'Blood Seduction' by Anna Rainn
It's rare for me to allow grammar issues to distract me from a story, but I really struggled to read this one, as the entire time Anna Rainn jumps between verb tenses within the same sentences, which ruined the flow. Add to that, a sprinkling of completely misused words, as if she had access to the vocabulary, but not the patience to verify she knew the meaning and a dash of words that don't even exist in the form they appear in.. and you'll understand my frustration.
I feel like this author understood the basic elements needed only on a novitiate level and unfortunately, lacked the ability to truly sculpt them into a compelling story. It's a blessedly short read, so I welcome you to read it anyway and see if you disagree with me.
There are things that Rainn does really well. A couple, anyway. She's excellent at environmental imagery. Almost poetic, actually. Also, there's one very hot scene in a club.
Sadly, the rest of the book is a wash for me.
The lead character, Ella, isn't particularly likable. She's a package of common clichés, which seem meant to appeal to the reader strictly through sympathy of the situation. But like every other character in this novel, I didn't care about her. She's really the only one we get to know at all, and her story left me completely indifferent to her.
As for Richard, not only did I feel like I was never really allowed in to know him beneath his surface responses in certain situations, there's not even a very good description of him. I mean, I know the basics like hair and eye color. I know he's built, but he's almost background décor in this book, despite being the male lead.
The most important character building points are all thrown into the last quarter of the novel in what seems to be a haphazard way. I believe they were possibly meant to be surprise elements, but that just didn't work.. and even then, they're really not visited in any substantial way. They read like bullet points of information downloaded to explain why I, as the reader, should feel this way or that.
I didn't connect with the characters at all, until literally almost the last pages of the book. Then, regrettably, only with one. There's a single, fleeting moment of feeling, here and gone out of nowhere. What followed, left me with the most deeply dissatisfying ending to a story in years. Not because of the direction the author chose to go, but rather, the mishandling of it. Things are stated, but not felt.. in the way, emotions and decisions are touched on, but never really exposed on that nerve shattering level.
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