What Kind Of Review Can You Expect?

If I could describe what kind of reader I am, I would hands down say I was an emotional one. When I read I want to fully experience the book, from the emotions coursing through the characters to reacting to the twist and turns of the storyline. I'm looking for those books that fire up my imagination and leave me breathless when it's over. It's for this reason why the reviews I write aren't so much what I think and are more on how I feel. My hopes in sharing my review in this way is that something will spark an interest and have you wanting to have the same experiences. This isn't to say I don't have issues with grammar, word choices etc. Trust me I do and most times all it takes is waiting for the story to grab hold for it not to matter. When I do include things about what I thought about the book (for example I've included comments about word choices and being too descriptive), I only do so because it directly affected how I felt. I hope this helps. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Enchanted by Colleen Love

Colleen Love
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Written for The Romance Reviews

Dalton Adams is working to achieve his doctorate in animal wildlife and zoology. His thesis paper leads him to a cozy lodge nestled in the Cascade Mountains. His long, off-season reservation will allow him to be close to his source of information while giving him the freedom to shift from man to wolf. But his plans are unexpectedly altered by a twist of fate. Faye Dillon finds her world forever changed when her guest arrives. She is attracted to the dark, shaggy-haired man with piercing blue eyes. There is an instant, unnamed connection between them and she gets more than she bargains for when the Alpha steps into her life.

*This review was written last October/November, 2010*

ENCHANTED has definitely been an eye opening experience. The only thing I can say about it is that I desperately wanted to enjoy it but the overwhelming sense of disappointment I felt when it was over made me just a little sad. From the quick glance I had of the blurb, I really felt that all the ingredients were there and would offer most of what I love in the romance books I read. For example, I was instantly drawn to the fact that the book involved werewolves, an Alpha one at that, and felt the story would provide some great chemistry between the two love interests, Dalton and Faye. What I read though fell terribly short and I struggled to finish it.

One of the most important things when writing a story is that it needs to be believable enough that it doesn't raise any red flags for the reader. The readers have to be able to immerse themselves in the story and it's difficult to do that when as the story progresses, holes appear that make no sense.

In ENCHANTED, I found one that I just couldn't get past and didn't understand why the author had written it that way. The story involves two people who are brought together and find they share something in common – they're werewolves. Now, I've read quite of few books where the characters are the same and there are certain characteristics that have become the norm. Werewolves are able to sense one another, right? Something inside them warns them that they're in the presence of another predator and even in human form, being territorial has them react accordingly. Right?

Imagine my surprise when the couple meet, seemingly unaware that they're the same but the moment they change, Dalton automatically "knows" Beth is a wolf. There was no explanation of why that was, of whether something had prevented it. Beth was said to be the Alpha in her territory – wouldn't an Alpha even in human form recognize the threat of another dominant wolf? Add to that, later in the book, a shapeshifter is introduced and immediately Dalton senses its energy and the author explains why. So the werewolves in ENCHANTED can't sense their own kind but can do so with others? Instead of focusing on the story, I kept asking myself why. It became a stumbling block for me and unfortunately set the tone for the rest of the book.

I also had a really hard time connecting with Dalton and Faye. At first, they came across as interesting and I saw so much potential in them but sadly as the story went on, any redeeming qualities I found disappeared because I just couldn't get beyond the "horn dogs" they were (sorry, but it's the first word that comes to mind). I wanted to see more depth to their personalities and character, something more than the way they were able perform in bed. I understood that as wolves and around the time of their change, giving in to their wolf natures, sex would be a major part of their relationship. Unfortunately, it shouldn't be the entirety and that's what it felt like as for all the sex that filled the book, there seemed to be less of a storyline. The scenes where I found the most descriptions were the sex scenes and there was one where the content was so disturbing to me, I had to force myself to finish the book. Thinking over the scene I'd read, I couldn't understand why the author would choose to include the certain acts she did. I'm sure for some it's an incredible turn on, but for me it was distasteful and any connection I had managed to establish with Dalton and Faye was destroyed. There was no reason for the scene as it didn't fit in with the development of the characters and came across as either something the author threw in there with the hope it made the scene steamy or for simple shock value. If that was the intent, the author succeeded. I was shocked and left feeling a little sick from it.

This review was hard to write because even when I haven't liked a book, I've always tried to find something that could redeem it. That was the hope I had through most of the book, looking for the author to pull a rabbit out of her hat and save the story. That didn't happen and so it had me search deeper and it lead me to a character that did have me form a connection with and that was with Faye's wolf dog Boof. With the wolves in the area being hunted, Faye's brother was always finding abandoned puppies and would bring them to his sister. Once there, the puppies were entrusted into the care of Boof who would assume the role of the mother. The image of an animal caring for its young, of being protective over them has always been something I loved to hear about. I thought that it brought a semblance of credibility to the story because it was the only thing I believed in.

Again, I really wanted to like this book but in the end, I just wasn't able to. There may be some who are ok with the way the story is presented and some who are more adventurous and open to a wider variety of sexual acts. Of course, ultimately the decision belongs to the reader and if they do pick it up to read, my only suggestion would be to proceed with caution. I can't get any more honest than that.

*I've read alot of different books since I read and reviewed ENCHANTED. Books that include some of the acts I found hard to deal with in this book. I particularly had a hard time with anal play last year but as most will know, I've recently become addicted to reading BDSM which features it alot. It got me thinking about whether or not my rating for this book should change, seeing I'm more agreeable with the sexual act in my romance and I have to say that I'm still not sure how much I enjoyed this book. The more I ponder on it, it's not so much where things are inserted that bother me. Is anal play something that I'm used to? No. Is it something that I find sexy? It depends. What bothers me is how its done and what's happening at that moment. In the BDSM books I've been reading, when anal play is a part of the scene, it's not a huge focal point. It happens, but it's a small part of a larger picture. In ENCHANTED, what really bothered me and turned my stomach is the talking that happened. The things that were being said and the way it was done. That was the shocker. To me there was no emotion in it, no sensuality and it was an incredible turn off. Add that to being new to anal play and you see my reaction. Now, if I read that same scene today, I still don't believe I'd like it. To each their own. That's the beauty of having such a diverse genre. You'll find something to suit your needs and desires and for some, this book will be a wonderful addition to their library. I just wanted to add this because time has passed since I wrote it and I thought people might like the update *


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