Review of In His Majesty’s Service, by Elizabeth Silver & Jenny Urban

I received a copy of In His Majesty’s Service, by Elizabeth Silver & Jenny Urban through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Everyone in the Drion Collective knows that finding your match—the one person in existence with the same soul mark as yours—is the best thing that could ever happen. But the last thing Lord Anders Hawthorne is thinking about when he boards a ship to Drion for the king’s funeral is finding his soul mate.

Captain Zachary O’Connell has the perfect life—his ship, the stars, and no emotional entanglements. When heat sparks between him and Lord Hawthorne, Zach gleefully dives into a no-strings arrangement. He doesn’t expect it to last beyond arrival at Drion, any more than he expects trouble along the way.

Trouble quickly finds them, however, and it soon becomes clear that Lord Hawthorne is not only not who he says he is, but also that he’s the target of a deadly plot. With danger all around them, Zach and Anders must work together to save the Collective. Meanwhile, Zach must come to grips with losing everything he always thought he wanted, to have the one thing he never dreamed he needed.

Review:
Sooooo, this was not very good. There was WAY too much sex, given the length and amount of plot. It seriously suffered from lack of subtlety or buildup. As an example, the first time the two men met was over a dinner at the captain’s table. The only conversation was about the steak, and it’s barely a conversation. There was no indication that these two men had any interest in each other. Then on the next page, they were jumping into bed and the pet names and ‘this is special’ starts. The whole book was like that. The authors don’t give anything time to develop, just lobbing stuff at the reader out of no where.

Mechanically, the writing is fine, except for some repetition. They seemed to do nothing but rub noses and fall into bed. But the book is just too long. Half of the petty squabbles could have been cut and we’d still understand they were struggling to get to know one another. As could half the sex scenes. They were fairly repetitive anyway, always doing the same things. I just didn’t enjoy it and have no interest in continuing the series.

Review of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens

I received a copy of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job—entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time—but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.

Fantastic.

When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.

Review:
Super cute, I mean it’s a little ridiculous too, but utterly adorable. I thought the characters had realistic young adult, coming into themselves sort of problems that they handled well. I thought the couple was too cute for words. I liked the side characters. I thought the fantasy aspect of the book was engaging and interesting. And I thought it was funny. Granted, some of the humor was of the slapstick, silly sort. But still I enjoyed it. A rare, all around win for me.

On a side note, if you hurry, there’s even a giveaway to win a copy. It ends Sept. 30th.

Review of Guarded (The Silverton Chronicles #1), by Carmen Fox

I bought a copy of Guarded, by Carmen Fox.

Description from Goodreads:
When everyone’s existence depends on the lies they tell, trust doesn’t come easy. 

Ivy’s neighbors have a secret. They aren’t human. But Ivy has a secret, too. She knows. As long as everyone keeps quiet, she’s happy working as a P.I. by day and chillaxing with her BFF Florian, a vampire, by night. When a routine pickup drops her in the middle of a murder, her two worlds collide. While Florian knows how to throw a punch, deep down he’s a softie. His idea of scary? Running out of hair product. It’s time Ivy faced facts. Even with a vampire on stand-by, one gal can only kick so many asses. 

For help, she must put her faith in others. A human, who might just be the one. A demon, who will, for a price, open the doors to her heritage. And a werewolf, who wants to protect her from herself. 

Torn between these men, Ivy must tread carefully, because one wants her heart, one wants her body, and one wants her dead.

Review:
Sigh, mechanically the writing and editing in this book seem fine. Unfortunately, in my opinion the plot is totally useless. The book is all over the place, but more to the point, I hated it.

As a romance it fails on SO MANY levels. Let me put it like this. She has a condition that after her 25th birthday (because apparently magic knows your b-day, y’all) she literally lusts after every man she sees, even though she actively doesn’t want to. She then goes on to try and date one man, have sex with another (several times), almost have sex with a man in an alley, and love a man. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do any two of those things with the same man. That’s right, she’s trying to date one man, while having sex with another (and lusting over everyone) and then on the last page, last paragraph basically we’re told she loves another. WTF? There was no development on that. But what kind of satisfying romance do you think a book can have if the heroine trying to give her body to every man she meets,?

But, for me personally, the biggest issue is that this idea that women can’t control their own sexual urges is an old, painfully patriarchal one. It’s one of the reasons why they can’t be trusted to own and have authority over their own bodies. We still fight this stupid idea to this very day, in real life. And the book had the perfect patriarchal ending, she pretty much ended up with a man who had the power (extra power she gave him) to control her. She goes against her own natural inclinations to be with him. You know what, author, write historical if you want to write this kind of trite. I ended the book steaming.

The whole thing was only made worse by there being exactly 3 women in the book, other than main character and some background victims (who were raped, because of course they were). Two were characterless sisters, basically just names to fill in the cast. One was the cliched jealous harpy who will probably sell the heroine to the villain in future books, because that’s what the jealous harpy always does in such books.

I bought and read this book because, somewhere along the way I ended up with an audible copy of book two (Bound), and wanted to listen to it. Now, I’m kind of regretting both.