I read this because I didn’t want to judge an entire genre on one shitty book. I’ve heard great things about J.R. Ward, and I just CAN’T do any more vampires – they’re just, ugh, not sexy – so I picked angels. I thought, hey, fallen angels, dudes on motorcycles, win-win, yes?
Ah, see… this book totally had its moments. I read it quickly, as I did the Romance Novel That Shall Not Be Named (and as I do with YA), and parts of it were pretty good. I was glad to see a well-developed plot, even if that plot was a little silly. My suspension of disbelief was sort of in the normal zone of urban fantasy/fantasy, until – SPOILER – Vin falls in love with Marie-Therese after, wait, how many days? Like TWO?
Look, I fell in love with my current SO pretty uncomfortably quickly, and it still took weeks.
The good news? I’ve finally figured out why I don’t like romance. It isn’t the Damsel in Distress routine (though that IS infuriating, apparently it isn’t an overarching theme of the entire genre, just, you know, a lot of it) – it’s this Happily Ever After bullshit. It reminds me of that Facebook group, Disney Movies Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations About Love. I have no problem with erotica (in fact, the sex in here was pretty good: 4/5 stars), and I have no problem with love stories. I DO have a problem with RIDICULOUS love stories that don’t make any GODDAMN SENSE. I know people fall in love, and I know they fall in love with people they’re not supposed to – Lord knows I’ve done it. But there’s a point at which it’s just stupid. Also, the speed at which it happens is… ugh, just ugh. At the end of TEXAS GOTHIC (Rosemary Clement-Moore), the protagonist says that she’s in love with this boy. And that’s fine, because they’ve now known each other for several months, and have been seeing each other, and survived freaking attempts on their lives together, and they’re teenagers, for crying out loud. For God’s sake, if the TEENAGER can have more of a head on her shoulders about realistic relationships/feelings/whatever than the THIRTYSOMETHING BUSINESSMAN…
Jesus, just forget it.
In other news, Jim Heron is clearly supposed to be our recurring hero. I still don’t know shit about him, or about Eddie or Adrian. I know more about Vin and Marie-Therese – more than I really want to, I guess. I’m not invested in Jim. I don’t care how he fares in the next book. (I’m sort of interested in Eddie, but that’s because I have a well-known Native American thing.)
Like I mentioned, the plot was pretty well developed, and the action was pretty good. I have a hard time adjusting to shifting third person limited POV because I read so damn much first person – and I prefer that. And speaking of shifting third person limited, why didn’t we get any sections with Adrian or Eddie? And who the fuck was Saul? Was he tied to MT’s ex-husband somehow? What are the odds that there’s just a crazypants man who comes in at the right time to get all stalkery and shit?
And the question marks. I understand that occasionally, for dialogue and verisimilitude and other stylistic purposes, questions don’t sound like questions. A lot of times, even rhetorical questions have an interrogative inflection. And if it’s a freaking question, punctuate it freaking correctly. Use other words to describe the tone – hell, use the sentence, “It wasn’t a question.”
Guys, I want to like romance. But I’m finding it really, really difficult.