Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This is definitely sinful.......

Sweet As Sin I saw this book on a social media site and really liked the premise and the historical aspect of this novel. In the aftermath of WWI, a war hero and a seductive heiress are brought together and married under the banner of convenience. Captain Drake Devilin fought with honor and survived only to return home to find his fortunes under dire circumstances. Enter his grandfather with a solution; marry and protect the old man's best friends daughter for one year and he will be able to restore his fortune.  

Sienna Caldwell wants to trust her father’s decision to marry her to the charming man, but realizes that the world may not be ready for them. Faced with secrets upon secrets, she can do nothing but put herself into Drake’s care. Together, they battle a magical world of myth and horror.

The Good:

This is a really dynamic read. The world, the characters, and the story are so much bigger than this book can hold. I felt like this was a really cool movie that was playing in my imagination and I was excited to see how the author would be able to wrangle these large than life characters into a cohesive ending, but she did.

I also give Ms. Carlton kudos for achieving a very different book in this genre of interracial romance. This is such a big  world to create, which is really difficult and I sometimes feel that the romance genre can have such small worlds with limited storytelling. 

I also like the fantasy of the storyline, it felt a tad steampunk or something along those lines, because of the characters, the forward thinking and the element of advanced science as well. (This is not a steampunk story, there are no dirigibles or cool gadgets). 

Favorite line: pg 144 "A swirl of familiar faces of his past whirled by him as his stomached lurched in protest. It reminded Drake vaguely of the merry go round at the state fair, but this ride was one of pain.'

(I am aware of the error of the scene, see my notes below)

The Bad:

I had a problem with some things about this novel, most of them were grammar, but they could be resolved with good editing or a Beta reader. I also had a few questions that gnawed on my mind.

1. I didn't feel that Sienna and Drake had any chemistry. Why did she love Drake? She spent most of the book running from him or trying to make him a better person by pushing his buttons and playing with his mind. And Drake. What was their to like about Sienna besides her beauty and money?  Her magic and actual personality were not "fleshed out" enough for me to get a real grasp on her as a heroine.

2. The book had problems with tense, plural, and wrong word usage. 
I would really be into the story, then all of the sudden I would be taken out of the world that was painstakingly created only to roll my eyes at the errors.

pg.49 "He seem to take her in for a moment before he...." The word should have been 'seemed'

pg. 61 "Murphy huge frame could barely fit in the tiny chair..." It should have been 'Murphy's'

Lightening. OMW (Oh my word!) The word "lighting" was used instead of "lightening" all of over this book and it got on my last nerve

3. Sienna and Drake consummating their marriage. I was offended, AGAIN! Why do women love to write romances that involve near rapes? Why is this sexy? I am a victim of violence, trust me nothing about this situation in real life is hot. 

4. Weird descriptions or metaphors. "Miles dabbed the sweat form his brow as crew followed the path: his dark skin didn't provide an ounce of shade from this heat."

    a. Where did this come from? And why would your skin color be cooler?

5. I felt like the characters knew more about what was going on than I did. If I'm reading from the narrators POV than I have the benefit of reading everyone's mind. In this case their were too many mysteries regarding the characters motivations and backgrounds and the magic surrounding them. And there were a few random characters as well. Spencer? Xavier Jacks? Who and What is the point of these characters?

6. I cannot confirm, but I believe that this author is an American writing English characters.                                             

Dear writers, if your are going to write a character that is not the same nationality as you than you have TO DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. A lot.
                                                                                           This is not the first time that I complained about this, I said the same thing when I read 50 shades. I knew that the author was not an American, because she missed a lot of common language that we use here (we say cabinet not cupboards).

In this case it was the reverse; while I have never been to England, I have watched a lot of British television on PBS and I have read an insane amount of British authors, so I know a little bit about England. For example:

On pg. 171 "adept at a medieval sword fight, he hurriedly..." This is called fencing. An upper crust half-englishman may have spent some time learning to fence, it is par for the course. Even if he didn't learn to fence, he would know the proper name for it because he is rich and had a good education.

Also, Jo see's Sienna as a slave, but this is set in 1933 and England abolished slavery on its shores in 1774, and then
The reason that I know this is Dido Elizabeth Belle
extended that ban to its colonies in 1833, so the character Jo would have no recollection or experience of slavery.  

7, the 'N' word, which was used five times too many times for my taste is an American term that we taught the rest of the world to use (yay us!), but its casual usage I thought was misplaced.

I'm jus sayin:

This book is $7.50, that is a lot of money for a novel so poorly edited and researched as this. I know that this is the authors blood sweat and tears, but so is my money and I don't feel that the price tag matches the quality of the work. I know that there is a VERY big debate over independent publishers and the way they price their books, but this is ridiculous! When tried and true authors like Pepper Pace, Dicey Grenor, and Theodora Taylor are charging less than five dollars, others should follow suit. And for the record; for their works I WILL pay more, because I know that I am guaranteed the quality of their work.

Thanks for reading this review, please subscribe! And buy the book @ AmazonB&N, or check it out at goodreads.

To check out the up-coming movie about Dido Elizabeth Belle stating, click here.

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