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.

Monday, July 30, 2007

You know what I miss? Part III

THE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT (excerpt) by Shannon McKenna. We all know from my review last year that I'm a fan of Ms. McKenna. Sometimes McKenna females are not as well drawn or developed as they could be. However, for the most part I've enjoyed her books and look forward to each release. You know why don't you? Because the way she writes the men really rocks my boat. So sue me, they're my guilty pleasure. So you'll understand my own surprise when I read this book. I don't know if my reading bar has been raised over the past year, or just what has happened, but the hero in EOM, Sean McCloud just didn't have the same impact or have the same zippity doo-dah as McKenna's heros usually do.

The story, in a nutshell, is about a guy, Sean McCloud who cruelly dumped his sweetheart, Liv Endicott years earlier in order to protect her. He returns to his small hometown to save Liv from a stalker and solve the mystery of his twin brother's death, a supposed suicide.

Sean McCloud is the youngest of the McCloud brothers. Ms. McKenna has previously written about Connor McCloud in STANDING IN THE SHADOWS (excerpt) and Davy McCloud in OUT OF CONTROL (excerpt). Since those books came out in 2003 and 2005 respectively it's been awhile since I've read them. But I have to tell you I don't remember either Davy or Connor being as irritating as I found Sean to be.

For one thing he was just so damn immature. It's hard for me to believe that a man who supposedly has gone on security missions around the world and learned survival techniques at his daddy's knee can take so little in life seriously. While I know Ms. McKenna did intentionally write Sean to be a bit more wild and carefree than his brothers, I do feel she went a bit too far for my taste with Sean.

Since I like to read about controlled and confident men that may be part of the problem. Controlled being the operative word there. Sean McCloud isn't really either of those things. He's reckless, obnoxious and a man-whore. Of course, Sean is only a man-whore because he's a commitment phobe and has only ever loved Liv Endicott who he knows he can't have. Poor Sean has loved Liv for years and years never believing they can be together since he engineered the end of their relationship.

Anyway, when Sean returns to his small hometown Liv's bookstore has just been burned to the ground by her stalker, T-Rex. Sean decides he needs to offer unsolicited help to Liv with her stalker. Of course, you know right away these two seemingly unrelated things are really all part of the same nefarious plot.

There were a couple of scenes between Sean and Liv that had me grinding my teeth. I think they were supposed to be witty banter between the characters. They amounted to little more than "Yes, you do." "No. I don't." "Yes, you do." "No, I don't" exchanges that were a bit over the top. Sean addressing Liv as 'Princess' didn't do too much for me either. Liv also pretty much lets Sean bully her.

There is some good stuff. As always Ms. McKenna does deliver sizzling hot sex scenes. If you've liked her books before and like 'em hot, you'll probably be okay with this one as well. Although I do have to make a side note to Wendy. I don't think the sex was hot enough to save this book for you. Liv will probably give you a headache... even if you are sitting in your new deluxe lounger with a cabana boy rubbing your feet. :)

Another note to any and all who have read or will be reading the book. Please go to pages 170-171 and after you read it please drop me an email. Or, you can come back and comment here. All I want to say is that I had a "Huh?" moment and had to read those two or three pages over a couple of times. Definitely something different. If you've read it, or have read something like it elsewhere, please I'm begging you email and tell me where. Is
that even possible? Wait. Never mind. I don't want to know.

So, I know it sounds crazy, but I have to sum this book up by saying, "Well, I didn't hate it." I know myself well enough to know that I will certainly continue to buy McKenna because every once in awhile she really hits it out of the park for me. I know. I know. It's crazy, but I can't help myself. I need rehab.

Characters from other books do make appearances in this one, but I don't think enough to be a problem and you should be able to read this as a stand alone.


I'd thought to do a small review of UP CLOSE AND DANGEROUS by Linda Howard. But I pretty much agree with Zeek's review almost verbatim, so I'm not going to bother. I'm glad I read it and think if it was anyone else besides Linda Howard we'd all be talking about what a good book it is. I think most romance readers hold LH to a very high standard because we love some of her older books so much.


I read two books over the weekend and both of them were quite good. I read my first Jessica Bird book (aka JR Ward) her new SSE THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR. This is a lot of book for a category romance. The title doesn't do the book justice either. The Jessica Bird website needs to be updated desperately so I didn't put an excerpt in for you.

The other book I read and really enjoyed is a 2004 Silhouette Desire by Eileen Wilks called MEETING AT MIDNIGHT. MAM is part of a series about the McClain family. I read it out of series sequence and it was a good little story and stood well on its own.

I haven't decided what to read next, TIED TO THE TRACKS by Rosina Lippi or BREATHLESS by Laura Lee Guhrke. Both are waiting for me on my night stand. I can't wait!

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Blogger Rosario said...

I want to know what's one pages 170 and 171 *g*

6:24 AM PDT  
Blogger Lori said...

Ack! I won EoM on Sybil's site, and I know that it'll come while I'm on vacation. I love those McCloud boys, so say it ain't so! Man-shore?! Noooooo!!!!!! If it's one thing I can count on, it's that they love their women to hell and back! Loyally.

And like Rosario, me too!

7:31 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Rosario and Lori, when I wrote the review I was racking my brain trying to think of a way to talk about those pages and I couldn't quite wrap my brain around it or be sure I read what I think I read. Yeah, I know pretty vague. I'll give it the good ole college try, but consider yourself warned it's unusual and you might want to go get the book just to read what I'm talking about.

Sean basically is instructing Liv on how to use her "vestgial c*ck to f*ck him". Literally. Her cl*t his c*ck. Go figure. I'd never heard of such a thing before. Call me crazy...or sheltered. That's why if someone out there has, I want more information. Purely in a curious scientific "can people really do that?" way.

Cuz, seriously? I'm thinking NO WAY!

8:18 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

I meant to say if someone out there has read about this, or it's been in another book, I'm curious, so bring it.

8:20 AM PDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

This doesn't sound terribly promising as far as my own tastes go. With McKenna I either enjoy her books in a fat-filled-ice-cream-sundae sort of way or I wear my teeth down to nubs from grinding them so much. This sounds like a tooth grinder. *sigh* I still have Out of Control in my TBR.

You liked the Wilks more than I did. I was annoyed by the paranormal aspect (it just bugged me) and felt the secondary characters took up too much space and detracted from the main characters. But I might have been PMSing and in a bad mood to start with :)

Oh, and I got the Bird in my TBR.

8:37 AM PDT  
Blogger Sam said...

Sounds like I'll have to look up this book!

Rosie, you asked if Killer Angels, the Civil War book, was fiction or non fiction - it's historical fiction, but the author has done so much research, using letters and autobiographies written by all the characters, that the movie 'Gettysburg' was made using the book as a guide.

10:35 AM PDT  
Blogger Karen Scott said...

it's been awhile since I've read them. But I have to tell you I don't remember either Davy or Connor being as irritating as I found Sean to be.

Actually, they were both rather irritating and over-powering of their females, unfortunately, that didn't stop me from buying her books.

Must be the hot sex... *g*

11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, people are going to think I'm your bitch I mention you so often lately. LOL I thought of you several times while reading this with comments from our discussion of her books ringing in my head. That might have something to do with my reaction. However, I'm not inclined to believe it. Sean, to date, is by far my least fave McKenna hero.

Sam, you can look it up and if you got 4-1-1 on those pages you better share it! :)

Thanks for the info on the book. I've made a note of it for Beanie.

1:32 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Karen...ya think?

1:33 PM PDT  
Blogger Jodi_Lee said...

Don't ya hate it when that happens?! I guess everyone is allowed to have an off day...or, in this case, an off book. Still doesn't make it suck any less though. :)

1:39 PM PDT  
Blogger Mailyn said...

T-rex?!?! That's the name of the stalker? LOL!

4:10 PM PDT  
Blogger sybil said...

funny... that didn't even register for me... I have seen it before but it 'could' be an EC novel.

I think the book could have been better but wasn't her worst. I was surprised you were surprised that Sean needed to grow up.

I so saw that as his character all along and think that was what the author was going for. Still not sure on the grade for me... I go between a B- and a C.

I think many people will love it and many others will hate it. But I don't see Shannon McKenna as an author for everyday romance readers.

11:10 AM PDT  

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