Boring. Tepid dialogue. Poor to middling plot & writing. I like supernatural chick lit, so I was predisposed to like this book. In fact, I tried quite hard to like this book. It lacked charm & style and just came off very formulaic. I ended up giving in about half-way through and just flipping to the end to see what happened. It ended predictably. Also, I was irritated because the heroine was wishy washy about they vamp guy hero, claiming he'd done her wrong over and over again in centuries of history - but still unable to really stay away...and the chemistry wasn't really there between the two of them. Sadly, I liked her magic eat-everything-that-isn't-nailed-down toothy feral magical bunny slippers, Fluff & Puff, best of all the characters, but even that gag got old pretty quickly. The best bit was that instead of saying, "so mote it be" to finish a spell, the witch heroine says, "because I say so, d*mmmit!"
There, you've read all the good parts - now go pick another book.
It was interesting that the heroine had a horribly scarred face - and that, to hide it, she becomes very reclusive...however, I rather wished she'd have just shot the hero in the first few pages - she had a gun on him. Would have been a better ending.
A rather ham-handed prequel to, though it is better than...the Wallflower series. IMHO, not as good as Derek Craven's story (Dreaming of You). This takes place on the periphery of that world, as its heroines are the younger sisters of Lord Wescliff, Lillian Bowman's beloved in one of the forgettable Wallflowers books...their story takes place later in the timeline.
Kleypas is a writer who sometimes frustrates me because she can be pretty good - but also may disappoint, as she does here with a somewhat heavy handed and manufactured-feeling plot and device to keep the characters apart. In fact, you get the impression that the story would have been too thin with only the main couple's love story to hold it...and so the author has given us the tale of the other sister's love story in the margins, somewhat abbreviated and incomplete, and therefore unsatisfying.
Want a writer whose worst is still d*mn good? Try Laura Kinsale...Flowers From the Storm is probably her best...but some of them are very very close.
Much MUCH better character development than typical for this sort of novel (you know, the thinner harlequin style series romances). And as an extremely pleasant change, you can actually understand WHY these characters love each other. The author does a really great job of showing you their motivations and weaknesses - all on a very steamy backdrop.
My favorite part of the book - where it started to get really good, was right at the beginning, as the heroine is applying for an accounting job with the Mayor, and for a hidden confidence boost she decides to wear one of her stripper outfits under her suit...and then (accidentally - really) drops her portfolio onto the floor in front of her boss.
"Mike stood in the doorway a second after Autumn passed, fighting for his composure...appearance was irrelevant to the job, of course...while fighting her for her portfolio, he'd caught a glipse of the sexiest bra he'd ever seen in his life. Black leather and, God help him, open at the tips? She'd been too busy defending her credentials to notice that he was staring at her as if she was dinner and he was starving. Hell, he was likely to skid on his own drool."
Very good. I read this book after watching the TV series, Bones, also based on the life of Kathy Reichs (the author), a forensic anthropologist working with the police. The series is excellent and it was cool to see the backstory and some cases that weren't featured in the TV series. Dr. Temperance Brennan is smart but a bit dry on TV, but the book character is funnier and more clever than I'd expected after watching the show.
I was surprised...I really liked this anthology. Most of the stories were well done, if presented by unfamiliar authors. There were many more stories than is usual for an anthology of this type...about 40, including perhaps 10 poems.
My favorite was "All things Being Not Quite Equal" by Diana Pharaoh Francis...about an ugly contrary girl hoping to become a vampire in order to get their "animal magnetism" for the opposite sex...but instead is now an ugly vamp with frizzy hair. And, its hard to eat when you can't seduce your prey. There are compensations though, as she can do partial shape changes, has freakish strength, even for a vampire, and can't "hear" the mind calls and controls of other vamps - including the extremely handsome de facto ruler of the vamps.
Well, though I tend to like the "In Death" series, this one wasn't my favorite. I thought the plotline was a little heavy handed, and the villains were fairly obvious. I was never surprised and felt that the characters should have been able to find the origin of the threat much sooner.
This is my least fave of the books, so far, but its still worth a read if you've already got some sympathy for the characters, but, if you haven't read the series, despite the fact that they are all good stand alone novels and don't require you to have read them in order, I wouldn't start with this one.
Not that they're not all pretty good, but best books I've so far read in this series IMHO are #1 Naked In Death, #21 Origin In Death, #9 Loyalty In Death, and #18 Divided In Death...even #19 Visions In Death.
The Dean of Sci-Fi, when can you ever go wrong with a Heinlein!?
FROM THE BACK COVER:
Three centuries past tomorrow...
The place is Earth - an Earth just beyond the horizon, free of poverty, pain, disease. This is the story of some people who live in that near-perfect world. This is the story of the discontened ones who want to change Utopia through the modenrn techniques of science or the age-old tactic of revolution.
Ok, this is one of the FEW anthologies of this type and genre that I actually thought worthy of a place on my shelf. Unlike tripe like "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding" and that sort of poor quality crap, this one actually didn't bite, if you'll pardon the poor pun.
Unlike in a similar anthology titled Cravings, in which the LKH Anita story is merely an excerpt from one of the novels in the series (the beginning of Incubus Dreams, in fact), in this volume, Bite, there's an actual original LKH story, a touching look at Jean-Claude & Anita's developing romance, that takes place between Blue Moon & Obsidian Butterfly. I believe this story also appears in the LKH anthology, Strange Candy (which I really enjoyed).
The Mary Janice Davidson story, while featuring them, doesn't focus on Betsy, the Queen, and her minions, but has a sweet side story about Dr. Sophie, a vampire veterinarian living in a small town. These two alone made this volume a keeper, if for no other reason than to complete the authors' regular series.
The Harris takes place as Sookie learns her cousin is dead, and meets the Demon Lawyer Catalaides for the first time...as he drops hints about Hadley's demise...and before Sookie goes to New Orleans to clean Hadley's apartment (events in the novel Definitely Dead) and is more of a short "fill in the blanks" story...good, but not really moving the storyline forward and therefore not something you'll miss really if you just stuck to the books.
The last two by lesser known authors Angela Knight (Galahad), and Vickie Taylor (Blood Lust)...well, Blood Lust was cute, just ok, but the characters were very likeable in a very short time. However, I thought Galahad was just terrible. Any story where a female character has to say, "Oh, Galahad! Oh, Galahad!" gets a big red X in my book.
Excellent! I really thought that the 4th and 5th books in this series (Blood Pact and Blood Debt) were the BEST...unusual for a series to get so much BETTER as it went along! Creepy, fabulous, romantic...great!
A little mixing of genres here, vampire plus frankenstein myth, monkey's paw...really quite horrifying, as someone is creating frankenstein-like regenerated corpses to do their bidding - and the people being brought back are aware of who they are and what's happening to them. Disturbing.
Better than the 1st two (Blood Price & Blood Trail) in my opinion. Involving story of a mummy who sucks the life from innocents in order to prolong his own life...another kind of vampire for Henry Fitzroy and Vicky Nelson to face. This mummy has political savvy and uses local government to torment Vicky and keep his enemies from foiling his plans to raise a new temple in the modern age to a long forgotten dark Egyptian diety...the same diety who granted him immortality thousands of years ago.
Book #1 of Victoria "Victory" Nelson Private Detective, and vampire Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of King Henry VIII...solving crime in Toronto.
It was pretty good, as an intro to the characters, but not fantastic. I really thought that the 4th and 5th books in this series (Blood Pact and Blood Debt) were the BEST...unusual for a series to get so much BETTER as it went along!
Book #2 of Victoria "Victory" Nelson Private Detective, and vampire Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of King Henry VIII...solving crime in Toronto.
This one was ok, mixing it up with some Werewolf stuff- pretty good, but not great. I really thought that the 4th and 5th books in this series (Blood Pact and Blood Debt) were the BEST...unusual for a series to get so much BETTER as it went along!
The problem with this author and his series (all of them) is that its the same story every time, with only small changes - regular guy wakes up with a vampire surprise - people try to kill him but can't, and in the meanwhile some pathetic mystery is solved in heavy-handed fashion.
Don't get me wrong, compared with the multitude of crap that's out there - this stuff is fairly well written, but the dialogue is stilted, and again - you get deja vu when you read each one, because they are ALL the SAME! Read one. Then stop - you've read them all.
Pretty good. Surprise twist ending and a great lead-in to the next book. Mad Maxine Stuart, Storm, and Lou...they're partners in a supernatural detective agency and are searching for missing girls in an entire town held in thrall to a vampire...a vampire showing a more than friendly interest in Storm.
A good installment in the "In Death" series, though maybe not as exceptional as some, in the actual mystery/crime action/adventure department...
My favorite part of this book was that it takes place during the advanced pregnancy of Mavis Freestone, Eve's best friend. In a previous book, Eve & Rourke got rooked into being birthing coaches and the book opens with them, horrified and traumatized, watching videos of live birth and learning breathing techniques they'll have to know on the big day.
This book was funnier and lighter than the usual offering in this series, and Rourke & Eve's child-like "eeeeeeuuuw!!" about all the baby and birthing stuff is well written and entertaining to read. They kind of make me think of my young nephews when you suggest that at some point, they may want to kiss girls instead of yanking their braids and tormenting them...the look of disgusted disbelief that comes over their little faces - yup, that's the same feel.
I enjoyed this. I have no tolerance for poorly written romance - which makes sometimes makes books in this genre a slog for me. I often get impatient with poor writing or plotting or intolerable characters and will just put a book aside. This was a refreshing change. Characters were imperfect but sympathetic and great to spend time with. They were well-rounded and well written and the fake-boyfriend trope was done well. Solid read and definitely something I would re-read and characters I would enjoy re-visiting. If you enjoyed this, consider Casey Mcquiston's Red, White, and Royal Blue.