More Long-windedness commentary on Raintree

Thursday, April 26, 2007

This is a comment I was going to leave over on Tara Marie's blog in response to her review on Linda Howard's Raintree, then it got so long I thouhgt ,might as well take it over here.

I really like LH in general, many of her books are keepers for me. Unfortunately this isn't one of them. I'm the oddity in the sense that I loved the hero in all his Alpha-ness way more than the heroine (too grouchy), but this book was problemic for me in many ways. After awhile the exposition/backstory & setting up of the next two books (his brother and sister) kinda got to me, even through Ms. Howard did this very, very skillfully. I was on page 21 before I realized there hadn't been much dialogue/action. But I did feel that over the course of the book it took away from the romance. If this was a single-title length, it may not have been such a problem, but with the condensed page count of a series book? Problem.

And I HATED the cliff-hanger ending after feeling slightly gypped all through the book because all the backstory/series-set-up-stuff, that ending was just the kicker. It was a great scene in and of its self, but, again, I felt it took away the focus on HEA *conclusion*.

Other reviews on Raintree:

Dear Author

And over on PBW, she's giving away a copy of the book.
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Tara Marie said...

You went into what I'd decided not to--the set up of the series, it is problematic, but this often happens in the first of a series--too much world building not enough romance. And you're right if ther were more to the story you wouldn't feel this way, 266 pages simply wasn't enough to tell the story.

But, I have to agree, I too liked the hero in all his alpha-ness, and she was grouchy, maybe justifiably though--LOL.

I was okay with the abrupt ending using the logic that the HEA will be part of the overall story arc.

Rosie said...

Call it world building, whatever, I just can't believe after building up this relationship it won't be central to either of the two stories to follow and I don't feel that the relationship in this one was completely resolved.

I didn't have a problem with the characters at all and felt LH did an admirable job of explaining their individual motivations. I just wanted more story.

avidbookreader said...

I read as much as you did, Jaq, and it just didn't quite "click" for me but then I'm a picky ass reader. Not all of LH's books are keepers for me. When she went to hardcover, most if not all were not really memorable except for Cry No More, but just barely. I guess I should finish it in all fairness since I did buy it as a ebook just to see if maybe, just maybe I might like it. Tara's review did make me want to give it a second chance.----Keishon

Jaye said...

Tara I think part of my problem with the ending had to do with expectations. I read this as a romance and as such expected the HEA to be the conclusion of the story. (Epilogues being the exceptions). If I'd been reading this more as fiction with romantic subplot I would have been much more satisfied with the ending. Go figure.

Jaye said...

Rosie, I doubt this romance will be central to the rest of the series, how could it when the other couples must have their stories told in their books. This couple will probably show up in a subplot/secondary thread which could be problemic given the word count and the fact that there already is an over-arching story line, plus, I'm sure, more world building. :-P

I do think LH did present fairly dimensional characters in that she really fleshed out their motivations/backstory. And yet... I feel the hero still needed *something* more. And the heroine's one note grounchy/pissed off mood became a bit wearing. Yup. She certainly had reason to be pissed. But even in real life I don't want to spend much time with someone always 'ticked'.

Jaye said...

Keishon, I actually finished the book. lol. It was entertaining. LH has a smooth style that can really pull you in. And I did find the plot interesting. But ultimately, the book on a whole just didn't quite do make it to keeperville. I would suggest you finish it. It's
definitely *not* a DNF book regardless of what I (and others) might of found wanting. :-P LH on her worst day is still waaaay better than many authors out there. (Not saying this book constitutes her worst, either.)

avidbookreader said...

OK, I'll finish it and see what I think of it.---Keishon

Jaye said...

lol. Now I'll feel bad if you absolutely hate it, Keishon. There were interesting aspects to the book (which you can read about in Tara's review.) It was a short book, and, as I said before, LH has an engaging way of writing.

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