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review 2018-08-27 00:15
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles #5) by Christine Warren
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren
Like her brothers before her, Ash bursts to life immediately aware that something has gone terribly wrong in the world and that this is why she has been summoned. Normally, when a Guardian awakens, a Warden is present to inform of them about what the danger is and to help formulate a plan to keep the Seven in check. Like her brothers before her, Ash must deal with the fact that her newly minted Warden doesn't have the slightest clue about what is going on, or even that he is a person of power. With a threat looming, Ash barely has time to think about the ramifications that she is the first female Guardian ever and that she is developing feelings for Michael. The fate of the world is at risk and Ash and Michael are simply unprepared to meet it. 
 
Unlike the other books in this series, Warren tried to infuse a little more humour into the story. Anyone who has siblings and has retained a close relationship with them into adulthood should be able to see themselves reflected. Sure, Michael and his four sister are all adults now and are living active and busy lives but that doesn't mean they won't rat each other to their mother or engage in puerile games to get what they want. At times, this approach had me laughing and thinking about my own younger brothers. 
 
 
As a male love interest Michael was as crotchity as an old man. I understand that he would have been overwhelmed by a honest to goodness gargoyle coming to life and learning that the forces of evil were aligning but the way that he treated Ash throughout the novel was truly disturbing.  I don't think that Michael actually ever moved past sexualising her and so when he declared love, which is the habit in paranormal series, it didn't fit for even a moment.  Michael barely saw Ash as human let alone an individual person with feelings which could be hurt. This of course was magnified by the fact that the evolution of Michael's relationship with Ash mostly happened through internal monologue rather than shared experiences.
 
One of the things that I have loved about the Gargoyles series is that it felt explicitly feminist and I am sad to report, it seems that Warren decided to drop this approach in Hard to Handle. While it was funny to see Michael's interactions with his siblings and mother, it was particularly problematic the way that gender was treated. Warren actually sought to frame Michael as a oppressed by having so many women in his life. Really? Being surrounded by women is hard? If that were not enough, Michael constantly used the feminine as a pejorative. 
In the retelling, he imagined he would change the scream to a hoarse, manly shout of surprise; but in the moment, the high pitch of his girlish exclamation sounded like a harmony to the unearthly shriek that shook the air around them.  (pg 7)
He might have soiled himself, or at the very least, whimpered and cried like a little girl. Very bad for his image. (pg 15)
He screamed, a small part of his mind shaking free of the error to wonder whether or not he sounded like a little girl. (pg 95)
He opened his mouth to release another, girly wordless scream and heard instead his own voice bellow in an unfamiliar tone of command. (pg 98)
Michael's very understanding of masculinity itself is extremely problematic
 
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/08/hard-to-handle-gargoyles-5-by-christine.html
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review 2017-07-09 19:23
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren

More of a 3.25 I think.

 

I wanted to like this one, if only because the Guardian was a female. Alas, it was done in by secondary characters.

 

I almost felt sorry for the H but... he was so whipped it was almost embarrassing and really, if I had a family like that, I might have run screaming into the night. Why he still lived close enough for certain ones to show up on his doorstep, I dunno.

 

His kid sister, spoiled manipulative little brat. I was like, "oh well" when she got grabbed. I wanted to punch her in the face pretty much every time she opened her mouth.

 

Of course we get Kylie and Wynn (those two give me a headache - they converse with each other like 4th graders).

 

Thought to ponder, has any of the wardens accepted his or her new lot in life *in the context of this series?* Seems every one of them has been in some form of denial. That sort of plot device gets old after a while, as does the snarky/bitchiness every woman of power seems to possess.

 

And of course #5 is now free. Since this particular series has a sell-by date, and there's two more, I'm assuming the last one will feature some anti-climatic battle between the forces of good and evile that somehow gets shoehorned into half a chapter.

 

Remind me again why I'm reading this? Oh; right. Gargoyle romances are rare as hens' teeth. Too bad that none seem to actually be all that. :/

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review 2017-06-12 05:47
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren

Michael /Drum was a man blessed with four  independent sisters. Drum had a persistant tingling at the back of his neck  had plagued him with an reachable itch for the last six months. Through dreams Drum was having persistent dreams of things he refused to name and would prefer not to remember. Drum impressed on his family not to take silly chances in today’s world. The family was meant to stick together and watch each others back Drum owns a bar called Skin And Bones. Drum and his family has gifts that set them apart Drums gift  is he can find things. His sister Maeve has the gift of sight. Drun did not like his sister being out alone at night. That was the night he met Ash and his life was changed forever. Ash was the first of her kind and she has no idea why she woke up or woke her up. Ash is a woman Gargoyle who is to protect humans. The Order of Darkness  is a threat coming closer to being a problem.  Drum and Maeve .are the only ones there and they aren’t Wardens. But Ash has to accept their help. It didn’t take long for evil to come after Ash. In the heat of the battle Drum discovers he has more gifts that he hadn’t known about and is actually a warden. Drum and Ash are very attracted to each other.

I liked this story but had mixed feelings. I had some trouble with things being repeated like Drum complaining about having his life  interrupted by Ash Also there was too many villains and they didn’t last very long. I did like the fighting scenes. At times this drags for me. I liked the plot. I didn’t like Drums whining it took him awhile to man up and this annoyed me so as I said I had mixed feelings.

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review 2017-02-20 15:20
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series)
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren ~ARC was provided via NetGalley for honest review.~

As the 5th book of the Gargoyles Series. I find this good. Good in terms of the continuity of the story so far. We are given a chance to look at how the other characters for the previous books are faring. So far, everything and everyone of them are doing their best to destroy the Darkness.

This book in particular? I find it so-so. The level of excitement I feel whenever i read one of Ms. Warren'd book was not there. The way Ash was created was something but there was a missing link or a missing emotion as I read the book. The love story between Drum and her was pretty good. However, let's just say that i got used to the way she wrote "Others."

I miss the lines. I miss how her characters came to life by the lines they say to each other and to the people around them. Yes, this is a complete different story and plot, but the narration of both of the main characters left me wishing for more.I feel as though more should be said between Ash and Drum.

The fight scenes? Wow those were intense! I liked it. The details were good that I do not want to imagine what their opponent looked like. I feel as though I will have nightmares for the next few days if i do.

All in all, the book has its up and downs. But it does not demote it. It give us readers reasons to see how will it address, and how will the next book fare. I for one, would gladly wait for the next one.
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review 2017-02-15 19:31
How Hard Can Love be? (The Normal Series) - Holly Bourne

Easy to read and interesting most of the time but it struggled to hold my attention all the way through. I suspect it was mostly because I didn't warm to Amber as much as I would have liked. Turning to alcohol to fill a void makes sense since she had an alcoholic mother but I was hoping for her struggle with it to be addressed more and it wasn't. I also wish the ending had been a little more rounded (what's all that walking into the sunset rattle?) but I guess it's part of a series so...we'll see.

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