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REVIEW: Covet by J.R. Ward

Dear Ms. Ward,

I don’t even know where to begin. While it’s true I’m a fan of your Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I stopped making any claims about its purported quality many books back. Romance? Unlike most readers who thought the first books were romance, only for later ones to shift into the urban fantasy category, I never believed the series belonged in the romance genre in the first place. So I took it with a very large, very heavy bucket of salt when I heard that your new series, starting with Covet, would be more romantic. Sorry, but it’s true.

Jim Heron is an ex-military assassin, jaded and cynical about life. He drifts from one place to the next, putting down no roots and trying to stay out of trouble. He’s currently employed as a construction worker but when the mansion he’s currently helping to build is completed, he intends to move on. Then on the eve of his fortieth birthday, he hooks up with a woman at the club, Iron Mask.

What he thought would only be a pleasant memory unfortunately leads to more, just not in the usual way. The next morning, the woman shows up at the construction site on the arm of his boss, Vincent DiPietro, who will one day live in the mansion Jim’s helping build. As expected, this is awkward but Jim takes graceless reactions to a new level: he gets into an accident on-site and electrocutes himself.

This sends Jim into the afterlife, sort of, where he meets four angels who tell him the score. This is the final end game between heaven and hell. Jim, because of the balanced amount of light and dark in his soul, is a sort of neutral player whose role is to save (or damn) seven souls. Best out of seven wins. If he saves more souls, the world and the people who live in it can continue on as we know it. But he fails and loses more souls instead, the world as we know it will cease to exist at all.

At any rate, Jim is sent back to earth with his new mission and his first assignment is none other than Vincent. And if the novel’s title is descriptive of anyone, it’s Vin. Growing up from virtually nothing, as an adult, Vin likes surrounding himself with the very best money can offer — furniture, cars, real estate, and women. One woman, in particular — his girlfriend, Devina, and yes, I am not joking; that is indeed her name. Vin plans to make things official and ask her to be his wife but even though he’s bought an expensive diamond engagement ring, he finds himself unable to pop the question. Something is holding him back. And he soon discovers what when he reluctantly goes to the Iron Mask with Jim and meets the head prostitute who works there, Marie-Terese.

A few years ago, Marie-Terese escaped a bad situation. She’s free of a controlling, abusive husband who lives on the wrong side of the law and now has complete custody of her son. There’s only one catch. She has to live under an assumed name to avoid the notice of her ex-husband’s former associates, and she has massive debt due to lawyer and private investigator fees. She’s managed to whittle down the debt but to do so, she’s had to work as a prostitute, a profession which is killing her slowly inside day after day. She swore she’d never get involved with men and especially not with anyone who reminds her of her ex, but then she meets Vin.

Jim thinks the way to save Vin’s soul is to matchmake him with his long-suffering girlfriend, Devina. But Vin finds himself falling in love with Marie-Terese and vice versa. To complicate matters even more, Devina is not at all who she seems, someone is killing people who get involved with Marie-Terese, and Vin’s long dormant psychic abilities have reawakened. And what those abilities are telling him is that Marie-Terese’s life is in danger.

If you find yourself thinking my summary of the book sounds convoluted, you’d be correct. But in my defense, I also happen to think it’s reflective of the novel itself. This book meanders. I can’t think of any other way to put it. We hop from one storyline to the next, and unlike the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, I wasn’t invested in any of them. Or even one of them. Jim, Vin, or Marie-Terese? I couldn’t have cared less about anyone.

To be honest, however, I was most disappointed by Marie-Terese. I liked the brief glimpse we’d had of her in Lover Avenged but in that book, my impression of her was that of a no-nonsense, tough woman who has to do what she does to survive. In Covet, I find her tedious and annoying in her constant emo whining. I think I’m simply done with prostitute characters who feel sorry for themselves and self-flagellate every five minutes. In Marie-Terese’s case, it was made even more trying by the fact that for all she complained about her situation, she was in no way trapped by it. She had a standing offer from a good man who’d help her, no strings attached. It’s too difficult for me to feel sympathy for a character who chooses to martyr herself on the altar of the sex trade. Oh, and as an aside? Her real name? I must have different standards but with the way she went on about it, that wasn’t at all what I expected her “beautiful” real name to be.

For those readers who want to know, I wouldn’t consider this novel a romance. I think it’s even less of a romance than the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I didn’t even think that was possible. But unlike the BDB series, this novel lacks the multi-layered background storytelling that keeps me reading despite a lack of interest in the main storyline. It’s trying to, I think, with the framework of Jim’s work to save seven souls and the “romance” storyline between Vin and Marie-Terese and the implication of Devina’s true loyalties, but it all reads as cursory and shallow. When I finished the novel, I’d be lying if my immediate reaction wasn’t, “…what did I just read?” Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the dreaded WTF reaction. It was merely a slight sense of bewilderment. I asked part-time reviewer, Nonny, what she thought and she had much the same reaction. I wish I could articulate what exactly it was about the book that left me so unenthused but it’s fairly accurate.

I also have to get this off my chest. What was up with the Black Dagger Brotherhood cameos? Even though I had advanced warning this would be happening, I still found myself thinking it was self-indulgent. Trez, I could understand, because he owns the Iron Mask and Marie-Terese works there, but Phury? Butch? I know it was intended as an authorial wink of sorts, but they kept tossing me out of the book. It’s hard to suspend disbelief if I keep coming across passages in which the author might as well be yelling, “Hey, I write this other series too and this conspicuous character here is in it!”

As you can probably surmise by all this, I wasn’t too impressed. I’m still having difficulty reconciling the vampire cosmology and the Christian cosmology co-existing but that’s not too surprising. I’ve been having that problem since the introduction of Lassiter in Lover Enshrined. But despite all that, I already know I’m still going to end up picking up your next book, whether it’s a Black Dagger Brotherhood installment or the next novel in this angel series. There’s no denying that your novels are compulsively readable, and you’re still a habit I can’t break. C

My regards,

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers starting tomorrow.

Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!


  1. SusiSunshine
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:31:23

    I totally agree! Book was really disappointing. I didn’t care for anyone besides Dog and a little bit about Jim but that’s it.

  2. Sayuri
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:39:08

    You kow, I started this thinking I was going to hate it and ended up really enjoying it. I wish she hadn’t set it in Caldwell, just started a whole new series but that aside I really enjoyed it.

    I found Jim to be a little boring but really enjoyed Vin and Marie-Terese and while MT did do some emo soul searching I didn’t find it over the top at all. I felt it was in keeping with the character.

  3. joanne
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 16:04:24

    I thought it was an interesting and new approach to the redeeming angel story.
    I rather liked that Jim didn’t have a romance but I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t have one after he’s accomplished his tasks.

    I really liked his two non-angelic assistants on Harleys and I LOVED the dog — who probably isn’t just a dog. I’m hoping that now that they’re leaving Caldwell the series will go somewhere new and different for Ward. I have to appreciate that she knows her fans and did the shout-outs to them with characters from the BDB. She knows her fan base.

    I absolutely Hated the pseudo-street-speak that these characters mouthed. Really it’s like something from the early days of hip-hop and does nothing to give the author any er, street credit. So to speak.

    Like Jia, I’ll line up for the next book that J.R. Ward writes. Crack or not, I’m interested enough to pay my dime and play the game.

  4. Jennifer Roland
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 16:14:07

    “Compulsively readable” is the perfect way to describe Ward’s books. No matter how preposterous they get, I still can’t stop reading.

  5. RStewie
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 16:30:27

    I’m not really interested in this series (having been weaned off the BDB by Ward’s writing style and the constant focus on “story arc” instead of “relationships”) and this review is reinforcing the belief that I’m not missing much.

    I’m completely down with angels (ooh, feathers!) as PNR characters, too, but this sounds beyond uninteresting to me.

    I’m interested to know how many BDB fans will champion this spin-off, considering the lack-luster reviews I’ve seen so far.

  6. Jia
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 16:44:50

    @joanne: I’ve given up on any hope for the pseudo-street slang to stop. I didn’t think it was as egregious as it is in the BDB books but what’s in Covet is still ridiculous and makes me cringe.

    @RStewie: Just to keep things real, the angels in this series don’t have feathers thus far. There’s an implication that they’re fallen angels — which I assume is true since it’s the series title — but none of them (so far) are walking lightbulbs like BDB’s Lannister.

  7. Darlynne
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 17:49:36

    I’m a BDB fan (full disclosure here), but found myself thinking Covet felt awkward and amateurish, almost as though Ms. Ward wrote without the usual confidence in her own story telling ability. It took me half of the book to get into the characters and at no point did I feel engaged by any of them, except Dog. I liked Eddie and Aidan, but the four angels bugged me. And there wasn’t nearly enough information about Jim becoming an angel to explain why and what, let alone how he could already be fallen. Surely he should have asked more questions.

    Having said this, however, I think the potential is there for a better second book and I’m interested enough to know I’ll purchase it when the time comes. “C” is a fair grade, IMO.

  8. Samantha
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 18:04:12

    After reading this book I felt like I needed a freshie, but some how made a rightie and walked into a sharpie…

    Honestly who talks like that? It’s jarring and it’s juvenile. I could understand reading that in a YA novel.

    The constant “I’m no good, I’m a hooker, I’m going to confession” it got seriously boring after the 10th time it was written. Just when you thought you were going to get an explanation for something you were told “You don’t want to know” or “You don’t need to know that.” Can’t be bothered with the bait.

    None of the characters were exciting, just blah with a dash of WTF for me.

  9. Susan Laura
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 18:06:42

    I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to since I know from previous experience that Ward’s writing annoys me more than entertains me but I will say it sounds as if you are being generous with a grade of “C”.

  10. Kati
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 18:12:28

    I had definite mixed feelings about this book. I sincerely question Ward’s decision to set the book in Caldwell. I spent half the time trying to figure out what floor V lived on in the Commodore (which I’m quite sure wasn’t the intent). But like it or not, the BDB is such a big world, with so many moving parts – why add angels to the mix? Why not set the book in an entirely new location? A new world, if you will.

    I mean, big bad vampires and big bad angels all in one town? You couldn’t pay me to visit Caldwell.

  11. Jia
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 18:38:24

    @Darlynne: It did seem like Covet lacked the usual energy and verve you’d find in your average BDB novel.


    I mean, big bad vampires and big bad angels all in one town? You couldn't pay me to visit Caldwell.

    It does strike me as a town that tourists should avoid.

  12. Jessica Kennedy
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 19:17:37

    I skimmed your review because I expect this in the mail tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to this.

    I’m a huge BDB fan. Cameos?!? Awesome! :)

    I’ll come back and read your review in full after I’ve finished it! :)

  13. Claudia
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 19:58:47

    This review makes me realize I’ve quit the crackh. I donated all the BDB pbs–despite only having the ebook for DL– and my unread copies of the compendium and LAv.

    I wasn’t even aware of Covet until Amazon sent me an alert, and this review has convinced me I’m not missing anything.

  14. Ann Bruce
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 20:20:02


    After reading this book I felt like I needed a freshie, but some how made a rightie and walked into a sharpie…

    I’m hoping this is a joke. Is this manner of speaking confined to the BDB or is it all characters in the Ward universe now?

  15. Miki
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 20:52:08

    I remember there was a topic about what was so wrong with “C” grades…this review might be a good example of why people tend to think “C” is garbage. The review sounds like there’s nothing redeemable about this book, beyond the fact that it was written by (cue angelic chorus) J.R. Ward (end angelic chorus).

    I couldn’t even finish the first of the BDB books (the slang and names drove me nuts), so I’m not a fan. But I keep hearing about Ward’s “great books” and was hoping this new series would be worth a try.

    It really doesn’t sound like it…

  16. Samantha
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 20:58:49

    @ Ann Bruce

    The characters used “freshie” A LOT. Then we had Jim tell M-T to make a rightie while she was driving him home and as he was in his head thinking about his deadly blade, he called it a sharpie. No joke.

  17. Joan/SarahF
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 21:36:35

    @Jia: Lassiter, Jia. Lassiter. :)

  18. LAmonkeygirl
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 22:30:00

    Um….what’s a freshie? Is it some kind of moist towelette they give you after eating barbecue?

  19. Samantha
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 23:09:42

    @LAmonkeygirl LoL. I needed that laugh.

    A “freshie” is a cold unopened bottle of beer.

  20. Ann Bruce
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 23:18:51

    @Samantha: Oh! When you first mentioned “freshie,” I thought it was fresh underwear or something.

    God, I feel so sheltered…even though I grew up in a rather rough neighborhood.

  21. Jia
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 02:54:47

    @Joan/SarahF: Ha! I must have A Song of Ice and Fire casting on the brain.

    As for the grade, it sounds generous but the thing is, I wasn’t offended or upset by anything in this book, which for me has always been the key thing in landing the much dreaded D or F. I’m not sure I would have wanted my money back had I paid for this book (and yes, I received a free copy from the publisher), but it was very blah. YMMV.

  22. ME
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 04:07:37

    Haha “Freshie” I’ve alwasy called em, “Coldie”. AS f’or this book, I haven’t read it so I can’t comment. Actually, I’ve never gotten through one of her books because as a writer, JR is just not for me. Bleh.

  23. lightlyfell
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 04:22:26

    So glad I’m done with Ward. Her dialogue has just gotten worse and worse to the point where it is laughable. And the constant self-pity in her characters grates on my nerves. I read fiction to ESCAPE my life.

  24. Caitie
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 05:58:55

    I’ve enjoyed MOST of the BDB books…not so much the last 2 though. And even before that, her writing definitely bothers me. I keep thinking I should count the number of times she uses “shitkickers” instead of any other word for those manly, badass boots every hero of hers wears. sigh. Neither Covet or new BDB books are on my buy list for now, but if I found a copy at the library, I’d probably give it a try:)

  25. HeatherK
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 06:17:40

    Ok, I confess. This book is on my TBR pile waiting for me to feel better and have the time to devote to a book of its size since I read so slow.

    Truthfully, when I picked it up in the store and whined my way into owning a copy (this is the norm for ANY book I wish to purchase as my husband is CHEAP), I had no idea what the book was about, didn’t read the back cover, had no expectations other than “another JR Ward book.” Was that bad of me? Am I total sucker? I’m not saying her books are great or anything, but they are enjoyable in a skipping record sort of way. And that’s not meant in a bad way. I’ve listened to many a skipping record in my time. Annoying, but still good listening or in this case reading–now I want to read this more than I already did, only in that can’t look away from the train wreck sort of way. Yes, I’m very obviously a glutton for punishment here. :p

  26. Lisa J
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 08:32:05

    Phury’s book and the Compendium are languishing under my bed with the dust rhinos. I’ve detoxed and the crhack is no longer for me.

    I saw this one in the store and I was tempted for a minute, but common sense and the two books under the bed changed my mind. I’m not planning to buy or read this one, which makes me a bit misty since I really did love the first three books (Rhage and Mary are my personal favorites).

  27. Jia
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 10:04:31

    @Lisa J: The Compendium is entertaining. But… probably not in the way that was originally intended. Ahem.

  28. MuiMui
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 11:44:14

    Great review! I gave up reading 3/4 way through.

    I’m soooo glad you posted this. As doesn’t have a forum I just wanted to ask someone (!): Why, oh why, does J.R. hate question marks so?? At first I was like, “Ok, she wants to show how macho these guys are that when they ask something they’re really stating something.” But THEN, she goes and takes out the question marks from Marie-Terese’s questions too! Why? And when someone says “What.” it just sounds weird in the readers mind.

    On another note: Can anybody explain why Eddie pointed evil, evil demon out to Jim and basically urged him to have sex with her, all the while knowing she was said evil, evil demon? Is this explained? I skimmed a lot so, yea….

  29. Jia
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 11:53:57

    @MuiMui: Was that Eddie? I thought it was the other one. At any rate, he pointed Devina out to Jim because he didn’t want to get a new partner and train a rookie in the angel saving souls mission and pretty much want to screw him over. Quality, right?

    As for the lack of question marks, I got nothing.

  30. theo
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 12:49:55

    I quit the BDB after V’s book, which was such a disappointment, not only to whitewash a character that could have finally been a striking focal point, but to also move from more romance to almost none (c’mon…Casper?) so definitely won’t be reading this series. I just can’t do chrack anymore.

    On a side note, I think it’s funny that I managed a bar, The Iron Mask, for a couple years. Funny, I never noticed any vampires or angels….


  31. Michelle
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 13:07:56

    I liked the concept more than I liked the execution of this book. I didn’t notice the BDB cameos (except for one) – but I haven’t read the last BDB book. I’m waiting for it to come out in paperback.

    I never really felt or believed what I was supposed to feel or believe in this novel, and in the middle, it just started to drag and I wondered if I should even continue. Completely didn’t believe the M-T character (she had so many other choices) or her “romance” with Vin – though I’m not that into love at first sight stories. And, I’m never going to like a pimp – no matter how dressed up or “understanding” he’s supposed to be.

    All that said, I know I’ll buy the next book in this series and continue to read the BDB series in paperback. I don’t know what keeps me coming back, but there’s something there I can’t keep away from.

  32. Jia
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 14:22:08

    I don't know what keeps me coming back, but there's something there I can't keep away from.

    This seems to be a running theme. Maybe we all need a 12-Step Program.

  33. Michelle
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 16:30:15

    I enjoyed it. I liked Jim’s character and the dog. I did smile at the cameos. Covet has the same voice as the Brotherhood books. If you don’t like the voice you won’t like Covet. I would give it a B.

  34. Bonnie
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 06:34:21

    I’d like to read this book, but get this:

    Yesterday it was offered at Amazon for Kindle for almost $2.00 more than the paperback. Today, it’s not offered for Kindle at all. WTF??

  35. Anemies
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 12:32:55

    I liked the potential of the plot of the story (I like the seven sins) but I can’t exactly call them romantic, which what the book should be all about. I’m a big helpless romantic and I read the BDB series so I expected a lot. I was disappointed.

    Anyway, it was interesting, yes- on the start. I liked Vin, that he was rich and all. It was typical but not the BDB-typical-but-it-is-still-addicting type. And for some reason Jim’s name does not suit him, IMO. It was too…not him.

    I was kind of confused about the whole Fallen Angels business. The thing between the Demons and the Angels as well. So, what? Jim goes to the Angels side first because they held a coin toss and they won! What happens next? Does he go on and favor the Demons’ side next after the Angels’? Will the Demons’ side get introduced next after what happened? But Jim wouldn’t exactly favor the demons’ side, would he? After what Devina did and the fact that we lived thinking what we have to do was right? And how would exactly this series end- is unclear to me. I think for some reason we are going to get a tie and everybody will live on happily. And I’m predicting that at some point, Jim has to let the Demons win- which I think not all readers would like- Unless, the Demons are really really really hot or something.

    You see, I enjoyed the part where Phury, Butch and (V?) showed…but it was wrong. I loved it, true- but it was wrong. This was a problem for me. I was bored. I kept waiting where the next Brother would show up- it was fun but it was distracting and unnecessary.

    It didn’t have the same- strange and addicting- factor that BDB series had. The characters were too similar to each other. The fact that Vin wasn’t exactly normal annoyed me. We have vampires, Fallen Angles and now…psychic humans? I expected a NORMAL greedy guy that will be healed by a woman’s love ( which, I admit, am a sucker for) and helped by some guy named Jim, who irritatingly sounds close to his name.

    It was weak, IMO. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. But…

    I will still be waiting for any book that she writes.

    I’ll give it a “C”.

  36. Nicola O.
    Oct 11, 2009 @ 23:49:05

    I admit, I liked that it was set in Caldwell and had the cameos. I honestly don’t think it was for the sake of pimping the other series. Based on what Ward has said in interviews and on her forum, I think the Brothers are possibly a bit TOO real in her head (heh) and they wander in and out of whatever she’s doing.

  37. Jessica Kennedy
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 20:30:40

    I just finished Covet and I’ve been saving your review in my Google Reader for when I was done reading it.

    It was a LONG book! I enjoyed it though. It was an interesting plot, I’m a huge fan of the interweaving plot lines and the people involved. It kept me guessing who was going where and doing what. :)

    I’m a huge JR Ward fan and will continue to engorge myself on her work. I especially loved the middle paragraph on page 401. :) For some reason that passage was a brilliant example of Ward’s crass dialogue at its best.

  38. Julie
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 18:56:20

    You know what? I actually had troubles with starting off Dark Lover, but got sucked into the Vampire world of Ward so fast after that, and I really think that this is where I’ll be going with this series. Of course I still have to wait a LONG time before I get sucked in since I’m only at book 1 and I had read the BDB’s first 6 books within a month but Im keeping faith that everything will be explained into more details in the books to come……. but like a lot of you guys Im hooked on the BDB and Ward’s books so as soon as another one comes out it’ll be in my hands within hours (like JM’s book that comes out next month *squee!!!!!!!!!*)

  39. Lorrie
    Apr 03, 2010 @ 23:47:17

    I absolutely LOVED this book! I love the fact that it is set in Caldwell. I just got through reading it and I can’t wait until the next one comes out. I love the sex scenes but this last one with Vin and Marie-Terese in the shower…wow…that had me blushing lol. I am patiently waiting for Lover Mine to come out this month! I already ordered it and ready to read!

  40. kda
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 22:18:19

    some of these comments make me laugh because they are so true. after finishing this book, i once again had to question why i keep reading Ward. i HATE the lingo Ward unceasingly employs. when i first read Dark Lover, I was like “ugh, ugh, ugh” in disgust…all the way through the book. Then the next…you get the picture. I found that the BDB series has been a rollercoaster love affair for me. I didn’t really like that series at all until Lover Awakened, and then it went downhill from there only to come up again for me in Lover Avenged – as messed up as that was. No doubt i will return to Ward when Lover Mine hits stores. The 2nd book of the Fallen Angels series will have to rock my world or else I won’t continue on into another unhealthy addiction on top of BDB.

  41. Chelsie
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 14:58:30

    This is the first JR Ward book I read and I loved it! I’m so glad I didnt come on here first and read the aweful reviews. I can’t wait till the next one comes out!

  42. Jane Hunter
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 20:46:00

    The question marks are killing me! I’m so glad someone else noticed it. If it’s a sentence that begins with With or When of How, you NEED to put a question mark at the end.

    Arrrrgh. JR’s editors need to wake up. There’s fewer question marks every book.

  43. Daily Deals: 40% off select Kobo Titles and four romances
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 12:02:25

    […] Jia says: For those readers who want to know, I wouldn’t consider this novel a romance. I think it’s even less of a romance than the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I didn’t even think that was possible. But unlike the BDB series, this novel lacks the multi-layered background storytelling that keeps me reading despite a lack of interest in the main storyline. It’s trying to, I think, with the framework of Jim’s work to save seven souls and the “romance” storyline between Vin and Marie-Terese and the implication of Devina’s true loyalties, but it all reads as cursory and shallow. When I finished the novel, I’d be lying if my immediate reaction wasn’t, “…what did I just read?” Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the dreaded WTF reaction. It was merely a slight sense of bewilderment. I asked part-time reviewer, Nonny, what she thought and she had much the same reaction. I wish I could articulate what exactly it was about the book that left me so unenthused but it’s fairly accurate. […]

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