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Lover Enshrined
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Margaret L



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Niftybergin wrote:
I like some urban fantasy, but I'm first and foremost a romance reader. If an author hooks me with a series that has a decided romance-novel persona, I don't think it's unreasonable of me to want and expect the remaining novels in that series to maintain that romance novel persona.

My sentiments, exactly. I'm reading LE now, and I fear it may be my last of the series. I want a good romance at the core of the story, and the last two books have lacked that for me. Too much else going on. I was never a big fan of Phury, but I am still ticked off that Vishous got such a bum deal from Ward. He was a much more interesting character from the beginning, and I wanted to wallow in some V romance. Angsty romance, okay, but romance. I was very disappointed. Yet still, I bought LE and am reading it. But here again, with the romantic relationship between Phury and Cormia treated almost as a subplot, or one of many subplots, Ward has lost me.
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Brenna



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Niftybergin wrote:
How funny that you should write this! I bought the book yesterday, read the prologue...the bit with Phury and the wizard and the red smokes and the ivy-covered portraits of Bella...and then the bit with Cormia and the peas and toothpicks...and I put the book down and went on to greener pastures. I'll pick it back up tonight, but last night I either wasn't in the mood, or it just didn't grab my attention.


When I eventually finished the book and I found out that I quite enjoyed the other subplots. Maybe you will too.

katiebabs wrote:

**SPOILERS**
Brenna, I loved the introduction of Lassiter. I had some good laughs because of him. I loved the part where Rehv calls him GE and tells him to tone it down! And when he brings that something special back to the brothers and says he is their new roommate and his response to V's was priceless. I can't wait to see how important he will be to the brotherhood and series in general.

And I am so anxious for Rehv's book!! As for HC- *grumble grumble*


He sounds like fun actually and reminded me a bit of Rhage. He does not seem to be another tormented soul, well not yet anyway. I've heard that he is looking for something that he lost and unless he finds it, he cannot mate or something like that. And that among the brothers, he has some old issues with V in particular. So you can imagine what the dialogue between him and V will be in the future. Oh, I do hope that Ward will leave him be as he is and not turn him into another tortured hero who is full of suffering, misery, anguish, wretchedness, haunted, bedeviled, self pitying, brooding.... or whatever else she could think of heaping on the poor guy.

I got the feeling that Tohr will turn out into another self pitying, miserable, etc.... hero when his time comes.
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Niftybergin



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1078

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brenna wrote:
Niftybergin wrote:
How funny that you should write this! I bought the book yesterday, read the prologue...the bit with Phury and the wizard and the red smokes and the ivy-covered portraits of Bella...and then the bit with Cormia and the peas and toothpicks...and I put the book down and went on to greener pastures. I'll pick it back up tonight, but last night I either wasn't in the mood, or it just didn't grab my attention.


When I eventually finished the book and I found out that I quite enjoyed the other subplots. Maybe you will too.


I skimmed a lot last night -- mostly the scnees with JM, Qhuinn, Blay, Xhex, and Rehv -- and I liked those quite a lot. I don't think I'll wind up disliking this story. Just maybe not being thrilled with the switch away from romance.

On the other hand, that's probably unfair of me to say because 1) I don't particularly like Phury and never have, so I don't particularly care if he has a great romance or not; and 2) I'm not ready for ANY of the other characters to get their HEA yet.
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DearEvette



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the book on Tuesday. I made some poor Borders employee get me a copy out the back room because they hadn't put them on the shelves yet.

By rights I should have been done with this book by Tuesday night. I read Lover Awakened in one sitting and then went back and re-read it. But here I am two days later and I am still reading LE. Part of the problem is that I am having a really hard time getting into Phury/Cormia. They have zero chemistry. Also, after Zsadist's book I skip wholeheartedly the lesser passages. I find them tedious. I would probably give up except....

.... the whole Blay/Qhuinn/John subplot is real page turner stuff. It and the stuff we're learning about Rehv are what is keeping me going. And I love, love, love Zsadist and Bella, so their tiny subplot also keeps me going. Frankly i just like the Brotherhood.

So, I am finding it a bit of a slog. But not enough to wash my hands of the series. I still like her writing and I like her Vampire world.
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1044
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked this book more than I expected to and much more than the last one. I like that Ward takes a different direction with each book. I like the huge cast of characters and the myriad subplots, even the lessers. I like the way Ward dealt with all the ugliness of Phury's addiction and the pain it caused him and everyone who loves him. I was afraid that there would be too much focus on the world of the Chosen, which really, really turned me off in the last book, but that's not the case. There were some deep dark moments in just about all of the subplots, not always easy to read, but poignantly written.

SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS



Anne Hume wrote:

From what I’ve read on a review of the book done by Katiebabs ( a very good review I should say), Phury didn’t exactly get the “happiest of all endings” and that his romance with Cormia is the weakest of the storyline.


I haven't read this review, but I couldn't disagree more with the part quoted. Because I can't imagine a more traditional Romancelandia HEA. Phury finally the hero he'd always wanted to be -- detoxed and on the road to recovery, forgiven by and embraced again by the Brotherhood, off that distasteful Primale hook, and mated to the woman of his dreams. And way more satisfying than the last book. Ward redeemed Cormia as well as she has redeemed any of her heroines, and in the end she's way past her doormat conditioning.


I'm back on board.
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Lynn M



Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I broke my BDB addiction with Lover Unbound (hated Jane The Ghost!) so I was surprised when I saw LEn at the bookstore on Thursday because I had no idea when it was coming out. Also, I had thought it was coming out in hardcover, so double bonus surprise LEn was still a paperback.

I loved/hated this one. Loved it enough that it kept me turning pages deep into the night and the next day. The John/Qhuinn/Blay plot was by far my favorite. Although, I think Ward is trying to recapture that magic relationship between Vishous and Butch with Qhuinn and Blay, but it just didn't work for me. The V/B thing was lightning in a bottle that she - sadly - let escape, and it's too late to go back and try to sell me on it again.

Phury got on my nerves. I understand his tortured past and all, but as he kept getting worse, I started with the eyerolling. Pathetic is not a hero-making character trait. As for his romance with Cormia, what a huge waste of potential!! Ward could have filled volumes with the problems inherent in Phury falling in love with Cormia and being tormented about filling his Primale duties. Instead we got a lot of Phury's drug use scenes and a forced last-minute and very tepid love story. By far the weakest part of this book.

Not sure what I think about Xhex and Rhev. And I really missed the interaction of the other Brothers. That left a huge hole, IMO. Part of what I fell in love with was Ward's amazing ability to capture the interactions between the brothers. Without it, it's not the same series. I won't go into my reaction every time a big, bad vampire warrior used phrases like "abso" and "possi". That's high-school girl text-speak at best.

As for Lassiter, he may be a great character, but an angel? Come on. Ward is starting to show the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach as far as world building goes. She needs to stick with vampires and lessers. Oh, and ghosts. And mist-shifting creatures. And symphants. And devine, omnipotent beings...

But I do appreciate Ward's decision to move into a more UF direction. How many times can she write the same Brother meets female and becomes uber-bonded story? She did it very well in the first three books and after that, the story line became at best a shadow of the originals (Phury and Cormia) and at worst, out of character (Vishous and Jane). She needed to branch out from a story-telling perspective, and I can appreciate that.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2426

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynn M wrote:


As for Lassiter, he may be a great character, but an angel? Come on. Ward is starting to show the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach as far as world building goes. She needs to stick with vampires and lessers. Oh, and ghosts. And mist-shifting creatures. And symphants. And devine, omnipotent beings...

But I do appreciate Ward's decision to move into a more UF direction. How many times can she write the same Brother meets female and becomes uber-bonded story? She did it very well in the first three books and after that, the story line became at best a shadow of the originals (Phury and Cormia) and at worst, out of character (Vishous and Jane). She needed to branch out from a story-telling perspective, and I can appreciate that.


This whole thing had so many shades of Brockmann to it that I double checked the name on the cover. It's clear that this is going to be a looonnngggg series and that everything and anything may be added to the plots/characters. And that everyone is going to get their ten minutes and the focus will no longer be on the primary couple. I loved this as a romance series but urban fantasy, not so much. Add me to the list of people sadly removing yet another author from auto buy status.

maggie b.
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Audrey



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 192
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's off the autobuy list for me as well, although I must say that even though I agree with all the things said so far, I still enjoyed the book to some degree. I'm definitely not buying in hardcover, and will wait to see what's said before buying the paperback of the next one. It's always a bad sign when you're rewriting the book in your head as you're reading it. I mean, the way we found out about Z and Bella's baby, etc., what the heck?

One thing that surprised me about the book is that there's actually a thread on the Ward message board about people being disappointed in the book. I got the impression that this sort of thing was not tolerated before.
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Missy4u



Joined: 19 May 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another disappointed reader chiming in. Like most everyone has said. If one is a romance reader first, then the last 3 books are not for us.

In the first three she had the subplot/main-plot balance going really well.. but this time it was WAY WAY too much and it annoyed me. I was like.. ugh! I will admit to enjoying Xhex and John's chemistry. (but I am not fooled this time.. you will not see me buying anymore. Loaning the books Yes! buying.. nope!

She is off my auto buy list. This is a good time for her to stop with the series or begin a new series with the younger generation but call it something else.
I can think of numerous writers who went the way she is going.
Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James, Suzzane Brockman etc IN MY OPINION they drew out the series way too long or had a subplot within a subplot and it becomes the same book over and over.

I think Ms Ward needs to decide WHO her audience is. Is it romance readers or urban fantasy fiction readers. I read different authors for different stuff. If I want romance I stick with my faves. If I want horror I go to Stephen King etc. If I want law crime, I go with John Grisham. What does David Morell write? (I just love him!) and so on and so forth.

The key is balance. Just the right amount of romance and whatever else the author wants. For example, the last Sandra Brown novel ... "Playdirt" was really good but I question if it would be classified as Romance or just plain Fiction with some romance.

In conclusion, that is why LAURA KINSALE is the star of them all. In my opinion she manages to turn out books that are not similar.. the characters are COMPLETELY well developed with enough distinction to separate who they are and you do not feel you are reading the same book. The plots are different enough and the character growth of the hero and heroine is believable. The formular for good romance.
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynn M wrote:

I loved/hated this one. Loved it enough that it kept me turning pages deep into the night and the next day. The John/Qhuinn/Blay plot was by far my favorite. Although, I think Ward is trying to recapture that magic relationship between Vishous and Butch with Qhuinn and Blay, but it just didn't work for me. The V/B thing was lightning in a bottle that she - sadly - let escape, and it's too late to go back and try to sell me on it again.


Here's my take on it. By the time the fan reaction to B/V really got going, Ward had already determined the relationships for B and V (if not V, than certainly B, since his love interest and his interest in her were present for quite a while in the series). Fast-forward, and she's determining what to do with this new crop of characters...

The thing that has concerned me for quite some time with Ward is that she's way too emotionally involved with her fans and with playing the parts of her characters in interaction with her fans. I've felt for some time that it blurs the line between fantasy and reality in an unhealthy way. In addition, it could leave an author very susceptible to fan reaction. On one hand, an author does have to please their audience in order to sell books. But should they be developing storylines in order to placate their audience? Or, even more concerning, developing characters and plots in an attempt to please a very small but very vocal and enthuiastic subset of their audience?

Quote:

As for Lassiter, he may be a great character, but an angel? Come on. Ward is starting to show the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach as far as world building goes. She needs to stick with vampires and lessers. Oh, and ghosts. And mist-shifting creatures. And symphants. And devine, omnipotent beings..


And this has been the deal breaker to me. After a week of attempting to plow through the latest book, I have come to the difficult decision that this is the end for me regarding this series.

First we have Lash and his, um, situation, which totally throws the series-long conflict into a different direction (IMO, Lash is a prime example of a deus ex machina).

Then there's Lassiter (and why did Lash and Lassiter have such similar names? For a few moments I'm thinking that somehow it's the same character).

IMO, a fallen angel had no place in this series, it's too "way out" from the world building Ward has established. The series has established that the vampire religion co-exists with at least the practice of Christianity - Butch is/was Catholic. It's also strongly implied that God is the father of the Omega and the Scribe Virgin, although it's a God with a much more Asian sensibility ( balance in the universe) than the Judeo-Christian God.
However, the series hasn't established that the supernatural realm that goes along with Christian beliefs (or anything close to it) is a part of her universe (angels, demons, etc.). Now, all of a sudden it is, a half dozen or more books into the series.

All of these things added up...lack of emphasis on the romance, the obvious reactionary placement of a gay couple in the series because Ward didn't meet many fans' wishes regarding two earlier characters, the sudden expansion of the world ..I've just had enough. The books are now plodding, IMO, no longer compelling.

As far as Ward determining who her audience is...I think she considers her audience first and foremost those fans who are on her boards.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizJ wrote:
All of these things added up...lack of emphasis on the romance, the obvious reactionary placement of a gay couple in the series because Ward didn't meet many fans' wishes regarding two earlier characters, the sudden expansion of the world ..I've just had enough. The books are now plodding, IMO, no longer compelling.

As far as Ward determining who her audience is...I think she considers her audience first and foremost those fans who are on her boards.


Your post (and summation) above really captured what was wrong for me with this book. It wasn't badly written, it wasn't unreadable -- it was just full of things that were oddly placed. It was clear to me from the beginning that Butch would end up with Marissa, I am sure she had that plotted and half-written before the vocal minority wanted him to go with V and she is now throwing that group a bone. Why? An author should tell us the story she wants to tell, not give the story a twist just because some fans want it. I remember Linda Howard giving a firm "no" to fans regarding a story because it wasn't one she wanted to tell -- I respect that. When a writer starts writing on command, we lose so much in terms of creativity and validity in the story. I feel that is what happened with that new twist in this novel.

The religion aspect has been driving me crazy and throwing Lassiter in just pushed me over the edge with that. I was glad to see less of the Scribe Virgin but I would like her and the Omega to be gone almost completely and NOT replaced with fallen angels et al.

And I totally agree with the poster in regards to (spoiler alert hightlight to read) Nalla's birth. Text message?!!! All the stress and angst and two beloved characters have a baby and announce it via TEXT!!@!! It was so brief you coulda missed it. AARRRGGGHHHHHH

maggie b.
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing...and another reason I'm souring on the series.

I would not be surprised to see Ward pull a LKH in the future and move "beyond" couples (ie, involving multiple partners). Especially given what she wrote in this book concerning Quinn's inclinations.
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DearEvette



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizJ wrote:
Another thing...and another reason I'm souring on the series.

I would not be surprised to see Ward pull a LKH in the future and move "beyond" couples (ie, involving multiple partners). Especially given what she wrote in this book concerning Quinn's inclinations.


See, if she's moving away from romance and going the Urban Fant route anyway, that would have made perfect sense for Phury's story. More sense than the contrived Phury/Cormia no-mance. He is the Primale. He has what... 30 wives? I think I would have been more interested with a storyline of Phury learning his duties as Primale and maybe falling into love and deep like with a couple of he chosen than the mess we got with that plotline.

But what do I know? I think Lover Unbound would have been a much stronger book if she had left Jane dead.
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Lynn M



Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
IMO, a fallen angel had no place in this series, it's too "way out" from the world building Ward has established.


Absolutely. I know some vampire series include mythologies in which the vamps are some form of demon or a result of some tangent off the traditional Judeo/Christian/Islamic/etc. religions (I'm thinking of Lynn Viehl's "Darkyn" series off hand), and that's not a problem for me. But from the get-go Ward has based her world on another construct. So to now cross over and add angels (and one would assume demons will be coming close on Lassiter's heels) completely undermines the world she's built. IMO, she can't have it both ways, nor should she even try. She developed an amazing world for the BDB to inhabit, so why she would deviate now is beyond me.

It's my understanding that Lassiter is a character from the BDB MBs. I don't go there as I find it too exclusive (and kind of scary given the rabidness of a few), so having Lassiter become a key player in the BDB series makes me feel like I didn't get an invite to the coolest teen party in town. I don't like the idea that I'm paying for a book that introduces characters I would have to go to MBs to learn about. My $8 is worth the same amount as a BDB MBer's $8, so I find it annoying to be left out of the inside joke.

Quote:
Here's my take on it. By the time the fan reaction to B/V really got going, Ward had already determined the relationships for B and V (if not V, than certainly B, since his love interest and his interest in her were present for quite a while in the series). Fast-forward, and she's determining what to do with this new crop of characters...


I completely see your point. She'd probably already mapped out the arcs for her original, core characters, none of which allowed any of the Brothers to end up with any other than a female. Add to it what I see (and this is 100% IMO) her reluctance to allow her hyper-masculine vamp warriors to engage in homosexual relationships, and Ward probably didn't have the room to follow the course that so many people wanted Butch and V's relationship to take.

Unfortunately, I have to say to Ward in this instance, tough cookies. You can't force the chemistry, and we simply don't have the history or exposure to Blay and Qhuinn that would come even close to making me feel about them the way I felt about B and V. Rather, as they were presented in LEn, they are nothing more than token nods to the disappointment so many felt about V and B.
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Anne Hume



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 152
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynn M wrote:
It's my understanding that Lassiter is a character from the BDB MBs. I don't go there as I find it too exclusive (and kind of scary given the rabidness of a few), so having Lassiter become a key player in the BDB series makes me feel like I didn't get an invite to the coolest teen party in town. I don't like the idea that I'm paying for a book that introduces characters I would have to go to MBs to learn about. My $8 is worth the same amount as a BDB MBer's $8, so I find it annoying to be left out of the inside joke.


It’s weirdly funny, but I’ve read somewhere that in the BDB MB, her fangirls are even speculating on Beth’s cat Boo, that he’s not really just a cat you know.... Maybe if Boo will talk to Ward - after all, her response again to the criticism against Lover Enshrined is that she only writes what the brothers tell her to - the cat will get his own book. Surprise, surprise, he's not really a cat....... Well, maybe something called Boo’s book but with 10 other subplots in there.:lol:

So true about your $8.00 but you left one thing out, the total absolute adulation. Ward is Zeus there. Or a Van Gogh???
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