☆ ҉☆ #NewRelease ☆ ҉☆
REDEMPTION by Kelly Moran
He’s not the hero she thinks he is.
He’s not the hero she thinks he is.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
SPARROW Raynes is blackmailed and bullied into marrying Troy Brennan and so begins their journey.
Initially we are almost fooled into thinking that SPARROW is simple girl, intimidated by Troy and his power but as we get to know her thoughts and actions, we find out just how much a rebellious girl she is. That she may be temporarily cowed but that will not stop her from speaking her mind, keeping her spunk and personality intact. She will not let any man define her or stand for him to mould her into something he expects her to be. I admire Ms. Shen for keeping the core of Sparrow’s personality the same throughout the book even as she grew as a person.
What I especially loved about SPARROW is her relationship with Troy. Both their initial POVs show just a mild attraction amidst mutual loathing and blunt talking. They genuinely treated the whole situation as an arrangement rather than hidden lust we tend to see in this genre. They fight, they challenge each other and each refuses to cave in unless they plan on manipulating but even then, there is some truth in their blunt assessments. Their relationship evolves not from the big gestures but the tiny, small things in between. The little details and things they do to compromise for getting their way and it is these things which eventually grow into a love they neither wanted nor expected. Ms. Shen has done justice to her characters and beautifully shows the growth of the Fixer, Troy Brennan and SPARROW; both as individuals and as a couple without losing their core nature which defined their character right in the beginning.
The situations involving other characters are all intense and kept me on the edge throughout. Almost each turn led to an unexpected twist with a result I least expected. In other words, caught me completely in unawares, blowing my mind at the execution.
SPARROW is one heck of a roller coaster ride which pulls no punches when it comes to violence and straight talking and yet, there are moments. Moments which are not only unexpected but also unconventionally tender and heart-warming.
Near the end, I had tears in my eyes and a moment where I went “Oh crap! This will be a cliffhanger ending with a sequel.” No it wasn’t, thank goodness, and Ms. Shen wrapped it all up beautifully, staying true to Troy and SPARROW, warming my heart and leaving me satisfied.
SPARROW is not to be missed read for all those who love dark gritty romances which have the perfect balance of suspense, mystery and heat level with an unconventional touch of sizzling romance. SPARROW now belongs in my all-time favourite reads bookshelf. Can’t wait to read more stuff by L.J. Shen.
View all my reviews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This review will be different from the others for various reasons. One of which is that I really really do not like reviewing anything I find less than 3 stars and this is one. I fear it can be discouraging and hurtful for the author who has spent her heart and soul, pouring into this book only for someone like me to discard it so easily. Just like that. And trust me, writing a book is not an easy job. Don’t believe me. Pick a pen and try it. So why am I reviewing this? Because when I have to write an official review for websites, we do not have a choice but to be anything but honest and write. Not cruel or brutal but honest with valid reasons and reviewing for these amazing two sites has taught me a lot. Like the importance of honesty and sticking by it whether you like it or not. I received this book in return for an honest review (months ago but couldn’t earlier due to some health issues) and I owe to the author and the readers both to write my candid opinion.
SOULKISS started off with a bang with a very interesting and different style of prologue. What happens when some things starts off like that? We get our expectations high for the rest of the story. As I read on, the story felt strangely familiar and showed lots of potential but each time it kept falling short.
Let me start off with the good:
The premise is intriguing. Ancient Greek warrior, Arcaeus’s beloved is sacrificed to Apollo for reasons unknown. To get her back, he is willing to hand over his life in exchange for the gift to find her, his soulmate, through time. The classic formula of love conquers all never gets old and I am a sucker for it. So basically its enduring love, soulmates, passion, time-travel, ancient world, mythical gods and goddesses, power, destiny, revenge, murder and warriors etc. A combination which makes me drool. 😉 As the story moves on, there are some really funny, laugh out loud moments and then the passion and emotions towards the end which managed to tell the whole story in them. They had the potential to blow me away. Arianna and Arcaeus also are strong vibrant characters, who connect with you and makes you feel their hesitation, pain and loss.
Arianna and Arcaeus just don’t call to me as a couple. I am told they are soulmates, they fell in love in past life and fall in love again, Arcaeus searches through time for her, meet in dreams etc. but I am not shown any of this. All I see is the lust and instant attraction they feel for each other not love. The emotional scene I am talking about, came a little too late for me to connect the whys and hows. I am sorry, but a mind blowing orgasm does not equal the reason for marriage nor love in my book. What happened to all the reservations just a few pages back? Where is the part, the prologue stated, where the mortals fight back to the unfair demands of the gods?
As a reader and reviewer both, I like to connect with the characters; feel for them and with them. Cry, laugh, scream, shout… anything. In SOULKISS, I could not. It is a fairly quick read due to length and lack of depth. I read it in several hours because I finally had some time, but if I had to keep it down, it would have not made much of a difference. Since the SOULKISS is written more as ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’, it was just not as memorable as the other stories of the same genre. There are also a number of discrepancies which brought my initial 3 star review to a 2 star but I will not go into those since you might not even notice them. If you want a quick, action filled sort of read without thinking too much about the emotions and plot, go for this but if you are crazy fans of Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you might be left wanting more like I was.
For a debut, Ms. Thompson has shown a lot of potential with some great scenes and dialogues. With tad bit more ‘showing’ than ‘telling, she can compete with the best in the genre in time. For now, Kudos to Ms. Thompson for good effort and I hope the next book in the series is much better.
Book received in exchange of an honest review.