Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 (Almost) DNFs and the Unexpected Outcome

Note to Readers: This post was written B.H.A. (Before Heart Attack), so you can take it with a grain of salt (or rather lo-sodium Mrs. Dash! hee hee).....perhaps I wasn't getting enough oxygen due to my faltering heart.


I very, very rarely DNF (Do Not Finish) a book. Seriously, it pretty much takes an act of God before I will give up. Even if a book sucks, I still want to find out what happens (pathetic, eh?). Nevertheless, perhaps due to a misalignment of the stars, I had not just one, but two DNFs this week.

Due to some intense forces of nature (other readers harassing the holy hell out of me), I ended up finishing both books.

The unexpected outcome was that the book I thought I would love was just mediocre, and the one I thought I would hate turned out to be fantastic.

First up....Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost. I adore Jeaniene Frost. Her Night Huntress books are the best paranormal thing going right now (in my opinion). They are power-packed, intense, incredibly sexy...can't-put-them-down-books. Frost took a chance with her spin-off series, switching from first person POV (Cat) to third person narrative. I was one of the few folks who actually loved First Drop of Crimson. It was an "A" read for me. Even though it wasn't the thrill ride that the Huntress books are, it worked very well for Denise's story.

Eternal Kiss of Darkness is Mencheres' story. Once again, we have 3rd person POV. Mencheres is a very old and powerful vampire...I was expecting a very compelling and exciting story. Instead, I almost DNFed this book half-way through. Why? I was bored. Nothing was happening. There was way too much deep POV going on and not enough action (reminded me of Julia Quinn's latest book, Ten Things I Love About You.) The pacing was off. I was shocked, because Frost's Huntress books are absolutely spot-on with their pacing and story line.

So, I gave up.

I started reading Linda Howard's Open Season, which I was told was a funny, great read. I was so peeved after reading the prologue (young Mexican girl is drugged and raped), that I DNFed that book and went back to Eternal Kiss!

Well, I finished Eternal Kiss of Darkness, and it got slightly better by the end, but I was still disappointed. For some reason, she is not translating that crazy sense of urgency and excitement from the Huntress books to this new series. I didn't like Mencheres and Kira's love story nearly as much as Spade and Denise, and I thought the final scene was too short and a let-down. Also, I felt that the end of the book shortchanged Mencheres and Kira's romance....we did not to get to see them together at the very end. In my opinion, that's a really important part of the HEA. All-in-all, this was an average read for me (B-/C+), and not what I was expecting from one of my favorite authors. I am really looking forward to Cat and Bones' next book!

Now, onto Almost DNF #2, Open Season. This book is all the rage on the Amazon boards...everyone loves it. I heard it was funny. I heard it was about a librarian who gets a make-over. So, even though I generally hate contemporary romance, I decided to give it a go. After the prologue, which pissed me off no end, I DNFed this baby. There is nothing remotely funny about a young girl getting drugged and raped. However, many readers implored me to continue reading. They said the book is great and I needed to give it another chance.

Holy Hellfire, they were right!!!!

I loved this book. Even though I sped-read over the creepy sex trade parts (weak stomach, you know), I adored the love story between Daisy and Jack. Linda Howard did a terrific job showing how Daisy went from being totally turned off by the alpha police man to falling madly in love (and lust) with him. The book is funny, well written, has wonderful characters (including the supporting cast), and a successful suspenseful story line. I love how we get a lot of different POVs in this story...that is one of my favorite things.

I would just like to say....thank-you to all of you folks who cajoled me into finishing this book. I can't wait to read my next Linda Howard book. Any other suggestions?

Happy Reading,