High Hopes, Dashed Reality

Beauty and the Gargoyle (The Gargoyles of New York Book 2) by [Baker, Tamsin]  Too Many Fairy Princes, Alex Beecroft Maxx Neon by [Langley, Lina]

Beauty and the Gargoyle (The Gargoyles of New York Book 2) by [Baker, Tamsin]I was hoping so much for this story. Without reading book 1 I found that I was missing a bit of background, not just on Roman, but on the peril the gargoyle shifters find themselves in. I would recommend reading book 1 first, but that's not exactly necessary, it would just help.

The hunter stuff wasn't the reason for the lower rating, though, it was the complete lack of information about Isabella and then no romantic build other than a bond and some steamy time between the sheets. Now, there's nothing wrong with insta-bonding in the case of shifters an their mates, or Beloveds as they're called here, but when there's no time or inclination given to knowing anything about the person after that. The book is quite short so I know there won't be a ton of background or getting-to-know-you, especially when there are hunters to fear, but even a little wouldn't hurt! We get one small bit of background before the bedroom activities begin, but that's just not enough for me.

Overall, the synopsis promised tenderness, drama, and a really great story. The reality, however, fell far short of the author's capabilities.  2 stars.

 Beauty and the Gargoyle, Tamsin Baker

 Too Many Fairy Princes, Alex BeecroftThis was an alright book.  The premise sounded quite interesting with attractive fae men, struggling artists, conflict, world-hopping, and a bit of dangerous attraction.  Kai was more apathetic than I hoped he would be.  He has talent in virtually everything but takes all of it for granted.  He has feelings that he was taught to abhor and deny and discard.  This is a troublesome thing because the human he's imposing on is inspiring quite a few of those pesky feelings.  In this world fairies have just as many stories about humans as humans do about them and most of them are quite unfortunate.  These stories color Kai and Joel's first meeting and may of their interactions throughout the book.  Most of the issues get worked out, and that's fine, it just takes a really long time.  The Dagnar situation was a bit of a surprise but not unexpected, I believe that was one of the best parts.  Confessions were sweet and tender, the steam was pretty much non-existent, but their connection was pretty solid.  Everything was concluded satisfactorily, the writing was just a bit dull.  Even the conflicts with guns and war in Vagar were muted instead of intense.  Overall, the book was fine, it was just a bit dry when it could have been so much more...well, more everything.  2.5 stars.

 Too Many Fairy Princes, Alex Beecroft

Maxx Neon by [Langley, Lina]I had high hopes for this story because it looked like it would be about a person who had what looks like a dream life discover that their world had yet to be complete.  Completed by a good man.  Well, it was this, but the story itself was very dry, very plodding in its progress.  Max is a great musician and a star, bigger than he gives himself credit for.  I enjoy that he's humble and sincere when he's obviously very popular.  He's also unashamed of who he is and who he chooses to be with.  This is a foreign concept for Eli who seems to be shy and recovering from a possessive ex.  Eli is taking a break from a career of his own and unexpectedly finds himself capturing the attention of a rock star.

Their first meeting is something new for both of them and neither one wants their time together to end.  There's a lot of holding their tongues against the thoughts of something more and something beyond their one night together.  They start with the next day.  By the end of what seems to be a perfect day, however, Eli freaks out and pushes Max away.  Max is appropriately confused, hurt, and a bit offended.  What happens after that is something that requires lots of groveling, from Eli.  I didn't exactly expect for it to be Eli that needed to be making amends, but the way things play out here was pleasantly surprising.  Except that it wasn't pleasant at all.  I like that it didn't conform to what I thought might happen, but that's the extent of it.  Eli does something that's selfish, frustrating, and short-sighted.

Watching them work things out was frustrating because Max was just so nice, so generous, so forgiving, so understanding.  It made him seem more like a pushover and a doormat than someone with a strong sense of self.  I'm glad he was so mature, but he was so very bland all the way through that his good points are also the points that make him somewhat boring.  Eli was my least favorite.  He was prideful, insecure, selfish, and has no idea what groveling means.  He knows to say he's sorry, but aside from what he agrees to near the end I don't see him trying to make amends.  Things could be good as things go forward, but I'm not pinning a lot of hope on them, to be honest.  2 stars.

 Maxx Neon, Lina Langley

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