Quickie review: This book had the potential to be a really good romantic suspense. The storyline and characters are interesting and kept me reading. HQuickie review: This book had the potential to be a really good romantic suspense. The storyline and characters are interesting and kept me reading. However, the book is really lacking in the details and the logic in the sense of the investigative/procedural aspects of the story. Things just didn't work in that aspect of the story, especially if your one who loves a good, detailed romantic suspense. ...more
I've typically loved Maya Banks's books and I hate that I'm rating this one so poorly but I really did not like this book. At all.
Summary: DSS agentI've typically loved Maya Banks's books and I hate that I'm rating this one so poorly but I really did not like this book. At all.
Summary: DSS agent Isaac Washington is shocked to find someone trying to steal his SUV and he's even more surprised when he confronts the person and finds its a scared, battered woman. Before he can adjust his thinking, all hell breaks loose and next thing he knows he's shot and dying. Then, to his shock, the mysterious woman places her hands on him and heals the mortal wound in his chest. From that moment on, Isaac vows to protect her with his life. For Jenna, all she wants is her freedom and she's horrified that her choices may lead to the suffering of others. But she can't escape the protective reach of Isaac and DSS. They are bound and determined to save her from the evil man who wants her for his own.
Series Note: Fifth book in the Slow Burn series. There are a lot of running characters and references to past books, but I wouldn't say it would be impossible to read this one first or on it's own. There's no continuing storyline.
Review: Well....I don't like writing a critical review, especially when it's for an author that I generally love and who is an auto-buy for me. But yeah, I did not like anything about this book. I could have easily rated it 1-star but I gave it a bonus star simply because this is not typical for this author.
My biggest problem with this book was the discrepancy in details. Jenna was kidnapped around 4 years old and held captive by a cult for at least 20 years. She was basically kept in seclusion and treated like a leper. She has little knowledge of the outside world and modern conveniences or anything that is just normal to the rest of us. So I expected a good portion of the story to be the learning process Jenna faces as she tries to assimilate into the real world and that just doesn't happy. Here and there it's addressed but overall it's largely ignored. Honestly, given the background that is built for Jenna I would have expected her character to be much stunted developmentally. I mean, I hardly think the cult people would have educated her and I would have expected the lack of positive emotional support and social interactions to have had a much greater effect on her. But other than a reaction to the TV and learning about food, her characterization doesn't fit at all with what we're told about her. It adds (another) level of unbelievably to the story.
I also had characterization issues with Isaac - on several levels. First, the character is horribly undeveloped. By the time you finish you know almost nothing about him. There are a few very vague references a couple times in the book to some past suffering, possibly being an alcoholic but the reader never gets a clear picture of who Isaac is. Where is he from? Are his parents alive? What happened to him in the past? There's nothing concrete about him prior to the start of this story. Now, I will add the caveat that it's possible past books gave more background on him but I read those ages ago. I don't remember at all what may or may not have been revealed about him. And if the author did develop the character more in past books, it still should have been part of this one. If you are reading them as they are released, the average reader isn't going to remember details about a secondary character a year or two later. This lack of development for Isaac, though, really kept me from getting into the character.
Aside from that, he's a total over-the-top alpha ass throughout the story. Jenna has just escaped 20 years of hell being controlled and abused by a cult and Isaac takes one look at her and goes all controlling he-man. He is all 'she's mine,' 'you belong to me,' and when he starts talking about keeping her pregnant all the time so she can't get away from him...I almost threw the book across the room. I get that he wanted to protect her and love her, but his thoughts, actions and words were just too much given the things that Jenna had been through. It was completely unromantic for me.
And the romance itself? There's the insta-devotion for Isaac which I could have dealt with if the story hadn't devolved into super sappy, mushy, sugary-sweet ramblings and professions of love that just made me roll my eyes. I'm not the biggest fan of super sappy anyway and I didn't like it at all here. It didn't fit the tone of the story either. When I'm reading romantic suspense I don't want to read devotional soliloquys between the characters.
From a storyline standpoint the book was okay. I could nit-pick over the fact that the premise of the storyline is basically a repeat of other storylines in this series - female character has special power and an evil person wants her to exploit the power. I would have preferred some variation in the storylines but it wasn't a book-killer for me. I did find it to be a rather slow moving story with just a lot of sitting around and repetition, not enough development and action. And then end? Ugh. What happens toward the end was so obviously a set up and that you had a group of badass agents fall for it was TSTL. Seriously. It was like there was a big flashing neon sign screaming set up and they all fell for it. Given the danger Jenna was in, why was she put in that situation anyway, even if it wasn't a set up? Again, TSTL on all characters parts. And why were all the women there? That made no sense at all to me. None. Then the finale seemed overly simplified. I just expected more from the plot of this book. It wasn't horrible but by far not the best I've read.
I also think there could have been a little more time spent on the set up of DSS - what it is, who founded it, why, what they do, etc. There was a little bit too much of a reliance on the readers have read - and remembered - everything from past books.
Lastly, one of the things that bugged me most about this book was that there were these insanely long chunks of internal monologue - like pages long. Primarily with Isaac thinking obsessively about Jenna - what an angel she is, how he plans to keep her forever and ever, how he'll do anything to protect her, how he'd never survive if anything happened to her. Etc, etc, etc. There was also Jenna thinking endlessly about her situation, how she doesn't want anyone hurt because of her, yadda yadda. Between the two of them, there's so much repetitive dead space in this book spent on their internal thoughts that it bored me to death. I can't count how many times I put the book down during these chunks because I was so bored from reading the same thoughts over and over and over again. It also signified the overall lack of action in the story. I admit that I did start to skim read some of these chunks as the book went on.
I wish I could give a few good points to the story but there really wasn't anything that jumps out as me as something I enjoyed. I honestly was just glad to finish it. I expected so much more from a Maya Banks book. I will continue to read the series as I'm greatly hoping this book was an aberration. I know the author has multiple series going and also that she's been going through some very serious health problems (which makes me feel like a jerk for writing such a negative review)...so I have very high hopes that this was just the rare book that didn't hit the mark.
((I apologize to the author for the critical (but honest) review! Best wishes for a speedy recovery and I hope your health is on the upswing!))...more
This is definitely not a book for the feint of heart. It's a very dark, gritty romantic suspense.
Summary: Cain Killion was raised by a serial killerThis is definitely not a book for the feint of heart. It's a very dark, gritty romantic suspense.
Summary: Cain Killion was raised by a serial killer intent on grooming him to follow in his footsteps. But Cain's humanity saved him from becoming just like his father. The life he led as a child changed him, though - gave him an otherworldly connection to blood. One that allows him to connect with killers. Mercy Ledger is the one and only survivor of Killer Killion. But her life has been anything but roses since surviving. And now she and Cain are face to face. The connection the share is profound and elemental. Unfortunately, someone is intent on recreating the past.
Series: First in the new Fatal Truth series.
Review: I will say you've got to suspend reality just a little to read this book. Or maybe it's that you have to expand your reality. There is a paranormal element but aside from that, this book deals with serial killers in a level you don't see in your average romantic suspense book. So it doesn't fall into the realm of reality for the average person. You've got to keep your mind open a bit to read this one. And there should be a giant red flashing WARNING sign before you read it. This is a very dark, descriptive detailed story. The blood imagery is strong throughout. And some of the scenes and actions by the characters are just dark and mind boggling. Don't read the book if you don't think you can handle it. Now, aside from that....I enjoyed the book. I've always been a fan of dark romantic suspense. The story is well crafted and written. Everything made sense as I read it - which is an important element of a complex romantic suspense. I wasn't left scratching my head going huh? It kept me reading, wanting to know what would happen next. And I have to say I was a bit surprised how things ended up. That's always a good thing. I liked both characters. Both are tragic figures that you want to root for. Initially you want to shake your head that they'd end up together but then it really does make sense. There is a bit of the insta-soulmate thing going on and often that annoys me but in this case I felt it was completely warranted and made sense. I could see and feel how these two were meant to be together. Nothing jumps out at me to criticize strongly. If I wanted to be picky A) the story takes place in a very short time period and it's only 300 pages so I wouldn't have minded if the story had been expanded a bit. B) the ending DOES NOT wrap everything up. There's a story element left hanging and you don't have all the answers about storyline. So your are left hanging to a certain extent. That's a little annoying. And I couldn't find any info on the next book, either summary or release date. Other than that, I had no major complaints with the story. I think if you're a fan of dark romantic suspense you'll probably like this story. Think Karen Rose (Vartanian trilogy) but delving more into the psychology of serial killers.
WARNING: very dark, descriptive serial killer story. Lots of blood imagery and scenes that may turn your stomach. ...more
This was a very frustrating book to read. There were parts that I loved and parts that made me just want to bang my head into a wall.
Summary: Piper haThis was a very frustrating book to read. There were parts that I loved and parts that made me just want to bang my head into a wall.
Summary: Piper has been drifting since tragedy destroyed her life. She can't forget what happened and can't move on. She ends up in Nassau, FL, helping out at an Inn. Instinct and her wariness of people tells her to stay away from neighbor Logan, one of the local cops. But she can't fight her attraction to him and his persistence in getting to know her. Just when she starts to let her guard on and hopes to move on with her life, the past comes back haunt her. And she may not survive the threat.
Series Note: Fourth book in the First to Fight series. It has a common set up characters but can be read on it's own.
On the surface I enjoyed this book. I'm always up for reading a romance with a good suspense plot. And this book starts off with the proverbial bang. It's heartbreaking and gripping and I had high hopes for the rest of the book. It partially lives up to those hopes.
I enjoyed the basics of the suspense portion plot. While not the most original it was still interesting and had me wanting to keep reading to see what would happen. It wasn't the most well-developed suspense plot but was fairly decent. I felt it could have been fleshed out more and wrapped up much better. At the end I kinda didn't feel like I knew the whole story.
The characters were good and I was engaged in the romance between Piper and Logan. With all the Piper has been through you can't help but want her to get her happy ending. Logan's character was a bit underdeveloped. There are things mentioned then never fleshed out. It left him a bit superficial.
Where this book falls apart is in the details. There is a lot of inconsistency throughout the book, and also the series, that really takes away from the momentum of the story. When you're zipping along through the book and come across something that doesn't make sense it stops you in your tracks and you have to try to figure out what doesn't match and be annoyed about it. And there's a lot of that in this book and across the series. I just got so frustrated when reading.
Examples: Gavin is Piper's ex-boyfriend at the beginning of the book and then about two-thirds through he is suddenly her ex-fiance.
At the start of the book, there are heavy implications that Logan has a problem with alcohol. There is a short line a little while later with Piper acknowledging it (which made no sense as there was no way she could have known it) and then that aspect of the story completely disappears. Along with that, there are indications of problems in Logan's past with his family but then that disappears as well.
Piper is initially said to be drifting, trying to deal with what happened, and avoiding a persistent reported. Then suddenly she's one the run because the killer could still be after her.
Piper's car goes from a 6 year old sedan to a 1998 vehicle (which would have made it like 17-18 years old).
In the epilogue, Piper names one of her children Lennox - supposedly in honor of her friend she lost. The assumption being Lennox is named after Lena....who was a peripheral character that Piper had one conversation with in the book. Made no sense. I couldn't help but wonder if the baby was supposed to be named after Carly, Piper's good friend from college who was murdered.
The timeline from the murders to the current time also seems out of whack a lot.
Olivia and Ben's son Cole is said to have had a heart transplant...which doesn't match the previous books. He had his surgeries and was doing great and then suddenly in this book he'd had a transplant with not backstory given.
And this one drives me nuts...at the end of book 2, Ben and Olivia's story, the epilogue is during Cole's 2nd birthday and Olivia tells Ben she's pregnant. But throughout book 3 and this book, she's not pregnant and has no other kids. Timeline wise, she should have.
Also, maybe it's just me...but when a guy (Ben) has had a traumatic brain injury and has permanent hearing lost...STOP HAVING HIM GET PUNCHED IN THE HEAD FOR NOT GOOD REASON!!!!!
** Those are the inconsistencies I can think of, but I know there were more. For someone like me, who is a detail oriented reader, these just really threw the book off track for me and kept me from really getting into it as much as I could.
There's a lot of potential to the story (and the series) but the execution is lacking. With a little more attention to detail I think the author could write some really good books.
WARNING: this books contains graphic violence against women and touches on rape (though not graphically)....more
I was a bit conflicted in what to rate this book - 3 or 4 stars. In the end I went with 3.5, leaning toward 3 because there were a few areas that fellI was a bit conflicted in what to rate this book - 3 or 4 stars. In the end I went with 3.5, leaning toward 3 because there were a few areas that fell a little short for me.
This book features Joe Kelly. He's the only remaining single brother of the 6 Kelly siblings. He's got no plans to settle down. But then he meets Zoe. What he doesn't know is that Zoe is on the run with secrets and danger following her. He can't help but fall in love with her though. He just has to convince her she's worth it.
Series note: book #11 in the KGI series. Technically this book can stand on its on. There's no on-going plot arc but there's a lot of backstory with the various characters you'd be confused about if you haven't read the past books.
I've enjoyed the KGI series since it started. It's one of my must-buy series. And this book was in no way bad. I enjoyed it and it kept me reading but at the same time there were a few things that kept me from really loving it.
The tone of the books in this series have varied a bit. Some are full on romantic suspense with a lot of action. And some fall more into the contemporary romance side with a small bit of action. This book falls into the latter category. Usually that hasn't bothered me with this series but this time the romance focus didn't entirely click with me.
I think it's because once Joe gives in to realizing Zoe is "the one" things get a little mushy and wishy-washy, especially with his internal monologues. And I just wasn't really feeling that. It kept the book from having that bit of edge that the series as a whole has. Something about that overly mushy tone didn't click for me.
Also, the book is very low key. Very little action at all. And for the first chuck of the books and parts afterwards there's a lot of internal monologue going over the same thoughts/feelings and it got repetitive. I just wanted more to be happening.
My biggest issue with the book, though, and probably what kept it from being 4-stars was the action sequence and plot resolution at the end. The action happens and is over in the blink of an eye. Which okay not a huge deal but it left me with questions. Once the action was over I wasn't quite sure what happened to the main bad guy. Was he killed or did he escape? I honestly still don't know. And what about Zoe's dad? That was left hanging. I thought that story point was going somewhere and it wasn't dealt with at all. It irked me. I don't like to finish a book with questions left unanswered.
Now having said all that it probably seems I didn't like the book. But I did. I enjoy the Kelly family. They're a great bunch of characters. And the banter is great. I really enjoyed the camaraderie scenes. And even if I thought the romance got a little mushy I still liked Joe and Zoe together. They fit together.
I thought the new female character was interesting and I hope Banks gives her a book before the series ends. And as much as I hate that we have to wait until book 15 for Rusty's story and I hate that we're left hanging a bit there, the author is doing a good job on setting of Rusty and Sean's book. I'm just impatient and I want it now.
So yes, I did enjoy the book. There were just those couple points where things didn't quite hit the right note for me that kept me from really loving it. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, though.
Warning: contains moderately graphic, vanilla m/f sex, and some violence against a female character....more