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I love John Irving as an author. This is only my third novel of his, but he is a magical writer. His books are very character driven, and are what I can only describe as a slow burn. The plots of his novels are not really page turners in the traditional sense, but slowly tell the story of his unique characters. In many ways, this book describes how Irving writes a novel through the story of the main character who is a writer. I would have given this five stars, but I thought there were a few parts that dragged a bit, and I did not love the ending. Great read though and looking forward to another Irving novel.
Book# 0.5 in the Assassin series
This prequel to “King of Swords” is a raw and unflinching thriller introducing El Rey, one of Russell Blake’s most brutal characters.
The book opens with the deadly El Rey as he carries out his latest job- the assassination of a drug cartel boss. Then the story switched to his childhood where we find out how he was groomed to become the most notorious and deadliest assassin known to date. The story is framed against the backdrop of Mexico drug trafficking and in the midst of a bloody war of power.
The world of Drug cartels depicted in this book is very scary but fortunately the author spares us the many gory details. As the story keeps moving it tells us how El Rey setups his hits and how he manages to get away. No doubt, the plot is fast-paced, one that kept me on the edge waiting for his next move. It is definitely an action filled thriller that grabs attention from the first page and holds it all through. Although violent, I loved this cold blooded killer; El Rey is all what I expected from this kind of character. Mr. Blake excels in moving his plot between characters and scenes and pulling us into the environment of a deadly killer.
The story is well-written, moves along without getting bogged down and is an easy and captivating read.
Bearing His Sin
The first one started out interesting with characters that are strong right off the bat. The banter between the two main characters and the grandmother was great. But then the female lead started going back and forth in the same breath. One second she is mentioning not giving in and then she is saying put a ring on it right afterward. The back and forth as to whether she was going to make him work for it or even just be a bit harder to win over, left me unsatisfied with the buildup of their relationship. He was the same, one second he is saying he is going to kill her and then in the same breath he is claiming her as his and she will be his wife. Out of all three, this was my least favorite.
Bought by the Bear
The second story was better than the first. The relationship did feel rushed through. I️ would have liked to have seen more build up. The plot was good. I️ liked the characters. The conflict was strong. However, the ending was rushed. I️ would have loved to have seen the aftermath of the car accident slowed down. I️ mean she must have been in a lot of pain and Xander was like 'I️ can’t wait any longer…I️ love you' and she was like 'oh Xander, I️ love you too'. I️ mean, didn’t she want to know what happened to her ex? And what about the woman who attacked her, was she alive or not? Certain details were really rushed while other details were great but left me wanting more. This story would have been a lot better as a full novel because I liked it, just needed more.
The Alpha and I
Story number three was better than story two. I like Kate Baxter’s style of writing and the story had a good build-up and though rushed (they commit to each other in about 24 hours or so), I still enjoyed it. She was real, her reactions to things were believable and not overdramatic, and his commitment to her was sweet and steady. The conflict was good and the plot entertaining. I do wish that at the end it did show her transition or at least had an epilogue to show the reader how things turned out after she turned werewolf. There was such build up and then an abrupt halt, I didn’t like that at all. Out of all three short stories in this collection, number three was the best. I liked the characters, plot, and development by the author in order to tell a good story.