"Luther is the most beautiful of my captors. Still I hate him more than the others. I hate him so much that the darkness inside me comes alive."
If you're like me, there's plenty of steamy conflict in the synopsis of Mila Young's 'To Seduce a Fae,' to grab your attention. Ironically, though this is listed as the first title in the 'Winter's Thorn' series, the e-book still arrived with an attached download link for a prequel called, 'To Catch a Fae.' Go figure.
I did, of course, go download it right away. The covers are both gorgeous and the story sounded like it was going to be a pretty fun fantasy novel with a lot of beautiful fae heat to roll around in. Though, even as I was just beginning this book, I was pretty certain I'd never read that first one.
Young is one of those author's who.. and I'm seeing a lot of them lately.. write stories more like they're in a role-playing chatroom than putting down words for a novel. I don't know when that became the thing. I honestly feel like they don't know any better.. like this is just how their brains process storytelling.. but it annoys the hell out of me.
Instead of 'she laughs,' we get 'she's laughing'.. which makes me feel like I'm sitting beside the narrator.. but they think I don't understand what's happening. The rest of that sentence becomes, "She's laughing, then refocuses on me." Not, "She laughs, then refocuses on me." Using two different approaches in the same sentence always sends me into a silent reader rage. I can't even explain it.
I know it sounds like I'm nit-picking, but try saying that to someone in conversation and see how it feels. Now, try spending all day only speaking that way. I rest my case.
Of course, the first gorgeous fae she runs across.. Deimos, has to think up a false name to give her.. I don't know why. Neither name means anything to her at this point, but he stammers and gives the name 'Doohickey.' So, 7% of the way in, I found myself already cringing.. and it doesn't stop. It gets worse and worse.
The main character, Guen, is one of those brilliant author designs. You know the ones.. she's so plain and unattractive that she thinks she'd look terrible in the things her best friend wears and no one would be interested in her, but of course.. everyone is. All the men are mesmerized by how beautiful she is. Whether friends or enemies, would-be killers or saviors, ultimately they still want to try her on for size. It's ridiculous.
She's melodramatic and annoying in all the most basic ways.
"These men were standing really close, saying weird things." I feel stupid in this moment as I hear my words and what I'm freaking out about."
I constantly wanted someone to shut her up or the chance to do it myself. And the author's descriptions are beyond.. belief. Sometimes I don't even know what she's trying to say, let alone why she chooses to say it the way she does.
"Someone grabs my arm, and I swing around with my stomach in my skin pricking with dread."
Pardon? That one left me blinking for a minute. Actually, after staring at the screen, perplexed by the writer's interesting command of language, I just shut the Kindle down and shook my head. I needed a few minutes to get over exactly how bad it was in the moment.
Ultimately, the story is just incredibly average. I did go back. A couple of hours later. But it continued to devolve from a creative standpoint in my opinion. The author loves to info dump periodically, instead of unveiling things with care.. a little word vomit in the car.. another bit of it in the motel.. a bit of it when they pause in running.. a bit more at the inn almost to the castle.. leaving exactly the kind of mess you'd expect.
"His fingers squeeze harder, and I'm suffocating, my lungs strangling themselves for air."
Deimos, as it turns out, has two hot brothers.. Luther and Ahren. They have dangerous enemies in one of the neighboring Courts, a curse to try to cure, violent abuse in a childhood backstory, and they're racking up debts just trying to deal with that, which may be the death of at least one of them. But none of that can save this title, as it's never really drawn out into a proper story. Mostly it's just briefly touched on here and there throughout the MC's whining and complaining and the attempt by the author to handle multiple-POV storytelling, when even one POV is on shaky ground.
Honestly, even the 'steamy scenes' are duds. The girl has a one-button insta-arousal kit and a nearly instant release potential without any serious contact. While there are signs the boys can smolder and Luther especially sounds lovely, it's a whole lot of 'not enough' in a novel full of 'I don't even care anymore.'
I just can't convey how disappointing this book was for me. I could probably pull all of the integral parts of the story from it and fit them onto a few pages, but you know what? It still wouldn't be worth reading.