Quick Reads and Quick Reviews 8

Ravensdale by [Van Diemen, Daphne]This book took a really long time to get going. There were times that I was confused about what was supposed to be happening because things were very predictable but super slow in getting there. I will say that for the first half I was wrong about who she should end up with, but after that I knew where they were going and was slightly happier about it. As for the drama, there was a lot of anticipation and virtually no follow through until the end. I was very disappointed that someone so intelligent gave virtually no time to her thesis and almost nothing to picking up on the clues all around her and having enough gumption to see what was going on. Then with the romance...lots of extremely slow build and one big confession under duress and stress with virtually no foundation for anything that would last. With more of an HFN that wasn't exactly super happy the book felt incomplete. Sure the bad guy gets it, but that's pretty much where the story ends. He gets it and nothing else gets addressed or resolved. I mean, even the ambulance and the cops haven't shown up by this point. Overall, I wasn't impressed and failed to be impressed pretty much from the word go. Interesting premise with a very disappointing finish.  2 stars.

Heat: A South Beach Bodyguards Book by [McCarthy, Erin]I usually love this author.  This book felt like it was from early in her career, one before she hit her stride with good character depth, cohesive story lines, emotionally connected sexy times, and overall enjoyability.  Disappointing, to say the least, is how I felt when I finished this story.  The baby stuff was conflict enough, but add in the government, dead but maybe not dead ex, delusions about the past, secrets about the past, and man-whore flirting as an introduction and attitude toward the end and I've pretty much given up liking the book.  Miranda wasn't really a strong woman who knew her mind and what she wanted for her future.  She worked hard and did well for herself professionally, and that's great, but her maturity level felt more on par with late teens, early twenties.  Alejandro was sex on a stick, sure, but when I am introduced to him getting felt up in the extreme right in front of the person he says he's always loved?  Not a fan.  And then there was Max not really being who Miranda had glorified him into.  Overall, there was too much drama and not enough depth.  2 stars.

The Dragon's Lover (Elemental Dragons Book 2) by [Hartley, Emilia]I liked where the book was headed. There was a lot of promise with this story but I feel like it fell short on a few points. Overall, however, the book was enjoyable and the feels were relatively strong. It made me interested in the series as well as other books by this author.

Quinn had the potential to be a really strong character. She has the past, the excitement, the strength, the wit, the intelligence, and the beauty both inside and out to be a really well-rounded character. Where that fell short was in how much drama was packed into a relatively short book. There was too much going on and not enough focus to let her strengths really shine. Instead, she came off as being a bit flighty, unfocused, and overwhelmed by the emotions that came at her from virtually every direction. Being overwhelmed is understandable, I just feel like we read her as being constantly overwhelmed instead of level-headed, a trait we're made to think she has in the beginning.

Isaac had a great start too. He was passionate and interesting. The rest of the story didn't really do him justice though. We were also teased with learning more about his past but get no follow through there. Will there be more of him in the next book, even obliquely?

There could have been a great deal more of them together actually building something and establishing a connection and a foundation. What we were given was a bit superficial and then there's a ton of drama from many sources, and then the ending is hopeful and a little bit romantic.  The story itself could use a lot of paring down and refining to make the events cohesive and the romance one that connects both characters and you as a the reader.  2.5 stars.

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