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Search tags: Archetype-Cursed-Character
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review 2014-06-16 21:35
And we're done.
Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) - J.R. Ward

During a check-up on a critically injured gun-shot patient, Dr. Jane Whitcomb discovers three large men hell-bent on removing him from the hospital. Almost immediately, Jane finds herself abducted and held prisoner in a large mansion working as the group's personal doctor.

After reading this book I can officially say that I'm done with this series. I hate captive heroine plots and I think that's why I quickly got burned out on the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. (Three out of the four novels I read featured this trope.) I'm also tired of the cliched traits of the Brotherhood constantly being shoved down my throat. I get it, they wear shit-kickers and listen to rap therefore they're a hardcore and edgy group. I don't need it repeated to me constantly.

However, I will give it to Ward. She's not afraid to stick to her guns when it comes to maintaining previously established character traits for her heroes. Zsadist was someone who couldn't find pleasure without pain, Rhage had to sleep with a regular assortment of women for his curse, and, in this one, Vishous was heavily into BDSM. Ward didn't tone down these character kinks when it came time to feature these guys in their own books. So, even though none of those really worked for me, I give her credit for not softening those aspects.

 

I would recommend this one to fans of the series, but...I'm done.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-01-23 00:48
Why must there be an unncessary H in his name?
Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward

After killing a deity's bird, Rhage was cursed to share his body with a dragon. Keeping the dragon under control is something Rhage has to deal with on a daily basis and it often consists of having to do things he'd otherwise never do. When Rhage meets Mary, he is instantly attracted to her but the curse puts a huge obstacle in their courtship.

I really adored Rhage. However, the reason why this is getting a mid-level rating is that I can't reconcile Rhage's choice to go out and sleep with a shit ton of women while he had Mary waiting for him at home. This stemmed from Rhage needing to regain control of the dragon, so it was painted in a way that he had to go screw other women. While I will give Ward kudos for not taking an easy route, it still put a really sour taste in my mouth. I can't stand cheating heroes and I wasn't convinced that Rhage had exhausted all other possibilities, which really pissed me off. I also felt that Mary got over it way to quick. I mean he comes home from having sex with who knows how many women and she almost immediately gets over it upon seeing his sad face....really? I think she should've been a little more conflicted about that whole situation. Other than that, I generally enjoyed Lover Eternal. My only other wish is that Mary had been given more personality since she came off as a very flat character, but I'm beginning to think that's typical of Ward's heroines.

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review 2014-01-08 21:58
Desire Unchained
Desire Unchained - Larissa Ione

Wow, talk about a huge change in rating from the first book to the second. This one left a rather foul taste in my mouth.

Shade is an incubus demon who was cursed by an angry warlock when he caught Shade diddling his wife. The curse is set to activate when Shade falls in love. When this happens he is doomed to fade into nothing, becoming a kind of tormented ghost. So, Shade has spent his life avoiding any kind of romantic attachments in fear of activating the curse. Which has apparently given him license to be a complete ass.

The story starts with Shade waking up in dungeon that he shares with an extremely pissed off female werewolf named Runa. Runa, our heroine, reveals that she had dated Shade for a couple of months and it ended badly. This is where my problem started with the book. It's no spoiler to tell you that Shade cheated on Runa since its talked about in the first couple of chapters. Runa came to Shade's apartment one day to find him in the middle of screwing two women. This definitely set the tone of the story for me. I absolutely cannot stand cheating heroes. Its one of my biggest pet peeves. I muscled through the rest of this book mostly because of how much I had enjoyed the first one. The only reason why this book is getting two stars from me is because I enjoyed the subplots going on. Otherwise, Shade and Runa's relationship just pissed me off. I didn't really like Shade. He cheated on Runa and was plotting to kill her through most of the book to save his own hide. And he did nothing to redeem himself. There was barely even an "I'm sorry" involved. Runa spent a very short time hating him and then she suddenly switched to professing her undying love and devotion. Girl needs to grow a stronger backbone and Shade needs a swift kick to the balls.

Anyway, Wraith's story is next in the series. I'll be picking it up mostly because I had it ordered before I read this one. Hopefully, its closer to being like Pleasure Unbound than this one.

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review 2014-01-06 19:09
The Goblin King - Shona Husk

Confession, I love the movie Labyrinth in unnatural and fan-girlish ways. So anything with goblins that sounds like it could remotely remind me of the movie, I will give a shot. And that is why I picked up The Goblin King. Was the book anything like Labyrinth? No... well except for the part about the Goblin King granting wishes and abducting a woman, but that's about as far as the similarities go.

Centuries ago, King Roan was cursed by a Druid who believed that Roan had sold out their country. The curse banished Roan and all his men to the Shadowlands where their souls would slowly wither until they turned into goblins. Only Roan and his brother, Dai, have managed to survive the curse but each of them feels that their days are numbered.

In the "Fixed Realm" (aka: modern day reality) Eliza is blackmailed into an engagement with a sociopath. After getting drunk off her ass at her birthday party she remembers an old fairytale her mother used to tell her about the Goblin King and calls him. Roan answers the call and promptly decides to kidnap Eliza. A lot of back and forth between the Shadowlands and the Fixed Realm ensue.

It was so refreshing to see mythology outside of vampires, werewolves, and fae used in a paranormal romance. Husk was not afraid to make her goblins ugly and terrifying looking.

Additionally, Roan and his brother Dai were pretty great characters. However, Dai definitely stole the show for me. The only big problem I had was that Eliza fell a little flat as a character. She had the potential to be really interesting and to grow by getting herself out of the shitty relationship she was in but instead Roan ended up fixing it for her. It also annoyed me that Eliza never took initiative throughout the book. Events happened to her and all around her but she never did  anything by herself under her own motivation. Something would happen and she would just sort of go with the flow. I would've liked to have seen her take control of her life rather than always getting saved by Roan.

I have to admit, I went into this novel with rather low expectations and am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story. However, I'm unsure if I'll continue reading the series.

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review 2014-01-05 21:31
I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings
The Fairy Godmother - Mercedes Lackey

The Fairy Godmother is set in a place where a powerful magical force called “The Tradition” forces people to live out fairy-tales. What this means is that anyone whose circumstances resemble that of an already existing fairytale, "The Tradition" intervenes and makes it so that their lives turn out like the original tales (Brother's Grimm version, not Disney). For some people that’s good, because it ensures a happily ever after. However, for others it's a death sentence.

When The Tradition saw Elena Klovis with her wicked stepmother and step sisters, it decided that she’d be her kingdoms Cinderella. Except The Tradition doesn’t always check to make sure everything is in place for the fairytale to work, because Elena’s prince charming is only 11. Thus, she's screwed.

I loved Elena. She’s smart, witty, and knows what she’s doing. She doesn’t sit around and bemoan her bad luck when things go wrong in her life. Instead, she sets out to change what’s wrong. So, when her step-mother decides to head off to greener pastures, Elena sees it as her chance to finally escape. Unfortunately, The Tradition is still working on Elena and this does not go with the Cinderella lifestyle it has picked out for her. Just when Elena’s almost given up hope, a old lady shows up revealing herself to be Elena’s fairy godmother who offers Elena a chance to take over the job. Elena doesn’t want to go back to her old life, so accepts almost point blank.

I really enjoyed the world Lackey built here and, as usual, her leading heroine was fantastic. Watching Elena learn to manipulate The Tradition to help people was a lot of fun and I loved all the classic fairytale aspects peppered throughout the story.

 

However, it felt like everything was resolved a bit too easily in the end, but that’s really my only complaint, because the rest of this book was great. I will look forward to the rest of the series.

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