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review 2016-12-03 14:00
Thoughts: Whirlpool
Whirlpool - Elizabeth Lowell

Whirlpool
by Elizabeth Lowell


My TBR List -- November Winner!
See Other My TBR List Reviews @ Because Reading

 

 

As a child, Laurel Swann barely knew her father.  Always an enigma, intriguing and inscrutable, he was an elusive shadow flitting in and out of her life.   Even now, years later, he remains a stranger to her.  Still, when a mysterious parcel arrives containing a priceless Fabergé egg, Laurel is certain it came from him.  But she doesn't realize that her father's gift has brought death and terror into her world...

Against her will, Laurel is being dragged down into a swirling vortex of betrayal and violence.   And there's nowhere to turn for help--except to Cruz Rowan, an ex-FBI agent and her father's sworn enemy.  A strong, secretive, and dangerous man, Cruz has his own agenda and is spinning his own webs.

And he is her last and only hope...



First of all, I read this book as part of the My TBR List monthly voting meme (see links above).  But I couldn't finish it in time for so many reasons--one of those reasons being that I just couldn't really get into the book.

Elizabeth Lowell is an author I have read before--there were a few of her books I enjoyed.  Her Romantic Suspenses are exciting and constantly forward-moving, which helps to keep the reader in the game even if said reader has no idea exactly what's going on.  Because Elizabeth Lowell DOES also have the tendency to scatter the focus of her books.  Sometimes there are so many story tangents and characters that you have a hard time figuring out what the story is actually about.

When it comes to Whirlpool, I was actually quite satisfied with the story progression, story outline, and the story concept, in general.  The execution wasn't terrible.  I knew where the book was taking me, and I knew what the main conflict was.  In contrast, it was actually the characters that made the book unbearable for me.  Because when you insert two alpha-jackass heroes and one doormat heroine... it really makes for some rage reading.

I have so many issues with our main couple, and the heroine's father.

Laurel really is a bonafide Category Romance heroine.  To be honest, I didn't have as big a problem with her as I had with how she handles the situation between her father and her lover.  Both men are nothing but jackasses to her.  But she lets them use her, and then lets them turn around and continue shoving her around.  They keep talking (and monologue-ing) about how much they care about her and how they have her best interests at heart; but they act like they don't care one way or another if she gets hurt in the process.

Despite what Cruz kept saying about Laurel--that she's the innocent who got dragged into the mess her father created; that her father is just using her; that he never really wanted to hurt her--he still went and did those exact same things.  And it doesn't help that Laurel doesn't even blame him or get angry or upset.  She just allows him do whatever he wants.  Then she wants to go and blame herself if two testosterone-fueled men end up killing each other.

And it's the same way with her father, too.  Although, to be honest, I dislike her father much more than any other character in this book.  Because with as much experience in the dark, twisted world of government politics, and private mercenary dangers as Jamie Swann has, I refuse to believe that he DIDN'T know the kind of danger he was putting his daughter into the moment he sent the stolen Fabergé to her address.  From that moment forward, he already put a target on her back, and it matters not a whit that he figured he'd just disappear and Laurel could go on with her life.

I'm not entirely sure whether to blame the character himself, or poor planning on the author's part.  Because Laurel's father--who keeps claiming over and over again that if Laurel just stays out of the entire business then she'll be safe--keeps making other stupid decisions and saying other stupid things that lead killers and assassins right to Laurel's door.  I have a hard time believing that someone as highly trained and experienced as him wouldn't have figured that out.

I'm just a common layperson reading a book, and I figured it out.

If he had intended to keep his daughter safe, he should have never contacted her in the first place or done anything to draw her attention to the bad guys... (a relative term considering the fact that I'm not even sure that old man Swann was a good guy himself).

And then the things he says to Laurel when he finds out that she's working with Cruz... highly crass and inappropriate.  He does not get to say things like that to his own daughter, especially since he spends a lot of time trying to convince her that he's got her best interests at heart... when obvious actions seem to say otherwise.  Also, I figure he kind of forfeited his right to be judgmental about his own daughter when he wasn't exactly a pillar of fucking morality himself.  And when he's the one who brought all this trouble down into her life in the first place.

Jackass AND stupid.

But anyway...

Romance-wise, the feelings and love development was way too insta and way too abrupt.  I have a hard time accepting stories wherein a strange man breaks into the heroine's home, but the heroine still manages to immediately feel the stirrings of attraction, and immediately decides that she trusts him not to do bad things to her.  The continued antagonistic development of Laurel and Cruz's relationship was also hard to accept because of everything going on between them.  And especially when Cruz continually broods over the fact that Laurel is protective over her father.

I mean, what did Cruz expect?  That Laurel, who has always loved her father despite how he's treated her her entire life, would suddenly turn around and go, "Oh.  Okay.  I'll help you track down my father, capture and arrest him, or possibly get him killed!"


Anyway, basically this book was just chock full of romantic clichés and frustrating people.

At least the suspense part of the story wasn't too bad, even if the random forays into our villain's heads was a little disturbing.


***

2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Reading Assignment Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge
Mount TBR Challenge

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/12/thoughts-whirlpool.html
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text 2016-11-12 22:37
My TBR List -- November Winner!
My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  The posts will be published on the first two Saturdays (voting and winning book announcement, respectively), and the winning book review will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.
Click on the above links for more information.
 

 

So according to the masses, the book I will be reading for My TBRL this month is:

 


I have two winners this month, with both Whirlpool and All Fall Down garnering a tie at 5 votes each.
 
 

Recap

 

Last week, the books I had everyone vote on were:


The voting was actually an extremely close one as the week went by.  Whirlpool had a very strong start, being ahead of the other two books for a short duration of time before the votes started coming in rapid-fire soon after.  And surprisingly, All Fall Down had been the book to start the race with the fewest amount of votes on the first day.  Then all of a sudden, it shot past My Lady, My Lord and ended up right up there next to Whirlpool.

I would say that they left My Lady, My Lord in the dust, but truth be told, it only lost by one vote.  One more vote in that direction and I'd end up with a triple-tie!  then I'd have to invoke special powers of the BFF vote (essentially that would involve begging my best friend to pick one of three books).

As it is, with a simple tie, I will be using my special admin powers (pfft, admin powers) to make a decision between the two winners.  But pretty much, my decision will be that I will read both books, since I need two Reading Assignment books to read this month anyway, but that Whirlpool will be the book I post as the My TBR review on the last Saturday this month.  My decision is based on the fact that Whirlpool had been at the front of the vote since the start of this.

But I WILL also mention All Fall Down as one of the two winners as well.

Again, thank you to everyone for voting!

 

 

Coming up next for the My TBR List:

 

  • 11/26:  Review of the winning book, Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell
  • 12/3:  Next Month's My TBR List Voting


***

See Also: My TBR List -- November 2016 Voting

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-tbr-list-november-winner.html
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text 2016-11-05 06:30
My TBR List -- November 2016 Voting
 

 

 
My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  The posts will be published on the first two Saturdays (voting and winning book announcement, respectively), and the winning book review will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.
Click on the above links for more information.

 



And the TBR List Voting is back at Ani's Book Abyss!  For the past two months, I'd been happily buried books with a delightful seasonal bookish activity, Halloween Bingo 2016, so knowing my own ability to juggle too many things at the same time, I chose to skip this monthly meme for that time.  But now I'm rejoining the fun of this.

I had a lot of different themes I wanted to pick for the next few My TBRL months, but what really stood out to me was the fact that the end of the year is drawing near... and I'm running out of options for my Reading Assignment Challenge.  And since I actually DID flounder about what books I wanted to read for November's Reading Assignment, I figured that My TBRL was the best way to decide for me what to read.

The November Reading Assignment edition of My TBR List includes three of the remaining eight Reading Assignment books on my 2016 list.  Since I'm really supposed to read four books each month, I might just end up reading also, the book with the second highest number of votes; I already picked two other books (though those choices are always subject to change as well).

 

 

The Books

 

 

My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
-- Book 1 of Twist series

The Bluestocking
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they've been at each other's throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

 

 
-- Book 1 of Hostage Negotian Team

 

Hostage negotiator Claire Michaels never thought she'd be involved in an international crisis.  Can she overcome her scars of the past to stop a new al-Qaeda threat?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn't expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf.  When he's taken hostage, he knows he has to fight or die.

 

 

Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell

As a child, Laurel Swann barely knew her father.  Always an enigma, intriguing and inscrutable, he was an elusive shadow flitting in and out of her life.   Even now, years later, he remains a stranger to her.  Still, when a mysterious parcel arrives containing a priceless Fabergé egg, Laurel is certain it came from him.  But she doesn't realize that her father's gift has brought death and terror into her world...

Against her will, Laurel is being dragged down into a swirling vortex of betrayal and violence.   And there's nowhere to turn for help--except to Cruz Rowan, an ex-FBI agent and her father's sworn enemy.  A strong, secretive, and dangerous man, Cruz has his own agenda and is spinning his own webs.

And he is her last and only hope...

 

 

Let's Vote!

 

**For BookLikes members reading this in the BookLikes dashboard view:  Click here to generate the voting box on another page if you would like to vote.  I don't know why the voting box doesn't show, though it appears in blog view just fine.

**For everyone else voting via BookLikes blog view or at the Book Abyss's Blogspot home:  You may ignore the above tangent.  The voting box shows just fine.

Again, thank you for stopping by and voting!

 

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Previous My TBR List months at Ani's Book Abyss can be found at the Bookish Memes page.

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-tbr-list-november-2016-voting.html
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text 2016-03-05 06:30
My TBR List -- March 2016 Voting

My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.

The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  Posts for voting, the winning book, and the final book review will go up on Saturdays.

Click on the above links for more information.

Join This Month's My TBR List -- March 2016

 

 

First of all, I have done something I should have done a long time ago:  I have disabled the Facebook comments section on my blog.  When I realized that I wasn't getting notifications whenever people commented through Facebook, I started googling and reading FAQs and discussions around BL and FB and finally found out that there's some sort of problem with the Facebook comments plugin... or something and that it is currently a work in progress.

 

If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to let me know.  Thanks in advance.

 

For anyone who is not a BL member and prefers commenting through the Facebook comments plugin, I apologize.  I just like to be able to know when someone comments on my posts so that I don't look like I'm deliberately ignoring people.  I found a comment from a blog post from months ago and felt kind of bad that I never saw it.

 

 

Anyway... moving along to the actual reason for this post now!

 

I'm trying to kill two birds with one stone with this month's My TBR List meme.  The three books I'm selecting will be books I intend to read this year anyway, but I couldn't quite decide which book to pick; and I also wanted to continue participating in the My TBR List meme each month.  It looks like it'd be quite a bit of fun if I decided to stick with it, and, again, it'll also help me satisfy my Bonus Blogging Goal for my 2016 Bookish Resolutions.

 

This month's My TBR List will be a March 2016 Reading Assignment edition; I've already my first three books to read for March for this challenge and need a fourth one, so I decided to have everyone help me choose from three other books I would like to read from my 2016 Reading Assignment list.  Because my own personal book draw revealed that I'm still indecisive as heck, I decided it might be a good idea to let someone else to choose one of these books for me.

 

Don't worry, either way, I will be reading all of these books at some time this year.  It's just a matter of when, and I'm at a standstill on which one I want to get to first.

 

Thank you in advance to everyone voting!

 

 

The Books

Again, I also went ahead and put in a personal vote for one of these books, so I'll get to see how majority turns out in comparison to my own personal vote.  Exciting!  :D

 

 

Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell

 

As a child, Laurel Swann barely knew her father.  Always an enigma, intriguing and inscrutable, he was an elusive shadow flitting in and out of her life.  Even now, years later, he remains a stranger to her.  Still, when a mysterious parcel arrives containing a priceless Fabergé egg, Laurel is certain it came from him.  But she doesn't realize that her father's gift has brought death and terror into her world...

 

Against her will, Laurel is being dragged down into a swirling vortex of betrayal and violence.  And there's nowhere to turn for help--except to Cruz Rowan, an ex-FBI agent and her father's sworn enemy.  A strong, secretive, and dangerous man, Cruz has his own agenda and is spinning his own webs.

 

And he is her last and only hope...

 

 

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville

 

What is Un Lun Dun?

It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.

 

 

The Carriage House by Carla Neggers

 

Fun and a little hard work. That's all Tess Haviland has in mind when Ike Grantham pays her for her graphic design work on the run-down nineteenth-century carriage house on Boston's North Shore.

Then Ike disappears and Tess finds herself with much more than a simple weekend project to get her out of the city. It's not just the rumors that the carriage house is haunted—it's the neighbors: six-year-old Dolly Thorne, her reclusive babysitter, Harley Beckett…and especially Dolly's father, Andrew Thorne, who has his own ideas about why Tess has turned up next door.

But when Tess discovers a human skeleton in her dirt cellar, she begins to ask questions about the history of the carriage house, the untimely death of Andrew's wife…and Ike's disappearance. Questions a desperate killer wants to silence before the truth reveals that someone got away with murder.

 

Let's Vote!

For Booklikes members reading this in dashboard view, I don't know why the voting thingy doesn't show on dashboard view... at least it doesn't for me.  If you see it, then go ahead and put in your vote, otherwise, my voting form appears in blog view just fine...  So for everyone else reading this post, just ignore this little tangent.  >.<

 

Or I guess you could click here to generate the voting box on a different page.

 

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review 2015-11-01 00:00
The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool
The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool - P.J. LaRue The Mystic Princesses... Is a charming tale about 5 Girls who come together to help each other and protect mankind. Harmonie is the daughter of Ares, but she is a gentle soul who encourages those around her to peace. Her older brother has hidden her away from their father for her protection. He sends her to Hawaii to protection of the court of Neptune. Neptune's daughter Coral is just about Harmonie's age and she along with 3 of her friends, Catie, Breanna, and Janna, have the powers of the elements and they have been tasked with protecting Harmonie and the rest of the world from Ares penchant for violence and chaos. Together the girls study with Coral to learn how to use their individual powers, and they become great friends.

This book is interesting mix/twist on mythology. The princesses are sweet and capable young girls who aren't afraid to work hard or learn from the inevitable mistakes in life. There are no damsels in need of rescuing here, despite the premise of the story. The girls' teachers are quite fun and should be educational for young readers. Themes of honesty, team work and friendship permeate every page of this book. It should be a fun series to read for chapter readers grades 1 -5.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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