Top critical review
50 people found this helpful
enthusiastically but artlessly written
on November 14, 2011
Taken from her home - for her own safety, of course - in the middle of the night by the sexy stranger Talen, Cara and her young daughter find themselves thrust into a secret world of vampires and other mythical beings.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. But man, it was a bumpy ride. I read much of it with a furrowed brow. It just didn't make sense, and I don't mean the supernatural stuff. The characters' reactions, why they went certain places and stayed there for certain amounts of time, every step of the way the thing was just nonsensical. Take, for example, the very first scene. A stranger breaks into Cara's home and forcibly takes her and her small daughter, puts her daughter in his car, and then proceeds to kiss the daylights out of her. What does Cara do? She gets so hot she forgets everything, including the fact that her frightened child is locked in the car. I don't care how sexy the man is, no mom is going to do that, or no decent mom anyway. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens again and again in this book: nonsensical crap.
It doesn't help that the characters aren't very likable, either. Talen is an overbearing jerk, and he and Cara have an uncomfortable, unpleasant relationship where the reader is constantly jerked around: he's amused by her spunk, he's infuriated by it. She doesn't trust him and tries to get away, she "knows in her heart" he would never hurt her, rinse, repeat. He's domineering, she fights against it but is ultimately turned on ridiculously much by his dominance. I got darn tired of hearing how sopping wet she gets from his dominance. The hero telling the heroine to run before chasing her around the house is not my idea of foreplay.
Another problem is that a lot of stuff is introduced in this story but none of it is fleshed out. There's a lot going on in this secret world, but it's all thrown haphazardly at the reader. Zanetti has some interesting ideas to set her vampire world apart but she doesn't do them justice.
As for the writing itself, it's frequently clumsy, sometimes in a way reminiscent of people whose first language isn't English ("his hands clamping bruises into her hips"? "powerful white lights set hard into the stone ceiling"?) but I think Zanetti just hasn't honed her skills enough yet. Her enthusiasm is evident from the first page to the last, but she has a long way to go before she can produce a decent book. I do see potential here though, and with supporting characters that are more likable than the main ones, I think I will give the second in this series a try if my library gets it.
Lastly, I just have to add: how many times in one book can an author use the words spicy/spiced and pine, usually together?! Definitely an editorial fail. Using the same description for the hero's scent repeatedly is no good, and the fact that it brings to mind Pine-Sol is even worse.