If you can make it through the first half of this, especially the first 15%, you'll enjoy the heroine's story in the second. The first 15% is all about the mother and how the heroine is conceived, it does play an important part in showcasing her mother's personality and the circumstances and players that shape the heroine's existence, but before you see the payoff in the second half, there is definitely a feeling of "what is the point?".
The second half is the redemption and finding her strength for the heroine. A blank canvas of a mother who wants to get her self-worth only from Hollywood stars and an old lecherous father (he is her step-father but not known to heroine until start of second half), emotionally damages Fleur (heroine) enough, that she runs away from her modeling and acting life to live obscurely and in hiding from her step-father, for a couple years. When she matures enough to gain her strength again, she starts to build a life for herself. The last quarter is Fleur building up her business and friendships and I really enjoyed her character and personality; she can be self-depreciating but also witty, strong, sassy, and fearless.
Her wit and sass really shine through in the relationship between her and the hero Jake, her co-star in her first movie. Jake has quite the background story with his PTSD from the Vietnam War but it is just about buried, until the end, in favor of the dramatics involving Fleur's mother and step-father. I loved when Fleur and Jake got to be the center of attention together, they were fun to read but I would guess their romance is only around 30% of this story. Jake was a hero I would have loved to have seen delved into more and given more page time.
This was kind of a mish mash of women's fiction and romance and until you read the last half, you can't really appreciate all the lecherous old men wanting adolescent women to make them feel young again, that you had to suffer through to fully understand what shaped Fleur's circumstances and give it emotional heft. Fleur and Jake were a pleasure but I'm not sure I was given enough of them to make up for having to read about Fleur's step-father's (he's around 70ish to her 19) dream of creating a perfect child with her because she was the child of Errol Flynn, his lecherous old friend in arms.
This is the final book in this trilogy, following on from The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, both of which were a tough act to follow - this is, however, a series that really works for me in a lot of ways, particularly in terms of its use of language.
At the end of the previous book, our protagonist (Vasya) has caused the burning of the city of Moscow and is threatened with being burned for witchcraft. This book is the one where Vasya's powers really come into their own, as she uses her position as the metaphorical bridge between humankind and the chyorti to try and stem an imminent invasion.
Once, of course, she's managed to escape from the clutches of a particular obsessed priest and discover a little more about her mother's mysterious relatives. One especially will be familiar to anyone who knows Russian folklore, just from the description of the house where she used to live...
It's another great, page-turning read and I enjoyed it very much. Two sales for the price of one, as well - I got this copy from my local library, with plans to get my own in paperback once it's out later this year.
Baby Fever is the best of Nicole Casey. This series tugs at the heart while tempting the soul. Alphas, babies and the women who love them. From second chances to sneaky heroes and accidental everything, Baby Fever is a wonderful asset to any book shelf.
Marrying the Wrong Twin - Emotionally Stunning!
Looks can be deceiving. Behind the fabulous life can lurk some ugly truths and Casey puts those facts on full display. My heart broke for Asha. A woman who doesn't quite know how to be a grownup, because the people who say they love her treat her like a pawn in a childish game. Rustin is the one person who sees beyond the broken woman. His choices don't always make him likable, but a bit more understandable. I didn't expect to like this heartbreaking read, but I fell in love with the characters. (5 stars)
I've always loved the kind of Science Fiction writing that drops you into the middle of an enormous and complex universe that you don't understand, hits you with conflicts between people you can identify with an then challenges you to have the patience and concentration to have the universe unfurl before you like a frond at dawn while keeping you interested in the people who live there.
"Levithan Wakes" is the first book of the expanse series which many people whose opinions I value have recommended to me.
I delayed starting it because the audiobook in more than nineteen hours long (twice the size of a normal book). Now I'm two hours in and I can see two things clearly: