I Picked Up Two Lovers in Madison Square Garden

The other weekend I went to visit my bestie, J, by taking the preferred form of transportation of any hipster/yuppie going from DC to NYC – the bus. Chinatown to Chinatown is so passe, the most popular ones now that I have tried are Vamoose and DC2NY, and I haven’t had much need to complain. This trip was no different, but I had an especially good ride home since I had an excellent experience at the Borders in Madison Square Garden while waiting for the bus to come!

I marched in, TBR list in hand, proud of my recent newfound knowledge that I apparently enjoyed reading the sci-fi/fantasy genre, and had 10 minutes to find the top 2 books on my list. I found the sci-fi/fantasy section immediately but couldn’t find the books I wanted; the store was HUGE and I did not want to be late for the bus and fight the masses in line to get a good seat. So to the customer service desk I went!

There I met the most helpful, friendly, romance-knowledgeable Border’s person I’ve ever come across. She was also in her mid- 20’s, cute in a dorky way, awkward hand gestures, smudged glasses, lots of eyeliner, and a neon violet top, and was so eager to help. When I told her the 2 books I had trouble finding she replied with “OOOh that’s cuz they are in the Romance section, I love those books, have you read x,y,z yet?” Wait what? I always go to the Romance section first but my experience with Sookie Stackhouse made me all backwards! How awkward of me.

As we walked down the romance aisle she made multiple recommendations, pulled 7 books off the shelves, filled me in on the order of certain series…we were getting along swimmingly, and then…she asked if we could trade email addresses so she could share future recommendations with me.

The aloof city dweller in me immediately shot her down, gesturing to my TBR list of 30 books, giving the excuse that obvi I did not need her recs (but I’m always looking for new recs! What a sad excuse for not wanting to give out my email) She looked dejected and I was immediately sorry, but couldn’t change my mind. It was just a gut reaction and now I feel bad about it.

What is wrong with me, this is exactly why I started this blog!

But thank you anways Border’s Girl! You were a fabulous help, gave me great recs (but I couldnt buy all 7 books or hubby’d kill me, I already spent too much $$$$ in the City), and I really liked you! If anyone is ever in NYC looking for a paranormal romance, she is your gal!

So what did I leave the store with? Yes, that’s right, I picked up two lovers to entertain me: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dark Lover by J. R. Ward. Read on for my thoughts:

I’m going to explore this idea in a later post, but I don’t think I can do full reviews of all the books I read, there just isn’t enough time in the day…

fantasy_lover1Fantasy Lover: I discovered had the same issue here as I did with the fake Prince/Princess concept, I found out that I personally don’t enjoy when story lines use gods and goddesses, especially when Cupid/Eros is portrayed in modern day times as a Hell’s Angel biker. Too weird.  I liked the hero/heroine Julian and Grace together and liked how their relationship evolved in their present day story line, but his back-story and hellacious childhood in Sparta were just too much for me to wrap my head around. One scene that I especially loved was Grace sharing her book collection with Julian, the titles she named are also some that I hold dear, I loved how she organized them in her closet, and cried along with her in grief when they were destroyed, then cried in happiness when they were restored.

My new friend (since I was rude to Border’s Girl I shouldn’t call her that but for the sake of this post we’ll imagine I was nicer) was OBSESSED with Sherrilyn Kenyon so I might try something else out of hers as long it doesn’t have any royalty or gods. Fantasy Lover was a C grade for me and the cover made me marginally embarrassed to be seen reading it on the bus.

dark_loverDark Lover: I liked J.R. Ward’s writing style and world building, she tackled difficult descriptions well, and I was very caught up in the life of the Brotherhood and Beth and Wrath’s love story. What bothered me was that when Beth left everything (job, apt, few friends, humanity in general) behind to live with the vampires there was no mention of what happened to her old life, or really much on how she adapted to her new one. I felt like as the story developed it became more about the action rather than how the characters developed, and what they were thinking/feeling. In fact the narrative acknowledges that neither Wrath nor anyone else really explains the detailed workings of their vampiric world, for example Beth tries to shake hands with The Virgin Scribe, their “deity” who created vampires, lives in a heaven-like realm, and is all magical-and-shizz, when she sees her for the first time! That is super awkward living! How could Beth NOT have known???

Ok then there are the obvious things that 234,324908 other people pointed out: the excessive silent and extra H’s is characters’ names, the overuse of tattoos, piercings, and rap music, and the blown-out-of-proportion physical and emotional scarring of all the Heroes that the heriones can fix.

B grade overall for me. I still would read the other books in the series to see what happens, but I was not as infatuated with them as Border’s Girl and so many others are.


9 Responses

  1. I cannot believe you turned down an e-mail exchange!

  2. Me neither! Now that I’ve reflected on her kind offering I feel like such a Grinch! Nasty wasty skunk, soul full of gunk and all that.

  3. I love meeting people randomly like this! Always go for the email exchange… it’s harmless!

  4. It’s my new resolution! Now I just have to hope the situation arises again so I can repent my Grinch-y past.

  5. Perhaps the Borders Girl reads book blogs and has already forgiven you

  6. Celeste, I fervently wish that to be true! All I can hope is that by somehow writing this semi-public (only semi because 99.99% of the public are not reading my blog) apology it will fix my karma.

  7. […] fake princes and princesses like I mentioned in Christina Dodd’s The Prince Kidnaps a Bride, or gods as I wrote about Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover, and while I enjoy my fantasy romance novels, there has to […]

  8. […] back at some of my previous blog posts I saw the trail leading me to this realization. Every reader is different, has different […]

  9. Well now that you are a certified blogging goddess, you should return and give Goth Girl your blog url. I had the same hang-ups with the Brotherhood series as you. You state them much more eloquently than I could ever verbalize, LOL. I think the key to enjoying them is to 1) not take them too seriously and 2) read other stuff in between so that you don’t get burnt out. Of course, by now…you may have already devoured the entire series, lol.

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