Book Review: Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard

I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of historical romances. However, the paranormal aspect was enough to pique my interest. The summary from Susan Krinard’s website:

Lady Tameri believes herself to be the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian princess, and Leo Erskine has set out to prove her wrong… never dreaming that the two of them are about to discover a prophecy that will bind them together forever.

The novella started wonderfully—a Duchess (Lady Tameri) who believes she’s a reincarnated princess and a skeptic (Leo Eskine) willing to find out the truth. The waters became muddied soon after. I found Leo mettlesome to the point he seemed to take on a busybody caricature. Other times he seemed flaky, running from place to place not knowing what the heck was going on.

Tameri–I loved her; I hated her. I just couldn’t make up my mind. She had great convictions in her beliefs, a quality I admired. However, her personality seemed inconsistent. Sometimes she was quite bold, other times she acted like a willow in the wind. I could never be sure if her moments of boldness were attributed to the goddess or not. Was she really weak? I don’t know.

As I mentioned, historical are not my forte. However, I would have liked to see a bit more background here. I was unclear of who exactly any of the main characters were. Sure, we have a Duchess dowager, but that’s the extent of her background. Then we have Leo, who’s the son of an earl…but what else? With so little, I had a hard time connecting with them. I suppose that’s the way of shorter stories sometimes. So little space, so many words…what to cut?

I laughed through the last ten pages or so, though I’m sure it was not meant to be comical. I’m not sure if this is a spoiler or not but just in case. <SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER> <SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER><SPOILER>So we have this fight scene, which isn’t so much as a fight scene since the villain is placed in time out while the main characters discuss strategy. This isn’t like the fighting and talking at the same time you see in movies. No, this is actually setting the villain aside (screaming and yelling at the MCs) while the main characters plot his demise. Then there’s this thing with sex and taking a break to read before getting to the orgasm. I’m still scratching my head on that one. OMG, I just read it again. Now I’m cracking up laughing. I’ve got to share it. So they’re in the middle of sex and then…

Maahes reached beneath the couch and shook the scroll from his kilt. He got to his feet and unrolled it, beginning to speak the words of the final segment even before he could read them [a bit of action here and then….]

Maahes set down the scroll and returned to the couch. Tameri opened herself again, and Maahes thrust with greater and greater urgency…

Come on people, you know that’s funny. I laugh every time I read it. I have to admit, the absurdity of it all makes that part my favorite piece in the whole novella.

Anyway, the ending was okay. It reminded me a bit of a love story and less of a romance.  <Shrug> Oh well.

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Novella Review: Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne

Love Me to Death is actually part of an anthology called “The Heart of Darkness.” I bought the book because I’m a fan of Gena Showalter. Maggie Shayne‘s novella was an added bonus. 🙂 The hook from her website:

Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl’s murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the “victim” is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover its secrets… and set her free.

I’m going to start by saying I first thought I was unfamiliar with Maggie Shayne’s writing. However, I found an old anthology An Enchanted Season featuring “Melting Frosty.” If I remember it correctly, it involved a series of coincidences which bring two people together. I get the impression I liked it, but it was so long ago… 🙂

As for “Love Me to Death,” the premise behind the story was interesting with a lot of potential. However, I think this novella deserved a little more. I was a bit reluctant to give this review because I found quite a few glitches in this piece which didn’t sit well with me. Still, others may feel differently.

It gave me the impression of an incomplete work. The story never really addressed who the beautiful woman was in terms of her past. So I was left wondering what the connection really was.

Ms. Shayne wrote the beginning of the book non-sequential. I’m not quite sure what the purpose of it was since it didn’t give me the impression of two world colliding. I would have liked it to be a little more linear, but that’s likely more of a style thing.

Side characters who appeared within the story promised to show up later, but never returned. No explanation given. 🙁

The ending also seemed a little rushed. As with all romances, this had a happily ever after (HEA). However, it left me wondering how in the world did they get out of the crisis. I’m not even sure how everyone ended up in the crisis to begin with. People just appeared out of no where. Just a few too many unexplained happenings combined with too many unlikely coincidences.

In the end, I was a bit disappointed with this novella.

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Novella Review: Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter

Darkest Angel is actual part of an anthology called Heart of Darkness featuring stories by Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne, and Susan Krinard. I didn’t read the other novellas, but I might get around to it when I have time. I purchased the book because of Gena Showalter, since I’m in love with the Lords of the Underworld series. That’s not to say the other writers aren’t great. I’m just not familiar with their work. So, that being the case, on with the review. 🙂

So we have from the back cover: An iron-willed demon assassin, the angel Lysander has never known lust—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of Lucifer, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the pure-hearted Lysander into temptation….

I have to say, I absolutely loved this little book. I only wished it didn’t wrapped up so quickly in the end. Gena Showalter portrays Lysander as a naive angel with a very simple perspective of right and wrong. He seems absolutely clueless about the magnitude of the consequences associated with his actions. As such, watching him stumble through shades of gray amused me to no end. Experienced, worldly—Bianka only heightened my amusement. She found as much pleasure tormenting the innocent Lysander as I found watching her do it. It was quite refreshing to have the woman in charge and teaching the man for a change.

I love cameo appearances, and Gena Showalter had plenty packed in this novella. Two particular characters caught my attention. First Aeron had a small, but significant role in this novel hinting at his romance to come. It makes me wonder if his book is next. Then there was Paris. One of those things that make me go hmmm… My gloomy Gus friend was not the same bummed out guy I’d come to expect. One special mention given was a reminder of Ashyln’s pregnancy. I hope Ashyln has her baby in the next novel.

All in all, this read was awesome! I am so looking forward to the next installment of Lords of the Underworld series.

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