September 2008: More Comments

2 Oct

*** Books ***

  • India Grey – Angelo’s Captive Virgin : comment below
  • Laura Kinsale – The Prince of Midnight : half-finished draft
  • Liz Maverick – Wired : nearly finished draft
  • Debra Salonen – His Brother’s Secret : comment below

India Grey – Angelo’s Captive Virgin

GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Presents, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: I wasn’t completely convinced with the first novel I read by Grey, but I thought her a good writer so I wanted to try one of her other novels.

The back blurb:
“Italian tycoon Angelo Emiliani wants to buy Anna’s French château, but it seems she’ll do anything to stop him. So he’ll take Anna captive on his yacht, and show her he’s not to be toyed with.
But as cabin fever sets in, passions erupt, and Anna realizes the price of stopping Angelo has just gotten higher. Now there’s more at stake than saving the château–Anna’s at risk of losing her virginity, and more!”

First off, I liked Angelo’s Captive Virgin (ACV) better than The Italian’s Defiant Mistress. This time, the heroine’s behavior isn’t just dictated by plot reasons. I liked that ACV is a story about identity: Anna doesn’t really know who she is (she’s in search of her “passion”) and Angelo is an orphan with no knowledge about his parents. At the end of the novel, they both found answers. I also liked the fairy tale allusions in the story and I think they gave the structure of the story an extra something.

But I also had some problems. There were some things I either see as annoying romance speak (e.g. “scuffing the gravel with the toe of her little green pump” – p. 9, emphasis mine) or “silly” (referring to long legs on a woman who’s height is five foot three), and the yacht episode nearly made me put the novel down, but what made me really uncomfortable when I thought about its RL implications was that Anna’s search for her identity came to an end after she met Angelo. He was her passion and that was that. Such a love sounds nice on the surface and Anna learns a few things about herself, but I had the impression that there was nothing else besides Angelo for Anna. Combined with the fairy tale vibe of the story, it was an uncomfortable fit, IMO.

Would I recommend this novel? Probably yes.
Would I read this novel again? Maybe.
Grade: 4 / 5 (The grade reflects my enjoyment of the novel on the story level (first paragraph).

Debra Salonen – His Brother’s Secret

GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Super Romance, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: The summary sounded like this would be a friends-turned-lovers/unrequited love story.

The back blurb:
“In college, Shane Reynard lacked the nerve to tell Jenna Murphy how he felt, Now with all his Hollywood success behind him, lack of nerve is not what holds him back. When his latest TV show lands him in Jenna’s hometown, he offers her a place on his writing team. Too bad spending a lot of time with her reminds Shane of every single thing he liked about her.
But as much as Shane wants to fall for her, there’s a family secret he has to confess first. And once she knows the truth, there’s a real chance Jenna will never want to see Shane’s face again.”

His Brother’s Secrets is one of the instances where I end up liking the novel I read just so I can read a series in order (Baby by Contract) better than the one I wanted to read in the first place (His Brother’s Secret). I thought the story was written well, my problem was that there was just so much going on.

First, there is the secret that both Jenna and Shane have to deal with, then there’s Jenna’s mother, the way Jenna’s father influenced/still influences Jenna’s life, Shane’s I’m-not-worthy-because-my-twin-was-BAD, the TV series business – it was just too much. A lot of these issues are rather serious and because there are a lot and most of them are dealt with rather fast – Shane is in Sentinel Pass for about a week – they didn’t (and couldn’t have) the impact they deserved. Also, this time my “would this really happen like that?” question with the TV angle kept popping up (which is of course just my impression, I know nothing about that, but it was there).

So, to sum it up: I liked this novel less than the first book in this series; I’m not sure if I’ll read the next one in this series, mostly because I’m not completely on board with the TV series part.

Would I recommend this novel? Maybe.
Would I read this novel again? Probably not.
Grade: 3 / 5

*** Games ***

  • Persona 3 (PS 2)
  • Titan Ques (PC)

Persona 3

I’m still working on fusing all the Personas I can in this game. I need 5 more and then I finally can go and see the good ending. Of course, if I wouldn’t be so weird (compulsive) with getting all done that’s possible in games, I could have seen the second ending weeks ago… There are also 5 Personas I can’t fuse in this playthrough because I screwed up the maxing of the social links.

Titan Quest

My character finished hacking and slaying her way through Egypt (second big area), although she’s more an arrow-shooting kind of girl. Now she’s in Asia (Babylon). I can’t help but keep comparing it to Diablo 2, it’s so similar in gameplay with the benefit of some improvements there. And how you find the final boss in Egypt and how you find it in Diablo 2 – better not talk about that. But it’s a fun game to play, and of course I have to see the end, so I keep playing. I just don’t know if I’ll play all three (*coughDiablo2cough) difficulty levels.


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