Wednesday, March 18, 2015

TBR Challenge: Kristen Callihan - Winterblaze

Poppy Lane is keeping secrets. Her powerful gift has earned her membership in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, but she must keep both her ability and her alliance with the Society from her husband, Winston. Yet when Winston is brutally attacked by a werewolf, Poppy's secrets are revealed, leaving Winston's trust in her as broken as his body. Now Poppy will do anything to win back his affections . . .
Winston Lane soon regains his physical strength but his face and heart still bear the scars of the vicious attack. Drawn into the darkest depths of London, Winston must fight an evil demon that wants to take away the last hope of reconciliation with his wife. As a former police inspector, Winston has intelligence and logic on his side. But it will take the strength of Poppy's love for him to defeat the forces that threaten to tear them apart.

Comment: Here is another TBR pick, and this month the theme is Series Catch-Up. Since I enjoy following the themes, I picked this book, which is #3 in Darkest London series and that I had for some time now. 
In fact, the series is now up to 6 books, and I've read the one before this third one in 2012.
I wasn't very eager to get to it, but this challenge seemed the better "excuse" to do so.

This story starts after the end of Moonglow - whose story I liked but abhorred the end -and how the two main characters, Winston and Poppy have to face the fact their long marriage had many secrets. Most of them come from Poppy, whose dedication to the paranormal and protection of innocents led her to hide who she is from the man she loves with all her heart.
But Winston came close to that world where Poppy is a key player and he couldn't believe the secrets between them. Even worse, a demon claimed bargains from them and now they have to talk, deal with each other, work together among the distrust in their marriage to salvage much more than just their bruised feelings. But there are more surprises to show up and they might not be good ones...

I wasn't pleased with the end of Moonglow. That is the biggest reason why I put off reading this book for so long. I was kind of mad about something I thought would have been better differently.
Another "no" about this book was the fact the protagonists were a married couple who would need to deal with problems which would certainly mean talking, remembering, working with known facts about the other one, all the things I dislike in the lovers reunited troupe, my least favorite of them all.

I was really not looking for to read about any issues pertaining these things, so I delayed and delayed the reading until now. I thought it was time to just get it over with and perhaps I might even be positively surprised.

I wasn't.
I mean, it's not a bad book and not that annoying considering my personal tastes. It's just that after the things I dreaded being an obvious part of the story just like I always imagined, I also had to deal with the villain being one of those who acts clever and superior to everyone else and having key scenes throughout the plot. I also really don't like that type of villain interactions.
It seemed that, one thing after the other, things just piled up to make me not like the book after all.

However, I do have to acknowledge the author for creating original ideas and ways of constructing her characters, her development of things. Even when I thought I couldn't be surprised, I was, when the protagonists find a certain detail about the villain and his importance in their lives which I surely wasn't expecting. That counts for something.

Just like I predicted, the main couple talks about their marriage and spends a lot of time thinking about what happened, how things were and there are chapters dedicated to show us how their relationship began, although short ones. This is done to obviously to assure us of their bond, their perfection for each other, their absolute devotion and complement. Sure, but for me it's also annoying and boring to read. The new things they find out kind of help of making it not that bad overall, but I still struggled to read about them without wanting to skip pages. I found their difficulty in being intimate more interesting because it was something new and believable after the issues between them.
Still, they do get their HEA - again - and this time it's meant to be forever, after all.

Secondary characters play an important part in the book. Being them just there to fill a space or handy for a situation of being set up for the next installment, there are many faces to consider. We see a certain couple getting ready to be protagonist in the next book. 
Just like in the book by Catherine Bybee I've recently read too, this author starts up the next story in the current one to make the reader invested in what happens and in getting us eager to keep reading. Sure I want to know what happens but I don't feel the urge to do it soon. One day...

After all things considered, I can understand why the series is popular for so many readers. I admit the first book was refreshing and amazing in the genre. But for me some things don't work as time goes by and the way things are told, the way the author makes the path for her characters isn't that appealing for me anymore. While it has good things to speak about, for me it isn't the marvel it could be and that is why it's not going to be something highlighted in my reading future.
Grade: 6/10


  1. I hadn't met another reader who disliked the "they were married, they got divorced/separated, now we'll make it work" trope as much as I do. Yay!

    I have not read any of Ms Callihan's work, and now I don't think I will. Not just because of this installment in the series, but because apparently the previous one ends with the main couple separating (did I get this right?). That is one trope I just can't deal with.

    For all that's pretty and shiny, don't make me fall in love with a couple, then split them. That breaks my trust faster than I can tell you.

  2. Lol Azteclady, I'm sure you threw Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas against the wall too, huh?

    Well, this book was mostly meh, the fact they were married and dealing with it didn't help, but the whole book has a certain feel that didn't captivated me much.
    No, by the end of Moonglow the main couple - Daisy and Ian - does not separate. But something happens that I sure as h*** did not like AT ALL!
    Anyway, another series to be left alone, maybe one faraway day I might get back to it.
    Happy reading!