Monday, September 08, 2008

What I read on my summer vacation - Part 2

See - I told you I was busy reading. These are the other 2 books I read while on my summer vacation at the cottage.

How to Loose and Extraterrestrial in 10 days by Susan Grant

Why This One: Susan Grant is an autobuy author for me - has been for ages

Steam Level: Oh this one is nice and steamy

Author Website Blurb:
Question: Where's the best place to hide an interstellar fugitive? Answer: Suburbia

His internal computers are offline, his former employers want him dead and the Men in Black are after him. Without his cyberpowers, Reef is as weak as a lowly Earthling. He's tried to kill every human he's met--so why on Earth would they help him?

Evie Holloway needs a bodyguard! Her fledgling chocolate business is mistaken as a money-laundering scheme for the mob and the bullets have started flying. But does the suburban soccer mom really want to shelter the alien hit man who almost offed her future brother-in-law?

She is desperate, and Reef is incredibly sexy. "Ten Days," she tells him--but it turns out that ten days just might be long enough to spark a love that's truly out of this world.

My Thoughts: As I said, Ms. Grant has been an autobuy author for a while now and I have her entire back list except for her anthologies. This is the third book in a series. Number one is Your Planet or Mine. Number two is My Favourite Earthling.

I hate to be less than positive about this book - I really do - but it's not really my favourite. There's no question it has a lot going for it. I adored Reef. He was stolen from his family on a rather primitive planet and had his memory wiped and turned into a ruthless, souless part cyborg assassin. When he is cut off from his internal computers, he is like a lost soul who has to start almost all over again. And he suffers great stress as he slowly recovers his humanity. And being as he has been a cyborg assassin for most of his his life, he's one of those yummy virgin heroes so many of us like.

So Reef gets a BIG thumbs up, 5 star marks from me in hero material. The not so good part comes in the form of the heroine. I found Evie to be a bit on the whiny, indecisive TSTL side . Her family is high up in government circles but she has always shunned this aspect of the family, deciding instead to try and live a normal life. She's a divorced woman with the proverbial jerk of an ex. Try as I might, I couldn't really relate to her issues or really warm up to her. I couldn't help thinking Reef deserved someone with more backbone then Evie who was willing to give up her dreams for rather wishy washy reasons.

I don't know if the other issues I have will make any sense or not - probably not. But when I read SciFi or Futuristic romance, I prefer to have them take place in other worlds or galaxies. There is this whole Rah, Rah, isn't Earth great tone to a number of the stories that take place here and to be honest, when compared to some of the planets and worlds in this genre, Earth isn't that great a place. Because Earth is involved, it's harder to enjoy the escapism that is this genre and taking world politics into consideration, this is one fucked up planet. If I were an alien world, looking down at all the crap that goes on, I'd steer far away and look for a better, less screwed up place to visit. I find the whole patriotism thing for Earth annoying.

Does that make sense to anyone? *sigh* probably not.

All that makes this one a hard one to grade. The writing is good. The hero is EXCELLENT. The heroine isn't so good. And I had problems with the setting and the whole nationalism thing.

Grade: I'll give this one a 3.5 out of 5.

Killer Charms by Marianne Stillings

Why this one: I adored the previous two in the series

Steam Level: Nice and hot!

Author Website Blurb:

If he could really see the future, he’d know that Andie Darling always gets her man.

Logan Sinclair is nothing but a fraud - or at least that’s what Inspector Andie Darling, undercover detective on the streets of San Francisco, is determined to prove. Sure, the sexy Scotsman may claim to be clairvoyant, but Andie’s never believed in second sight (or love at first sight, for that matter). So why does his sweet talk turn her into a lovestruck fool?

Getting the goods on the elusive con man would get Andie out of boring Vice and into Homicide, yet all she can think about is getting into Logan’s arms. But juggling her job and her heart leaves her with little time to protect herself from a killer hot on her heels, or deal with the hypnotic dreams she’s been having of a time long past.

Logan would love to help Andie solve both mysteries, but charm and clairvoyance might not be enough to save her now . . .

My Thoughts: This is the third book and is Andie's story. She is the sister of the heroes in Arousing Suspicions and Satisfaction. While I enjoyed it, I didn't find it quite as charming and quirky as I did the first two books. Neither the hero or heroine seemed to come quite as alive as those in the previous books. When Andie was put on the case, there didn't seem to be any real good reason for going after Logan. And without a believable premise to start with, there was something just a tad off about the whole book. Later on in the story she allows herself to be blackmailed and rather than going to her brothers to help her, she goes along with the blackmailer. I never have sympathy with characters who allow this to happen so I found that a bit bothersome.

And Logan seemed to be rather underdeveloped as a hero. I know that it was done purposely because he had secrets that he needed to keep. But that kept us from really knowing him as a character. And the trademark funny moments that Ms. Stillings has in her books weren't as apparent in this one. I think I've mentioned that I read her first book and while it had a lot of potential, it didn't really work for me. When I read Arousing Suspicions and Satisfaction she seemed to have reached that potential I saw. Sadly, for me, Killer Charms is a slight step back. Despite that though, I do look forward to her next book and hope she's back on top again.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

1 comment:

nath said...

Hmm, I need to find my Susan Grant books out of the TBR pile and read them!! Thanks for the review!! I've been reading, but every time I finish a book is the same dilemma... what should I read next?