Review for Eyes Ever To The Sky (The Sky Trilogy #1) by Katie French

Eyes Ever To The Sky by Katie French

TITLE: Eyes Ever To The Sky
SERIES: The Sky Trilogy #1
AUTHOR: Katie French
PUBLISHER: Katie French Books
PAGES: 198 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 2 bows

Hugh wakes up in the middle of a crater in a park completely naked. He has no memory. The only thing he knows for certain is that he’s name is Hugh. The longer he wanders around, the more he realizes that there is something off about him. He is stronger than he should be and heals incredibly fast. He crosses paths with 15 year old Cece and things really get interesting. He’s instincts tell him to trust no one, but she’s so kind and caring that he wants to let her help him. Cece has enough on her plate without an amnesiac homeless teenage boy following her around, but she can’t help the desire to aide him. How can you not want to help a boy who is literally sleeping in a dumpster and scavenging for food? Add to these twos needs, there is also a murderer on the loose, ripping peoples throats out. Can they help each other and find the killer? Or will Cece be the next victim?

That was kinda a crappy description, huh? I’m sorry about that, I just couldn’t find a good way to tie it altogether that doesn’t give everything away. This was another one of those novels that I requested right when I started reviewing books because it had an interesting cover and it sounded interesting enough. Now my screening process is much stricter. I read the entire description several times, I check Goodreads to see if anyone I follow has read/rated/reviewed it so I have something to go off. I really think and consider what I’m downloaded. In the beginning, though, that is never the case. I think every reviewer can tell you that in the beginning they downloaded nearly anything they could. You, person I don’t know, are going to give me access to a book free of charge? All I have to do is leave a review?
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As long as it sounded mildly good and was in a category I read (ie YA or NA or historical romance), I was all for it. I’m paying for that now because I’m making a point to read through all of them, in that better late than never spirit and get reviews up for them. What sucks is having to write negative reviews. I realize that negative ones help just as much as positive ones, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad about shooting down some indie authors baby. Speaking of….

Cece was a character that was fine, if somewhat annoying. I feel like her story was so cliched. Teen girl with only one parent with is so affected by a mental illness that she can’t bring herself to provide so said teen girl must support them. I think that is part of what irritates me. I don’t understand anyone who has a mental illness that doesn’t want help. My husband actually is bi-polar, like Cece’s mom, and there wasn’t a day when he wasn’t on medication that he didn’t want help. That whole “the side effects aren’t worth it” argument just angers me more. There are hundreds of different pills! There are many different choices and options and tons of generic versions for each of them! I know the first set you try isn’t going to be a magic set. But you keep fucking trying. Period. I don’t understand or sympathize with anyone with a different view than that. Especially someone with a child! LADY! Get off your ass and take care of your kid! Go to a free clinic and get yourself an appointment and work something out. Make it happen! So…maybe it wasn’t Cece who irritated me. But she kinda did too because she was so trusting of Hugh. I mean, the audience knows he didn’t kill those people, but she has no real proof of that besides the fact that he seems kind. You do realize that sociopaths are usually very charming, right?

Hugh wasn’t really any better. I actually am trying to think about how to describe him and I can’t. He’s a non-person. He is personality-less. He is scared because he doesn’t know who he is or where he’s from or anything and then he becomes fiercely protective of Cece (oh yes, the dreaded insta-love).

As far as writing, it was written well, but it was a little boring. It was slow and all over the place. I felt like it almost had too much going on. The crazy mom, the forcing Cece into work, the Hugh-alien thing, the conflict with the aliens….just too much for this bitty 200 page novel. And then, the ending just felt forced. Cece’s family thing working out the way it did had me screaming “THAT’S NOT HOW REAL LIFE WORKS!”

In a nutshell, this novel was disappointing. The premise was intriguing, but it had no follow through. It felt very unfinished. It also is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, but there is no word on releasing the next books. That really sucks for anyone out there who genuinely liked the novel because it ends on a cliffhanger.

****Thank you to Katie French Books for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

2 bows
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Review for Only Enchanting (Survivor’s Club #4) by Mary Balogh

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

TITLE: Only Enchanting
SERIES: Survivor’s Club #4
AUTHOR: Mary Balogh
PUBLICATION DATE: October 28, 2014
PAGES: 368 pages
SOURCE: Publisher
RATING: 2.5 bows

Summery from GoodReads: Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancée’s desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back—and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.

Agnes Keeping has never been in love—and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.

When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she’s determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.

I can’t even bring myself to come up with a decent summary for this. I just did the lazy thing and pulled the one from GoodReads, as you can see. I feel like this novel had too much going on for me to summarize it. I don’t even think the above summary is appropriate because that particular conflict doesn’t appear until very late in the novel. In fact, though-out the whole thing, I kept waiting for that particular conflict to occur and just kept waiting.
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Onward to the characters! Agnes was someone I didn’t love instantly. This may be because she falls prey to instalove and that immediately made me roll my eyes at her. She seems like a smart, level-headed character and then she goes to a ball, shares 2 dances with a handsome gentleman, and dead sweet baby jesus, she’s in love.
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This is particularly annoying considering just before she falls so suddenly in love, she makes a mental speech about how she has no desire to do so. She finds love to be fickle and useless. I never seemed to let go of that annoyance. I never really liked her or related to her in a way that allowed me to connect with the story. She never does anything after that particularly bad, I just couldn’t forget the insta-love.

Flavian was no different. Though insta-love wasn’t an issue, I just didn’t connect with his character. He…I…
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I was indifferent to him. He didn’t inspire major swoons, but nor did he inspire major annoyance. He was just there, fulfilling his part of the story. He should get the sympathy vote because the poor man has been through a lot, but he doesn’t even get that.

I think my issue with this was the first half was incredibly slow and choppy. When my review copy of this arrived in the mail, I was very excited. I have heart great things about Mary Balogh and she is a celebrated historical romance author. The premise of the novel didn’t sound wholly original, but we all know originality isn’t what we read romance for, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then I started it and was instantly bored. I read a lot before bedtime and it’s never a good sign when a book makes me sleepy before my normal lights out period. For the first half, I struggled through. The whole thing was so abrupt. She sees him and is instantly in love. They keep meeting randomly to make out but have no real conversation and he literally marries her more or less just to be able to bed her. He admits that outright.

Then, once they are finally married, we get no smut. There is no wedding night scene, or any real smut later. This is a romance novel, smut is part of the appeal. It wasn’t even so much that it was smut-free (because I didn’t have a problem with The Baron Next Door being smut-free), it’s the moment she chooses to skip ahead. They are going at it and things are getting steamy and then….they have apparently gotten it on and finished and we get none of the glory.

After that, the plot issues originally broached in the synopsis finally arrives. Our Agnes learns that part of the reason Flavian married her was to thwart an attempt from his family to set him back up with his previous fiance. She flips shit and he grovels and fixes it. There is obviously more to it than that, but that’s the gist. Then there was his whole memory issue and the actual ex-fiance herself and I just felt a bit overwhelmed. I think that was another problem, it felt like she was trying to put 2 different stories together here, but didn’t give either of them enough room. If this book had started on page 150 or even 200, and skipped the beginning, I’d have probably loved it, but that was not to be.

So, what you need to know is that I found this disappointing. I won’t say bad because I’m sure my bias on insta-love ruined part of it for me, but it wasn’t great by a long shot. As excited as I was to finally get my hands on a Balogh novel, I can’t say I’ll go out of my way to do so again in the future. If this is what all the fuss is about, then I must say, I’m unimpressed!

****Thank you to Piatkus for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

2 bowshalf a bow
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