Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: The Heart of Winter by Maggie Shayne, Linda Winstead Jones, and Day LeClaire

The Heart of Winter: The Toughest Girl in Town\Resolution\Mystery Lover
The Heart of Winter: The Toughest Girl in Town\Resolution\Mystery Lover by Maggie Shayne, Linda Winstead Jones, and Day LeClaire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"The Toughest Girl in Town" by Maggie Shayne

I did not particularly enjoy this story. I thought the premise was absurd and we did not see the relationship between Melinda & Matthew really develop at all. 2 stars.

"Resolution" by Linda Winstead Jones

This is the RITA nominee. It was definitely better than "The Toughest Girl in Town," but I still wasn't overly impressed. I thought Jones did a good job of developing the romantic relationship within the confines of the novella format, but, overall, character development got shortchanged to set up the mystery. Three stars.

"Mystery Lover" by Day Leclaire

This was, in my opinion, the strongest story in the anthology. However, since it involves the hero kinda tricking the heroine into sleeping with him, "Mystery Lover" does have some creepy undertones. The mystery here was the hero's identity, but the reader learns it almost immediately. Also, the winter theme is very loosely tied in. Three and a half stars.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so when the buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey started, I attempted to read the first book. I got up to Chapter 4 and became disgusted with the heroine. I thought she was very passive and a classic doormat. So I stopped reading and was rather dismissive of the whole trilogy.

However, the Romantic Writers of America conference is in less than two weeks and I knew the Fifty Shades trilogy was going to be a topic of discussion. So I decided to give the first book another shot, but I skipped ahead a couple of chapters.

I'm glad I gave it another shot because I completely had the wrong idea. From the beginning and other bits & pieces I heard, I thought this was going to be a full-fledged d/s relationship, like Maya Banks's Sweet Addiction, and I'm not entirely comfortable reading about that. Fifty Shades of Grey mostly rejects the d/s lifestyle. At its core, it's mainly a romance novel with some kinky trappings. It's certainly not as controversial, sexually speaking, as it seems to be portrayed in the media.

I still think Bared to You is a better read, but Fifty Shades actually wasn't that bad. It did need some better editing and the flow was very uneven, but I can see why James was a well known fanfic author. I'd be interested to see if James will write another romance novel or go the Stephenie Meyer route and stick with what she's got.

Also, I have no idea how they are going to make this into a movie that's not going to be soft-core porn.