Tuesday, 16 March 2010

How Can This Be?!

When last I trawled the internet for news of Loose Ends by Tara Janzen the publish date was August 2010.

Now I read that the date has been put back to January 2011!!!!

That is completely ridiculous.

Why put out one date and then change it to another one that is over six months later?

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Skin Game by Ava Gray

I absolutely loved this story. From chapter 2 onwards. Can you believe it?

It's the story of a romance between an grifter and a killer for hire. You would think that both these types were much too cynical to, ahem, 'fall in love' but that is exactly what happens. And I totally believed in the romance as it unfolded. Because when either one of the main couple, Kyra Marie and Reyes feels rejected or ignored by the other, they feel miserable and want to cry. I even accepted the totally ridiculous paranormal thread that runs throughout the novel. Can you believe at a couple of points in the story I had to take a tea-break because the tension was getting to me! There are of course secondary characters, Foster and Mia and I was even interested in how they were doing. I thought the bad guy, Serrano was a nasty piece of work. Yes. There's a lot of shooting and killing in the story. But it doesn't happen to innocent bystanders...just criminals.

Much of the novel is basically a road trip where the main couple learn stuff about each other...even though neither is exactly the talkative type. Get this. The hero, Reyes, like Kade in Shades of Midnight, also has some issues with a deadbeat Dad. But he has worked through them in an entirely realistic way. Kyra on the other hand still looks at her own crappy father with rose-tinted glasses. But at the end of the novel even she consciously lets go of the ties she still had to her life with her Dad. Reyes talked about 'Dad's who put their own pleasure before the welfare of their kids.' I loved all that. (Mainly because I see many Moms who do exactly the same thing.) And then there's a throwaway line about the 'Pretty Woman' movie. Condemning it for making prostitution seem like a fairy-tale. I loved that too.

Geez. The heroine, Kyra. Has. Never. Been. To. School. I absolutely loved her character and attitude. Geez. She actually read through much of 'A Hundred Years of Solitude.' I also loved how she treats Reyes once she discovers he's been lying his head off to her. Make no mistake though. Everyone in the novel. Has Money.

What didn't ring true was how she was going to trust her millions to her friend Mia. I was also quite amazed how much killing Kyra does without any kind of hesitation.

tbh. There were some gaping plot holes. I didn't really understand why Serrano took Snow to Switzerland, killed him, and then think no-one would suspect him. Also. I didn't really understand how Kyra relieved Serrano of all that money. She said she only did one-night stands; does that mean she had a non-biblical relationship with Serrano. Is that really likely?

btw. I suspected I would like this story as I read the scene where Kyra checks into a dive motel and examines the water jug for signs of meth cooking. I just love cool refs in contemporary romances.

Best read of the year so far.

p.s. I have now read some of the other reviews of this novel. One of the reasons I am not bothered by Kyra's and Reye's moral justifications of who they victimise is that, well, they are both hardened criminals. Their real mantra, which is also touched upon in the novel, is 'Dont Get Caught.' Everything else is just padding to keep up their self-esteem which is basically what you need when you do what they do and have the crappy upbringings they both had. New readers might like to know that Kyra literally stomps Serrano to death. And Reyes doesn't bat an eyelid...her actions absolutely do not even register on his moral compass.

It goes without saying that I have never met people like Kyra and Reyes. But I have met many people who just think (and behave) differently from the norm. You just have to accept them for what they are. Non-criminals. If either Kyra or Reyes ever appeared in court. You just know it would (deservedly) be LWOP for both. Minimum. But the story isn't about reality. Anyway, I liked the tableau it presented of criminals killing other criminals and cheating other bullies. Far far better than the morals on view in Stephanie Rowe's Chill; where criminals saying 'sorry' is acceptable when innocent people have been hurt.

The Golden Season by Connie Brockway

This is one of those romances where the main couple, Lydia and Ned, spend a lot of time apart. And too many pages are spent describing the lives of supposedly minor characters. I got tired of reading about Emma Cod’s kleptomania, Sarah’s slutting or Childe Smythe’s longing to be accepted by society.

The thing was. I could see the plot development a mile off. Lydia and Ned fall in love. One of them finds out the other has no money and calls off the romance. But in the end true love conquers all. The trouble was. Half way through the book and still nothing had happened. Ned was still wasting his time over his lame-brain cousins. And Lydia was just seeing Childe Smythe in a more sympathetic light. Also one or both of the main couple needed to do some serious grovelling for placing social position and wealth above happiness. And I know, with this author, that isn’t going to happen.

I’m almost ashamed to admit…dnf…lightweight and boring.

Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Another novel set in Alaska again featuring a bush pilot…but this time it’s the heroine, Alexandra.

This is the latest in a series about good vampires fighting bad vampires. Yup, it’s a bit Blade-ish. And like all the others in the series, quite elitist with lots of ‘master-slave’ elements as depicted in the ‘Rogue-Minion’ relationships.

tbh I thought the story was perfectly acceptable. But nothing special either. In fact. For me it came very close to being boring. I read it in about a day and a half. It contains some hot love scenes. But from the story point of view the guys get all the action.

Some things kept me from fully liking the plot. The heroine, Alex, admits she fell into bed in a New York minute with the local cop who had a sideline in dealing because she was feeling sorry for herself. But then she seems to take an age making up her mind about doing the deed with the good guy because she ‘knows nothing about him.’ That got on my nerves. Her dithering just held up the story. Then. The hero Kade seems to have gained the impression that his Dad belittled him throughout most of his childhood and teenage years. But all the Dad has to do is apologise and give a reason for his behaviour and all is forgiven by Kade. Huh? Kade doesn’t feel anger toward his Dad?? A bit of tough love by Dad toward the older brother might have saved his life. And Kade doesn’t tell him that?! Relationship issues that are glossed over tend to reappear later on…with evil effect.

The best part for me was when Teagan made an appearance. And please god, that creep, Harvard will turn into a traitor not just another member of the Order.