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Monday, September 22, 2008:
Quickie reviews

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 7, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0425216594
ISBN-13: 978-0425216590
I read all 4 stories, and the last 3 weren't bad, but the one I loved was "Alpha & Omega". Thanx to Katiebabs and her fabulous review of "Cry Wolf", I was convinced I just HAD to read something by Patricia Briggs. Now I'm not much of a fan for any creature other than vamps, and hot-blooded ones at that, but Kate's review was so enthusiastic, so intriguing, that I knew I had to read this book. She recommended that readers start with the novella "Alpha & Omega", which is in the anthology "On the Prowl", so I did.
Right away I knew this was something special compared to the rest of the anthology. It's hard to explain, but in the hands of a talented writer, even the most mundane details are interesting. And living in Chicago, I loved the references to the towns I'm familiar with. But of course what really stood out in this short story are the characters, most notably Anna and Charles.
Sometimes it's not always easy to read about characters that have been abused, beaten down until they can do nothing but submit to those stronger than themselves. Ms. Briggs handles this topic sensitively, without giving too much information yet making it clear that Anna has had a very difficult time since being Changed against her will. Yet underneath her meek personality lies the dormant personality of her wolf, and when push comes to shove, Anna is every bit the fierce predator she is destined to be.
Charles is a man who has come to Chicago to investigate some strange behavior and unexplained deaths. When he first meets Anna he almost overlooks her, dismissing her as insignificant, until he looks into her eyes, and then he knows. She is not weak at all, but an Omega, vital and beautiful and very important to their race. And it enrages him that she has been mistreated. And if I hadn't fallen for him the first moment we meet him in the airport, then surely this comment to Anna would have done it:
"If you had let me," he said, "I'd have courted you gently and won your heart." He closed his eyes. "I didn't mean to frighten you."
Charles is by no means a passive, sensitive hero, yet for his Anna he would be caring and tender, and will take his time to woo her. I look forward to reading more of their story in "Cry Wolf".
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin (September 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0373794223
ISBN-13: 978-0373794225
When professor/literary reviewer Delaney Conner wins a makeover, she's suddenly getting lots of attention! Too bad it's from bad boy—and very sexy—author Nick Angel, whose latest book Delaney shredded. Her main complaint? All of Nick's sex scenes lack emotion. Where's the passion? The feelings? But when she and Nick find themselves between the sheets, Delaney ends up feeling far more than she ever expected….
Nick finds Delaney frustrating and very, very attractive. But experience tells him it's just skin-deep. So he challenges the seductive Delaney—either prove that love makes good sex great (her theory), or else admit that the world's greatest sex is purely physical (his theory). No matter who wins, they're going to have a deliciously decadent time proving each other wrong….
I love a good category romance, and have heard good things this one. And I loved the premise, because you just know it's going to be sexy and confrontational, and I loved the idea of the hero trying to proof that emotion has nothing to do with good sex. I think this can be true if it's a one-night stand or if you don't know the other person too well. But as time goes by, Nick does get to know Delaney, and is just as attracted to her intelligence as he is to her looks. That made me like him tremendously.
I loved that Delaney made no attempt to hide her brain, and said what she believed, no matter how it might be taken. Her responses were well thought-out, and she stood by her opinions. She was less sure of her appeal as a woman, and that came across as sweetly hesitant, but once she knew Nick was attracted to her, she was able to be more confident of herself. They were very hot together, and they actually talked to each other, had real conversations. Proof that reading about hot sex isn't as hot unless there are real emotions involved.
One thing that drove me nuts, a small, insignificant detail but one that I obsessed about was in the first 1/4 of the book, the author kept mentioning the heroine's mouth: she bit, chewed, licked and nibbled her lips so many times I'm surprised there was anything left. I know the mouth is supposed to be all erotic and blah, blah, blah, but I was rolling my eyes in disgust by the 3rd mention. Luckily she finally moved on and I was able to just enjoy the story without the endless references.
Other than that, I would say this was a really good story and I definitely felt the connection between Nick and Delaney, and enjoyed how it played out. It was sweet and very sexy, and I liked that Nick, totally successful and gorgeous and confident, still had insecurity issues and doubts about himself. I liked that Delaney worked through her own issues and became stronger for it. All in all, a very satisfying read.
Rating: **** out of *****
Next up: "The Wicked Ways of A Duke" and/or "Cry Wolf.

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  1. Isn't Charles great? And as for Anna, her growth from being a poor abused woman to a woman who is learning to hold her head high again. it will be great to see what Briggs does with Anna.

  2. *THUD*

    I love Charles. I love how perceptive he is. And gentle, and patient, and yet he's like the scariest guy in the pack.

    I love that story, and I think you'll enjoy Cry Wolf just as much!

  3. I thought about getting Weber's book then decided against it. I think it was because of the makeover angle, but I'm not really sure. It looks like maybe I should think again. :)

  4. "Alpha and Omega" wow. Just totally blew me away. This little story is in my top 10 favorite books of the year, it affected me that much.

    p.s. And Katiebabs... who is the one who insisted YOU read "Alpha and Omega"? Huh? huh? Who? Seriously... for every 50 book recs Katiebabs gives me... I manage to give her one or two. LOL

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