The Dark Huntsman

This is post number 18.

Cover:

darkhuntsman_cover

This is the first novel of a  fantasy-romance series by Jessica Aspen

Plot: Logan the huntsman is on a quest by the dark queen to kill the last of the MacElvy witches. The only thing in his way is Trina MacElvy, a powerful witch. Together they have to figure out why the queen wants the MacElvys dead.

Passage:

“Glimmers of power limned her naked body and the silver blade of the athame that gleamed between her breasts. Her legs were spread slightly apart, tensed for battle. Long black hair crackled and lifted with static. Her expressive face was poised on the edge of dilemma, her body caught between the need to hold the spell and the need for action. He paused to let the feel of power and woman roll through him”

Spoilers/Opinion: I’ll admit that one of my favorite guilty pleasure genres is the “dark fairy tale”, especially those that revolve more on the world of fairies rather than Grimm tales. Right off the bat I had some hope that the lore would have some depth, and that I would get to see some cool powers. Unfortunately, I did not see either.

The male protagonist is huntsman, which mean his tracking abilities, strength, and speed are heightened. These abilities are used sparingly, and with little impact. Trina is not much better; she used her plant magic once in the beginning against a successfully and a couple times unsuccessfully. Most of the magic comes from the objects they use, and I feel like that is a waste of potential.

Speaking of  waste of potential, we catch glimpses of the dark queen and her court, but everyone there seems to either be scared, evil, or both. The lands that Logan hails from only has two uncles and some forests. That’s it. Honestly, the most developed world is when Logan and Trina cross back into the human realm, but that is almost cheating. The creatures lack variety with only elves/fairies, pucas, and trolls mentioned.

In terms of romance, the main characters sleep together early and often with a few too many sex scenes. I’m no prude, but when there are more than three sexual encounters in a novel between the same characters it gets tedious. The most affection that we see between the two usually revolves around Trina being in danger, and Logan coming to save the day. Now damsel in distress is fine, but in this novel the exact same situation of Trina being magically forced to wear/consume an evil object and being put under a spell happens twice. With less than a quarter of the book between the two incidents. That’s just stupid.

As a fantasy romance, I give The Dark Huntsman the following scores:

Powers: 2/10

Explanation of Powers: 2/10

Romantic Development: 4/10

Creativity: 5/10

Plot: 4/10

Overall, I give this novel a 3.5/10. There is nothing special about this novel when the potential for world building, powers, and plot was ruined by a romance without affection.

Citation:

Aspen, Jessica. The Dark Huntsman. Published 2013. Accessed 01/31/2017. Abracadabra Publishing. Kindle Edition

 

 

 

Hello Again!

Hey everyone,

I am restarting this blog! I originally started this blog for a school project, and kept up with it for a few months. A move, change in jobs, change in almost everything led to me not reviewing like I wanted, and neglecting this blog. Now years later, I missed being able to share what I thought, and spreading the word on free books. Plus my friends were probably sick of hearing about the weirdness that is low to high Kindle books.

To revamp, I am going to post a good number of romance novel reviews in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Trust me, there are some interesting finds. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy my reviews!

Sincerely,

The Reader

In the Dark: Office Mom Becomes a Real Mom

This is post number 17.

Cover:

in_the_dark_cover

This is a standalone novel by Pamela Buford

Plot: Cat Seabright is in her late thirties and wants to have a child before it’s too late. She enlists the help of her friend’s cousin to set up a rendezvous where he would sleep with Cat and then leave, in the hope of getting Cat pregnant. A misunderstanding leads to Cat sleeping with a mystery man, and finding out who he is could put her plans in jeopardy.

Passage:

“SPOT SET UP a hellacious howl downstairs, barking and snarling at the front door. Brody scanned the computer room for the cheap digital clock Leon had bought him. There it was, precariously perched on a heap of paperbacks that were themselves precariously perched on top of the computer monitor. Twelve noon on the button. She was punctual. Brody abhorred punctuality. He took a last drag of his cigarette and ground the butt in the ashtray balanced on his knee, a weighty slab of green glass he’d swiped from a steak pub during his misspent youth. He thumbed the red buttons on his handheld electronic game a half dozen more times, annihilating two giant lizard warriors and a grenade-chucking alien octopus, to the accompaniment of staccato bursts of static from his Gatling gun.”

Spoilers/Opinion: Let’s start with what I like. I enjoy the fact that the characters in this story are in their late thirties/early forties. It mixes it up from teen/twenties/early thirties that almost every free romance has. The writing is easy to understand and has a decent pace. Sometimes the author likes to use those “big words”, but the grammar and mechanics are fine. The dialogue, for the most part, has no large blocks of exposition that interrupt what the characters are saying. Nothing worse than someone asking a question and getting the answer five pages later because they were too busy getting lost in each others’ eyes.

Now the parts I don’t like mostly involve the plot itself. I cannot believe that a successful woman would setup a one night stand and risk potential litigation and custody agreements with a basic stranger rather than going to a sperm bank. She claims she trusts the cousin, but he is basically a stranger.Also she tries to hide her pregnancy from the father, Brody,  and almost succeeds until the cousin randomly shows up at the stranger’s door. Too coincidental to be believable. Brody then tries to clean up his act instead of telling her he knows, or trying to get a court order. He just passively hopes Cat will let him in the child’s life without trying to setup visitation or child support. What a weenie.

This is nothing compared to her job. Cat’s job involves her being an “office mom”, and her boss Nana apparently requires her employees to be saints. The whole plot revolves around the fact that Brody takes advantage of Nana’s rules by threatening to tell her employer they had sex. In exchange for staying mum, he hires Cat as his office mom.This does not really matter though because if Nana finds out Cat is pregnant out of wedlock, then Cat’s fired anyway. By the way, this is highly illegal. I don’t think the author did her research on discrimination laws. Or employment in general.

Other ways this job is weird include the following:

  • Comforting employees of other companies
  • Doing cleaning and organizing for the office
  • “Mothering” and offering a place for employees to vent
  • Baking cookies and serving it with milk

I don’t know about you, but I think if an office requires a “mom” like this, then that office has issues or severe under staffing.

Overall, the romance is believable outside of the plot. Brody and Cat seem to enjoy each others’ company, and they are genuinely attracted to each other. They seem to make each other better people, especially Brody, which I like.

Ratings: This is a romance novel so here are the ratings for:
Relationship drama: 5/10
Romantic Development: 5/10
Hot love interest: 7/10
Creativity: 2/10
Plot: 2/10

Overall, I give In the Dark a 5/10. The plot brought down what was a decent romance with stupid choices and a strange career.

Citation:

Burford, P. (1999). In the dark. Retrieved January 27, 2017.