Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Paranormal Romance

Day 72: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Day 72

Summary From Goodreads

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

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Maybe I missed a memo somewhere. Are all paranormal romance books 15% paranormal and 85% romance? It sure seems like it after the last few I’ve read, and I can’t say I like the trend. Flight is no different. While there are paranormal elements sprinkled in and some of the main characters are paranormal in nature, the feel of the book is almost entirely that of a YA/New Adult romance. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly fine with reading romance books, though I prefer to know how heavily those elements are going to be used beforehand, but it needs to be done right.

Unfortunately, for me at least, Flight was not. I wanted to like this book, the writing was great, the style choices and pacing Alyssa Rose Ivy went with fit perfectly, but the romance… well it had some of my least favorite things, including the worst offender of all. That’s right, the dreaded insta-love strikes again. I don’t care one iota that Allie “resists” Levi in the beginning, which really is more her fighting off an instant attraction (ugh) for a while and eventually giving in one level at a time. Can insta-love not be a thing? Pretty please? Can’t the romance develop naturally and not be painfully obvious? *sigh*

I wish that was the only problem, but Flight committed another “crime” of romance books, the overly dominant/controlling male. Yup, Levi is one of those guys. He acts like he has control over her almost immediately, he refuses to take no for an answer even when she actually meant that she didn’t want anything to do with him, and acts like a jerk for half the book. I don’t want to spoil it, but there is a scene where he essentially gives her no options and just makes her get what he wants her to, I don’t care that she might have enjoyed the result, I can’t stand that. Let her decide what she wants! That goes for everything, not just that one scene.

To do further damage Levi near the end tricks her into something that she can’t escape from (no not that) and it’s despicable. His intentions weren’t even pure, it was crap and he did it because like all macho guys seem to be, he was scared. Not good enough. The guy may care for her, but he acts like a tool, and refuses to let her just be. Ugh.

The writing really was good, but even the few action scenes couldn’t save this for me. I have the second book in the series, Focus, but at this point I’m really not sure that I’ll read it. If it is anything like Flight in the balance of romance/paranormal, and if Levi doesn’t change at all, I guarantee it would be a DNF, so it’s probably not worth the time or effort. We’ll see, I’ll let it sit in my kindle for a while. Anyway, thanks as always for reading, I’m sorry this review was so negative, but I just can’t stand that kind of stuff. Come back tomorrow for Day 73 where hopefully I can be more positive!

Mount TBR Challenge #52/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #52/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #72/365

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Day 64: Lancaster House by Taylor Dean

Day 64

Summary From Goodreads

Zoe Grayson needs a change. So, she moves to another state, purchases an old, dilapidated 1920s Victorian Mansion, and sets out to restore it to its former glory. As she begins the restoration, she finds herself falling in love with the old house … not to mention its illustrious builder, Mr. Lancaster. Zoe becomes obsessed with the house as she discovers its secrets; hidden rooms, secret passageways … and a mysterious man who seems to think the house is his. Who is he? More importantly, how does he live in her home unseen and unheard?

The unexpected answers leave her reeling—and questioning everything she’s ever known. To her dismay, Zoe’s actions land her in the local psychiatric hospital, scheming for ways to return to Lancaster House … and the love of her life.

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Lancaster house appeared to be a paranormal that included elements of romance, or at least that is what you would discern from the cover, the blurb “are you ever really alone” and the summary. However, once you get into the book that notion is quickly dispelled. This is a paranormal romance, and a good one, I only wish that it would be a bit more forthright with that knowledge. Maybe Dean didn’t feel that the book would do as well in that niche, maybe it wasn’t even intended on being so romance-heavy, but regardless of the reason Lancaster House is chocked full of romance. Maybe even a bit too much.

Look, if I know I’m going to read a romance, as I do on occasion (Ethan & The Skeleton Song come to mind more recently, The Dark Lord certainly a while back) I’m more than up for it. However, when I expect paranormal aspects, maybe a little bump-in-the-night feel to the book and I’m thrown into one lovey-dovey scene after another I am going to be a bit thrown off, if not put off. Lancaster House opens in the psych ward, eventually having the main character, Zoe, tell her story. I love psychological elements and when the descriptions began about the awesome house (I’m a sucker for Victorians & secret passage ways, who isn’t?) I was hooked. Then came the reveals of another presence and I was intrigued, a solid start. Then she finally “meets” Andre, aka Mr. Lancaster, and seems to be enamored from the onset. You know what I’m thinking then, oh no, the dreaded insta-love. Please, anything but that, not again.

Luckily I would call this romance about a 4 on the insta-love scale, 1 being a full on slow build-up, 10 being they practically began marriage plans on eye-contact. There were enough issues and developments (I mean that in a good way) to make the romance develop at a relatively normal rate. Combine that with a certain “barrier” and a 1920’s old-fashioned mindset and you have a recipe for a good romantic setting. The strength of the love grows a bit too quickly for my taste, though when you have the ideal match and guy I guess I understand, but that is admittedly what puts it at the 4/10 on the scale.

The plot for me is the issue. It could have been an interesting tale, especially after some certain other types of beings were revealed, if not for the romance completely consuming the characters. The psychological bits back in the present were really interesting, and possibly were my favorite parts outside of perhaps the descriptions of the house, but they were fleeting. The ending seemed hurried after such a big build-up and that too was a shame.

Where those elements frustrated me, the characters did not. Zoe was an excellent MC. She was too innocent and accepting, but she was aware of it and was actively working on it. She was certainly intelligent, had a stubborn/defiant streak and a temper when she needed it. While she was overly dependent on Andre after a while, her character didn’t lessen, just the plot around her did. As for Andre, sure he’s the “ideal guy” in many ways, but he was flawed enough (outside of the obvious) to make him seem realistic in the personality sense. He’s old-school and it works for him and the story, but he’s also quirky and that keeps him from being an old mind in a younger body.

Lancaster House, despite its flaws, was written very well. That, the characters, and the potential for more of the paranormal aspects make me want to give The Middle Aisle, the sequel to Lancaster House, a shot. I’m admittedly as intrigued to find out what will happen to Zoe and Andre next as the psychiatrist Wade is. If you are into a paranormal romance that is a bit more heavy on the romance side then Lancaster House might be for you. Just don’t go into it with a ghost-story mindset because this is not that book. I’ll probably be giving The Middle Aisle a look in the near future, I’m just too darn curious. Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 65 as well as my Waiting on Wednesday post! ^.^

Genre Variety Reading Challenge #24/30 – Category – Paranormal Romance; Mount TBR Challenge #48/150; 2013 TBR Pile #48/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #64/365

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