Monday, 9 February 2009

Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

This is the novel for you if you’re a reader who can take lightweight hookers as heroines. If you prefer some emotional depth and feeling in the romances you read then avoid this like the plague.

Complete babyish cack from start to finish. (Not that I did actually finish this drivel.) For starters. Every character has a special special name. Like Queen of Illusions, King of Demons, Deathless One, Enemy of Old, Sorceri, blah blah blah. With many many special special powers. Trouble is. Their problems are no different from yours or mine.

To be honest. I’ve never yet read a good novel that featured a demon. Rydstrom starts out ok. And the guy on the cover is absolutely gorgeous. But he’s too easily trapped by Sabine. Who despite being a nominal first-timer is basically a woman who hasn’t gone all the way, but has definitely gone down on a lot of guys in the past.

There’s a lot of references to popular culture quite early in the novel. I-pods, movies like ‘The Craft.’ So I’ll include one of my own. Rydstrom being held prisoner, stripped of his clothes while in a drugged stupor by a number of servants as the heroine and her sister chat merrily nearby reminded me a little too much of the antics of Grainer and his buddies. I got to page 61 and stopped reading. Guess I moved too far outside the box.


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Father Mine by J R Ward

This novella is only available in e-book format. So there it is. Stuck on my lap-top. Can't take it to work with me. Can't read it on any kind of journey. Unlike a proper paper book. I loathe e-books. I downloaded it in pdf format. But first I had to download Adobe Digital Editions Crap. The week after I downloaded Father Mine, digital editions wanted to upgrade. I declined the upgrade. So the original download refused to load. And I couldn't read Father Mine at all. I was forced to accept the upgrade. Another reason to hate e-books.

Of course. I enjoyed Father Mine. What is it about? Zsadist coming to love Nalla. Of all things. And coming more to terms with his past. The novella ends in a scene familiar to everyone who's read Lover Avenged.

I had to read Father Mine really carefully to pick up the plot. Basically Z still doesn't really like anyone other than Bella to touch him. And Bella would really appreciate it if Z could be a proper Dad to Nalla and pick her up, hold her and love her lots. Z, basically, doesn't want his daughter to have his legacy of pain and he avoids her. That's really sad. I used to think it was really silly how all the men in the BDB had had such terrible childhoods. But maybe that's how they came to bond together. Also none of them have had much formal education so they don't really understand their motivations or behaviours. Particularly true for Z. Mary could have told Z that by ignoring his child he was essentially repeating (less seriously) his own childhood deprivations. But that probably wouldn't help him to find a solution. Other than in regard to his fighting skills, Z has serious self-esteem issues I suppose. But he doesn't whine. Just gets on with his job...killing Lessers. Also he is still reluctant to feed. So not much has changed since LA.

Bella of course is probably well-educated. And she isn't going to let her high motherhood standards slip. Despite the fact that she chose to mate with a brute and her bro' is a drug-dealing probable patricide. (If I read previous books correctly) Bella wants a doting Dad for Nalla. End of. Bella is also not a doormat. (The derisory name some readers gave to 80's romance heroines who stuck to the philosophy 'I will stay and love my man and thereby change his character.') Bella is the other kind of heroine. The 'I'll leave my man unless he changes his character' type of gal. The '...and I'll take our child with me when I go' type of gal. Bella will probably be walking out on Z about every 2 years over one or other aspects of his behaviour. One day he'll have to call her bluff if he wants to keep his balls. I was so appreciative of the scene with T. W. when the reader saw that to an outsider Z still looked big, evil and mean. That he could still pull out his black-eye look.

I've missed the language of the BDB. Just what does it mean, when a body is "head and footed?"; what is a sitch? But even I got the idea of the meaning of a 'Fed-Ex-tinction' package. Boy! Where does she find them?!!

For a 92-page novella I thought the plotting and pace were perfect. Minimal padding. (Just the dross with T. W. and his any reader was interested.) Currently. Z and Bella are the only true vampire couple in the BDB mansion. And in some ways. Z has fallen for a woman who is very similar to his abusing mistress with her privileged background and the fact that she likes a bit of rough, so to speak. I wonder if he'll ever make the connection himself. Zsadist's dream is of course very very strange. I'm glad Mary was able to use her skills to help Z.

A few years ago Penguin experimentally produced some tiny paperbacks that sold for about $1. That format would have suited this novella perfectly.

All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz

I always thought that JAK's series romances were quite strong on the romance between the main couple. But when she branched out into bigger books. Well. The relationship took over. But I doubt if many readers understand what I'm talking about.

This is a perfectly acceptable rom-sus. With the exception that, unusually for JAK, I thought the villains were a truely loathsome family. I quite enjoyed the juxtaposition of the hero's relationship with his own father compared to Ryland's relationship with Victor. In a way this novel is all about decent versus degenerate patriarchs.

The heroine is a small-town journalist. And at first I despised her actions in blabbing about the death of her former friend to her employers. But it all came good in the end.

There is quite a high body count in this story. Personally. I think JAK does Marine stories better than Lora. I though it weird how Luke's family at first see Irene as some sort of unstable gold-digger. Irene came across as a very capable person. Looking at her from the outside I could almost describe her as a ball-breaker. Except that she was very nice to Luke. At the core of this rom-sus is a very sordid child-abuse plot.

I enjoyed Luke's laid back approach to running a hotel. I appreciated the author's skill in despicting Luke's time in the Marines without naming the country whilst leaving absolutely no doubt in the readers mind of exactly where he'd seen his action. JAK has always had a tendency to depict her main couple as the 'homeliest people in the room' and this novel is no exception to that trait.

I chose to read this story because I'm desperate for some good contemporaries. This book was completely acceptable although, as I said, a little light on the emotional side.

The main reason why I stopped buying JAK was because, a few years ago, I found that I was rebuying novels that I already had (in my attic) because the publishers were re-titling old stories. That type of thing annoys me intensely.