Friday, April 28, 2017

Patricia Briggs - Silence Fallen

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...


Comment: This is the latest installment in the Mercy Thompson series by author Patricia Briggs, featuring coyote shifter Mercy, her alpha wolf husband Adam and many of the usual secondary characters present in the series. 

In this book Mercy has another interesting adventure, this time running away after escaping a kidnapping and holding on until Adam picks her up...in Czech Republic.
At the same time, Mercy also faces the ghosts of one of the oldest cities and gets herself in the heart of trouble. Will she be able to choose well her moves while Adam and a team chosen by him does the same when facing the vampire who kidnapped Mercy in the first place?

I think this was a good book. Maybe not as vibrant to me as others (I prefer it when the plots revolve  around the pack and the relationships between characters directly related to Adam and Mercy) but it was still interesting for two main reasons: we get to learn a lot about each character through little details and we have part of the story seen from Adam's POV, the first time this happens in the series.

I saw some readers were bothered by the fact this book has Mercy and Adam apart but it I think the author did a good job highlighting the idea they were a team and a united couple and it was amazing to have glimpses of their bond in several moments, even if only thoughts each one had about the n. I really appreciated how we are almost proved right that their relationship is real and valid and forever.

Again, what really marvels me the most is that this is a very talented writer. Somehow, mrs Briggs can create a well thought world and, book after book, the same consistency is kept and we are given plenty details about the characters, their lives, the adventures they have, their thoughts and every single paragraph feels we get more information, makes it look like all information is necessary and vital for the story's development. And, at the end, it gives us the feeling this was not only a rich story but a complete one as well.
Of course, looking closely, one can see there wasn't much happening here in global terms but it was a nice step in Mercy's life adventures.

Mercy is clever and funny and the perfect conscience in a human being. I really like her and how she thinks of helping others using some sarcasm here and there. But I prefer to see her with Adam and
in this book, because they weren't next to one another, it was great to see how their personalities complement each other even far apart. It also made me certain their romance and relationship is balanced, healthy and super sweet at times. I'm very eager to keep seeing them together.

Overall, I think this was a good story, it had many interesting elements, we got to learn more things and there's a HEA at the end. Too bad we don't have more simple domestic life scenes to let us enjoy these characters even more.
Grade: 8/10

Thursday, April 27, 2017

JD Tyler - Hunter's Heart

Ryon Hunter sees dead people—spirits that beg him for help in ways he can’t understand. He’d do anything to end the torment, until a beautiful spirit appears to him with a plea he can’t ignore: Help me…I’m alive. The woman is wildlife biologist Daria Bradford, mortally wounded after encountering a white wolf, calling to Ryon through a rare Psy gift.
When Ryon locates Daria in the Shoshone National Park, it is almost too late, but nursing her back to health at the Alpha Pack compound brings a new complication—Daria is his destined mate, and Ryon is afraid of what will happen when she discovers what he is, and what he had to do to save her life. But the biggest threat of all is still loose in the forest, leaving a merciless trail of death behind it. The Alpha Pack goes on the hunt for the mysterious white wolf, determined to stop the murderous rogue… only to find that the most lethal creature of all is the one they can’t see coming…


Comment: This is the fourth installment in the Alpha Pack series by author JD Tyler. I've been going through this series for some time, always looking for the one that screams "perfection". So far, I haven't found it but just the reading itself is interesting and I can still spend some entertaining time with them.

In this installment we have Ryon's story. Ryon is the element of the pack who can see ghosts ad this story begins because he sees the ghost of a woman asking for help. In fact, it's not really her ghost, simply a projection (the woman's sort of power) asking him for help because her body is in danger and she could die.
The team helps the woman, brings her to the compound and realize she is his mate and only he can save her. But the woman, Daria, also brings a connection which can unlock some secrets the pack wasn't aware existed...

In the last book, the team has defeated (some helped more than others) the big villain so I wondered which approach the author would have here as antagonism. Well, the big bad villain is dead but some minions still are out there so in a way this was how the plot managed to progress, even including meeting new characters and even species.
I'm quite interested in seeing what will happen with the new ideas which came forth in this installment and I hope the author uses them wisely.

The plot isn't too complicated because it revolves a lot around the main couple. I'm always eager to see glimpses of other characters, see what they are doing and I must say there's this amazing scene with Phoenix...I can't wait for his story.
In terms of overall plot, this fighting against traitors in the government or something....I can see why something like this has to exist, otherwise which substance could this series have but... I also could easily picture a situation where I could know they were fighting bad guys without details, I wouldn't mind a series even more focused on the human aspect and interactions between characters instead of fighting scenes and battles and stuff, which, to me, aren't as interesting...

My favorite part is to see how the guys deal with each other, how they help one another...and then the romance. I think Ryon and Daria's relationship had everything to be developed well but... why authors need to add the "insta-love" device to PNR stories I don't know... yes they are mates, yes they know, or one of them knows, do they need to have sex immediately? Where's the emotional connection? How can it be presented in a believable manner? I think these stories would gain hugely from a more developed romance, with more details and time for the couple to know one another well before going from sex, some angst and into love. It just feels too easy and lacking the emotional structure I love in situations like this.

All things considered, this was entertaining as I expected, we did learn new things, I still want to see what happens but it feels  bit demeaning that I can envision some changes so easily which, in my opinion, could improve this "world" a lot. Maybe the next story has a more balanced relationship...
Grade: 6/10

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jill Sanders - Finding Pride

Megan Kimble has finally freed herself from years of abuse at the hands of her ex. Now she can finally start a new life and figure out just who she really is. When her brother Matt dies suddenly, she takes a big risk and moves cross country to live in his house and take over his new business. This could be the chance she’s needed. There’s only one problem now. She can’t seem to escape the irresistible charm of her departed brother’s best friend.
Todd Jordan just lost his best friend and business partner. Watching Matt’s sister move into town, his attraction to her is instant. Can he prove to her that all men are not the same, and resist his own desires as she learns to trust again? Overcoming the odds is just part of their journey. The two must first survive a fateful visit from Megan’s ex to have any chance at happiness. 


Comment: I no longer remember why I got interested in this book and why I got it. I think it was free for a while somewhere and that was it. Going by the blurb (even with free books, if it's not your taste, why bother?), this would be the first of a new series set in a small town, so I guess I was looking for to fall in love with all the little details we usually read about in this type of stories. Sadly, it wasn't enough for me to want to keep reading.

This is the first story in the Pride series, featuring a small town and some of its inhabitants.
Megan has just arrived in town for her brother's funeral. She is very sad not only because of his passing but also because she feels she didn't return soon enough to be with him while they could spend time together. Now Megan finds out about his business - which he left her - and the people who saw her brother as a friend and she is going to sort of walk in his shoes. But Megan has a past she is not proud of and can she trust people again? Especially Todd, her brother's best friend?

While starting this novel, I confess I had hopes for something along the lines of Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, not that I wanted a copy of that, but I hoped for the same type of setting, themes explored, heroines down on their luck for the most part but who would become successful and proud of themselves, you know, the sort of thing one usually wants out of small town's stories.
However, the more I read, the less impressed I was. This is not a big book, but out of all the ones I've read this month, it has to be one of those who took the longest to finish.

There isn't one huge issue that ruined my reading, it was more a matter of several little aspects which I simply didn't love.
First, the writing itself. This author - a new one for me - seems to know what to write but not how to best do it in an engaging way. I hate to say it but it was boring to me. It didn't look as if the characters were actually being developed, the narrative was not vibrant and I fear it had a bit of telling vs showing syndrome as well. I never felt I was seeing the characters come to live. They existed, they did things but there was no real development.  For instance, Megan has had a bad marriage in her past and she is falling in love with Todd, but we are told that, we are shown images of them together but there isn't really a step from thinking about one status and going to another. It's weird. Besides, I found a bit annoying how this couple met and not too long after was already in love and they even say "I think I fell in love with you the moment I saw you", which is quite the cliché idea but it can work; here it wasn't the case, it just felt silly.

Another situation I found too boring was the romance. They meet, she is afraid of him with good reason - I think she was never in the best emotional position to fall in love or, maybe the author didn't explore this the best way - and he always seemed a stranger somehow, so why they were supposed to fall in love except it was handy for the plot, I don't know.
I was never convinced their relationship was strong or stable. There wasn't enough emotional development nor even silly scenes with them in a way that would tell me they were thoughtful of the other, except for sexual attraction and later on sex itself.

The plot was also a bit weak. The situation with Megan's ex is pointless. I liked how Megan tried to become a stronger person, how she helped others, how she sort of started to get included in the community... but that was it. Even the small town feel I expected could act a supporting role in all this didn't exist. There is mentioning of characters here and there, and they do this, thy do that... most characters are too superficial. The ones we are led to care about, most of the secondary ones I mean (like Todd's siblings and three or four other characters), were still too one dimensional. I can see why they will become protagonists but the writing just doesn't seem appealing to try it.

I think I'll stop here. Some of the next stories seem very interesting but assuming the writing is the same I know I'll just end up annoyed...or bored. I think this would work out for someone that is now beginning a reading journey. But after having read so much already,t his feels too bland. And with so much more to be read still, maybe someone else can enjoy this better than I could.
Grade: 3/10

Friday, April 21, 2017

KJ Charles - A Seditious Affair

Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.
  A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.


Comment: At the end of last year, I've read and enjoyed the first book in the Society of Gentleman series by author KJ Charles. So far, all books I've read by this author have been exactly my cup of tea. As with everything in life, I've enjoyed some more than others but all have been good. Therefore, it no surprise I'd try to keep up with the series, whose first book I've liked and I was expecting good things, not only because it was by this author but also because I knew many others had positive opinions about this second book.

When this book begins, it is a little parallel in happenings to a certain moment from the first book, which can lead us to have an interesting perspective on things.
Silas Mason is a sedition revolutionary and he wants democracy for all men and women. He profoundly dislikes the high society whose members can have all while the poor are hungry and cold. Dominic Frey is a rich and important man who works at the Home Office so his job is to ensure justice is there for all and law must be followed. 
Although these two clash in every aspect of their social and public lives, on Wednesday's nights, for a while now, they have met and been together, not as political adversaries, but as lovers. And Silas is the one with the power over Dominic. With time, they have become sort of friends and when things seem to finally come out of their control, will they still feel like each one is the best thing that happened to them?

All things considered, this is quite the good book. As enjoyable as the others because the author has talent and can develop a plot with believable actions and interesting concepts. The cast of characters is also good, especially because we recognize characters we've come to like and even others that will play a part somehow so we end up being interested in them. As a whole, I think this story is a rich and well structured as all the others.

The author also likes to give each character a special peculiarity, which means every single character is unique, is special even in simplicity terms. Julius from the previous book was educated and harshly polite, Harry was young but dedicated, now we have Silas, who is a radical but idealistic and Dominic who is passionate but duty bound. Somehow, every aspect of each couple complements one another, even if we think they are all worthy on their own. Maybe this is why I always feel so sympathetic to every couple I've come to read about in this author's work.

My particular enjoyment of this book, however, wasn't as obvious as it happened in other books because Dominic and Silas' relationship wasn't as black and white as I imagined. I don't mind Dominic had specific tastes when it came to sexual relationships. I also don't mind Silas is there along with him and I honestly couldn't care if that was the kind of things they liked. But even recognizing people's right to their own choices, there was one thing that bothered me. There was talk of having someone else with them one day in the future and this really makes me enjoy the story less. I'm a firm believer in  monogamy so it bothers me a bit when even fiction characters talk about sexual plays withing the relationship, concerning third parties.

The plot is very centered on the revolutionary and political actions of a group of people, in which Silas is involved. There is a base of truth, explained by the author at the end of the story, which gives this an interesting vibe. I was interested in knowing all these things but that also mean that there was always a certain aura of danger and upcoming disaster that I confess I don't appreciate. Still, it offered a good development overall.

The HEA was sweet, easy when I thought it wouldn't happen like that, but it's quite the lesson, thinking the personal emotional sacrifices people did - and do - in order to live happy or freely or at least attempting to have that illusion. So, this is not my favorite book, unlike so many other readers out there, but enjoyable, yes.
Grade: 7/10

Thursday, April 20, 2017

JR Ward - The Chosen

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.
Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.


Comment: This is the latest installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. I've said countless time before I've been a fan of the series since I found the first book and despite some less than good books for me, I still cherish and enjoy this world.

This is Layla and Xcor's book. I mean, nowadays, the away the series is, one can almost say each story isn't only focused on one single couple, the multi sub plots which annoy so many people, seem to have come to stay. Still, the focus can be given to this couple and this is their HEA at last.
At the same time, change is happening with the Scribe Virgin, the race's deity, and the enemy has a new member who will try his best to end the king and the BDB.
Among so many problems, can at least true love prevail?

Attention: mild spoilers!

I truly hated the last sentence in the blurb mentioned above: "nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone" because this is only the affirmation of what has annoyed and drove mad most faithful readers who know don't have many positive things to say about the series anymore.
One of the best things about romance, in all it's genres and sub genres, is the idea of HEA, of how that will somehow proof love conquers all. In this world, JR Ward has created, that was seen as more than a requirement by the rules the author herself has introduced since book #1. But the problem is that now the concept of HEA is constantly challenged in every book. What we painfully went through in previous books to see the emotionally journey each couple had to overcome to be happy forever, seems to be quite pointless, because all is put in question now.
This is what really lets people down. There are details we might not like, but this is like an attempt to al the patience and suffering we've been gone though.

The author has said or led to be understood that real life is made of challenges, changes and obstacles everyday people need to overcome. Life goes on after a HEA.
True.
But this is a fantasy book set in a fantasy world. We still NEED the HEA to be set in stone. Now, personally I don't usually mind the way things happen and, as a whole, this book was still a positive one for me, but I do share the opinion things are being done in a way that is completely unnecessary and purposely negative. To fill up space? To increase the drama? To give different takes on the same idea? To add layers no one feels it's interesting?
I'm specifically speaking about the situation with Qhuinn and V and their respective (and separate) issues. Are they valid? Absolutely. Are they necessary for the plot? Definitely not. The problems they have here could still be presented to us without all the drama and silliness we need to endure now.

And how would that be? Simple: change the tone. Change the way we are given the information. An author has the power to influence our impressions using words. Having the two mentioned characters go through the same doubts and emotional issues but saying things differently or allowing them to express themselves differently wouldn't mean a lobotomy in any of their brains and we would see things differently. All is bleak and dire and bad. It doesn't have to be and still enough to occupy page space. Oh well...

I see things this way: this was bad, some previous decisions in terms of plotting haven't been the best but I always hope there will come something good out of it. Qhuinn's problem was solved somehow so we went through all that almost for nothing except drama. I assume V's issue will be the same. I get it, but I also understand readers and their lack of patience.

Personally, the positive things for m in this book were, as usual, the feel of this world, I just like the setting and the ideas within this world, I still love to see beloved characters, I liked Layla and Xcor and I did fantasize a lot about how they could be accepted as a couple and yay, for once, my fantasy ideas came true and their HEA was exactly as I hoped for!
Also very interesting was the Scribe Virgin situation. A new deity is revealed and I think it will be amazing!
There is a new clue about Trez's emotional situation. I think I understand why this is happening and unlike so many others, I don't mind if in the next books we will see it developing further along the apparent lines we were shown. Life is short, even for vampires, so... grab it while happiness is there!
I keep enjoying the multi POVs (I could do without the villain) because I LOVE this feeling they live together, they are all part of a family, of a community and just thinking that makes me smile and wish I was a character there (I bet I could be an upbeat one at least). I still focus on the positive, even if the negative makes people talk more.

This book isn't my favorite despite my preferences and the things I liked more. Too much unnecessary confusion and stuff that end up influencing out enjoyment. I hope the next is better. But this we always hope for. I see why people are giving up but the same way we don't all see things the same way, there will always be readers who still like this, so... up to now, I still see the good above the rest.
Grade: 7/10

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

TBR Challenge: LH Cosway & Penny Reid - The Hooker and the Hermit

Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity
blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?


Comment: April is here and more books out of the TBR are being read. 
It's also time for another specific TBR challenge read and this month the theme is Contemporary. I picked this book out of many possibilities mainly because it would suit the theme. I was curious about it but now that I have read it, despite having interesting points, it wasn't as amazing I hoped for.

In this book we meet Annie Catrel, a introvert young woman who works at a marketing company and has a blogger where her secret identity works as an alter ego to all the vivacious attitude she doesn't have in real life.
Ronan Fitzpatrick is an Irish rugby player who is in the US to rest and to improve his public image after a break up. Ronan and Annie meet quite by chance but he is immediately smitten with her. Annie is definitely more cautious but being forced to work together will bring them even closer. But what was only a job will develop to something more unless Annie can't admit she wants to be with Ronan a lot more than she wants to keep her life tidy...

When this book begins, our main couple is brought together so Annie can work her magic on Ronan and make him a new, better liked person online. Usually I'm quite fond of relationships developing in a work environment, as long as they're realistic and don't make the characters act silly in a situation where people should behave a certain way. Thankfully, most of the plot is set outside the office, so we don't have that idea in out face all the time. But I still think it's completely inappropriate that they go from client/employee to people in who act in lust.
Ok, this is mostly on Ronan's side but... I understand the romance had to start somehow but the way things were happening just didn't convince me.

Another situation that got me thinking is Annie's condition. She is described as an introvert and we read several scenes where that becomes obvious. I liked this. I like shy heroines, so going to introvert ones can be interesting, even more so because the two can be confused often. But similarities apart, Annie isn't very sure of herself in social situations and rather prefers to be left alone. Yes, she had to come out of her shell in order to a romantic heroine, but she has some actions I can't see an introvert having. Or maybe, the way the situations were being described just didn't give the right impression.

The romance was along the lines of what we would expect. Ronan is clearly an alpha type and that's fine but he pushed Annie into saying and doing things I thought were too much. I just can't seem to appreciate how forceful he acts in some situations and how gentle he is in others. It felt weird and to be honest, their connection didn't seem as romantic as that. Yes, they were sexually attracted to each other and they might even be a good couple but I struggled to think that instead of all the details I'd change.
Plus their intimacy scenes just...well, I could easily skip them because I felt weren't interesting. Somehow their emotional journey didn't convince me so the sex felt secondary and could easily not have been included and I wouldn't mind. In fact, one or two scenes related to sex were actually bad in my opinion, not the descriptions themselves, but the state of mind in which Annie sometimes is before they happen. I can't say for certain but...it felt she wasn't much into it at first or maybe Ronan is more kinky than he had to Why I don't know. My impression perhaps.

Odd questions: If Ronan is a rugby player and his career matters why don't we see him talking more about it?
Why it always look so easy and fast to simply run from one place to the airport and fly home? There is no airport control, no check in, no waiting time to go through?

This was my first story by both authors. I also didn't read anything by each one individually, so I'll try something else by both in the future. But I have to say I wasn't as impressed by this story as I wanted. Some readers have mentioned in some parts we can see two people wrote this. I confess I don't pay much attention to that sort of detail, but in some scenes it can be easy to see it if you look for it.
All in all, maybe not the best book by either to start with but it does offer some good scenes and presents social media as something all of us are aware of but how real is what everyone thinks or says online? Interesting detail but not totally when I think in general terms.
Grade: 5/10

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Deeanne Gist - Love on the Line

Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.
Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.


Comment: Deeanne Gist is a familiar author to me. I have enjoyed her books more or less although the last one I read by her, last year, wasn't my favorite at all. I had good expectations for this one, though, as I do about other books by her I'll want to try as well. This was a good story despite the less than interesting parts for me...

In this book we meet Georgie Gail, a telephone operator, before each telephone line was fixed to a different house. So everyone who wanted to call somebody else, had to call a central and then the call would be forwarded. Georgie is the first woman to have that job in the Texas city where the action takes place.
Luke Palmer is an undercover Texas Ranger looking for Frank Comer, a bandit who has gained people's applause because of his attitude when robbing trains but he is still a criminal and the bane of Luke's career. Knowing Comer's band will be around that city, makes Luke get there and try to find out ore about who might belong to the gang. But he was not counting on Georgie...

Like I said, this was a good story but I confess it did take some time to read it. I think I wasn't in the right state of mind and it just happened to be Easter season, always a busy time at work, which doesn't allow me as much free time to read as usual.

My biggest issue with this book was the relationship between the main characters. I know this is a Christian themed story but all intimacy references aside, the relationship still didn't look as interesting as it could simply because their connection doesn't feel natural. Plus, we don't see them interact as much as it would be necessary to make me believe in them. I can't say why this bothered me in this book when it didn't in some of her older titles which happen more or less the same, but maybe because of everyone around them was acting, I got this impression, who knows...

When I say "everyone around them", I mean the secondary characters. I just wasn't interested in most of them so the whole feel of community or family or even personal development didn't strike me as something to be focused on, so...I could be easily distracted, which added to not having as much free time, made this a slightly boring read.
Although overall, I still think this story is better when it comes to main characters' relationship, it still didn't win me over after all details were put into consideration.

The plot has its moments, I liked the elements about the German traditions, about birds (Georgie loves them and this is a key part of the story) and even the telephone operations, which tells me the author has had fun researching and including this in the story. But the characters themselves just... I can't explain it, but they were rather bland.
Then we have some revelations closer to the end of the book but I wasn't impressed by them.

I think we didn't learn enough about Georgie. It's hinted often about her having moved to this city, she's an independent woman and that's huge for the time, which I liked, but why she moved we don't know.
Luke is a character I feel we got to understand and know better but the epilogue shows a side of him that doesn't really match what he keeps defending through the book (like why he is dedicated and so on) and I can understand why, it suits the HEA perfectly but...it just feels weird.

All in all, a good and entertaining novel, but when compering to some of her other books, not as impressive. I hope the other books by her I want to read are more in the lines of her best work. 
Grade: 6/10

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rachel Bach - Honor's Knight

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she's determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi's not actually looking for it -- trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she's supposed to hate.
But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there's worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.


Comment: After reading and enjoying the first book in the Paradox series by author Rachel Bach at the end of last year, I knew I had to keep reading, not only because I really liked that first book but also because something happened at the end - not a traditional cliffhanger, but we could say so - and I needed to see what would happen after.

This second installment follows a confused but apparently back to work Devi after some problems which took place in the previous book. But Devi hears a conversation that makes suspicious and somehow she has to be told the truth about what happened to her and why her memory isn't as normal as she thought. 
Trying to escape a situation she considers too dire to even imagine, Devi learns more truths as time goes by. But when all seems lost, Devi realizes courage and reckless moves can sometimes walk side by side. Will Devi find a way to help those who need and save herself as well?

Reading this book was quite entertaining. It was also engaging because things were happening very quickly and it seemed the action was non stop. Even the quieter moments still advanced something in terms of Devi's choices. It can be slightly frustrating to only have Devi's POV on everything, but as a character she is fascinating and that makes reading very easy and fluid.

This book is a good second installment. We get to discover things about Devi and those around her and also about the whole mystery behind the plot. I think the author had the talent to think about a scenario and then putting it on the page. Somehow, it got easy to imagine how things were happening and often the best ideas don't always turn into scenes well played in our heads but the descriptions were enough detailed and presented to make things easy on the reader.

The plot is quite imaginative, yes. The whole sci-fi scenario could be just comic or silly descriptions but there is a whole structure well designed and where each detail has a purpose. It was very interesting to know some hidden truths about Devi's boss, about the big secret everyone is trying to keep, about the reasons why Devi seems to be different... 
Although the pace is quite good, nevertheless some parts weren't as fluid when it came to go from Devi's inner thoughts to the real life action and it kind of showed. But honestly, it wasn't such a big deal in the long haul.

One of my favorite things, despite not being the focus, is the romance we see slowly developing, even with some obstacles. It was nice, and it shows us a side of the characters which is not the main state of being. I liked to see their vulnerable side and how they used what they wee feeling not as an excuse but as a lesson to become better, even if it didn't look as if it would be worth it. I'm looking for to see this relationship be cemented in the final story and - hopefully, it will end well.

It's difficult to write much about the book, it has such complicated situations and details that I couldn't do justice to it, but I just feel very happy to have read this book and anyone who likes the genre would certainly feel the same. I can't wait to see what the author has prepared for the end and I anticipate revelations that can turn this into even more amazing status.
Grade: 8/10