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Kristin Miller

REVIEW: One Night to Remember by Kristin Miller

REVIEW: One Night to Remember by Kristin Miller

Dear Ms. Miller,

You can’t seem to go anywhere lately without hearing about the Titanic. It’s been on TV all weekend and commercials for the 3D movie seem to play every 10 minutes. It must have worked for me, because I went looking for Titanic books online and settled upon yours. The price seemed a little rich at $3.99 for 66 pages, but it was on sale for $1.99 at the time that I bought it, so I took a chance. After reading it, I have to say it’s a mixed bag. There are parts of this story that are very good, and there are parts of it that are garbage.

One Night to Remember starts off with Elizabeth Scott, who is having dinner in the first class section. She is chatting with another rich passenger, Lady Grace, and lifting silverware from the table to steal. If this weren’t bad enough, she tells the other woman that she’s traveling alone, unchaperoned.

“And you’re traveling with your fiance, I presume?” Lady Isabelle twiddled a diamond bee brooch on the collar of her dress. It was Tiffany & Co. 1890 collection.

“No. I’m traveling alone.” Elizabeth slid the knife into her purse, then pressed it shut. “Alone?” Isabelle spoke the word with such disdain, Elizabeth wondered if her tongue was sizzling. “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

No, she wouldn’t have.

Sorry, but that makes two of us. I find it hard to believe that at that time, a woman could travel first class alone and no one would be bothered by it. But that didn’t bother me nearly as much as the next statement to her dinner companion.

“I’m afraid I cannot stay. You see, I’m not feeling well, but it’s not due to the lamb.” She went in for the kill, gently brushing her stomach. “My situation is…delicate in nature.”

Nearly jumping out of her seat, Isabelle lost all color. “You are with child? Oh my dear, I am so sorry. And with no fianc√©!”

“It’s all right. I’m plenty accustomed to doing things on my own. Now if you’ll excuse me…”

My faith in your plot has just flown out the window. Telling someone in 1912 that you’re not engaged but still pregnant is probably not a good idea. But no one thinks anything of this, and Elizabeth steals Lady Isabelle’s purse and the money inside. She then goes to the lower class decks and gives this to the poor. Yes, you read that correctly. She takes her stolen goods and gives them to someone else. She envisions herself as a Robin Hood type. Not only this, but she does not need the money. Elizabeth designs and creates her own dresses and runs a shop and from what is inferred in the text, she is extremely wealthy.

Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she is caught stealing by Thomas, the hero of the story, who is a handsome officer on the ship. He is incredibly attracted to her, but she is breaking the law. He arrests her and questions her why she steals.

“You stole silver from this ship and money from her.”

“I gave to a family who needed it.”

“That does not negate the crime.”

Her thin eyebrows rose smoke-stack high. “It should.”

It is at this point that I decide that I hate Elizabeth for being an enormous Mary Sue. She then proceeds to seduce Thomas, and they have quick vanilla sex. He is so entranced by her that he replaces the money stolen with his own wages and sets her free to go. She returns to her own quarters and is equally dazzled by Thomas, but their love affair is cut short when the Titanic hits an iceberg.

One Night to Remember by Kristin MillerUp to this point, this is an insipid, historically inaccurate, regrettable purchase. But then the ‘disaster’ portion of the story kicks in and the story grows entertaining. It’s interesting to see the dichotomy of the attitudes of Thomas and Elizabeth. When Elizabeth, the spoiled first class passenger, hears about the iceberg, she wants to go back to bed rather than gather on deck. She doesn’t truly think the ship will sink. Thomas, on the other hand, is terrified as to what this means for everyone. The Titanic sinking portion of the story flows very well. You give enough details that keep me interested, and the story becomes tense and dramatic. The reunion of the hero and heroine (this is a romance, after all) is anticlimactic and overdrawn.

If this was a short story about the sinking of the Titanic, I’d give this a much higher grade. As it is, the romance is a total dud. I wished that Elizabeth would have gone down with the ship. You also bill this as an ‘erotic historical novella’ but there are only two vanilla love scenes. Just because your book has sex in it does not make it erotic. This would have been a DNF if not for the disaster portion of the story, which I enjoyed. C-

All best,

January

AmazonBN

REVIEW: Intervamption by Kristin Miller

REVIEW: Intervamption by Kristin Miller

There are possibly spoilers in this review. I have done my level best to avoid them. Apologies in advance.

Dear Ms. Miller,

Intervamption Kristin MillerI decided to pick up your book because it sounded cool and slightly different from other things in the Vampire/Shifter paranormal genre and I’m a sucker for cool and different. Slade is a Therian (shapeshifter) assassin that is sent to infiltrate a local Vampire group. His mentor, Dylan, is gorgeous and he knows he should hate her on sight, but he just can’t. Dylan mentors new vampires and teaches them the rules of the vampire world. But that’s only one of her many jobs. Dylan runs ReVamp, a blood center and sort of Vampire “Promises” treatment center aimed at getting vampires to give up biting humans. But Dylan’s been accused of poisoning the vampire’s blood supply. I like a star-crossed love story, especially one of paranormal ilk. Unfortunately, this didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped when I read the blurb.

Intervamption takes place in Crimson Bay, a fictitious part of San Francisco, and sets the stage for what seems to be the beginnings of a war between the Vampires and the Therians. The two species have hated each other for years, and Therians are tasked with keeping Vampires from getting out of line (read: no feeding on humans or the Therians will kill you). How did this come about? Beats me. Are the Therians actually stronger than the Vampires? Couldn’t tell ya that either. Also, for some reason, the Vampire population seemed less concerned about the Therian threat than vice-versa. Why? Again, no idea here. Humans (referred to as “mundanes” in the book) are generally clueless about both of these otherworldly species and the Therians and Vamps plan to keep it that way.

I felt like a mundane too…with every chapter there was some new, nonsensical rule or idea imparted in a very non-organic manner. I am making a major effort not to give anything away for anyone that want to give this a try, but this is a huge issue that didn’t make sense at all, unless the reader is willing to make some crazy assumptions. Slade has been told by Moses, his Sheik (or Therian leader, for those of you that hate to read definitions as much as I do), that he will shift into a Vampire and infiltrate the local khiss. And then there’s this:

Vampires had incompatible genes, different from any other living organism, which made shifting into them nearly impossible. Those who could fight through the delirium barely made it a few minutes in leech skin. It was a pain in the ass. Slow-motion shifting, wicked bouts of nausea, and sub-par strength made them easy prey for a leech who got wind of such a deception. Not to mention shifting into those parasites never lasted long. Therians who tried it in the past had shifted back to their original form without so much as a gut-clench warning.

Well. If that isn’t a recepie for disaster…but hey. It’s a paranormal. Worldbuilding rules were made to be broken, right? Er…not. Does any of this weakness/sudden shifting/only a few minutes as a vampire happen to Slade? Absolutely not. Oh, and Slade doesn’t know who his target is when he goes in. Somehow, they’re going to set up a newbie vampire with the high ranking officials and he’ll have all sorts of power. Now, trust me, this isn’t a spoiler: Slade isn’t given a high ranking. In fact, the only reason he has any interaction with the “high ranking” set is because Dylan keeps him around ’cause he’s hot. But does Slade find any of this odd? Nope…he goes on his merry way trailing after Dylan and occasionally pounding his chest if another guy gets too close to her.

Dylan is totally mission-focused. She needs to find out why the vampires are weakening and must find a way to strengthen their blood supply. Her gorgeous blond buddy Ruan sorta tries to help her but not really…hell, I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. But Dylan somehow gets sidetracked without anyone’s help because of all of the other crap she’s made herself responsible for. She’s going in so many different directions that I was getting dizzy. But with all of her running around, this is all I got about new vampires: They didn’t know any better. Ok…but how does one become a “new” vampire? Yeah, I know, at least one of your parents has vampire blood. But then what? How does one make the transition? Do they even call it that? What happens? I get that you’re hungry for blood and starved for sex after (hell, that’s a given regardless of the book!) but getting to that point is a giant blank. Now, is that something I need to know? No. But there are holes like this one all over the book. This happened it the beginning, so I’m running with it.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t talked about Dylan or Slade much. Well, let me put it this way: tropetastic. It was hard for me to get into the characters when so much was going on that I didn’t understand. I was busy trying to fill in the gaps, and the personalities seemed to be overshadowed by a bunch of tropes. Dylan has a goal. The goal must be met. Slade has a goal. Same goes. Dylan is promised to someone in an arranged marriage she can’t get out of. But hey, the way the vampire marriage works, if the guy isn’t really meant for the girl, she dies. But Slade *knows* Dylan is his! Can you say fated mate? And his blood pressure goes up every time another male is in the same vicinity as her. Rar, Alpha Male. Slade knows it would never work with him and Dylan because of the whole therians want to kill vampires thing. Star-crossed lovers! Oh, and Ruan is in love with Dylan too. Ooh, love triangle! There’s the double cross, the fucked up family, the other fated mate, the hidden secret, a serious deus ex machina…I could keep going but I’ll stop here.

And the worst part? The vampires and therians were as clueless about each other as I was about them. How does that happen? You really have no idea that your enemy is so well organized and has a functioning society after hundreds of years of fighting each other? Are you kidding? I got tired trying to make sense of everything that was happening here. D.

~ Shuzluva

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