Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Donovan's Child (Bravo Family Ties) by Christine Rimmer

Donovan's Child (Bravo Family Ties)
Donovan's Child (Bravo Family Ties) by Christine Rimmer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this one up because it's a RITA nominee I was able to find in the bottomless abyss that is my public library's uncatalogued book racks.

Ready for this? I was actually really enjoying this book up until the part where the hero and heroine got together. Trippy, right? Talk about a mindfuck. It was like the heroine lost all her spunk and became a limpet. Here's an example. Dude's in a wheelchair, right? So he rents a handicapable van that's going to meet him at the airport. His plan is to get into the van and drive to meet the heroine at the house he's going to be staying at. So she wants to meet him at the airport and he says, "No. I'll have the van waiting. There's no point." Totally logical and full of common sense, right? And then she thinks to herself, "[O]f course there was a point. To see him. To be with him as soon as she possibly could." She talks herself out of saying anything "[j]ust because she loved him didn't mean she had to turn into some wimpy clingy vine" (pg 176). It says all the right things, but I felt the implication was, oh, she's being noble and he's being a jackass.

In the beginning of the book, when the hero was being a jackass, she was a charming smart-ass who didn't let him get away with shit. Now she's in love with him and the smart-assery went 'poof!' It's just not healthy. If the heroine was my friend, I'd be getting ready for a 'Have you thought this through?' talk. It all works out, of course, because they break up for like three weeks, the hero goes away, apparently has some kind of off-screen epiphany, and then comes back to grovel. The groveling was well done and, to her credit, she didn't take him back as soon as he showed up. Still, I would have like to seen the hero's revelation because it felt like it was very convenient and out of nowhere.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More tidbits about Nalini Singh's 'Tangle of Need'

My answers to questions asked on the comment thread of my review over at GoodReads:

On Adria being Indigo's Aunt

"As far as Adria and Riaz go, Nalini does address the aunt thing almost right away and reminds the reader that Indigo & Adria are more like sisters than aunt & niece. A bigger roadblock is the situation that Riaz tells Indigo about in Play of Passion."

"I get where you're coming from on the potential ick factor. I had that in my head when I started reading, but Nalini does a great job of kinda laying it out and you're, like, okay, that makes sense. It's not exactly spelled out in Play of Passion, but Indigo and Riaz seem to have had more of a friends with benefits situation going on rather than a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and, again, it's not clear, but I think anything between them ended before he left which was a 'couple of years ago.'

"Nalini continually underscores how important touch is to the changelings and casual short-term relationships seem to be an offshoot of that. In addition, Indigo is clearly happy with Drew so it's not like there's any residual feelings on either of their parts. The thing to keep in mind is that they're not human and, in the changeling culture, these situations appear to crop up all the time."

Sienna and Hawke

"Sienna and Hawke are very present in the book. They make excellent use of the gift the Pack gave them in Kiss of Snow. I also fell a little in love with Hawke after his reaction to a present Sienna gives him."

Lulu: I'm so excited there is lots of Hawke and Sienna! Do we learn more about their relationship and how they are managing with Hawke being alpha and Sienna just a soldier? - Yes.

The book's last line

"It's not exactly a quote, but the very last line of the book is going to send most people into a frenzy. I tried desperately to find out who the next couple is going to be and I got totally shut down. Resist the urge to skip ahead, though! It'll have more impact if you read Tangle of Need properly (and this is another reason why you should try to read it on the 29th)."

Vi: Please tell me if the last line will leave us hanging. Or is it more like the last line in Kiss of Snow?- I finally got a chance to dig out my copy of Kiss of Snow. I'd categorize the last line of Kiss like a pleasant surprise, like finding forgotten money. The last line of Tangle of Need is more of a anticipatory, perhaps shocking, surprise, like the week before Christmas when you know you got presents, but you don't know what they are yet. Except Christmas in our case would be about a year away. 

About Riaz's mating situation

Lulu: Can you tell us anything about the woman Riaz thought was his mate? Was she? Is there more than 1 possible mate out there for a changeling? - 1) Yes, but I won't, due to the aforementioned specter of death, 2) What Riaz told us in Play of Passion about her is completely true, and 3) That's a question for Dalton.

The Lauren Family

"Of the members of the Lauren family (excluding any SnowDancers), one is never mentioned, one is mentioned and also seen, one is mentioned but never speaks, two spend time in a kitchen, one gives forehead kisses, and one gives chocolate."

Walker and Lara

"They're in Tangle, but more as background characters. There's a little positive news about their relationship, but they don't have any real scenes. I wouldn't be surprised if Nalini eventually releases a deleted scene with them."

Review: Stranded with Her Ex by Jill Sorenson

Stranded with Her Ex
Stranded with Her Ex by Jill Sorenson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know what to rate this. I'll be honest, I decided to read this book for two reasons: 1) It was nominated for a RITA and 2) My March count is really low and I knew I could knock out series titles right quick.

I think the main problem I'm having is that I feel like the suspense part was kinda shoe-horned in. In fact, I thought one of the characters was making a logical progression towards being the Big Bad, but then, all of a sudden, somebody else had, like, a psychotic break and started going 'All work and no play' on the other characters. So suspense-wise, I'd give this two stars.

However, I was impressed by how Sorenson handled the emotional problems between the hero and heroine. There was a natural progression between, albeit slightly compressed, and there was no magical solution. They were both mature adults and acted like it. I also liked the unusual setting and the animal aspect of the story. Based on these factors, I can see why it was nominated and I'd give it four stars.

Averaging it out, I guess I'll just go with three.