I have to say, I absolutely loved this little book. I only wished it didn't wrapped up so quickly in the end. Gena Showalter portrays Lysander as a naive angel with a very simple perspective of right and wrong. He seems absolutely clueless about the magnitude of the consequences associated with his actions. As such, watching him stumble through shades of gray amused me to no end. Experienced, worldly--Bianka only heightened my amusement. She found as much pleasure tormenting the innocent Lysander as I found watching her do it. It was quite refreshing to have the woman in charge and teaching the man for a change.
I love cameo appearances, and Gena Showalter had plenty packed in this novella. Two particular characters caught my attention. First Aeron had a small, but significant role in this novel hinting at his romance to come. It makes me wonder if his book is next. Then there was Paris. One of those things that make me go hmmm... My gloomy Gus friend was not the same bummed out guy I'd come to expect. One special mention given was a reminder of Ashyln's pregnancy. I hope Ashyln has her baby in the next novel.
All in all, this read was awesome! I am so looking forward to the next installment of Lords of the Underworld series.
Love Me to Dead
I'm going to start by saying I first thought I was unfamiliar with Maggie Shayne's writing. However, I found an old anthology An Enchanted Season featuring "Melting Frosty." If I remember it correctly, it involved a series of coincidences which bring two people together. I get the impression I liked it, but it was so long ago...
As for "Love Me to Death," the premise behind the story was interesting with a lot of potential. However, I think this novella deserved a little more. I was a bit reluctant to give this review because I found quite a few glitches in this piece which didn't sit well with me. Still, others may feel differently.
It gave me the impression of an incomplete work. The story never really addressed who the beautiful woman was in terms of her past. So I was left wondering what the connection really was.
Ms. Shayne wrote the beginning of the book non-sequential. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of it was since it didn't give me the impression of two world colliding. I would have liked it to be a little more linear, but that's likely more of a style thing.
Side characters who appeared within the story promised to show up later, but never returned. No explanation given.
The ending also seemed a little rushed. As with all romances, this had a happily ever after (HEA). However, it left me wondering how in the world did they get out of the crisis. I'm not even sure how everyone ended up in the crisis to begin with. People just appeared out of no where. Just a few too many unexplained happenings combined with too many unlikely coincidences.
In the end, I was a bit disappointed with this novella.
Lady of the Nile
The novella started wonderfully--a Duchess (Lady Tameri) who believes she's a reincarnated princess and a skeptic (Leo Eskine) willing to find out the truth. The waters became muddied soon after. I found Leo mettlesome to the point he seemed to take on a busybody caricature. Other times he seemed flaky, running from place to place not knowing what the heck was going on.
Tameri-I loved her; I hated her. I just couldn't make up my mind. She had great convictions in her beliefs, a quality I admired. However, her personality seemed inconsistent. Sometimes she was quite bold, other times she acted like a willow in the wind. I could never be sure if her moments of boldness were attributed to the goddess or not. Was she really weak? I don't know.
As I mentioned, historical are not my forte. However, I would have liked to see a bit more background here. I was unclear of who exactly any of the main characters were. Sure, we have a Duchess dowager, but that's the extent of her background. Then we have Leo, who's the son of an earl...but what else? With so little, I had a hard time connecting with them. I suppose that's the way of shorter stories sometimes. So little space, so many words...what to cut?
I laughed through the last ten pages or so, though I'm sure it was not meant to be comical. WARNING: YOU'RE ABOUT TO ENTER SPOILER ZONE]
So we have this fight scene, which isn't so much as a fight scene since the villain is placed in time out while the main characters discuss strategy. This isn't like the fighting and talking at the same time you see in movies. No, this is actually setting the villain aside (screaming and yelling at the MCs) while the main characters plot his demise. Then there's this thing with sex and taking a break to read before getting to the orgasm. I'm still scratching my head on that one. OMG, I just read it again. Now I'm cracking up laughing. I've got to share it. So they're in the middle of sex (and remember, the bad guy is screaming in the corner) and then...
"Maahes reached beneath the couch and shook the scroll from his kilt. He got to his feet and unrolled it, beginning to speak the words of the final segment even before he could read them [a bit of action here and then....]
Maahes set down the scroll and returned to the couch. Tameri opened herself again, and Maahes thrust with greater and greater urgency..."
Come on people, you know that's funny. I laugh every time I read it. I have to admit, the absurdity of it all makes that part my favorite piece in the whole novella.
Anyway, the ending was okay. It reminded me a bit of a love story and less of a romance. Oh well.