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Young (Semi) Professional

I'm a promiscuous reader. I'll read anything.

Currently reading

Half Moon Hill: A Destiny Novel (Destiny, Ohio)
Toni Blake
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach
Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)
Laura Kaye

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry - Jon Ronson Review originally posted at Diary of a Young Semi Professional.

With a title like The Psychopath Test, it’d be impossible not to pick up. Especially when it has a $6.99 price tag on it, courtesy of Brookline Booksmith.

I’ve been getting into pop science lately (see: Mary Roach) and I think most people have this draw toward the weird, strange, misunderstood, and/or macabre. And let’s be honest, we’ve all had those days where we spend a couple hours researching serial killers on Wikipedia.

The Psychopath Test draws you in by making the claim that a decent percentage of individuals in positions of power are, in fact, psychopaths. I’m sure we’ve all had that one boss who comes to mind.

At the start of the book, psychopaths are rarely mentioned. Instead, Jon Ronson focuses on how he came to begin his fascination on psychopaths. It begins with an elaborate hoax sent to a team of researchers, scientists, and academics. A puzzle.

One of the scientists that Jon comes across in being called to help solve this puzzle is one who studies psychopaths and, from there, the rest is history.

The book reads well. I blew threw it really quickly and rarely does the content become dry and boring. The thing that most enthralled me was that everything was true. At times, I was almost in disbelief that these stories were factual, that these people existed, but sure enough…they were. I would have to stop reading just to Google facts Ronson mentioned.

Like the schizophrenic artist who resided in a basement at an “experimental therapeutic community” in London. She lived in the basement because she began painting with her excrement. She then later recovered and went on to become a rather successful artist.

Her name was Mary Barnes and she’s a real person.

There is an actual test from which the book gets its title. I checked; I’m not a psychopath. And Ronson does use it while he interviews certain people, like the former CEO of Sunbeam Products. It’s obvious that knowing how to use the test can easily become a slippery slope, as Ronson begins going through the list with nearly everyone he meets.

However, the people he chooses to interview are an odd mix and I would have liked to have seen more powerful individuals covered to either help substantiate Ronson’s earlier claims, or to dismiss it. We only get a handful and I was definitely left wanting to read more, to know more.

Toward the end of the book, Ronson takes a strange turn, talking about the DSM. It’s the big book that psychiatrists and other mental health providers use when diagnosing patients. From the DSM, he poses the question if perhaps the psychiatric industry is going too far, if they’re over-diagnosing conditions that don’t really exists. There’s even a little bit on how it relates to pharmaceutical companies get on the action to push their latest medications.

It felt disjointed from the rest of the book, as if Ronson changed gears three-quarters of the way through writing. It’s still an argument worth pursuing. I just don’t think it should have been done in this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, though the last quarter of the book didn’t match the content and momentum from before. If you find yourself even remotely interested in this type of subject matter, I definitely encourage you to read it.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan For me, the main problem was that I felt the story flatlined a bit. The climax was underwhelming & I found myself getting more and more frustrated with Mary and her fascination with the ocean. Her involvement with the brothers, Harry and Travis, started off genuinely interesting just like the rest of the book, fraught with young adult angst, but it never really progressed or traveled anywhere new. At first, it had the slight similarities of a young adult version of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The fanatacism of the Sisterhood combined with environment of a post-apocalyptic sheltered community gave the book a strong start. However, the rest of the action didn't seem to live up to its promising beginnings. I'd say it was a decent zombie read, though overall, I don't feel satisfied or fulfilled by the end of the book. My interest in reading the next book, I would say, is halfhearted at best though I'll probably do so because I can't leave a series unfinished.

The Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers, Book 3)

Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas Every time I read a Lisa Kleypas book, my first instinct is to declare it's my favorite. Seeing as how I've probably said that about each preceding Wallflower book, it's obvious that I'm a fickle creature. But I really mean it this time! Honest!

Evangeline Jenner is one of the most a-freaking-dorable heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I found her stammer to be endearing and sweet. Her plight for a husband to me seemed a bit more crucial to her future and her safety; whereas, with the past two girls, the search for a partner seemed more out of societal duty than anything. Her fears and struggles were all quite justified and I'm eager to get a glimpse of what's going on in her married life in the following books.

Sebastian St. Vincent is such a delicious character and, honestly, who doesn't love a reformed rake. We're able to experience his emotional growth and love for Evie and it's beautifully done. That being said, I wish I was able to know more regarding his background. He briefly glossed over his family history, but I was hoping to know so much more than just a paragraph or two. The back and forth between his sly innuendos and Evie's confident retorts guarantees that the book never has a boring lapse in dialogue.

Really, I only had a couple issues with the book. I was genuinely surprised at how quickly the tumultuous and unhealthy relationship Evie had with her family was resolved. They were portrayed as being quite cruel and persistent in the previous books, but that didn't seem to hold true when we actually get to the book that's surely supposed to include them. I'm also surprised that Lisa Kleypas didn't incorporate some of Sebastian's past paramours, but perhaps she felt that those sorts of obstacles would have been too obvious.

I've said it before and I have no problems saying it again. Kleypas' characterization is pure gold. She has the most bittersweet touch of slightly introducing a character (Cam Rohan *swoon*) and at the end of the book, I find myself craving to know whether or not they'll be getting their own story. Both, Daisy Bowman and Cam Rohan, are fleshed out more as characters in Devil in Winter, causing a sense of urgency in me to start reading their respective books. Thankfully, I have Daisy's story, Scandal in Spring, and Cam's book, Mine Till Midnight, buried somewhere on my dresser.

My only problem is now deciding which to read first.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins I honestly feel like I don't need to go into what I loved about this book or what few things I found lacking. Honestly, I'm really glad to have finally dusted this off my TBR pile and still find myself wondering why on earth it had taken me so long to read it. For me, Peeta Mellark has that certain Jim Halpert (The Office) je ne sais quoi.

This book refreshingly tapped into my emotions. I couldn't help tearing up at certain scenes (You know the ones I'm talking about!) or sharing a sense of a dread, specifically as Katniss is emerging into the arena. A few readers have compared this to Battle Royale, a favorite book of mine with a similar plot. Both are enjoyable, but whereas Battle Royale jumps immediately into the action, The Hunger Games builds upon the main characters, their motivations, and the processes of the Games, giving you more of a connection, in my opinion.

I'd like to keep this review short in saying that I'd easily recommend it to just about anyone. You may find yourself put off by its intense popularity or the sudden flooding of the dystopian YA genre, but it really is worth the read. I definitely look forward to the development of its film adaptation as well.

Talk Me Down

Talk Me Down - Victoria Dahl Whelp...the happenings in this book could have just been avoided if Molly just told Ben the truth. Her "secrets" weren't really that bad and, with Ben being a police chief, it would actually make more sense to fill him in on some things.

Molly spends her time reminiscing about what a sweet, shy guy Ben was a decade ago. That truly hasn't changed, which adds another point to why in the hell she just didn't fess up to him. He's a trustworthy individual, so I really failed to keep understanding her logic. At first, yes. I got it. Spilling out stories of crazy exes and your unorthodox career might not be the best icebreaker, but halfway through the book, there was really no point in keeping mum except to drive along the plot.

I have a love/hate relationship with Miss Molly Jennings. I applaud that fact that she's a heroine who is in touch with her sexual side and doesn't mind embracing it. It's refreshing to see a woman who isn't afraid of a little sexual healing or the mysterious lustful cravings she gets when a hot piece walks in the door. The hero and heroine don't fight their attraction to each other at an agonizing pace either, which I enjoyed because I've been getting tired of the books I've been reading where I find myself practically screaming, "Ohmigod, just do it already!"

But onto the hate part of our relationship. I found Molly to be annoying and a bit all over the place. Her moods changed at an inhuman pace and I had a hard time relating to someone who could replace any emotion with flippant flirtation. When you feel like someone is stalking you, it's time for some serious business! Not sexual innuendos! She really needed a good shake for a majority of the book. I've noticed some reviewers comment on how Molly is a tad undeserving of Ben's affections and I have to agree. At the end of the book, I didn't feel as though she earned his devotion.

Despite my disappointment for Talk Me Down, I'll be picking up the second in the serious, Start Me Up. It features Lori, Molly's resident BFF, and Quinn, who happens to be Molly's brother. The two were briefly characterized in the first and I'm interested to see how their chemistry works together. I also didn't find Lori to be half as irksome as Molly, but we'll see.

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)

Feed - Mira Grant Whatever I write as a review probably won't do my true feelings justice on that matter. For me and I'm assuming for most readers as well, the enjoyment of opening a book is truly about the journey. The experience. The escape. You could be a fan of the worst book ever to be written, but if that one book transformed your life for a handful of hours, leaving you emotionally charged and genuinely happy to have spent your time consumed by its words, then I am not one to degrade that feeling.

Feed is not a perfect book. It has its spots that are rough around the edges and each reader is entitled to his or her own literary pet peeves; however, the delivery of the story and the work as a whole is something that I have experienced in very few books. Everyone has that one book. You know the one. You've read it countless times and each time you read it, the discovery feels new again. It's like a marriage where the honeymoon never ends! Assuming your honeymoon wasn't a disaster, of course. Feed will now become one of those books that I instantly recommend and it'll be mentally stored away among my favorites.

I know I haven't done a lot of reviewing in terms of the actual storyline. Do please forgive me because I am still in my book-finishing afterglow. Probably the thing I appreciate most in terms of books featured in this genre is believability. I understand that in most books, people are apt to suspend their belief for the sake of their enjoyment in a story, especially in terms of fantasy or science-fiction novels. That being said, I think in order for a zombie novel to work within a somewhat current setting, the zombie plot has to be plausible. That's part of the appeal, in my opinion, and the author did enough research for an outbreak to seem possible given the circumstances.

The reliance on blogs and the internet as the main news source was also a lovely touch. The media today can often get its fair share of flack in terms of not reporting the full scope of the facts and it was a nice spin on the zombie genre that makes Feed fit into that niche but also have the ability to stand out as well.

Other reviewers have mentioned that some of the characters were a little flat and the setup of good vs. bad politician is a bit trite. I do happen to agree. I would have liked something a little less obvious, but it honestly didn't make me enjoy the book any less. Like I said, it's all about the journey and to me, this was the equivalent of discovering that your brother left the bag of chips open during half the car ride during your road trip and now they're stale as hell. It's unfortunate, yes, but you're still going to stuff your face with them and be just fine. Or maybe I'm the only one who's too much of a glutton to do so.

My absolute favorite part of Feed? Georgia and Shaun's sibling relationship. I have a younger brother and, despite there being a larger age gap between us than the fiction siblings, we have a similar bond. Minus the zombies and blogging. I always seem to enjoy a book more when I find something relatable to latch onto within the characters. Once again...minus the zombies and the blogging.

The second installment in the trilogy is due out at the end of this month and I certainly plan on justifying its immediate purchase because I have no willpower when sticking to a book budget or patience when it comes to a series.

Black Ice

Black Ice - Anne Stuart I'm having a hard time deciding on what to rate this. I'm fluctuating from two stars to four, so I'll just average it out and be done with it.

The plot really wasn't that bad, though you'd figure all of these elite arms dealers would be able to secure a translator that probably wouldn't have caused such a fuss. Perhaps an elderly gentleman instead of a twenty-something year old woman? Just a thought for the next time a super secret meeting occurs or...even better, everyone grab some iPhones. Surely there's an app for that.

Chloe was...nice. Honestly, I say that because she never stirred any strong emotions within me as a reader. The girl also needs to learn to stay put if an experienced killer strongly recommends it. Now is not the time to question authority when you've just had some major crap go down. Should have saved all that rebellion for your experimental college years.

The relationship between Chloe and Bastien developed at a decent pace, but at the end of the book, all I felt they truly had in common was the ability to join forces and have some awesome sex. Like an adult, non-incestuous version of the Wonder Twin powers. I'd also consider myself open-minded in the ways of relationships, though I think the age difference between the two of them was a bad idea. About a decade is the gap and add in Bastien's unconventional, ass-kicking lifestyle, I have a hard time seeing them "making it work." If an epilogue were to happen, I can see Chloe suggesting couple's therapy (because you know it's bound to happen) and Bastien choosing instead to methodically clean his guns in front of her like my father did when he needed some "me" time. Maybe in the second book within the Ice series, we'll get a glimpse or mention of them to see how that whole...thing is working out for them.

Apart from the story/characters, I unfortunately have noticed that Anne Stuart has a lot of word repetition. Bastien's physical appearance was constantly being described as beatific and at the beginning of the book, Chloe did everything "brightly." Now I probably wouldn't have noticed it if she had used the word a second time maybe seventy pages or so later. But, and this is just a rough estimate since I'm too lazy to go back and count, she used the same adjectives and adverbs within fifteen pages or less of each other. I know that sometimes a word just describes something so perfectly, but maybe Shift+F7 in Word might not have been a bad idea.

It Happened One Autumn (The Wallflowers, Book 2)

It Happened One Autumn - Lisa Kleypas I'm tempted to start a slow clap for this book. The second installment of the Wallflowers series is even better than the fist and I have a sneaking suspicion that the third is going to be even better.

I don't want to gush too much, but I'm finding that Lisa Kleypas' characterization is her strong suit. The heroine, Lillian Bowman, is a crude American heiress, but you can't fault her for her shortcomings. Her disregard for proper etiquette makes her more appealing. I don't think it's fair to compare her to the heroine of the first novel, Annabelle, because they're two different characters with different backgrounds and such, but if I had to choose, I found Lillian to be more enjoyable. I'm not saying that I disliked Annabelle, but Lillian was simply more fun.

The main love interest for Lillian was the seemingly uptight Lord Westcliff. Watching that man lose is calm and calculated behavior was like a drug, though I wished he put up more of a struggle in regards to losing his composure; although, I can understand the author's decision to make it more liberating rather than frightening.

St. Vincent. Oh. My. Eff. He came so close to stealing the whole show for me. As just the reader, his charisma was almost palpable and if weren’t for my already extensive reading list for this month, I'd start devouring the next book seeing as how his love interest is the stammering introvert, Evie. The two of them seem even more polarizing opposites than Marcus and Lillian.

I'm quickly becoming some sort of breed of Kleypas fangirl. It may be a diagnosis that I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, but it's a burden I am happy to bear.

If Angels Burn: A Novel of the Darkyn

If Angels Burn - Lynn Viehl If I had to use an adjective to describe this book and the events that transpired, I'd have to choose the word "unnecessary." I think I lost count of the number of times I sighed out loud in exasperation and thought, "Really? Is that really necessary?"

The first half of the book builds up a lot of exposition and background in terms of Dr. Alexandra Keller's characterization. All of that hard and, at times, boring work rarely gets mentioned again past the halfway point. There was even a time where they mentioned some sort of arrangement Alex and Michael had that pertained to Alex's fancy, "doctory" exposition and I had literally forgotten about it until they had brought it up again almost one hundred pages later.

Based upon the back cover of the book, I had assumed this was going to be a paranormal romance. However, paranormal should be italicized, in bold, and probably even underlined while romance should be featured in a size two font. The romance kind of came out of nowhere. There was a passage where Michael was going off on some diatribe about how the two of them had a connection from the moment they came in contact with one another and, honestly, that's a huge crock. Not once did I feel any sort of sparks or kindles of budding romantic tension. Just a lot of bickering, half-hearted threats, and unnecessary feminine bravado.

Lastly (I promise), the constant overwhelming dumpage of information and unnecessary French irked me.

Despite its faults, the story did pick up the pace and my interest increased once I read through the initial exposition and setting up of the plot. I'm hoping the next heroine in the second book, Private Demon, isn't so depressing at the beginning, but based upon the few preview pages at the end of this book, I don't think so. From what I gather, she may be suffering from a terminal illness. Clearly, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Secrets of a Summer Night (The Wallflowers, Book 1)

Secrets of a Summer Night - Lisa Kleypas Great Scott! A historical romance heroine who isn't a simpering, wet blanket?! Surely, I must be mistaken!

Thank you, Mrs. Kleypas for not making Annabelle Peyton an insufferable, self-pitying twit. The beauty of Annabelle's character is that she's quite genuine about things. If she doesn't like your company, she'll trade a verbal barb or two. She doesn't try to justify herself to people, for the most part, and that's a quality I can admire. The plot centers on Annabelle finding a husband. For the setting's standards, Annabelle is getting rather old and it's about time she bag herself a rich one. She has no qualms or hesitancies about admitting to herself that is what indeed she plans to do. Screw anyone else!

I don't want to go on and on about what I loved about this book because there is certainly quite a bit to list. The one liners tossed about in dialogue were genius and I marked a few of them to go back and reread from time to time. The relationship between Annabelle and Simon showed growth and change which I appreciated. I prefer to experience a gradual awakening when it comes to those things instead of, "Oh hey, we love each other now, Kay, guys?!" Most of all, I think any scenes where the Wallflowers were interacting together shined throughout the book and may have just overshadowed the electric action with Mr. Hunt. It's really hard not to get attached to each one. I honestly don't think I can pick my favorite girl.

The next story, It Happened One Autumn, follows Lillian Bowman and Lord Westcliff. I'm already itching to get my hands on a copy of it consider when we last saw the two of them; they pretty much hate each other. I may just go through all of Lisa Kleypas' books since I'm clearly enamored with her writing after just one book.

The Dream Thief (The Drakon, Book 2)

The Dream Thief  - Shana Abe The Dream Thief is the second book in Shana Abé's Drakon series and, like most readers, I was eagerly awaiting the continuation of Zane's story. He was such an interesting character in the first book and I wished he'd have a chance at his own HEA.

The plot itself was engaging, but I personally felt like there could have been an added hundred pages or so to pour out more of the story. Most of the times, I got the impression that Abé was telling rather than showing throughout the book. For example, at the utterance of "I love you," it didn't seem genuine or believable. The hero and heroine do go through their own various trials and tribulations, especially in the face of their budding relationship. However, I didn't see any personal growth or any gradual revelations about how they felt for one another. You blink and all of a sudden their feelings a founded and solidified. Maybe I'm being too critical of Abé, but this happens to be a reading pet peeve of mine. It wasn't a bad book. Honest. I just think a few more pages would have benefited the story a bit better.

The next book, Queen of Dragons, is about Mari, who we were introduced to in this book, and Kimber, who happens to be Amalia's brother. Mari seems like a very complicated and darker heroine than Lia and Rue, though I don't really have a handle on Kimber in terms of personality quite yet since he wasn't a prevalent force in The Dream Thief. Either way, I think I might be anticipating the third book more than this one.

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1) (Stephanie Plum Novels)

One for the Money - Janet Evanovich For the life of me, I have no idea why I waited so long to start this book. It was one of those books where I'd just stare at it while it sat on my dresser, promising myself that I'd begin reading it the next day.

The highlight of this book for me was the characters. Janet Evanovich certainly knows how to write engaging characters. Stephanie Plum is one of those heroines that is legitimately hard not to love. She was ballsy yet vulnerable at times; smart and witty though prone to stupid mistakes; a realistic balance of traits that made her believable as a real person and not just words on paper.

That being said, the downfall of this book was the characters. Not in content, but in number. There were so many names; friends, family, witnesses, coworkers, etc. I was finding it difficult to remember who had what connection to the story, with the exception of the main players. I'm not sure which irritated me more; the vast amount of secondary characters or Ramirez referring to himself in third person as "the champ" the entire book.

I'm really glad I bit the bullet and finally read it though. It was more than worthy of my time and I'll be desperately trying to fit in the second book, as soon as possible.

Wicked Enchantment (Dark Magick, Book 1)

Wicked Enchantment  - Anya Bast I'm quite surprised that I wasn't in love with this book.

I'll applaud Mrs. Bast's world building and plot, even though at the beginning, I found the influx of information to be a little overwhelming. Reading Wicked Enchantment taught me a bit about myself as a reader in the fact that I'm more of a purist in terms of fantasy themes. I love plots that revolve around the fey and I do my best to inhale them like a crazy woman during Girl Scout cookie season. However, if you're going to incorporate contemporary aspects and conventions such as brand names or shopping malls, the setting has to coincide with that. For example, in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, she blends fey themes with the modern day, but the kingdoms and faerie realms themselves are free from human influence. In the human parts of the world such as notable cities and countries, fey do exist but since they are in a human-touched area, those influences are to be expected. Am I making sense? I don't want to hear references to a Valentino gown while attending a ball in the Seelie Court. It just breaks my suspension of belief.

The main part of the book that truly irked me was the characters. Both the hero, Gabriel, and heroine, Aislinn, just felt flat to me. I never connected with Aislinn or her relationship to Gabriel. I felt she was undeserving of the awesomeness bestowed upon her and, at the end of the day; I still had a tiresome question. Did she really do anything? The conflicts she faced with Gabriel as well as with her abilities seemed solved without much of a struggle. No blood, sweat, or tears. The problems in their own right were like mountains and most people would probably feel terribly pressured and stressed at trying to achieve a positive outcome. But in my opinion, Aislinn somehow managed to make them into molehills and the journey it took to solve each dilemma was too easy for me.

Despite my letdown, the brief glimpse into the next book centering on Emmaline and Aeric grabbed my intention immediately. I sincerely hope it's better than its predecessor, but I'm going to do my best not to count my chickens before they hatch, so to speak.

Ruthless (The House of Rohan)

Ruthless - Anne Stuart This would be my first Anne Stuart book and I've heard a lot of great things about her as an author. Perhaps, though, I was expecting too much or had other silly preconceived notions. The story itself wasn't too bad and I have a weakness for crude, dark heroes. Viscount Rohan certainly fits that bill. For me, the shining aspect of this book was the dialogue between the heroine and the hero. It was funny, feisty, and entertaining. And they do quite a bit of it...until the hop into bed.

Don't get me wrong, all their bickering was practically foreplay through the entire story and the sense of sexual tension between Rohan and Elinor was achieved perfectly. I just felt that the climax (pun intended) fell short of what I was expecting. I wanted more animalistic passion, I suppose, given Elinor's sharp tongue and Rohan's claimed prowess. In terms of that and the resolution of the book's central conflict, the buildup was way more enjoyable to experience than the conclusion of both aspects.

And because I'm a bit nitpicky, the constant reference to Rohan's moniker, "The King of Hell" made my eyes hurt from all the rolling they were doing.

The Rest Falls Away (Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Book 1)

The Rest Falls Away - Colleen Gleason To be honest, there was nothing terribly wrong with this book. Like many reviewers I've seen, I, too, had a few misgivings about picking it up, but I was neither disappointed by the plot nor the characters.

Since this is the first book in a series, it does suffer from the usual syndrome that often plague other series' starters. Gleason is burdened with creating a believable reality and introducing the main players of her story without losing the interest of the reader. The pacing at the start of the book dragged from time to time, but once the action began and we passed the first impression stage, the story was quite engaging.

I was happy to see the balance in Victoria as a heroine and found her challenges, worries, and responses to be well-founded. She was relatable and I was praising the gods that I never felt she was one of those "too stupid to live" types. Although classified as a romance, the book contains mostly ass-kicking sprinkled with sexual tension and three potential love interests. However, with this being the first in a series, I appreciate the fact that Gleason opted to forgo the route of the current exploits of LKH's oversexed Anita Blake, though I certainly wouldn't have complained if Victoria received just a pinch more "action."

Overall, I think this is a great start to the Gardella Vampire Chronicles. I breezed through it and the conclusion certainly left with me with quite a few questions about what will happen next to Victoria and her sexy cohorts.

Born of Night (The League, Book 1)

Born of Night  - Sherrilyn Kenyon Sigh. Sherrilyn Kenyon, I expected better of you. I have read several books from her Dark-Hunters series and I genuinely found them to be decent, entertaining reads. I also enjoy a bit of science fiction from time to time and I was delighted to discover this scifi romance series. World-building is an essential part of any science fiction story and I wasn't disappointed by Kenyon in this aspect. It was her characters that irked me to no end. I would rather her skimp on the world-building than put me through Kiara's incessant crying and whining.

As you can tell, the heroine is what gave me the most trouble while reading. At times she was described as being stubborn or headstrong, but her actions never once displayed either of those traits. At one point during a crying fit, she apologizes because she swears she's not this emotional. Obviously, Kiara is a bit delusional since she has several more tearful episodes throughout the book.

I understand that in a plot, obstacles must be presented in order for the characters to grow as they overcome such odds. But dear god, the sheer amount of cliché problems Kenyon introduced were as equally staggering as they were annoying. Almost any issue that can be used in a romance novel was thrown into the mix of the story. Even worse, they all seemed to be solved in a handful of pages. The solutions seemed hollow and meaningless because I felt the characters truly didn't work to achieve them.

As far as the relationship is concerned with Kiara and Nykyrian, I would say that falls into the same realm as the previously ranted about plot devices. Their relationship didn't blossom or gradually transform. There's some sexual tension, they finally hop into bed, and then it was just there.

I was intrigued by Syn's characterization in Born of Night so I'll definitely give the next book a try since it focuses on him. That or I'm just using that as an excuse to hide that I might be a literary masochist.