Top positive review
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Lives up to it's name!
on 29 October 2007
To start with this review needs a little background information. Sydney Croft is the pseudonym (or pen name) of two romance authors, Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler, neither of which I had read before this book. The premise is amazing though.
A sexy female parameteorologist, Haley, is sent to `acquire' a man who can control the weather, an ex-navy SEAL with old school superhero like powers, for a top secret organisation called ACRO. A man who is also as insatiably hungry for certain `thrills' when severe weather is upon him, whom she has to seduce before the evil corporation Itor gets a hold of him and uses his powers to wipe out most of the United States. What more could you ask for in an erotic romance book?
Suffice to say I have been wanted to read Sydney Croft's first book since I found out the authors were writing the third one in the series for a challenge I was participating in with them. But I was scared it wouldn't live up to my expectations.
As luck would have it, I received an email from Larissa Ione asking me if I wanted a copy of `Riding the Storm' - I actually bounced up and down on my chair after I managed to pull my chin off the floor. I had entered every known competition I could find to win the darned thing, because it sounded so good, and Larissa's message was a lifesaver. She had noticed I kept entering, and kept losing, and decided to send me a copy (with a nice bookmark and two magnets - and it was signed!) because she is that nice. She also asked if I wouldn't mind writing a review for her on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (well there had to be a catch) and to be as honest as I liked. Well, here it is, a full review.
To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement, the characters and word-building were unsurpassable and had a subplot well woven in. My main complaint however is the fact that the subplot detracts from the drama and action of the main plot, often jarring you away from an emotive previous scene. Often it was after a "big reveal" moment, such as when T-Remy finds out why Haley is really at his house, instead of continuing the tough atmosphere of his barely contained fury; we switch away to a completely different scene.
While the main plot of T-Remy's and Haley's attraction is brilliantly written, enough that you couldn't tell who wrote what (despite me knowing) the chapters and sections of other ACRO agents actions often sounded like another book. The sub-characters, Annika and Creed, are on a mission too and the sections have all the clues of a second book with these two coming together as the main characters.
We are also given lots of background information on all the characters involved in the story, and are given a plethora of minor characters to focus on to draw attention away from the main plot. This is possibly to draw out the suspenseful moments that often accompanied the end of a chapter, but I found myself almost wanting to skip these segments to see what action I was `missing' with the main plot.
Despite my complaints, the subplot and minor characters eventually do play a major role in the climax of the book, so to speak, which wouldn't have been as successful without the build up of their characters throughout the novel. The cut away scenes were successful in at least making me continue reading until I finished (I think I only put the book down once), and keeping the high level of emotion throughout.
The love scenes are well crafted and intense and the whole book fits seamlessly together, and despite the two authors, has a consistent voice throughout. I highly recommend this book, I am definitely buying the second one when it comes out and if it is half as good as this one, it'll still be one of the best books I've read.