Say My Name, A Stark Novel, J. Kenner
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I loved the Stark Trilogy and J Kenner’s writing style so was really keen to read the opener to the new series. I wasn’t disappointed – its got the same Must Keep Reading feel to it, one of those where you just have to know what happens nest, can’t put it down just yet even though the oven is beeping and everyone is starving….
Maybe I’ve read so many of this type of story ( and not all good sadly, there’s hundreds out, probably thousands, and yet few are real 5* authors like this) but I am beginning to be able to pick up story seeds, the bits which seem a throwaway comment, and yet are the start of some major surprise. I’ve got two I found in this part, one is already revealed and I felt quite victorious when I found I’d got it right – too often I’m way off the mark The second – well, maybe its going to come out in the next book or maybe hold out for book three, but I think there’s someone who’s going to prove closer than currently suggested. Another of those lies by omission. It hasn’t been said who this person is yet, but it’s indicated that its no-one special and yet I think…just think…I might have seen something that suggests they are more. And if I’m right its going to have a huge impact on the story. Massive.
Poor Sylvia, she’s worked so hard to get where she is, overcome so much, and then has to face her nemesis to save her current biggest project yet for Damien Stark. Its not easy and I was with her when she went through the embarrassment, the trauma and giving herself mental talkings and encouragement.
Jackson, he certainly made her pay at first, and then when he found out more he was gutted…he’s got secrets too though, and keeping them hidden. They both have revealed a certain amount, and yet want more from each other, suspect there’s more to come, but are concerned over the result. How far do you trust a new lover, even if you have had past contact? How much have you a duty to tell them, to reveal secrets that could be used against you? Its a hard line, no-one needs to spill everything on the first date, but when does a relationship hit that point where the past needs to come out, not least because it’s affecting the present.
I loved both of these characters, and could see both points of view, understood why each felt as though they’d been kept in the dark and yet I understood why the other one did just that, held back from saying things. There’s a real passion between them, a sensuality that comes out in the page and scorched the scenes between them. That’s tough for an author to get right – no one wants to read pages of repetitive sex, or ( for me ) to have sex that doesn’t fit the story, becomes dull, takes over the plots, and thankfully J Kenner is a master ( or mistress!) at getting the balance of sex v story just right for me.
There’s obviously more to come, but the novel ends on a natural point, no awful, hated cliff-hangers, but an indication of what on line, more secrets to come out, what plots may develop. I love to read this kind of book all three parts in one go, but at least this way I don’t have that awful sense of being left out on a limb that cliff-hangers bring. Thanks JK for not giving in to the popularity that currently seems to favour them!!
Stars: Five, great read, perfect meld of sex and story.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.
A Heart’s Disguise, Colleen Coble
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews.
Genre: Romance, Historical
I liked the sound of this one but…it didn’t really work as well for me as I’d hoped. Its a story in three parts, and each is quite short at only 788 locations on kindle. I’m guessing that’s about 80 pages so there just wasn’t space enough to really get to know the characters or the story. It felt very surface based, where almost as soon as a plotline was introduced things happened and we moved on to next one. I really like to get lost in a story, and I just didn’t feel deep enough here to do that. I need to feel I’m back there in the West, facing the hardships they do and empathising with poor Sarah. It was a tough time in history and I need to really Feel it, live all the hardships and problems with them. Its an interesting premise though, and I’m looking forward to maybe a bit more depth, and that lovely potential nasty person/jealousy storyline in the next episode given we’ve met most of the major characters. That sort of plot is just what I love, so fingers crossed…
This was a good beginning in introducing everything, but due to the brevity everything felt a bit rushed. Still – though I love long books, there are those who like one of my good friends, want a book they can finish in a couple of weeks. She only reads a few pages each night so 100,00 words – books I love – are her worst nightmare. Its another insight into how were all different in what we want, and though this didn’t work for me it will for others.
Stars: Two and a half, lots of potential but so far for me its not quite getting there.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
A Heart’s Obsession, Colleen Coble
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews.
Genre: Historical Romance.
Well, this instalment went better for me, I began to get to know the characters. Sarah is in a hard place, and if she stays now her father has died her brother is going to force her to marry Ben. She still loves Rand though, and now that she’s seen a side of Ben she never knew, he’s the last person she wants to marry. She escapes by going to the Fort with her best friend and her husband, Rand’s brother, taking her younger brother with them. What a shock though when after a terrible journey they get to the fort to find Rand engaged. I really felt for her, could feel just how shocked and upset she was. His fiancée is a great character (great in that I love a “good” bad person, instead of just all sweet, kind ones), a real nasty, jealous woman, though she only shows the sweet side in public. Sarah stays, she tells Rand she only wants him to be happy, but when she sees what Jessica is really like she wonders if there’s still hope for them to be together, and if she can win him back.
Its a good read, packed with emotion and drama and full of life as it was back then, tough, limited choices and the dangerous and strange relationship between Soldiers and Indians. Sarah is making a place for herself there. as a single lady looking after her younger brother but its all very edgy, and I could feel the tension, that things could change any moment. Bad Ben turns up again too – still after Sarah and that adds to the feel of stress and strain. My only problem with this book is like the last one – its so short at just under 800 kindle locations again. If this was three full sized novels I’d love it, but as it is for me it just doesn’t do justice to the story it could be – but remember as ever we all want different things, and there are millions of readers that want shorter reads of course.
Stars: Four, a fun read, with emotion and drama and if it was longer for me this would probably be a five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher.