Archive | June 17, 2013

The Love Deception. Jennifer St George

 

The Love Deception

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I love romance, it almost feels like a grubby secret to admit that sometimes but there’s a huge market so I know I’m not alone! I like my romance to have a decent story though and not just centre around two people who fall in love.

Jennifer creates a real drama here of a deception by heroine Felicity, but done through the purest of motives. Unfortunately the victim turns out to be not just her new would-be employer but also the man whose bed she woke up in, complete with lost memory of how she got there. What follows is a tale of misunderstandings, misconceptions and deceptions done for the best of intentions. However all those problems lead to more, and a romance that starts badly with both sides feeling the attraction but determined to ignore it. Slowly the sexual tension between Felicity and Damon reaches a point where they can no longer resist and then – the crux for me, what all good stories need – the angst of a breakup and separation.

I liked both Damon and Felicity. I didn’t see what was coming by way of Damon’s history which affected the way he viewed Felicity, or what prompted her career into Law. I did work out “who dunnit” so to speak from a huge clue given early on, but that didn’t spoil it for me.

Its a sweet romance, a good story but not really deep enough for me to re read. The characters were certainly well drawn and realistic, but I think I’d like to have seen a bit more depth to them and their lives than we were given. The plot kind of “floated” for me, it was there in front of my face, but not so gripping that I simply had to continue reading. Even though I hadn’t guessed the way the plot was developing somehow a good deal of it came over as quite light and shallow, and that’s why this isn’t a five star re reader for me. I enjoy novels that make me work, that grab me by throat and force to to stop reading, as I’m so tired the words blur on the page, but as ever that’s not for everyone of course, and there’s many many people that will find this novel exactly what they’re looking for. Something that’s romantic with an adventure attached, but not too taxing to work out what’s going on, something you can sit down. Relax and enjoy after a hard days work.

I can’t find pricing info as its not on amazon or barnes and noble but ist a decent read and I’d guess at 160-200 pages.

Stars: four, a good romance with a bit of a story behind it.

 

Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle Amy Fecteau

Real Vampires Don't Sparkle

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

This sounded interesting from the description. Vampires – a weakness of mine – but in the “old” style, ones that drink human blood and kill, not – as the title says – ones that sparkle and are sweet….

I’m not entirely sure what genre its classed though, definitely fantasy/paranormal but not a deep edge of seat thriller, more an adventure, and it’s not a heart-stopping romance though its clear fairly quickly that Quin, who’s powerful, very old and openly gay, is more than interested in Mattheus although he’s very patient. Mattheus keeps announcing to all he’s “not gay!” but finds himself having strange feelings for Quin and wonders if its a latent gay trait or connected to their claiming bond.

There’s some great humour too, Him Indoors kept saying “that must be a funny book” as I hadn’t realised but several times I was quietly sniggering to myself. I just love the snarky dialogue between Quin and Mattheus. Two well educated people using language to the fullest and adding a richness to the book. Too many novels now are dumbed down to words of very few syllables and its a treat to see an author not afraid to use unusual terminology, and not assuming readers aren’t capable of following good literacy.

Poor Mattheus, he thought he’d escaped from an overbearing father then Quin turns him unasked, and he’s being told what to do all over again. Quin himself reminded me of Quentin Crisp from The Naked Civil Servant, that extreme compulsion of neatness in dress sense, and the witty, urbane, droll but often incredibly cruel snarkiness when others annoy him. My favourite Q.C. quote is that the dust doesn’t get any worse after four years 🙂 Though he shows extreme patience in some ways with Mattheus, he’s quickly irritated with others and isn’t afraid to let them know it. He has a fearsome reputation in the supernatural world, and Mattheus is one of the few people that dare to argue and shout at him. Quin seems to find it refreshing to have someone who isn’t afraid of him and is willing to argue rather than just nod and agree with every word – though Mattheus sometimes goes too far the other way and sounds like a petulant child. That’s not a crit BTW but what happens and Quin then makes the most of it.

There were some other fun characters too, Bianca, a long lost friend of Mattheus who turns out to be a supernatural creature – and that shocks poor Mattheus as despite being friends for a long time he had no idea. Then there’s handsome Alistair, still languishing over a crush on Quin, epitome of Gayness in his simpering sycophancy that drives Mattheus to some cruel taunts. The man eating (literally and figuratively ) Juliet strikes fear into Mattheus with the way she seems to want to ravish him, the Trio of power holders consisting of the vapid seeming but incredibly cruel Appolonia, frankly just weird Grigori and the collector and vampire genealogy fanatic Zeb. Quin is more powerful than any of the trio but isn’t interested in power holding so allows them to keep a balance and feel “in charge”.

Its a novel full of curious ambiguities and political ramifications that mirror so much of real life. The humour is superb, the characters richly drawn and full of “life” – well how else can you describe active and realistic vampires? There’s the Hunters – not out to kill through stalking and staking but who want to enjoy the thrill of a chase and enjoy a sort of “paint-ball” game but with vampire targets. They capture and hold vampires ready for their games…The politics of vampire society, the homophobia and openly gay balance, the ethics of vampires killing people to live v humans killing animals to live, and of course the Secrets. It seems everyone is keeping secrets from each other, and it all comes to a head in a quite dramatic finale. The book was a fun read, and from the way it ended I think we may hear more from Quin and Mattheus and the others. Certainly its left open for the secrets that were revealed to have further ramifications. Trust and secrets, and the problems that arise when they come out (unintended pun!) Despite the clear feelings on Quins’ side there is a slow burn feel to the romance, with Mattheus struggling with feelings which make him uncomfortable and question his Liberal stance. There’s nothing more than a few touches, embraces at times of crisis and finally a few stolen kisses but it shows how one can write romance without being openly graphic. Not that I’m against that, but its good to read a novel where thought is put into how to show feelings without the eternal quick bed hopping so many books contain. Doing it this way must in many ways be more difficult, because it means putting more emphasis on glances, actions and thoughts. I like it though and it works really well here.

At £3.08 for 386 pages its very fairly priced, and for those who want a novel that’s more than just sparkly, tweenage, sweetly romantic vampires its well worth reading.

Stars: I’d love to give it five for the fantastic use of the English language thats so rare now in books, but the actual storyline doesn’t grab me in the way a five star book needs to. Its a very well deserved four though, and I really hope we hear more from Quin and Mattheus.

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