Isola Di Fiore – Lou Watton

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Author: Lou Watton
Series: Under the Uniform #4
Pages: 160

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Francesco Di Fiore is a handsome bellboy at a luxury Venetian Hotel. On an average day you can find him in a dashing burgundy uniform with sleek golden streaks. He is popular with guests of both sexes, who spoil him with lavish gifts. He is at ease with his colleagues, many of whom he has also got to know well. He loves his job and rarely leaves his hotel. His hotel is his cocoon that protects him from the elements outside. No wonder he feels no urge to venture out.

One night his life takes an unexpected turn and all because he decides to take time off and taste the world outside. He goes on a date, has a good time and finds himself too drunk to notice that his date has wandered off. When he sobers up, he is walking alone through the dark streets of Venice. He stops to watch passing gondolas, but sees something very different. He watches a man tightening a noose about his neck by a bridge down the canal. Francesco dashes through the labyrinth of narrow streets to get to the man just in time to save him. They fall down in each other arms on the cold stones by the canal. When Francesco opens his eyes, he realises that the turmoil in his life is not going to end here.

The stranger in Francesco’s arms is every bit as attractive as he is vulnerable. Francesco senses trouble. His protected life in a five star paradise is about to come to an end. He brings the stranger to his tiny loft room at the top floor of the hotel. The stranger’s name is Ralf and he is a full time artist and a makeshift poet. Francesco hears a story of a desperate heartbreak and feels unable to show his guest the door. They fall asleep together in his single bed. This is how their turbulent relationship begins.

Ralf settles in Francesco’s room and Francesco provides both the roof over his head and counselling. Soon neither of them can say whether Francesco’s sensitive care is the kindness of a stranger or the affection of a kindred spirit. They begin a passionate affair against the backdrop of the great city. They lose themselves in the web of narrow streets and snaking canals, caught in the whirl of their frenzied emotions. They divide their time between the splendour of Venetian palaces and a farmer’s hut on a rural island in the Venetian lagoon. Will Francesco’s lifestyle and temptations of high life destroy their volatile arrangement, or will Francesco Di Fiore once again rescue his troubled poet and whisk him away to a rustic paradise, where they could belong only to each other?

Have you been able to read the blurb? What a huge chunk of nothingness… OK. I have the mean mode ON. First of all, I have to say that I hate reading a book and then learning it was the fourth part of a book series. Granted is a saga of standalones that doesn’t share characters or universe, but yet… I consider myself a tidy reader. Always following the numbers forwards. It’s not a big deal, but I would have read the first one if I knew about it.

This book follows the story of Francesco, a bellboy in a luxury hotel. One day, he was walking after work and found a guy that was trying to commit suicide. That guy was Ralf, an artist going through a bad time after a break-up with his boyfriend. Francesco saved his life and took him to his room to take care of him. Quickly, that act of goodness turns into romance…

What did I like of this book? Maybe that it’s a very short one, so the torture doesn’t last long (even though feels like it). Everything else is meant to be forgotten as fast as possible. The book is bad. As simple as that. Francesco and Ralf are some of the most uncharismatic characters I have ever met and the story is SO boring. For a moment there I thought I was going to give up. I gave it a chance, but it doesn’t deserve it.

I don’t understand the behaviour of any of the characters. Francesco treats Ralf as a lost puppy with half the brain. He seems very concerned about his well-being and wants to be with him, but somehow he manages to ignore him and flirt with everyone in the hotel. Take a pick, man!! You can’t have both behaviours! They are mutually esclusive!! And Ralf… I need some kind of user manual to understand that guy… I get he is sad, but his reasons to end his life are weak. He is totally a spoiled guy, who wants to spend lots of money he doesn’t have. He has crazy jelousy attacks and has a really mean manipulative drive.

The romance between a guy who behaves like an overprotective daddy and a guy that is dangerously addicted to attention is a joke. One of the worst couples I have ever read in my life. Utterly unbelievable and that is saying something in the Romance genre… It is supposed to be a HEA book, but I don’t think they are going to last. Even the sex is weird. Not bad, but… I don’t know. I skimmed over it, because I didn’t like how it was being described.

The narration style is also rather poor. It’s not fluid at all and for such a short book it gets stuck in some loops. Keeping focus on the story was so hard… My mind was constantly drifting to other things, avoiding the slow paced and boring book I was forcing into it. There is no emotion. No sense of humor. Nothing… The blurb is actually a nice mirror of the whole boook… A bunch of letters that gets you nowhere…

I know many people have liked this book. I guess it’s not for me. In the future I will check more books by Lou Watton to see if this is her style or it’s just this book. Not anytime soon, though.

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2018 – Book Gallery

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Bound By The Demon’s Shade – Olivia Dark

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Author: Olivia Dark
Pages: 82

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When a demon causes a car crash, it is up to the demon hunter Paige to find it and destory it. But when she runs into Kalen, the mysterious man who saved her from a hostile demon encounter the day before, she agrees to work with him only if she can look past the fact that he’s a demon himself.

By working with Kalen, Paige gets a direct lead to the demon they’re hunting. However, Paige starts to develop feelings for her partner as they begin working alongside one another, and when their hunt is over she can’t help but invite him back to her place even though she knows she might regret it in the morning.

Confession time: I spend hours looking for free Kindle books in Amazon. I have thousands!! I don’t know why I do this, because I don’t usually read them. I will try to pick one of those now and then. I have picked this one randomly. My first surprise: it’s no longer in Amazon. No one knows who Olivia Dark is or anything about this book. Only a dozen ratings in Goodreads… I have the feeling I have read a phantom book!! I use the term book loosely. It’s a short story that can be read in under an hour.

The main character of this story is Paige, a demon hunter. One night she is biting more than she can chew (or something like that…) and has to be rescued by the gorgeous Kalen. Twist: the hottie is also a demon!! At first it seems that is going to be a problem, but five minutes later they are already kissing. Later, the damsel in distress is again in distress and the demon has another chance of looking superheroic.

It’s a fast pace story, as its length suggested. I have missed some sense of humor to make it special. The way it is is just plain normal. You have an OK feeling after reading it, but nothing else. I think there was potential in her story, so I’m suprised that the author hasn’t written anything else and this book is in some kind of limbo…

There are also a couple of thinks that I do not like. The point of views are a mess. Most of the book is first person from the point of view of Paige, but there are several parts that are told from a third person point of view. I have always thought that is a symptom of a bad planification for your story. The other detail I don’t like is Kalen’s love… He drops the L word when he barely knew her. So weird…

It’s such a short story that I would recommend it to kill some time, but it seems that the book can’t be purchased anywhere…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Intensity – Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #8

Pages: 400

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It’s a demon-eat-demon world for Nick Gautier. Just when he thinks he’s finally gotten a handle on how not to take over the world and destroy it, Death returns with an all-star cast that is determined to end the Malachai reign and lineage forever. Worse? Death and War have found the one, true enemy Nick can’t find, and even if he did, it’s one he could never bring himself to banish or kill.

Now framed for murders he hasn’t committed, and surrounded by new friends who might be turncoats, Nick is learning fast how his father went down in flames.

The heat in New Orleans is rising fast, and Nick’s threat-level has gone into a whole new level of intensity. He’s learning fast that when War and Death decide to battle, they don’t take prisoners. The don’t negotiate. And they’re both immune to his biting sarcasm and Cajun charm. To win this, he will have to embrace a new set of powers, but one wrong step, and he will belong to the side of Darkness, forever.

I have already said this over here, but I don’t mind repeating myself about that matter: Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my favourite authors ever!! I love her crazy universes where anything could happen. Her sense of humor. Her love for redeeming the irredeemable. Her sense of adventure. Kenyon’s books are always a pleasure to read!! The Chronicles of Nick is the saga that I enjoy the most. But Intensity is the book I have enjoyed the least; but it’s not a bad book at all.

It’s hard to say what is the plot of this one. Is there really a plot? It feels like the last chapter of a TV Show where the main character just makes a tour among their people to say goodbye. Everyone must get some minutes for a proper ending. The problem with Kenyon is that she likes her books packed with characters, so this book is 90% talking with other characters without any further development. Yes, Nick has some trouble… but it’s not really the most important part of the book. The story is all about more revelations about the Malachai history and little more.

This is meant to be the last book of The Chronicles of Nick saga, but Kenyon, being true to her nature, couldn’t stop here and she is planning a new set of books with Nick and his son Cyprian: Shadows of Fire. This is really good news because I love the characters. But it has also meant bad news for the ending of The Chronicles of Nick. It has been weak, leaving a lot of holes that I guess will be filled nicely in that new saga. It’s not fair, though. This saga deserved a big ending and not this huge menage of characters with a couple of minutes for each.

The reason I love Kenyon’s crazy universes is the same reason I have been a bit lost reading this book. Granted, I’ve been away for too long from the Hunterverse and my knowledge of the characters isn’t as exhaustive as before. It’s the kind of saga where you need a notepad to make notes about all the cast and facts. Otherwise, you are going to feel overwhelmed sooner or later. I could barely keep up with all the characters in this last book of The Chronicles of Nick. As I’ve said before, it seems that almost every character had something to say to Nick…

When I was almost at the end of the book I had a bad feeling about the ending. There were a lot of plot lines that needed to be closed and the author wasn’t aiming for any of those. What happens at the end has left me speechless and a bit angry. I will have to re-read it, because I’m not sure if I have understood it. The jumps in the timeline are crazier that usual, which doesn’t help at all with my understanding of the final book.

I know this review looks bad, but the book is very enjoyable. Nick is as saracstic as always and that always makes me smile. I LOVE all the characters of this Universe, so I’m glad everyone had a moment to at least say something. Fingers crossed we will see most of them in other books of the Hunterverse.

By the way… what is the deal with the cover?? They have broken the template of the saga with this one. It’s not a bad cover per se, but it is very disappointing. I guess it is as weird as the the book itself, though.

 

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2018 – Book Gallery