Monday, 15 October 2007

Harmony's Way by Lora Leigh

What a disappointment this novel was.

I was expecting a hot hot romance between the hero and heroine. Ok, the novel started off like that. But before half-way through it changed into another one of those Peyton Place type books. With the author introducing endless new characters, with all their back stories and thoughts. We even get to know that one of the Breed enforcers has the hots for a sub-hero's mother. Wow! It's a wonder we don't get to meet the Breed pool-man and know all about his sex-life too. I am not one of those readers who longs to live in or learn all about a particular community where everyone knows everyone else's business. And that is just the kind of story that Harmony's Way turns out to be.

As for the smut. There's quite a lot early on in the book. Then it disappears almost completely.

I have to say this about the heroine. Basically. Harmony's a doormat. Big-time.

This is a heroine who lets her shirt-tail brother tell her she's having a baby. Because Harmony did not know!!! Her life is controlled by men. The brother Jonas who tells her where to work. The rescuer, Dane who always gets her out of trouble. And the short-tempered hero, Lance who gives her a stiff rogering to ease the pain of the 'mating.' Yeugh!!

Not once does Harmony tell them all to get lost. The author made a big mistake with this heroine. It's one thing being a killer. It's quite another thing being a killer of activists who seek nothing more than to help those less fortunate than themselves. Which is what Harmony is. On so many levels she turns out to be a wet victim who can't get out of a repeat cycle of letting loud, gruff guys decide her life for her. Awful.

I also re-read Crazy Love by Tara Janzen at the same time. The heroine in that book, Skeeter, while still not perfect is totally tons more assertive and less plaintive than the stupid Harmony.

Poor Harmony. What she really needs is a decent education. That might help her decide independently of where to go with her life. GO TO COLLEGE GIRL! Get some qualifications. Do some minoring in women's rights or feminist history. I beg you.

Also I don't like the whole 'Breed' mentality. They live in the US. FOLLOW US law. There's no need to be having 'Breed Law.' What on earth is that all about?

My sympathies were all with Dane, the first Leo's son. He wants to live his life without being injected and examined by the Breed doctors. Good on him. He wants some privacy. Which is more than Harmony gets as the men in her life discuss her fertility like she didn't exist. And all she can do is say 'I'll run away where no-one can find me.' Bwahh! Is she some refugee eejut ninny from a regency romance?

There's something deeply flawed about Jonas's mentality too. He reckons that if the world finds out about the Breed mating heat, people will be appalled. Most people in the Western Free World tolerate so much. Believe me. 'Breed mating heat' doesn't rank very high on anyone's intolerance list. So, as a reader, I could never buy into the reasons for him chasing after Harmony so intensely.

I just hope Tanner's Scheme isn't as hicksville as this turned out to be. Humph!

Ok. Another comment on the ‘world-building.’ The heroine wears black. There are black-clad enforcers in the Breed community. The endless emphasis on pure-humaness. I just don’t get how the Breeds seem to be modelling themselves on the european goosesteppers. Is that balls or ignorance on someone’s part?

And then there’s the fact that in the previous novel, Megans Mark, it was said that Breeds ‘were not born but created in labs.’ But in this book, someone says that genetically altered sperm was placed into specially chosen women. Is that not a description of IVF? As far as I know no-one differentiates between IVF people or forceps people or caesarean people or twins. All of which are ‘born’? There is some crazy mindset on display here. And happily it is not mine.

I’ve never read a series as potentially offensive as this. I feel I’ve been suckered into something that I don’t really understand. Oh well…

I will say this though. There are some excellent alpha names in this story. Merc, Rule...Jonas. You just know that each of these guys will one day get their own book. Unfortunately the hero's name is Lance. Which is not alpha at all. That is a name for a guy who is very good at riding a bi-cyle. Presumably that explains why the hero, er Lance, is basically a bit-part player in his own romance novel. Another mistake.

Definitely finished now.

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