A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Working Stiff Talks Books

Every once in a while I have to work a Saturday. Today is one of them. Argh!! So, even though I'm just a regular working stiff this Saturday, I'm not going to let it stop me from giving you the review of MEGAN'S MARK by Lora Leigh that I've been talking about.

I must start by saying that I'm a big fan of Ms. Leigh. She is one of the first erotic romance or romantica authors I read. I found her and
Ellora's Cave quite by accident. Truth be told I had never purchased a menage book until I took a chance and bought MARLY'S CHOICE. Whew, but those August brothers are some kind of alpha...who wouldn't love 'em? But I never thought I'd read a book about a menage a trois that didn't have me rolling my eyes or gagging. Somehow she made it work, at least she did for me.

Anyway, those books aren't what I'm here to talk about. I also enjoy her Breed books. In fact,
WOLFE'S HOPE was the first e-book of hers I read and the first breed book.

I found the premise of experiments conducted for genetic enhancement by using animal DNA in humans not only intriguing, but a likely experiment that could happen considering how much we dabble in genetics and cloning these days. While there are single titles in this multi-layered series that are really great reads, I wasn't as interested or drawn in with MEGAN'S MARK as I have been with some of her others.

If you are a fan, you'll be satisfied to see all of the expected LL elements are in the story. Before you think my lukewarm reaction is because she may have watered down for an NYC publisher, you can toss that notion out with the garbage. I don't believe Ms. Leigh had to or was asked to compromise her story telling at all. All the same language and spice she has always used is still there.

I enjoyed the progression of the breed story line with the context of this book. Fleshing out the elements about the testing and pairing of mates that is taking place within the breed community and how they are coping with the world's opinion of them was very welcome. I LOVED the introduction of the character Jonas Wyatt. I think introducing the idea of the compromises one might have to make for the good of the whole is a great idea for readers to cut their teeth on and have them salivating for the next installment. I know I can't wait for Jonas' story. The hint of Megan's three uncles who are former SEALS since I, like many others, am fascinated with military men, was an interesting tidbit to dangle before us as well.

However, I did not feel particularly engaged by the H/H in MEGAN'S MARK. While I view this reading material primarily as pure escapism, I do like to find elements in the story I can identify with. That involves being interested in the characters and what happens to them. While sometimes mixing contrasting or complex elements in a character can really grab me, for most of this story I was wondering whether Megan was strong and tragic, or plucky and kick ass. It got to be a distraction and at times annoying. When the guy, Braden, a feline breed, has to point out to the gal that she's being a pussy and running away from her problems instead of dealing with them...things have run amok for me. It made me want to smack her.

So while there were many things I liked about the book, and it wouldn't stop me from auto-buying LL's next book. I was a bit disappointed in her big NYC debut. Actually, I enjoyed her last e-book
LOVING LIES at Samhain Publishing a lot more. It was vintage Leigh and a straight forward erotic romp. I so appreciate a story that is so unapologetically out there flaunting what it is...an erotic romance with a HEA. Sometimes after a hard day at the office, it's just what I need to escape the travails of real life.

Ms. Leigh is certainly one of romantica's best writers. While she does repeat certain themes in her stories I wouldn't call her books formulaic. I hope she is able to keep progressing the breed story and I'd love to see her continue with her Legacy series. I think she has a lot to say and has a very strong writing voice. I hope she's scribbling stories for us for a very long time.

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