Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recent Romance Reads

If you've read any of my Romance reviews before, you know that I'm more a fan of the action-packed Romance (preferably with big bads, magic, gadgets, and so on) than the introspective "If they could only give voice to their true feelings" Romances. To each their own. I'm an action-junkie and it shows. Today I have two book 2's, one a Steampunk Adventure-Romance, the other a Romantic-Suspense.

Heart of Steel (Iron Seas 2) by Meljean Brook

So far I've read and enjoyed everything in Brook's Iron Seas: the novel Iron Duke and the two novellas. The fun kept on going with book 2, although it is a very different story from what has come before it.

There is still a lot of action, but it is a lot less intense than the first book. Also, no Alpha-hero, which I really liked. There tends to be lots of Alphas in the PNR world - kind of nice to have a strong hero who didn't need to be in control all the time. Yasmeen (and yes, I have a girl-crush on Yasmeen cause she kicks ass) would NEVER do well with a Rhys or Eben. She also wouldn't do well with someone who needed her to order them around. Instead, she needs someone who doesn't need to order her around, accepts her for who she is, and be willing to back her up. She begins the story believing that this man doesn't exist.

Enter Archimedes Fox famous explorer and hero of several popular novels, last seen in Iron Duke when Yasmeen dropped him overboard in zombie-infested Venice. Archimedes is not an Alpha. He doesn't want to give orders, doesn't want to take them either. He prefers doing things his own way. And he is captivated by Yasmeen. He would have to be to not be in a killing frenzy over their last meeting. There is some history between them, and they do play some cat and mouse in the beginning before teaming up.

This one has some steam, but there is definitely a slow-burn getting there. I did really like how the relationship developed. There is action, but I was never really worried about the characters, just looking forward to how they would eventually triumph. Probably very similar to one of Archimedes' best selling books. I was a little surprised by how easy some parts were for them, but overall I still enjoyed it.

It was a fun read and I'll be looking forward to the next Iron Seas adventure. If you liked the world-building in Iron Duke, but not so much the Alpha-hero or intensity, you might like this one better.

If You See Her (Ash Trilogy #2) by Shiloh Walker

I still like book 1 better, but this was a good read that I tore through quickly. It's one of the few non-paranormal romances that I really like.

After all of the tension of If You Hear Her, this was a kind of a break. Although there is still danger, it was a bit less creepy than book 1. I think because the main bad guy is completely focused on Hope (for personal reasons), whereas the killer is taking his own breather after the events in the previous book. He has stopped "hunting" because the cops know something bad is happening in Ash. 

So, what we have here is a middle book, focusing on Hope and Remy. The killer is biding his time for a bit, but starting to get obsessed with Hope because of her survival. Hope has been battered, fleeing the memories of an abusive past. Remy feels drawn to Hope, even when he thinks he shouldn't be. There were some sweet moments between them.

I'm kind of loving how Walker uses the killer here. Don't get me wrong, he is evil and must die a horrible, horrible death. He is one creepy bastard and he is very territorial about other creepy bastards honing in on his territory. I just like that Walker gives him a bit more depth. It actually ups the creepy factor for me and makes it more realistic that he would be able to hide in plain sight.

I liked Remy and Hope together, although I think that the relationship between Lena and Ezra was a better natural flow for me. I wanted to punch Law, although I get that it was setting the stage for the next book. We also get an intro to the other main character in book 3.

I still liked getting to jump around the heads of the different townsfolk. This is a very unique Rom-Suspense, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together in If You Know Her.

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