Last night I finished Brenda Joyce’s Deadly Love – what a delightful surprise the book was! I loved the beginning of what I’m told is a fabulous series although apparently one that ends in a cliffhanger. I’ll most definitely be back to read more in the series, even knowing that.
Francesca Cahill is a 20 year old in 1912, she’s secretly taking classes at Barnard college and is a passionate bluestocking (dudes, I love this, I can’t tell you how much). Anyway, tragedy hits the couple next door and into her life comes the new NY police commissioner, Rick Bragg.
This is not a romance although it has a lovely romantic element to it as Francesca falls for Rick despite her growing knowlege of his past. There are moments when she’s very brave alternated with moments when she’s totally naive (but she’s 20 in 1912 from an affluent family, that’s like being 14 now so to me, it made sense).
I loved her internal emotional growth. I loved watching her realize all the people she’d idolized and admired weren’t perfect. It’s sort of like being that age all over again as you get your adult legs and see the world differently. I think Brenda Joyce did a marvelous job with her internal journey.
The subject matter, to a mom who had to walk out of the movie Ransom, was a bit harrowing but handled well I thought. It’s not overly graphic but a child in danger is still something difficult to read about.
Rick is just utterly delicious. I love his character and can’t wait to read more!
Next up – Wanton: Pack of St. James by Noelle Mack
I received an ARC of this next book in Mack’s Pack of St. James series from Brava (thank you Hilary Sares!)
I enjoyed the story, I like the world Mack has created with these Russian werewolves. I like that it’s a historical paranormal and certainly I think Mack has done a good job at writing the kinds of heroines I can believe in an affair with a man she’s not married to.
The details are rich and in this story, the story arc regarding young girls and prostitution takes center stage more than the romance did, IMO.
I liked Marko and I liked Severin. I didn’t like the sister Jehane at all frankly. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to but Severin loves her and I wondered why.
I was glad to see Kyril and Vivianne from Wicked in little glimpses – I like to know characters I’ve loved have gone on and experienced the fullness of an HEA.
Next up, the brother who’s been in Scotland. I’m quite interested to see where that one takes me
Lastly – Blood Noir by LKH
I was very disappointed in the book. I accept the direction LKH has gone in, it’s fine although I don’t agree that it’s erotica, the sex isn’t well written enough to have the story center on it. But overall, I thought the plot was weak. Generally, everything, every feeling, every concept, every conversation, had to be repeated four times. It was aimless for the most part when in fact, it could have been really dark if she’d focused on the whole Marmee Noir thing but she never gives it the page space it deserves and I don’t know why. She’s got the chops to do it justice.
MILD SPOILERS BELOW:
The sex was brutal and disgusting in one place in particular – the hotel “rape” scene. The level of detail in the aftermath was sickening and also while marginally emotional, yet another fight with Richard and an extraneous pregnancy scare just took away from the scene. I felt it was TOTALLY unnecessary. It did nothing but add yet more characters and yet another story thread that got left dangling and left us with yet another scene with Richard that is a virtual carbon copy of the last eight of them.
The stuff with Jason wasn’t bad but I thought the beginning scene where she has a safe word with Nathaniel and he ignored it to be irresponsible.
The thing is, I think LKH has an interesting world, I just don’t know why she continues to stuff it full of characters that add nothing and simply make the story hard to follow. I’m sorry to say Blood Noir was not a hit for me at all.