Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Her Watch by Rie Warren

The Basics:
On Her Watch by Rie Warren
Forever Yours
Book Two in the Don't Tell series
Erotica, Romance, Dystopian
Published June 3, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

It sounded pretty hot, to be honest.


The year is 2071 and all hell has broken loose. As the government tries to control the territories that were once the United States, an armed rebellion erupts . . . 

AWOL from her military post, Lieutenant Liz Grant will do anything for the rebels she now calls friends. Her latest mission: return to the Beta Corps army and obtain classified information that could turn the battle in the revolutionaries' favor. There's only one problem: Commander Linc Cutler.

Strong, coldly handsome, and always in control, Linc is perplexed by the beautiful soldier brought in for questioning. He doesn't know if he believes her explanation for why she went missing. He only knows his intense sexual desire for her cannot be denied.

My thoughts:

What the heck did I just read?

I don't even know where to begin.

This book had so much potential. And there are sections of it that are brilliant.  The sex is erotic and hot. There's a possessive aggressiveness to it without any real kink, which I think will appeal to a broad audience.

Linc and Liz often have some really delightfully flirtatious conversations. There's a lot of wit evident in their banter and they clearly belong together.

There's also this somewhat intriguing war that receives as much if not more focus than the romance. And this is where things became difficult for me.

Making the villain of the piece rabidly anti-homosexual was a big... well... book turn-off for me. Not that I supported his cause in the slightest, because I don't. No, I found his views, and the language used to express agreement with his views to be so repellent that I wanted to throw the book across the room.

The language in the book is definitely vulgar and crude and everything you would expect of soldiers. Most of it I found refreshing, because really, don't we all talk a little closer to sailors than to nineteenth century debutantes? But I do think that some of it veered across a line that I apparently have.

Another problem I had was really visualizing the big story elements of this book. There's references to locations on the East coast/around New York City that made me think I should be able to place 'Beta' - where most of the action happens. Instead, I struggled to keep the geography clear in my mind. There was a *ton* of back and forth in this book - first we're there, doing this, then we're back here, doing that, and then we have to go another place before returning to place A and then to a new place and then back to A and then....  I don't know what it was, but I had a hard time keeping up.

The pacing is very go-go-go. Now, I imagine that a war, and being undercover in the enemy army during a war, would be a very frenetic and frantic and confusing and you'd have to be 'on' all the time. So in conveying that atmosphere to the reader, this book did a fantastic job. Unfortunately, it was all a little too much for me. There was so much jammed into this book!! So much!

So ultimately what did I think about this one? Erotic - yes. Romantic? Enh - they come together so quickly, with so little development of any kind of relationship that I didn't find it to be very believable. That said, the book stretches on for quite a ways after Liz and Linc first identify the attraction between them (also refreshing!) so there's time for a romantic relationship to grow.

There's a broad cast of supporting characters - including the male-male couple from the previous book. I cringed a little at their nicknames - too cutesy for me? Maybe? I appreciated that there was a wealth of male-male pairings to balance things out, but... given that Liz and Linc are the *only* hetero pairing that are shown in a positive light, there was always this... strange imbalance.

Bottom line:

On Her Watch struck the wrong chord for me, and was too fast paced for me to latch onto anything beyond a superficial sense of the material in it. Not for me, but it was definitely sexy and I can see where some readers are going to really love it - To Each Their Own, after all!

2.5 stars
For fans of the Don't Tell series, futuristic/war-based romances, smart-mouthed and foul-mouthed heroines/heroes.

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