touched her was that he continued to touch her, with his expert hands and his astounding talent to please. All she wanted was his body.
“But you made me promise,” he replied, ribbing her on, without withdrawing from the tight, sopping heat of her womanhood.
His whole being shook with excitement as the swollen head of his desire came to a quiet pause at the entrance to her dark, divine haven.
He was still inside her, moving with the hypnotic cadence of a poem.
Her breath caught in her throat at the awesome sight of him.
She recognized his acute sexual instinct alerting to her desires.
Because of the endless Odes to Seger Wolfe's Sexual Prowess, the connection between the leads is questionable at best and doesn’t come off genuine or deep through most of the story. And that starts to show when they are continuously tested. The lack of trust between the two is bounced between them like a hot potato through 90% of the book.
She’s not sure of him. He’s not sure of her. She doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t trust her. She trusts him. He trusts her. Wait...she doesn’t trust him. Omg....he doesn’t trust her. She kinda?....trusts him. He sort of?...trusts her.
And can I just point out that having your hero feeling a sense of doom and dissatisfaction after the couple say their wedding vows isn’t the greatest sign that these two are a good match? I'm just saying. I was cringing. It almost seemed like he wasn’t marrying the heroine with how the author approached it. These two honestly should have just humped each other in the shadowy alcove beneath the stairs at the Pleasure ball and call it a day and part ways.
If anything Clara and Seger's relationship is summed up perfectly in the dialogue itself which would be ironic if it wasn't so sad:
He did not want to delve into her emotions. He wanted only light conversation and sex. All he knew was how to be casual.
Their whole relationship is purely based on lust. Period. The author brings that home endlessly with how little they know each other and Seger constantly putting on his rakish charm and seducing Clara whenever things got too emotional and personal because “he doesn’t know how to handle female emotions”. Oh please.
Now enter the third party interloper(s): Seger’s stepmother Quintina and his shy quiet wallflower cousin Gillian who secretly has been in love with him since she was a child. Never mind the fact that this girl has done nothing to try and win him over through the years except stare at her feet and not say more than 3 words to him but I digress. The minute they find out that Seger is saying au revoir to debauched bachelorhood, these 2 try to get rid of Clara by any means because Seger "belongs to Gillian".
Clara, you in danger girl.
At first I didn’t mind this, seeing a quiet character who flies under the radar start to slowly crack was interesting. But when it became obvious that conniving Gillian's only purpose was to simply drive a bigger wedge between Seger and Clara with even more distrust and jealousy, I started to lose my patience. I cannot stand meddling party tropes, hate hate haaaaaate it. Triangles I don't mind. This? No. Especially when it’s dragged out so long and the sole purposed is for the hero to constantly question the heroine’s innocence. It’s so cheap and gimmicky to me. Of course Clara catches on that Gillian is in love with Seger and shares her suspicions with Seger only for him to laugh it off and give her “girl, you are crazy” looks. 😫 #triggered This shit makes my eye twitch like nothing else. Not only is it unnecessary but it makes the hero come off like an oblivious asshole.
Attention Authors: It’s NEVER a good look for your hero to side with the third party meddler over the heroine (who happens to be his wife in this case). Never ever. It's just nonsensical. Especially when the heroine hasn’t given him reasons enough not to believe her word. I really wish authors would stop using this annoying ploy because it only does more damage and makes the couple’s HEA look very questionable. Take this outdated trope OFF your storyboard ideas and move to the next.
*steps off soap box*
To be completely honest, I thought both the hero and heroine acted like irrational confused stupid dingbats with all the back and forth blame game. At first, I couldn’t entirely blame Clara’s mistrust of Seger considering how every time they are together in public one of his former paramours saunters up nearly gropes him and pretty much waves their “heeey we used to fuck, do you want to do it again?” freak flag right in front of Clara and Seger is very blase about it. So I got her frustration at first. But after awhile......this girl was seriously making my hand itch wanting to slap some sense into her with her irrational obsessive paranoid behavior. Her quick 180 emotional jumps is a test in patience. He kisses a woman's hand and OMG HE'S CHEATING ON HER! 😒
And I have to say for the "wild" reckless Wilson sister, Clara was rather insipid and fickle through most of this book. With all the constant wavering and emotional see-sawing, her much toted "no nonsense" personality slips away quickly.
Now Seger’s unfounded mistrust starts when he finds out Clara didn’t divulge the full story of her scandalous broken engagement from 3 years ago. She didn’t tell him that the fiance she was planning to run off with was arrested for embezzlement.
Seger is angry because she didn’t tell him the full story, as if the rest of the story she left out reflects on any part of her character or is important. And it's not, at all. *crickets* I failed to understand why he got so high and mighty over this since the missing detail was a totally moot point and again....HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CLARA. But let’s ignore this reaching contrivity and keep on slugging on with the misery.
So readers have to sit through the annoying mousy vile cousin planting seeds of doubt in Clara’s head and making backhanded but very pointed insults to her while Clara tries to deal with it and ignore it. And every time Clara figures something is off, Seger either doesn’t believe her and thinks she’s jealous or his stepmother Quintina runs interference when Clara asks for help from her family. Copy, paste, repeat, copy, paste, repeat.
At this point I was beyond ready to give up. I don’t like reading books that give me anxiety and make me angry. And this was making me seriously angry. So angry I jumped ahead first to see how this would all end because I seriously wanted Seger or Clara to go all Game of Thrones on Gillian’s ass. But oho! Guess what happens next? Holy unnecessary PLOT TWIST Batman! (view spoiler)[Seger’s deceased first love Daphne who was the only woman he was planning to ever marry (and who Clara is jealous of for some idiotic reason) is not dead after all!😱😱 (hide spoiler)]
Dun dun dunnnn!
Are you kidding me?
This book has everything and the kitchen sink thrown in for silly reasons. The author tried to do too much and tried very hard to make this story as miserable and convoluted complicated as possible. If you have your characters not making any sense and contradicting themselves every few pages then you know you've written your story into a ditch. A muddy, sticky, sloppy deep ditch with no way out. The last stunt was so unnecessary and ridiculous that I'm surprised this book didn't end up being 500 pages since it seemed endless. And yes in case you were wondering, this undead person is used as ANOTHER source of contention/angst/jealousy/mistrust between the hero and heroine. At the fucking 90% mark. *bangs head*
Judith MacNaught is that you? I mean, seriously. Come on. I was laughing at this point because if anything, this just showed that these two are so ill suited and don’t belong together. I mean on top of everything else, it wasn't enough that we have to endure hearing about Seger's long lost love and Clara's annoying histrionic jealousy over his dead first love Daphne--which I found exceedingly WTF ridiculous---but the last 30% was Daphne this, Daphne that, Daphne, Daphne, Daphne.
And the fact that she's used as a final "test" for the couple?
And she's yet another woman who wants to throw her cooch at the Adonis pleasure-stick-on-two-legs hero?
I'm so glad it's over. 😓😭["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm guessing it's William but honestly? At this point in the game if Gena and her publishers are STILL being hush hush about who the heroine is, I'm bI'm guessing it's William but honestly? At this point in the game if Gena and her publishers are STILL being hush hush about who the heroine is, I'm betting anything it's not Gilly.
I'm OUT if she pulled that ish. In fact, my entire body is out the door except for a foot. My ass did not sit through 11 DAMN BOOKS for payoff for these two only to get a Keeley5.0 for William's HEA. 👋
Petty Reader Table for 1.
And PS: For those passive aggressive patronizing-as-shit commentators who run around posting "oh but Gena was never serious about them to begin with, you should have read between the lines, it was all in your head. Trust the author always!" kindly swerve left with that fairy dust.
Really adorable, sweet, beautiful short chapter in the Maiden Lane series. Seeing all the heroines with their husbands and children was all kinds of cReally adorable, sweet, beautiful short chapter in the Maiden Lane series. Seeing all the heroines with their husbands and children was all kinds of cute. LOVE THIS ENSEMBLE CAST SO MUCH! The perfect epilogue (why didn't this go in the freaking book?!) to Duke of Midnight. 💖...more
*0.75 star because I can round up ratings too just like Mara Hanover*
This is on me because I clearly had no business attempting to reDNF @ 20%
*0.75 star because I can round up ratings too just like Mara Hanover*
This is on me because I clearly had no business attempting to read this after my experience with The Gamble. The number of times I’ve given ‘no no’ authors a second chance only for it to blow up in my face is just laughable.
Why do I keep doing this? 😩
Pretty much all the same gripes I had in The Gamble happened here. I could go on and on about the absurd writing flaws. The typos, poor grammar, bad punctuation, run-ons, and all the ‘uming’ ‘uhing’ the heroine keeps stuttering out. But I won’t. Just read my Gamble review.
Same issue I had with the last one I had here, the heroine Mara acted like a confused child where everything needed to be explained to her by the hero. Literally explained. And the hero walks all over her and talks to her like she's a simpleton, which I honestly couldn't blame in this case. I just don’t understand what KA was attempting to show by this? Are her heroines only gifted with their brains once they meet the hero? 😒 The fact that a grown woman couldn’t comprehend why her druggie adult cousin was arrested because he had drug paraphernalia out and with kids around just boggles my mind. Seriously Mara??? Jesus.
Before I move on I will say this, the problem with KA’s storytelling is that the first person narration sounds like it’s coming from an overeager toddler who is telling you about their day in rambling, incoherent, verbal diarrhea pointless detail and getting hung up on the smallest things that has no relevance to the overall story. And repeating themselves. CONSTANTLY.
It takes a whole paragraph to say one thing that can be said in one.👏 single.👏 sentence.👏 PS: How is this author so popular?
I don't understand. Get an editor Kristen Ashley, please! Because I promise you, nobody needs to know exactly how the heroine positions her body or places her elbows when she's fucking standing. 😒 I get the overall picture just fine.
In this case:
Now why I gave this a chance? Because of the blurb. I’m such a helpless sucker for shy awkward heroines and the whole neighbor thing was another element I usually enjoy. But this rubbed me the wrong way right off the bat and I’ll tell you why. The heroine Mara.
For someone who is supposedly very shy and very insecure about themselves, please explain to me why this girl is going around rating people based on their looks?? I would love for KA to explain it because this just seriously blew my mind.
Roberta had been a Seven when I met her because she was pretty, petite, with thick brunette hair and a little extra weight that she held well. She was also happy with her family and her husband in their suburban house with two cars and vacations to Disney World. She'd slipped down to a Five Point Five when she got angry and moody and hated the world and mostly all the men in it after her husband left. Now she was back up and surpassed the Seven to be an Eight because she'd settled into her new life...
I didn't understand what she was saying, but explaining to her what the likes of me meant was was explaining to her my One to Ten Classification System. I didn't want to do that, especially explaining where I felt I came in on the scale. I'd learned not to share this information, because friends who cared about you always tried to talk you into believing you were so far up that scale it was unreal. My oldest friend, Lynette, who still lived back in Iowa, was the only person I'd told about my system. She even tried to talk me into believing I topped the scale at Mitch's rank of Ten Point Five. She was convinced of it and tried to convince me. I knew she was wrong and I knew she was convinced I was a Ten Point Five because she liked me. I liked her too. She was a definite Eight Point Five. When she was in a good mood and her sunny disposition shone even more brightly, she soared up to a Nine Point Five, she had nothing to worry about.
Now just imagine this kind of observation on the very first page of the book. I literally thought it was the hero's POV with the side-eyeing and internal rating system and had to re-read it a couple of times to understand. But no, this was all coming from 'sweet shy' skittery as a deer Mara. Apparently someone who is so messed up in their head about their own looks and how others view her, she thinks it's totally fine to go around giving mental scores on others appearances.
Excuse my bluntness but I just found this character so fucking stupid.
And a total useless asshole.
She's an insult to shy, insecure, awkward women in real life. The lack of intelligence she displayed in just the first 50 pages is astoundingly painful.
"Mitch, the kids-" I breathed. "First, we're goin' to Lola's and giving them a good meal." I blinked at him. Lola's? Lola's? Lola's was awesome and had absolutely fantastic food, but it was also not what the kids were used to. It wasn't fancy, but it wasn't Taco Bell, either, and it wasn't exactly inexpensive. I hadn't actually asked Mitch to accompany me, but since he did, I thought we'd pop to the nearest fast-food joint, go through a drive-thru and get the kids home. After, I would do whatever it was I was going to have to do at Bill's, then get home and away from Mitch.
Right. Take the kids back to a housebroken home after feeding them the same junk food they always eat at home (if they are lucky). G-d forbid the idea of a good decent restaurant should have ever entered your skull without macho Mitch around. And hey asshole: How is dumping the kids back home with their neglectful father fixing the issue you just said you needed to step in and fix? 🙈
"You stood me up." "I didn't." "Mara, you did and you did it, essentially, twice." My head jerked to face him again and I snapped, "No, I didn't!" He shook his head and muttered, "Jesus, you got your head so far up your ass it's a wonder you can breathe." "Pardon?" I hissed. "You heard me." "Yes," I bit out, "I did, and what you said was not very nice." "No, baby, it wasn't but it was the fuckin' truth." Was I sitting in Detective Mitch Lawson's SUV fighting with him? Two Point Fives didn't fight with Ten Point Fives. It was against the laws of the universe. How did this happen? "I don't have my head up my ass!" I snapped somewhat loudly. "You live in a whole different world," he retorted. "Do not!"
"He's still got that guy comin' over all the time, and I don't like him. He's a creep. And I don't like him around Billie. He's sugar sweet to her and it freaks me out. Gives her candy. Tells her she's pretty. It's weird." Billy had been telling me about "that guy" for a while, and Billy had good instincts, so I figured whoever "that guy" was, he wasn't a good guy. And what he said about how "that guy" treated Billie made my stomach clench and my mouth taste sour.
Your nine-year old cousin has been telling you a creep has been hanging around his six year old sister for months and you haven't done shit about it since now?
He didn't hide his liquor from me or his kids, which was something I didn't like. I knew how weird and uncomfortable it was seeing a parent drink all the time, drink until they were fall-down, crazy, stupid and sometimes mean drunk. And I didn't want that for Billy and Billie. But it wasn't illegal, and to my knowledge it didn't happen often.
I seriously started to question how this woman got out of bed everyday and dressed herself.
I moved, opened the door a bit and stood in it. "Hey," I said, and the minute my eyes hit him, I again felt like crying. They needed to separate the zones. Mandatory boundaries. Ones to Threes got Canada (because there were a lot of us and we needed the space). Fours to Sixes got the US. The fewer numbered Sevens to Tens got the sultry, tropical beauty of Mexico. If they separated us, things like this wouldn't happen and therefore hurt like this wouldn't be felt.
"You need to quit talking," I blurted and wished I could clap my hands over my mouth because I sounded like a fool. I should have lied to him earlier. I should have kicked him in the shin and run away.
"Mitch--" He dumped the scrambled eggs into the waiting melted butter in the skillet and looked at me. "Get the butter and jelly baby." I moved to the fridge and I did this mostly because if he told me to throw myself in front of a train but did it adding the word "baby," I would have done it.
Mara Hanover is a complete waste of ink and paper IMO.
So yeah. Lesson learned.
Me and Kristen Ashley books do not mix well. 👋...more