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Leigh UK

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Unique Heroine, Excellent Narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-01-20

I love it when authors deviate from the usual overly perfect leading lady and write love stories for all the other (i.e. the majority of) women on the planet.

This leading lady and her love interest are a real gift. He's loving and protective without being an OTT Alpha type. He's also not insanely rich and powerful. Hooray for the average guy!

She's prickly and antisocial to start but it only makes you more curious. She grows throughout the story and it's a joy to see her find herself without being dependent on him for her self worth. Neither of them makes stupid decisions or assumptions so the story can move forward. This is a gem!

This is my first book from this author and with Channing doing the narration, I'm so ready for Book 2. A really Enjoyabe listen!

Romance and Inclusion! Awesome!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-01-20

Let me start by saying that I didn't know how Ms Milan was going to make these two get together. The start is so prickly and Jay is such an ass that I honestly think there is no coming back for him. Admittedly, I am biased towards Maria because I've met her in the previous book so Jay is already starting on the back foot, and he doesn't help himself at first. I think it might be his family that saves him, and of course, we get to hear his back story and that helps too. That said, he's not the star of this show.

I really enjoyed the building of the Cyclone universe and all the people connected to it. I loved the glimpses of Tina & Blake but my girl Maria is THE star! She reminds me of so many women I know - so strong, so resilient, and so afraid to show their soft side for so many reasons. And yes girl, we women can posses both a working brain and a working vagina! Having just left a job with a hyper-misogynistic boss, I so appreciated this novel right now.

On another note, thank you Ms Milan so much for writing with a different kind of lading lady. I read lots of romance and while I've read a pretty even mix of straight, gay, bi, and multiples, this is the first time I've read one with a trans leading lady. It did not disappoint.

Now, I'm not a trans woman so I can only speak from a straight black woman perspective. I'll leave the trans community to determine whether Ms Milan got it right or not. My joy was just at seeing some form of representation. Any recognition that not only straight people read romance novels should be commended.

More cyclone diversity please!

1 person found this helpful

Refreshing!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-01-20

I know that's a weird headline but it's how I felt about this book.

It was refreshing to have an Asian leading lady.
It was refreshing to have her be strong without being a bitch.
It was refreshing to see a couple evolve where neither of them is a "white knight" (all puns intended!)
It was refreshing to see the vulnerable side of the male lead without emasculating him.
It was refreshing to see how naive he is, compared to her street smarts, and neither of them were caricatures.
It was refreshing to have such realistic dialogue that wasn't a diatribe, and finally,
It was refreshing to see such a wonderful unique bond between father and son.

Yes he's rich and she's poor but you'd be surprised how that didn't play out in the usual "I will save you" trope. Courtney Milan, I love your books! The historical stuff and this new series set in modern times too. So beautiful to see a romance novel be full of diverse characters in an inclusive rather than tokenistic manner. The story isn't a stereotype and the romance is still very real.

The leading lady doesn't make nonsensical assumptions to advance the story. Her self-worth is not dependant on a man. Her leading man does not assume he knows what's best for her, and he's not so strong that nothing can phase him. They're both blessedly human with brains and they behave how you'd expect highly intelligent humans to behave - sensibly most of the time and slightly irrational when emotions take over - like most of us. And I think that's the thing. You're not sitting here going "what the hell are you doing?" or rolling your eyes at anyone's stupidity.

This is romance for people who want love with a hefty serving of common sense.
Yes, common sense is absolutely sexy!

More cyclone please!

3 yrs later and it's more relevant than ever

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-19

I cannot say that I enjoyed this book. At times it was painful to hear how we treat each other in this country. Still, it was something I needed to read, a book we should all read.

As an immigrant myself, I needed to read the experiences of other immigrants who live alongside me. I did not know about "Yellow Fever" and its impact on East Asian women. I struggled to imagine what life is like for every young Asian man who looks remotely like Riz Ahmed. I got so angry on behalf of the writer whose kurta was called a pajama and never considered the cultural appropriation aspect of yoga in Western societies.

Some stories I could relate to - the stereotyping, profiling, the struggle to get a job interview until you remove your foreign sounding name...

I know we can all do better for each other. It starts with compassion - recognising how our fellow humans are hurting and then doing our best to alleviate that hurt however and whenever we can. This book is a good way to educate ourselves so we can all be better at looking out for each other. Totally worth a listen.

Oh the Drama!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-08-19

What an action packed story! I think I was most impressed with the author's character development of the heroine. At times it's painful to hear what she goes through and how she perceives it. It's this detail to Vivian's psyche and how it would respond and evolve to everything that happens is what really makes this book a riveting romantic drama.

Good story despite the hero

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-08-19

The hero was immovable for me. Yet still the story was engaging enough that I was eager to hear what happened next. Despite Kai's insensitivity, selfishness and dishonesty the author managed to craft the tale so I did still care what happened to him and want Alessandra to have her happily ever after. On to the next tale in this series!

Absolutely loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-08-19

Narrators really fit the characters.
Strong story line and world building.
I'm so keen for the next one cause I need to know what happens. So many stories can flow from this. Starrt of an awesome series !

It just couldn't suspend my disbelief

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-19

After all the other books, I just couldn't cope with Mogul and his chums. They are supposedly the alien equivalent to highly trained special ops soldiers and yet, they bungle everything. Given that they've been running surveillance on the Rose Syndicate for decades, they seen to think this is a Acme cartoon.

I overlooked the surgery by YouTube that saved her life. I overlooked Mogul knowing the sigils can be tracked and knowing that sigils can be turned off to avoid tracking yet our hero doesn't make use of this knowledge until after they are confronted by Syndicate goons. I overlooked the way this highly trained soldier dropped the syringe then couldn't jab it into the guard they subdue during infiltration. I overlooked their decision to drug the guards by injection even though they were going to blow the factory to smithereens, which would kill the guards anyway. I also ignored them being able to get anywhere near a Rose Syndicate building with an active sigil and not encounter a welcoming party. I even ignored that a Syndicate guard held a knife to a gargoyle's throat and instead of turning his neck to stone, our hero is afraid? Child please!

I finally had enough when his buddies decided to forget the plan to drive away before detonating their oh-so-powerful bombs and instead detonate all 3 while their buddy is standing right next to the building, I rolled my eyes so hard I might have caused some damage.

This book has the same worlds, species and organisations but after that it's like a completely different universe. Hell, the Kargals even refer to themselves as Gargoyles and talk about Garg technology? I really hope this isn't the last book because it would end a good series on a whimper rather than a bang.

PS, just skipped 8 or 9 chapters ahead and met Penny and her British accent. Oh sweet baby Jesus!

Such a hoot!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-06-19

The tampon joke was a winner! I really needed something light and exciting sans thriller vibes. I wanted romance with snarky humour and I laughed out loud and snorted and smirked all thanks to Merrin. A lovely read though the end was a bit abrupt.

Much better with the female lead voice changed

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-19

Thank the ancestors that the female lead didn't sound quite as high pitched and sanctimonious as in the first two books.

This story was about a more mature love story so the intrigue was around the complications of dating someone who is very high profile. Generally, it was a more slow moving plot than previous books in the series though that wasn't a bad thing. It left the author more time to play with the characters.

Jotham was my comic highlight for this book. My absolute favourite part was when he thought he could illicit an orgasm by royal decree! Take win dude!

The voice of William was as sexy as ever and the voice of Adelaide was pure wicked witch of the West. I was honestly waiting for her to cackle. The description of her outfits though... always good for an inelegant snort.

On to the latest in the series which caused me to refresh my memory of this series by getting the audio books.