This book could have been rated 5 stars, but the DIALECT! UGH! There is a lot of dialect in this.
Ash's (the main character) love interest, Darian is what they call an Essex (in England) boy. As such, he speaks with an accent, a heavy accent. Ash, the main character, is a much more... refined sort and the class difference is one of the big stumbling blocks to these fellows' happiness. But for God's sake, readers aren't stupid, they don't need to be hit over the head, over and over and over, with one of those huge cartoon hammers. That's what it felt like every time that Darian opened his mouth to speak. And when we had scenes with his friends and nan? *facepalm* Nearly incomprehensible on the first read. I lost count of the times I had to reread a section of dialogue to understand what the boy was saying. I even resorted to reading it out loud to try and understand. And maybe it's the 8 year-old that lives inside of me, but deep, emotional passages with the word 'fink' repeated over and over again just made me giggle.
The thing is, Alexis Hall has told a wonderful story here. The characters are excellently drawn with flaws and wounds that people have suffered from since the beginning of time. I do not suffer from depression, but the picture that Alexis drew of Ash's illness seemed real and tangible to me and maybe I gained a little more understanding of something I have never experienced first hand. Darian could easily come across as too good to be true, the street urchin with the tragic past but the stoic heart of gold and positive outlook. You know... Annie-like. But he really is charming and sweet and yeah, I do know people like that. Not many, but they do exist. My mom was like that.
And the romance! It was lovely to watch it unfold and even the heart-breaking parts of it were so human, so real, that they were lovely too. BUT THE DAMNED OVERWHELMING DIALOGUE... it pulled me out of the story every time. And it could have so easily been rectified. I don't know, maybe for a UK audience this is normal, but I'm in Canada and it was far too much for me. Pick a word or two and just use those.
The story is written from a first person POV so the differences could have so easily been shown in Ash's reactions and inner musings. Readers will remember all through the book that this divide exists between Ash and Darian (and his friends) and I think Alexis Hall is a good enough writer to pull that off. So in the end, I was disappointed and thrilled at the same time. I loved everything about this book except for the dreaded dialect dialogue - the DDD - and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a bittersweet but ultimately happy read, with the caveat that the DDD could be problematic.
I have Alexis Hall's Iron and Velvet which comes out in December on my wishlist and I am crossing my fingers that there will be no such tidal wave of unreadable DDD in it.
Thank you again Lauren Dane for recommending this series to me! :) This was the best book yet!
This is mainly the story of Six and Bren, two terribly damanged people who will just break your heart. Numerous times. I think I spent the last 4 or 5 chapters of the book wiping my welling-up eyes!
Six... OMG, Six!! I love her. Her journey, and even by the end of the book, it's really just beginning, her journey is riveting. Her pain, her uncertainty and her lack of belief in herself are SO believable. I think I understand now, why one of the duo who makes up Kit Rocha said that there were times she didn't think she'd be able to get through the writing of this story. Yes, Six's past is horrific, but I'm fairly certain that most women have felt those feelings of not being worthy enough, of things being her fault, of not measuring up no matter what their past. I know I have.
And Ace... my wonderful Ace who is still my favourite character. We learn a little more about him, his motivations, his needs. A little. I love him even more. I am SO sad this book is over. :) Oh yeah... those sex scenes? A lot of sex scenes? HOT AND STEAMY!! And yes, they serve to move the plot forward. :) Yeah, I loved this book and can't WAIT for the next one. :)
Why is this only 30+ pages long???? I loved it and wanted more, more and more! Where's my damned .5 star because I want to give this 4.5 stars. :)
I had picked this up as a part of a bundle sale from Riptide Publishing in my quest to broaden my author base and really had no idea what it was about. What a terrific surprise!
So much crammed into a short story - I was certain that it was a prequel story or a .5 story for some established universe and as soon as I was finished, went on the hunt to acquire more. Imagine my shock to find that this is the author's first work!
There's been a war. There have been wild elves and a menaced kingdom. There has been sacrifice and love and hotness and magic and power. The characters are fascinating from the get-go. And the writing itself? Magical. Tal Valante, you MUST WRITE MORE!!!!
I am very much not a paranormal/shifter romance fan, but I am a fan of Kit Rocha (another authorial alter-ego of Bree and Donna), so I was willing to give this a try.
OH MY, I did enjoy it! :)
It's the characters - I love the cast of characters that have been created for this 'universe'. Even Mackenzie, who had the very real possibility of becoming the tearful, scared, oh my God I need a big strong man, heroine that we see so often in so many 'suspenseful' romances - came off as likable. Her banter in the sex scenes with Jackson made me chuckle quite a bit. (And yes, the sex scenes are very, very steamy and hot.) And the kissing - oh, these girls write kissing like no one else! :)
I did think that the resolution with the bad guy seemed too easy, but the ramping up to it was a lot of fun. I must say that for a first book in a romance series, it certainly did its job by drawing me in, making me care a lot for the characters, and definitely piqued my interest for the rest of the series.
And yes, I'm in love with Alec and am petrified that something terrible is going to happen to him. *LOL*
Intense, intense, intense! I LOVED this look inside the minds of Dougie and Mat, seeing how they've changed and how they've not changed.
I'm not certain what to think of Nikolai in all this, what his total plan is. All things point to the final episode in this season as being one helluva doozy. And is it so wrong of me to want Dougie to go back to Nikolai if indeed he's even left? Maybe the man's mind games have worked their magic on me!
Exceptional writing in this episode, intriguing insight and I can't wait for the next one!
I was not expecting to read the story I read. :) That Amy Lane, she's a wily one! This was a lovely read! I really, really want that half star because it's a 4.5 Star book for me, almost perfect.
It would have been 5, but there was one little thing that bugged me... Hammer & Air is written in the first person and that doesn't usually bother me, but Amy chose to have him write narrative in the vernacular. Now, when this is done sparingly, I love it, but this was a case of "It were morning." instead of "It was morning.", for example. All through the book. And in any book, there are a lot of was and weres!
But that being said, the story was absolutely charming and heartwarming and heart-twisty in places. There was a sense of danger through most of it - due to the bear - and I thought Amy did a SUPERB job of maintaining that 'when's he gonna snap?' feeling from the time he appeared until the very end.
The love story between Hammer and Eirn was so heart-achey in all the best ways. Amy at her finest, I must say. I loved them both. :)The magic in Hammer & Air is handled with a deft touch, the perfect seasoning for this tale. In the end, I loved the book, loved the characters and I adore Amy Lane for writing these gorgeous stories for us. :)