Oh no… I’m so disappointed.
I got this book a few weeks ago, but when I started reading it, I had trouble staying focused. The book opened with a chapter in Shanna’s POV and not in one of the main characters, which is totally untypical for a romance. Also it was so boring, that I considered putting the book down before I got to the main part. And the main part (which is called a romance) started around chapter 4 or 5.
This is, oh I don’t know, book 12 or 13 in the Love at Stake series, and I expected to find another strong heroine, humor, and sexiness in it. But there was none of it. Or none that I would call worth to be mentioned. This never happened before with one of Kerrelyn Sparks’ books. She’s one of my favorite authors, but this time, I’m really disappointed. Of course, this is only my opinion, and there are plenty of people loving the book just as much as any before that. So what exactly put me off?
Elsa is a construction worker, taller than the average woman, and she loves to pull down houses. That is okay, as it would work well with Howard, a grizzly bear shifter. But in my opinion, the author made a major mistake, as she gave this woman a weak side that was becoming annoying to a frustrating point, and fast. Elsa was behaving like a small girl, when her aunts told her to stay away from Howard, the bear, because of an unfortunate family curse that might cause her death if Howard was losing control. She let her aunts scare her, and sort of dropped her own will and mind outside the front door, doing whatever they told her. Elsa is – or turned into – a guardian of the forest. This new side of her scared her a little at first, but she adjusted to it very quickly. Here I would have advised K. Sparks to give some deeper emotions. Elsa could be shocked beyond words, or intrigued to a fantastic point, but she just grew used to it. Very flat writing here.
Howard was an okay character. He didn’t blow me away – unlike most male leads in the books before this one – but he wasn’t as annoying as Elsa. He said and did some nice and sexy things, but when it came down to the important parts of any romance, the worshipping and the “get together” he totally sucked. Or rather…the author sucked it up. She rushed though the intimate scenes, like you’d read about them in the local newspaper the next day. The subplot was about revenge, and that is a major “turn me down”. A side character died in the process of destroying the antagonist, Rhett, the were-wolf. There are reasons over reasons why Howard is allowed to hate Rhett, but the way the author created this thread, she gave Howard a very dark side. Something that made it hard to like him. For me, anyway.
What happened here? Sometimes during reading, I wondered if K. Sparks was under pressure to deliver another book and so cut down the quality for the sake of quantity. Seriously, I hope she’s doing better with her next book.
Somehow I feel the need to apologize now. I hate giving bad reviews, really, but I also don’t want to lie in them. So yeah, sorry, but I just didn’t like this book very much.