Admittedly, I didn’t read the other books in this series, but that’s not usually a problem with most books. I’m usually a pretty quick study, and the majority of authors put in enough clues to let me know what I might have missed in previous books. So, I don’t think my confusion is caused by the fact that I didn’t read the other books in the series. I think this book is just unnecessarily weird and complicated.
First of all, it’s a paranormal romance that doesn’t have any vampires, werewolves, or shapeshifters. I actually really like that. I ADORE paranormal romances that don’t go the obvious route. But here’s what didn’t work for me with this one…
It’s all over the place
There’s sooooooo much going on in this book. You’ve got the heroine’s fight for survival in prison, then you’ve got the hero’s supernatural abilities (which keep developing and morphing into more supernatural abilities, because having a hero with just one supernatural ability would be boring, amirite?), the people who want to hurt the heroine once she’s out of prison, the people who want to hurt the hero (because REASONS), the hero’s tragic past...it’s just exhausting. I made it to about the 50% mark in the book before I was worn out and just gave up.
Now, I’m usually willing to overlook instalove when it happens in a shifter romance novel. But when it happens in a non-shifter novel, it really irks the crap out of me. In this book, the hero sees the heroine for the first time, and the power of, I dunno, her spirit/awesomeness/beauty heals him of a physical disability that was caused by a childhood injury. And, before she’s even said a single word to him outloud (because REASONS), they’re falling into bed and realizing they’re soul mates. It was just too much for my bullshit meter to handle.
At some point, I’m sure that all the little extraneous details (like the story in the beginning about the history of some ancient totem pole that went on for, like, a hundred years) were paid off. But I didn’t make it far enough in the story to find out. So as it stands, I was just bored with all the extra details that didn’t seem relevant to the story in any way. I’m sorry, but in a romance, I think the hero and heroine should meet within the first few pages, and the story should proceed from there. The romance is the most important part of the story, and if it isn’t, then you’re not reading (or writing) a romance.
Long-story-short, this one wasn’t my cuppa. It was just too weird for me.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from NetGalley, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s not stigma-y...just weird.
Other reading suggestions
For great paranormal romance that isn’t about vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, check out THIS list. And for romances with just a hint of the paranormal, check out THESE.