Well well, another week has gone by and it looks like I am way behind on blogging. My parents arrived on Monday night and will be here until right before New Years. I have been rather busy shuttling them around town to go shopping and whatnot. So far, so good. I realize that I owe some more "lightning" reviews from last weekend's housesitting gig. The more I try to write these short things, the more I realize that I'm kind of verbose and not very good at condensing ideas into readable short bites. So forgive me if these are more thundering than lightning.
I started with Julia London’s The Perils of Pursuing a Prince. In this novel our intrepid heroine Greer Fairchild has ventured into the wilds of Wales to track down a long-lost relation who may be the key to her inheritance. Although she had begun the journey as the companion to an elderly woman, they had been joined by a very accommodating young man who ingratiates himself to the point that he convinces Greer to keep traveling with him even after her elderly companion passes away. So from the beginning I am thinking, ok, this girl is not the sharpest stick in the shed. Then we meet the putative prince of the title. He is something of a hermit on his land in Wales. Mr. Owen (the aforementioned young man) has a grudge with Rhodrick Glendower, Earl of Radnor and “Prince of Powys, based on a long history between the two. Ms. Fairchild ends up caught in the middle, but I kept wishing that she would be just a little more astute about the obviously nefarious Mr. Owen. Once he fled the coop and left her in the somewhat gothic tender care of the Prince, things did get more interesting. I vacillated between being entertained by the battle of the wills between Rhodrick and Greer, boredom that it was taking them so long to do something about their obvious attraction and frustration at Greer for her apparent insistence on being a stubborn eejit. I did like Rhodrick as a character. He was prickly and rude and adorably self-conscious about his less-than-handsome looks. Greer on the other hand is something of a whiny needy chit who can't see past the nose on her face. I was never quite sure what an intelligent man like Rhodrick saw in her. Oh well. There are worse ways to spend a few hours, and I do like Wales as a setting. C+
Dark Seduction by Brenda Joyce
I almost did not finish this book. As it was it gave me constant fits of laughter and snorts of “omg, I can’t believe I just read that!” Let’s just start with the accents. DROVE ME BATTY! And I like a Scottish accent if it’s done well. By the end of this book, I was walking around the house saying things like “I be hungry. Where be food?” What are they, pirates? I be tired of this talk. Then to make matters worse, the author has the audacity to name the heroine of a time-traveling story set in Scotland, Claire. Hello? Has no one heard of the book Outlander? Beyond that, the story just didn’t work for me on most levels. Our hero brings Claire back to his time and immediately upon arrival, does not even wait for her to recover from the aftereffects of the time-travel, but just hoists her up and mounts her. Woot! Hot sexxoring and we’re only into chapter 2! Hmph. I like hot stuff as much as the next girl, but this just struck me as unbelievable and not even real heroic. Oh, you wanted to know about the plot? Hmm, ok, let me try to sum it up. Our hero is a newly turned Master of Time. Which means, among other things that he has the ability to time travel, that his mother was a goddess (no really, a GODDESS!), and that he can do the nasty without ever tiring. Apparently, these masters of time have some masterful bits, if you know what I mean. What else? Oh yeah, there be evil. EEEEVIL. As in the fruits of the devilll…. *rolleyes* Um, anyways, there is some more stuff about the devil incarnate and a battle for the soul of our hero in which he has to try NOT to have sex with the heroine. Anyways, as you can tell, this book just didn’t cut it for me. Nice cover tho, I will give you that. D+
I’ve heard of Marjorie M. Liu for quite some time, but Shadow Touch is the first book of hers that I’ve read. It won’t be the last. This was well-written, imaginative and suspenseful. I assume that there is a lot more to the story of the Dirk and Steele detective agency, but I found that I could follow this story as a stand-alone pretty well. Artur Loginov has a gift. He can sense the emotions and thoughts of people from the objects they've touched. While that may sound kind of nifty, it can also be a terrible curse as it's not like he has a choice as to what kinds of thoughts and emotions he picks up. He's learned to protect his skin and his emotions with protective layers. Elena Baxter has the gift of healing. She's never gone to med school but volunteers at a hospital where she quietly heals the sick. One day, both of these extraordinary individuals are kidnapped and imprisoned in a hellish experimental facility that reminded me of something out of the X-men. Through circumstance, they meet and establish an amazing psychic and emotional connection, due to the combination of their unique extrasensory abilities. Even though they spend a good deal of the middle of the book physically apart, the link established between their minds permits them to communicate and continue to develop a growing relationship. One thing that I really appreciated about this story was how both of them had to rely upon the other. I never felt that either one was clearly dominant or superior to the other. Their gifts complimented each other and they felt like a true team. My only complaint, such as it is, would be that I like my romances to be a little spicier and there was a distinct lack of love scenes between the h/h. Of course, given the fact that they're locked up in a facility for half of the book and then on the lam for the other half, that's not a total surprise, but still. I'm shallow that way. *g* However, that's just a minor complaint. Overall, I was really impressed with Ms. Liu's skill as a writer and world-building abilities. I'm definitely going to look for more books in this series. B+