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So. I should be working on stats or really anything else. But I’m feeling particularly bleh right now whilst I wrestle with a lovely moral dilemma thrown my way by the powers that be at work.
Thus, whilst I contemplate getting a new job and hopefully fast, because let’s face it, I am not the sort of person who can work someplace where I feel like my integrity is being compromised, you get to hear all about the first ever Gena Showalter book I’ve read.
I believe that someone lent me one many years ago, but I also don’t recall actually finishing it because stuff got in the way. So that one doesn’t count.
Anyway. On to the book!
All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member–a man trapped in a hell of his own.
Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments…and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction–and a soul-shattering test of love….
Isn’t that sweet? Now, I admit. It didn’t grab me. But I read it anyway, because I’m a sucker for paranormal anything and I love me some trashy paranormal romance. Besides, even if it’s awful, there’s still value to derive from it.
There was actually a lot of good here. The writing was excellent (as was the editing, thank you so very much Harlequin, cause nothing ruins a book for me more than typos, misplaced names, and other random crap that should have been fixed before print). Fast paced, not cheesy, and while the story was predicatable, it’s SUPPOSED TO BE. I expect a certain kind of story when I go into a novel like this. Certain characters act certain ways. Girl meets boy. Boy and girl clash. Girl and boy are irresistably drawn to each other. Conflict. Boy and girl end up together, either happily ever after or taking on the world. The end. Yay!!
This is what I expected and what I got. So woot.
The really good:
Showalter followed the formula to perfection. What made it better than good was that she threw in a cool twist to the scenario. It isn’t just a highland lord and some prim sheltered miss (which is also not a bad thing, because really, who doesn’t love her some dashing Scottish anything?). We have a properly tormented hero, only his torment is definitely not the usual. So major points for a unique take on that! I really liked that these guys are paying the price for opening Pandora’s box. And not only paying, but in the worst possible way.
I’m also a sucker for working Greek/Roman/Egyptian mythology into a story. Along with the values of the people. It lends a certain depth and more importantly, resonance for me.
There isn’t really bad to go over, so we’ll just go with meh. I didn’t hate the bad guys nearly enough. I wasn’t as appalled by their behaviour as I would have liked to have been. While I fully believe that a villain shouldn’t just be OMG IRREDEEMABLY BAD EVIL BAD, I do want someone that I can love to hate.
The big bad are the “demon” hunters. Okay. They’re ruthless, which is definitely a quality that lends itself to not liking them, but it can also be a good quality in a hero. So, eh. They have a solid reason for what they do, firmly believe what they are doing is the right thing, which is good! It makes them believable. But after that, they don’t do anything that is so appalling that it makes me go, oh wow, these guys have GOT to die. Maybe that comes later in the series? I dunno. But it left me lukewarm about them, and I like to be heated about my bad guys.
The bigger bad, alluded to in the first book, are the Titans. THEY were joyfully awful. Telling the poor guy that he has to kill these four random, totally innocent women, or else? For no other reason, than because they have the power to make serious misery happen if they aren’t obeyed? Yeah. THAT lets me work up a proper dislike, making the inevitable triumph of the hero even sweeter.
So overall, two thumbs up. I was entertained and it was well done. My meh is minor and won’t stop me from reading the book or the rest of the series, and thus, can be ignored 🙂 Especially as I’m sure the Hunters end up working with the good guys and that’s why I’m not given a reason to loathe them right off the bat. Cause it’s so much harder to believe the eventual alliance if the other half is too yucky.