Do you ever get sucked into one piece of a story but pretty much hate the rest of it?
It was a subtle thing with this series. I tested out the Audible Romance package and picked this series based on the reviews. It started out promising. Interesting characters, a kind of unique concept. And a great narrator. By the third book though it was losing me.
Deirdre, the main baddy, is a vicious, jaded, and miserable villain. She is venom and darkness rolled into one ego filled tornado. She is so blinded by her power and her goals that she has nothing else in her life but her desire to destroy the world.
The McLeod’s are classic highland heroes with flaws and redemption. Their women complete them and are their equals in many ways.
There are many other good characters and lots of storylines that come together to form a nice plot.
BUT…and this is a big but….
There is a distinct lack of creativity on the romance and relationship side. The first book leaves Lukan and Kara fighting for their love and marveling at love at first site. In the second book Fallon finds Lorena the same way. In the third book Quinn finds Mikhail and so on. It is cute for a minute but crashes into cliché violently. The love at first site thing is a classic romance trope and while fine occasionally, it is literally the basis for every single relationship in each book. By the third book it is annoying and boring.
By the end of the series the only thing that still had me going was my compulsive need to finish it. There is a distinct lack of creativity in the Romance aspect, but the conflict and baddies were interesting enough to keep me hoping it would get better. Plus the audiobooks are nine hours long each, so that is a pretty big time commitment to not finish.
I finished out the first six books, which make up the series, just to see what happens, but the awful part is the series doesn’t finish the story! It goes into a new series of 25+ books. No way am I committing to that…
Even with the disappointing pieces of the story the writing was still decent. The tone and speed of each book was great, and it read quickly and easily. I listened to these on audiobook and the narrator did a great job. The dialogue flows fine and the language isn’t so elevated that you stumble on words. The names and creature names are not as cumbersome as other fantasy stories I have read so that helps with the readability. The characters have established personalities through the writing and you get decent descriptions of the characters, if basic.
Overall, not terrible, but not great.