Book #1. Okay, yeah. Ellora's Cave romantica. So. Not expecting anything but cheezy fun heavy on the sex. No major thinking involved, just a fun romp which is exactly what I wanted.
Granted I'm running on very little sleep thanks to child and have no patience but...*sighs*
Heroine's last name made me go "huh wha?" I'm assuming it was meant to be French since she had a 'grandmere' but it looked like badly misspelled Hispanic. But that's just me. Never heard the name before, could very well be just my own perception on what is more common/familiar. Change one letter and the name would be Hispanic, WAY more familiar. Too common/often heard/familiar Hispanic for the heroine's surname not to be "Huh wha? did Editing miss a typo in the first sentence?" for a second. So I stumbled on literally the very first line of the story. The second *word* of the story I stumbled.
Convoluted to start w/ kinda jealous sister and dark magic books being studied by white magic heroine... left me kinda going huh what? cluttered tangled up feel to that. but whatever I'm tired. Maybe just clumsy forshadowing at plot attempt on something that shows up later in book? Maybe that was sensible and I was too tired. I got halfway through chap 2 and gave up. So if it tied in later I don't know. Maybe just clumsy info dump to get it out of the way intro the magic books to get Mr.Hero in all this. Maybe I was too tired to catch what I was supposed to and it just came off cluttered info dump only to me.
Then...we get to the paranormal part of this.
Tuatha De Danaan hero. Okay cool. I love Irish mythology even if my knowledge has been reduced to sketchy, and using the Tuatha De Danaan by name rather than Sidhe, Seelie & Unseelie Courts or just Fae, awesome.
Hero's buddy. Danaan who lives in Tir na nog. At first intro presumably exclusively, since hero crossing the veil to mortal world's a big deal... Buddy's name is Jayce. Millenia old Danaan lives exclusively (presumably) in Tir na nog, named Jayce.
I gape. Total WTF moment. Thrown *completely* out of everything not that I was able to get that far in, not with the heroine and then hero starts off as cocky sleezeball by action in initial appearance but supposedly of scholarly bent (told so after he's made the impression of arrogant pig, but still set on cheezy romp so arrogant pig that gets knocked on ass and has hawt sex that makes him tolerable arrogant pig due to magic pussy, I can live with that, like I said expecting cheezy romp).
Even if he is presumably secondary character just background filler tossed in to give chance at hero to talk some more and appear more heroic because Hero's chosen to be the one to do the job going to mortal world, offer up some of his history job requirements in infodump/ background tell-ing. Jayce... okay yeah you don't want something that's not readily pronouncible like Caoilte (Kweelta) or Oisin (Usheen) but c'mon...Rauri? Ioin?(not too bizarre) Cullen? Colin. Finn. Sean. Seanan, Aiden, even Aodhan...there's things that could have worked. *JAYCE*
(Though Caoilte was part Fir Bolg not Danaan and Oisin is a "true" mythological resident of Tir Na Nog born in the mortal world and 3/4 human, both part of the Fenian myth cycle.)
Then chapter two started. And I gave up. Mardi Gras, which very much seemed to be Shrove Tuesday, being the busiest day of the year at a bookstore that's presumably occult/wiccan/magical leaning. (by the earlier magic books researching)...MardiGras/Shrove Tuesday in April. It could only be Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras because it wasn't the Australian Gay Pride fest that hijacked a religious feast day for it's name.
If it hadn't been an ebook? If there was something physical to have held onto that didn't cost a fortune to replace, that puppy would have been bouncing off the wall and stomped on a few times for good measure.
I have a high school diploma, little bit of college toward nursing but life, kids, health got in the way. I have mild literal brain damage.
My intelligence was so insulted with that. As well as having a hard time believing that this was written by an adult, whose blog and website are pretty good, professional, intelligent. Certainly by someone who could have managed a five minute google search to ya know maybe make it comprehensible. I *like* this author's blog&website, that was deciding factor in picking the book.
Mardi Gras is a religious feast day. The day before Ash Wednesday which is the start of Lent and fasting. Ash Wednesday is forty days before Easter. Easter is in April almost always. Mardi Gras is late Feb to Mid March depending on when Easter lands. Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday in April? Would put Easter at something like Mother's Day Early to mid May.
Feast of Ishtar? You could say is in early April. I'm not exactly sure when it is honestly but I do believe LateMarch/Early April ballpark is right, not sure without googling but it 'feels' right. For all Easter is connected to Jewish Passover, due to Passover week being when the crucifiction took place and calendar wise they're close as a rule, Easter's name was borrowed from Ishtar. And also somewhere close on calendar so, yeah, early april certainly feels right for Ishtar.
Feast of Ishtar would make sense as a busy-ish time for an occult/magic/wiccan seeming bookstore. Far more sense than a Catholic feast day, even with more secularized, non-Catholic impression of New Orleans Mardi Gras which evolved through the blends of cultures down there and heavy native African/Voodoo religions slaves incorporated into the pre-Lenten feast/celebration (at least started as historically despite tourist factor of it today) & story was *not* in New Orleans where *maybe* it might make vaguest sense with Mardi Gras tourism. (Side rant, other cities trying to cash in on NewOrleans style Mardi Gras is v. tacky, crass and irritating. Losing all sight of cultural/religious aspects both Catholic, heavily French Catholic, and African/Vodoun and hey, spectacle for tourism factor only.)
There's the Vernal Equinox in March. That would make sense for a busier week. Beltane in May sure as *hell* would make *lots* of sense for busy day. But Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday...
Mardi Gras in April being the busiest day of the year at a presumably magic/occult/wicca leaning bookstore...yeah that's exactly where I quit.
I wasn't expecting anything but just fun, cheezy romp, maybe it was, but I couldn't get to the romp part because there was simply too much making me want to scream. It could very well be a really fun romp, I just couldn't get past any of that.
I tried a second book. I will probably go back to this one and try again when I'm not so tired and crabby. I didn't get very far in it either.
This one was by an author who is both epub and NY published.
Heroine is waitress in a DINER. Okay so she's making presumable sustenance wages. It's a diner. It's not a five star swank restraunt. It's a neighborhood diner, w/ short order cook and two waitresses working breakfast rush by description. Maybe it is a bit more upscale neighborhood but small & the owner is at the grill whipping up omlettes, greeting customers by name. I'm thinking neighborhood diner though what kind of *diner* has waffles as a regular thing on the menu?
Espec with a breakfast & lunch rush...*WAFFLES* w/ one cook being the owner at the grill in back, but okay whatever, paranormal romance romp you want waffles as a regular part of menu fine. Even if they *are a bitch in a half* in a short order kitchen and would likely only be a special once a month, maybe twice if they were big deal if a diner would ever dream of *bothering* with them. I fully realize at this point I'm cranky tired and nitpicky, but *waffles*
She's a painter. Werewolf hero smells turpentine on her.
That's about where I went *HEAD DESK* and again, if it had been paperback, it woulda bounced off a wall.
A waitress in a diner would have a helluva hard time affording acrylic paints & canvasses. (google an art store for acrylics prices. Then look for the oils. If you're not familiar with the prices of art supplies and take heart medication, brace yourself, and my familiarity w/ prices is off top of my head twenty years outdated.) Acrylics don't require turpentine. Oils do.
Tried a bit more...dang it I wanted fun kick back relax no brain read. Fun romp with some good smut. My expectations weren't unreasonable.
Acrylics dry relatively fast. Oils do not. At. All. So a taking a picture for a portfolio of an oil painting 'just finished a couple days ago' tripped me. That painting isn't likely to be completely dry for another week. I'm not sure how the wet portions of it would translate to a photo. It could make no difference. But I made a face and headtilted and wondered because the implied oil paints had already tripped me up...and gave up.
I was too tired, the first book still making me mad, then the waitressing paid the bills*AND* kept her in paints & canvasses, paints which caused the werewolf to smell turpentine..waitressing. Any ability to maintain some suspension of disbelief and just try to have fun with the story was long gone by then.
Also had me too irked to get past the "Packish" of the wolf pack. Which had werewolf hero retired from his spot and was all but naming the babies once Werewolf Hero scented his mate--when he ordered waffles, before he'd even called for a date.
I was so very disappointed.