Fallen by Lauren Kate

There are a lot of reviews loving this book. And I lot of reviews mocking it. This will be neither. I didn’t even rate it. I made it to 50% and could not take anymore. Thoughts –

1) yes it feels like Twilight – the boring version.

2) the writing was bland.

3) I never got into the book

4) who cares about Daniel? It got to the point that I was flinching when I read his name. Luce needs help.

5) I am very vocal about being a fan of the woo. These predestined love stories kill the woo. The dude doesn’t have to work for it. In this case he actively resisted it (although who blames him for resisting her – she had no personality outside of her obsession with him).

6) this isn’t romantic. There’s not a healthy relationship in this thing.

7) in case you missed it – I was bored. This book couldn’t even stir me to a snarky review. Merp.

Just One Night by Lauren Layne

I liked Riley. And Sam seemed okay. But they were awful together. Insecure. Dishonest. No vibe.

This was the brother’s-best-friend bit. While I like Layne’s writing and her characters were okay the story really grated on me. There were plot holes big enough to swallow a house. I was suspending reality more than I do for a fantasy book.

I never saw their chemistry. I didn’t think they made each other better people. Overall there was a cute romcom vibe and little else.

Love The One You’re With by Lauren Layne

Rating this one was a little tough. I like to try to rate a book for what it is. And if I’m rating this as a rom-com it’s 4 stars. Sweet. Predictable. Adult. But as far as butterflies and “can’t-put-down-ableness” it was 3 stars. I did some home crafting projects rather than read, and I don’t craft.

Grace and Jake are forced to date for a work project. She’s sweet but hurt by an ex. He’s a committed bachelor. They fight the inevitable. Nothing OTT. Limited steam. Most of the time they behaved like rational adults. They did do some lying to themselves and each other (a plot move that I loathe), but their relationship mostly naturally developed.

I’ll be reading the next book in this series soon. I know that I can depend on it for a comfortable read.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I’m not writing much a review bc the opportunity for spoilers is too damn huge. But I will say I loved it. It’s a romantic sci-fi thriller (I never get to say that) that kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page. Sweet. Smart. Fast-paced. Twisty. Sad. A couple of parts were sciencey and slow yet necessary.

I read it in one sitting bc no way was I putting it down. I yelled out loud at least twice. All in all I had a damn good time with this book. I hope you do too.

Web of Love by Mary Balogh

This book, for me, was romance painted with a broad brush. It certainly had a different feel. Rather than be incredibly focused on Ellen and Dominic we got a snapshot of the war and a peek into a number of lives. The story was about so much more than two people.

Ellen is happily married to Charlie. Charlie and Dominic are in the military – and they’re BFFs. A lot of the book is devoted to the war and to Ellen’s relationship with Charlie. I think it was important to MB that we understood Ellen’s first marriage – and respected it.

After Charlie dies Ellen and Dominic have to deal with where his death leaves them. There’s a lot of steady development. Some ups and downs. Believable drama. There are also about 27 other characters whose issues give the book a well-rounded feel.

This joker is slow-moving. Low on steam and angst. Strong on characters and detail. It’s kinda like a war story where a romance (or 4) breaks out.

Candy Boys by Jo Raven

I enjoyed the beginning of this book. Candy is kinda weirdly sweet and awkward. With a big ole crush on 2 dudes. The two guys live together as roommates. For a while relationship development is a big part of the story. And it’s cute.

Eventually a relationship develops. At that point the book sorta becomes porny. And their is some backstory drama. I enjoyed it less and less as it progressed.

I liked Candy, Jet and Joel. I liked the emotional aspect of their threesome. The sexual part was hot. At first. But it took over. And became repetitive.

This is one of my first ménage books. It’s not a genre I often read. I think this one was palatable bc of the efforts at the story in the beginning. But as the story became hyper-sexual I no longer felt a connection.

How To Date A Douchebag by Sara Ney

Major parts of this book drove my crazy. Cute banter and an adorable heroine salvaged it overall though.

This is a typical jock/nerd romance. Those are frequently a cute fun read. I read this one in one sitting. James was wonderful. Sassy and funny. Focused without being weird and over the top. Some of her dialogue with Oz had me grinning big.

The issue i had with this story was one that i frequently have with contemporary romance – the hero’s relationship with women before he meets the heroine. There’s this thing that authors like to do where the hero is sort of a bumblefuck. What i mean is that the author creates a male character who just sort of stands there and allows women to use him sexually. We’re to believe that he doesn’t go looking for these encounters, but that he’s so irresistible that women offer themselves to him or attack him when he’s in most social settings. Of course, if the hero pursued these women and then dumped them he’d be a cad – the reader would hate him. So the author employs this idea of our hero as a sort of human vibrator with social cachet. He’s so gorgeous and prestigious that women are desperate to use him or please him simply for the celebrity that comes with having such a well-known penis inside of them.

At one point early in this book our hero has an encounter with a young lady at a party. I don’t remember his exact words – but something along the lines of “i’ll let you fuck me if you shut up.” This is after she has come up to him and rubbed herself all over him – so desperate, in a world full of dicks, for this one magic dick that she’s willing to be mocked, silenced, and then fucked up against a wall by a man that doesn’t know her name. At this point the hero, and to some degree the author, have lost most credibility with me. What am i supposed to do with this information? With this view of the hero as a cat scratching post? He’s just a place to go when your pussy is itchy. He’s not a person.

This line of thinking ruins a lot of books for me. I’m not blaming the authors. It’s who i am leaking into my reading. But i think there has to be a more subtle, less dehumanizing, way to show that the main character was a commitmentphobe. Unless the author wants me to think that he’s a gross non-person to be fucked and discarded? Maybe i missed the point of the story.

Eventually Oz sort of developed into a character. Not a particularly deep or interesting one – but he moved past a living BoB. And the story was cute. The only drama in the book was created by a cheap trick – and it was annoying, but not the end of the world. I enjoyed the choppy writing style – it was easier for me to get into than the trend of over-explaining and verbosity. Not a bad little book – i think my issues with the hero’s treatment of women is build-up from dozens of books like this. This may have been the proverbial straw – or possibly it was because i liked other aspects of the book enough that i was truly disappointed.