Review drinking game – take a sip every time I use cliché.
PJV Quickie: I’m usually blown away by Gena Showalter’s work, but this one just had me laughing at inappropriate places and confused at others. I thought LAST KISS GOODNIGHT was cliché most of the time and silly at others. If you are looking for a good Paranormal Romance or SciFi Romance from Showalter, this is not the one I would recommend.
Review: Set within the Alien Huntress world, Gena Showalter brings readers to a section of her Alien craziness, that of Black op assassins. The beginning of the book starts with an explosion and from what I could tell, most of the assassins being taken out. The main character, Solomon “Solo” Judah is kidnapped and sold into alien slavery. He is caged and displayed at a circus where they specialize in the depraved.
Solomon is some sort of rare alien that turns into a devilish monster when he is angered. His skin reddens, his teeth and claws lengthen, the whole shebang. He is cared for by the circus owners daughter, Vika. Vika is a terrible frail thing, she is repeatedly abused by her father and forced to care for the captives. Vika’s father had punished her for her transgressions by taking her hearing, killing her animals, which were her only friends and probably forcing her to marry his sadistic second-in-command. The captives hate Vika, they view her as their warden, they taunt her, they torment her…but Solo is different. He shields her, even though she has given him no reason to think she is different from her father. With Solo’s help, Vika realizes that now is the time to make a move…make her escape. But does she have the resources and the will to make it out alive?
I didn’t even read the description of the book, Showalter is one of those authors that if she writes it, I’m buying it or requesting it. It almost pains me to write a negative review regarding this book, but it wasn’t the usual multi-dimensional Showalter book. I didn’t feel the romance, it was cliché in most spots, scenes that induced eye-rolls and giggles, instead of the wanted swoons and titillation. One of the opening scenes set the stage for the entire book. Vika welcomes in the new captive by putting him to sleep with the use of the cuffs that keep the captives from breaking through their cages. She has to clean him and get in his cage, so he has to be knocked out. While cleaning him, with a itty bitty sponge, over his big half-naked man parts, she is overcome by his manliness and just has to kiss him. Her first kiss of course. Solo is unable to move but aware, which he isn’t supposed to be – so he knows what Vika is doing to him, which he finds alluring. So, sets the stage of the cliché heroine with the heart of gold that tames the insecure beast. Vika plays hard to get, but her innocence and beauty lures Solo into that love bliss of paranormal romance / alpha protector. He must do anything to save her! But, she is held hostage by her abusive and evil father…who was once good, but his greed has changed him into a man that is using black magic to abuse people. *insert evil laugh snippet*
Good versus evil. Beauty and the Beast. Virginal heroine meets man who’s longest relationship was a one-night stand. It was cliché after cliché, filled with plot-holes and a complex plot that was just silly at times. The “throwing together” of the hero and heroine, their forced alone-time which elicited that fall into love just didn’t make sense. I couldn’t figure out why the evil father would do that to the two of them. Yes, father thinks daughter is getting too attached to the big demon looking brute in the cage, so let’s lock them in there together while we go through a dimensional portal of black goo which requires them to huddle within the middle of the cage or risk being eaten. There of course was a silly explanation…but to me it just didn’t feel real.
I didn’t feel this book. There was no depth. It felt as if Gena was just regurgitating her tried and true story lines, but had no connection with her characters and didn’t flush out the plot like she usually does. Not to mention she included Bible verse at the beginning of each Chapter, which I did not get in the least. What did they have to do with each Chapter? That they were from the Book of Solomon and then the character was named Solomon? At first, because they were from a deuterocanonical book, I didn’t recognize them for what they were. First assumption was it was fictionalized faith system. I know, dumb thought – but I couldn’t put a correlation between the bible verse and each chapter. WTF? But THEN I looked online and figured out that Showalter herself has found religion and I am now under the assumption that she is just using her book to preach. If this were the case, she did it all wrong. This monster looking main character, I wouldn’t correlate with King Solomon in the least, much lest glean any sort of “real life” faith based interpretation about the events in the story. You want to make it a faith based metaphor, at least make it have real teaching underneath it. Look, I have nothing against religion, but the verse in the pages of a Paranormal/SciFi/Romance just didn’t feel right, and the characters sticky attachment to characters within the bible, not working – because the plot was just a typical good vs. evil PNR plot. It’s a Romance, even more it’s a paranormal romance. Love is the foundation of faith, but a cliché paranormal romance does not relate the teachings of the Bible. I would have had more respect if Showalter would have taken Old Testament bible stories and rewritten them as PNR. Maybe an Alien Samson and Deliliah…this just seemed force. This felt like Showalter had a contract with her publisher to write X amount of PNR novels – she’s not feeling it anymore, so she churned out this one and made herself feel better by sticking verse in front of each chapter. Nice.
The narration was done by George Newbern, who you might know as Charlie from the television show Scandal. I liked Newbern’s narration, even though I can’t say it was great, because I didn’t think the book was great. But, he did a good job for what he was given. There were a lot of “noises” to be made and a few accents which were played up – I just have to say, I wouldn’t have wanted to narrate this book.
Recommendations: Paranormal Romance fans and Science Fiction Romance fans might enjoy. I’m in the minority as far as negative reviews, so I believe that most people, if they are fans of Gena Showalter should enjoy. If you haven’t read Showalter before, start with the Alien Huntress series, instead of this one. Take this as my opinion. You make your own.