Tag Archives: paranromal

the dragon of new orleans

Book Review: The Dragon of New Orleans, by Genevieve Jack

I picked up a copy of The Dragon of New Orleans, by Genevieve Jack from Amazon, during one of it’s freebie days.

the dragon of new orleans

New Orleans: city of intrigue, supernatural secrets, and one enigmatic dragon.

A deadly curse….
For 300 years, Gabriel Blakemore has survived in New Orleans after a coup in his native realm of Paragon scattered him and his dragon siblings across the globe. Now a jealous suitor’s voodoo curse threatens to end his immortal existence. His only hope is to find an antidote, one that may rest in a mortal woman.

A lifesaving gift…
After five years of unsuccessful treatment for her brain cancer, death is a welcome end for Raven Tanglewood. Her illness has become a prison her adventurous spirit cannot abide. Salvation comes in the form of Gabriel, who uses dragon magic to save her.

A harrowing price…
To Raven, the bond that results from Gabriel’s gift is another kind of captivity. Can Gabriel win Raven’s love and trust in time to awaken the life-saving magic within her? Or will his fiery personality and possessive ways drive her from his side and seal his fate?

my review

*Le Sigh* It’s not that this was bad, it was competently written and edited. But it’s just that everything in it has been done before…better in other places. This felt like nothing more than a cobbled together collection of tropes and often-read PNR scenes. At 10 percent into the book I made the following comment on Goodreads.

I have to ask AGAIN, is attempted rape really the ONLY plot point authors can come up with? At this point I’ve read essentially the same scene in SO MANY BOOKS that I consider it nothing but laziness on authors’ part & THINK LESS OF THEM FOR IT.

It’s not just that I don’t want to read ANOTHER rape scene, it’s that it’s been done so many times. Writing the SAME THING AS EVERYONE ELSE is boring & lacks creativity.

While this comment was directed particularly at the attempted rapebecause I am SO sick of authors reaching for this low hanging fruit to endanger their heroines so that the hero can step inthe point is also that I’m so bored with reading the same scenes in book after book after book. And Jack even sexually imperiled her heroine, not once but twice. Then even hinted at a third at the bar in Paragon. Geeze, get some new material, please.

But it wasn’t just the attempted rapes, the whole book gave me déjà vu, like I’d read it before. And I have, every scene, in about a thousand other books. There was nothing new here.

I appreciate that Jack made Raven fiercely independent and Gabriel weaker than most PNR heroes. But it wasn’t enough to rescue what was a structurally passable, but contextually blasé read. Plus, Raven became too strong too easily and I never really felt the romance develop.

dragons of new orleans genevieve jack

 

betwixt

Book Review: Betwixt, by Darynda Jones

I borrowed a copy of Betwixt, by Darynda Jones from the local library. You guys, I actually went INTO the library and browsed the shelves. It was the first time I’d been able to do that in months!

betwixt

Divorced, desperate, and destitute, former restaurateur Defiance Dayne finds out she has been bequeathed a house by a complete stranger. She is surprised, to say the least, and her curiosity gets the better of her. She leaves her beloved Phoenix and heads to one of the most infamous towns in America: Salem, Massachusetts.

She’s only there to find out why a woman she’s never met would leave her a house. A veritable castle that has seen better days. She couldn’t possibly accept it, but the lawyer assigned to the case practically begs her to take it off her hands, mostly because she’s scared of it. The house. The inanimate structure that, as far as Dephne can tell, has never hurt a fly.

Though it does come with some baggage. A pesky neighbor who wants her gone. A scruffy cat who’s a bit of a jerk. And a handyman bathed ink who could moonlight as a supermodel for GQ.

She decides to give it three days, and not because of the model. She feels at home in Salem. Safe. But even that comes to a screeching halt when people begin knocking on her door day and night, begging for her help to locate their lost objects.

Come to find out, they think she’s a witch. And after a few mysterious mishaps, Dephne is beginning to wonder if they’re right.

my review

I generally liked this. It was fun and easily readable. I’ll say that up front. But I have complaints. For one, I halfway suspect it wasn’t initially written as a Paranormal Women’s Fiction book. Of course, I can’t know one way or another, and maybe it was and just isn’t steeped in the genre. (But I really do half think it was rewritten to fit the new fad.)

I’ll grant the heroine is 44 and there are paranormal elements…so, Paranormal Women’s Fiction. The book even starts with the seemingly requisite mid-life divorce. But beyond that I didn’t feel Defiance’s age at all. Any quip or memory she referenced was from high school or below, as if she hadn’t had an additional 2 decades of life experience to draw from. Her parents still play a large part in her life, as if she hasn’t aged past just leaving the nest. She still gets excited over band t-shirts and binge drinking. She just didn’t feel 44 and neither did anything else about the plot. So, I kinda feel like the book is Paranormal Women’s Fiction in name and window dressing only. At least the hotties were described as silver foxes, instead of young studs, I guess.

Beyond that, I did laugh a lot. But I also frequently felt like it was trying too hard to be quirky and funny. I liked the characters, but thought they all took to the previously unknown paranormal world far too easily. And I like the sexy hero, but there is so little progress in that department and so little interaction between him and Defiance that it was soundly disappointing. And the whole thing often felt unfocused and erratic.

Despite all that, as I said, I did enjoy it in general. I probably will continue the series (for Roane more than anything else). But I’m in no great hurry about it.

betwixt