I don't normally do book reviews. When I receive requests to give reviews, I always turn them down. That's not what I do.
Besides, when I read, my focus is different than most. While I'm enjoying the book, I'm also studying the writer's craft, making note of how the author handles POV, characterization, pacing and the elements of storytelling. This week, Liz Carlyle gave me plenty to appreciate in her NEVER ROMANCE A RAKE.
In the initial chapter, her hero Rothewell learns he is terminally ill. He's lived a dissolute life and it's caught up to him. With that, Ms. Carlyle has put herself in the difficult spot of making someone whose health is dicey into an "alpha." Amazingly, she does it and in ways in keeping with his morose, nihilistic nature. I was fascinated by his climb out of the psychological pit he'd flung himself into while he found a reason to live in the heroine.
Another thing I enjoy about Ms. Carlyle's work is her subtle prose. She is a master of subtext and lays plenty of writing hooks to keep the pages turning.
My one beef is that this book is the last in a trilogy and since I hadn't read the other two stories, I was occasionally lost when she wandered into sections about people and events that happened off-stage, things that weren't directly related to the hero or heroine's backstory. I really didn't need to know some of it in order to enjoy this story. Connected books are fun and who doesn't enjoy seeing characters they already know and love, but please don't give an info dump about people who don't even make an appearance in the current story.
So now it's your turn. What are you reading now? What do you think about it?