Posts Tagged ‘not sure I buy it’

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Maybe part of me was looking for heebie-jeebies when I said I’d read Tess Gerritsen’s Playing with Fire. And maybe part of me is disappointed at what I got.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This starts off creepy. Julia finds this music and every time she plays it, weird things start happening. Things that she blames on her daughter. And yeah, maybe this could be happening. It makes sense.
It’s not as creepy as I’d hoped. Or maybe wanted.

In fact, it’s kind of disappointingly familiar. We have the set-up in the present, then the flashbacks to the past, so we the reader get the full story behind this piece of music although the characters never do. And like a lot of books that follow this structure, the part set in the past is the stronger part.

The present-day story ought to be creepy. It ought to make us question what’s real, what’s possible. But it doesn’t make sense. Mom blames the kid for doing things. Mom and Dad subject the kid to a battery of tests even though no one believes the mom. And then, next thing, Mom is off, obsessed with finding the origins of the music while everyone around her decides she needs to be locked up in a mental facility because, hey, we put the kid through all these tests and she’s fine so Mom is clearly crazy. So Mom runs away with her friend, who winds up betraying her because hey, the whole world is stacked against our Julia. And things get violent, as they do when you’re trying to get someone to involuntarily commit herself, or maybe it’s as they do when you’re digging up a past no one wants you to remember. And then we find out what’s up with the music. Only it’s not the music at all.

Remember those tests they ran on the kid? Why the hell didn’t they run them on the mom and save us all the hassle?
So that brings us to the story of the past. This turns out to be a Holocaust story, with the main character, Lorenzo, a promising violinist whose career and life are cut short by the horrors that wind up unfolding. Pity, too, because he and cellist Laura had a real thing going.

As I said, that was the more interesting part of the book, but in the end, this one was a bit of a disappointment. Predictable. Kinda stupid, actually. And most upsetting, the promise of the premise, of this haunting piece of music with demonic abilities, never came to be.

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This one sounds familiar, but I couldn’t pull it up on the site when I searched for it. And you’ll see why it’s familiar when you read the description, which you’re about to do right now:

Rafe Ranier was my boss and secret crush. A rock musician by night and head of a billion dollar empire by day, Rafe could have any woman he wanted. But I was just the shy secretary he never noticed. For years I obsessed over him, until I finally realized I had to walk away. I needed to leave my secure life behind to discover who I really was.I never expected Rafe to follow me.Now I’m on the road with his band, Savage Kiss, and all my secret fantasies are coming true. But I fear I’ve made a huge mistake, because if I get any more attached to a man I can never truly have, my heart will be broken beyond all repair.

HOW can you be a rock musician by night and a billion-dollar empire dude by day? HOW???

So anyway, this started out as a six-part serial but has now been put into one volume. I don’t know what the prices for any of these are, so spend your money wisely.

And feel free to explain how Rafe can have two huge, all-encompassing jobs at one time.

Jett-300x300 Books like this one make me understand why Rock Fiction is such a strong category of books.

Here. Take a look:

Jennifer Chance unleashes her hot new series with the tale of a smoldering rocker and the fangirl who catches his eye—and finds herself living out her wildest dreams.

We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? I mean, it’s usually one or the other — fangirl finds her fantasies come true, or else the girl has no idea who the guy is and has to be won over. (See some of Susan’s favorites: What the Librarian Did, or the other one that starts with the rocker coming into the flower shop and the woman there having no idea who he is.)

This one falls into that “How professional are you, lady?” category ’cause she works for the band’s booking agency. Like she was able to hide her fan girl issue during the interview? I don’t buy it. I’ve seen too many groupies reveal their true colors as soon as they even think they’ll be getting near someone who is near someone who works for the band.

Susan’s right when she says you’ve got to actually read the book before you judge it, but that’s a pretty big mountain you gotta climb, just to buy what’s happening in the story. Still, I’ve seen authors pull this off, so there’s hope. There’s always hope.

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Susan sent me a copy of Annie Seaton’s Hot Rock. I’m not sure where she got it from, but she’d have blogged about it if it had been a gift from the author.

Whatever. I got a copy and I read that copy and let me just say, this was one of the dumbest books I think I’ve ever read. No, it’s not the time travel storyline that bugged me. It’s that there really wasn’t a story.

You’ve got this chick, Megan. She’s just landed in England to research what I think is her PhD thesis and she gets a call: some jerk of an ex has hacked into her entire life and sabotaged her entire career. She could be fired from her job at the university, she could be labeled a cheat and dishonest, and be turned into some leper or something. I’m confused ’cause how can she have this job if she doesn’t have her PhD yet? Don’t you sorta need one of those to land the job in the first place?

But our buddy Megan doesn’t care about this risk to her job. She’s going to a music festival! And sure, it’s her research, but hey, look at all these bands who’re playing! And wouldn’t it be great if she ran into this rocker dude she’s had a thing for since she was a teen? And hey, check it out! When she fumbles – because she fumbles more than she does much else – her way onto the wrong cottage’s porch, guess who opens the door?

Umm… and how devoted are you to your job, honey?

And then there’s David. This rocker dude who has chosen to live in Megan’s present and not the 1970s he’s a rocker during. So past history tells him he writes this song called For Megan or something, but he’s not sure why, even when a chick named Megan shows up on his doorstep.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

And, of course, he tries to protect her from his secret because she may not take it well. Ya think? Maybe if there was some chemistry between the two… heck, maybe if the characters had seemed like living, breathing people, there’d have been some redemption for this book. But ugh, the clichés. And these people never stop being words on a page. They never seem real.

As for the romance itself, I don’t get it. Part of the fun of a romance is seeing what obstacles a couple has to get over before they have their happily ever after, but the biggest problem these two have is that Megan can’t listen when David tells her to wait for him. Well, okay, David takes off after this Holly chick ODs, like she’s his responsibility or something even though we know he doesn’t like her. It’s never really clear what role this Holly chick plays in his 1970s life, and it’s never ever the least bit clear why the other two guys in David’s band can’t pony up and take responsibility for this unlikeable girl.

And if David’s so important to the band and its past, why does he rush off with Holly, ignoring his true love, Megan, and thumb his nose at the man who he knows – because he knows his past history (although nothing about writing a song for a girl named Megan or sharing his past with her) – is going to be the band’s big break?

Like I said: Stupid.

Probably the best part is when electronics go wonky around the solstice because of the power of the ley lines that tie into Stonehenge, but that subplot, which is so important to David, doesn’t go anywhere. The gates mostly present the obstacles for David and Megan, but they only do because they are both stupid people.

Skip this one, unless you want to take a stab at explaining that title. I’m deleting this off my reader and hoping to forget about it.

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Jett here. I’m taking over because, well, Susan hogs this place and that’s gotta end. She brought me in to take over for her ’cause she’s so busy, after all.

And really, when she’s coming up with books like this one, you gotta wonder why I’m not just running the show myself, don’t you? Category Harlequin?

Oh, sure, she’s read some good ones. Not all the reviews are up, so I can’t link to them, but ask if you’re curious. That’s what comment forms are for.

This one’s called Pregnant By Morning, and it’s about a one-night stand that’s just too good to end after one night. It’s a romance, so of course there’s problems. One of ’em is the heroine, Evangeline. She used to sing (that’s what makes this Rock Fiction, after all), but some quackety-quack destroyed her voice.

On this one, Susan’s right. When she sent me the link, she said she wasn’t sure she’d buy that part.

Guess we gotta read it. And I have a bad feeling this is another one I’m going to have to share.