Monday, March 07, 2011
Mesmerized by Lauren Dane
Thank you to Lauren Dane for an ARC of this book. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I loved the opening, which gave us insight into who Andrei is, was, and can become. I loved his camaraderie with his teammates. Loved how he cared for Piper. And like so many spec ops guys, he felt he wasn't good enough for her because of his job as, basically, an assassin for the government. He never sees himself through her eyes, which is as a hero - protecting people from harm and evil. But he so was good enough for her! In so many little ways, he showed his love for Piper & her brothers, as well as his heroism and selflessness with his efforts to help them save their home and 'Verse.
It takes a lot for me to love a heroine. I'm particularly hard on them. Piper was a great heroine, completely worthy of Andrei. She loves her family, would fight to the death to protect those she cares for. She's smart, sassy (but not irritatingly), a fast learner, and she doesn't let anyone give her shit. But at the same time that she's awesomely kickass, she's sensitive, insightful, and tender.
The history between Andrei and Piper (and her family) helped to create a believable immediate romance and to ensure the trust between them. And their total and complete acceptance of one another from the very start makes every touch, every interaction in turn tender, loving, heartbreaking, and yet fun, exciting, and thrilling.
The only thing I didn't love about Andrei was his long hair. *shakes head* Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, why must you torment me with these long-haired heroes? Although, I must admit that there was a fantastic reason for Andrei's long hair in this book - one that made complete sense, and fit his character perfectly.
As with each book in the series, the world building is terrific. It's easy to step into this place and time because it seems to fit the story like a glove. The characters and story arcs fit the setting and the world. It never feels like the characters are plopped into an existing place and time; no, they all fit seamlessly. The story of the war between the Federation and the Imperialists heats up in this book. It's the event that ties all the books together. The suspense was wonderful, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. And there was the perfect blend of romance and suspense.
And at every turn, I'm reminded of what I said early in the series in my review for Relentless: the parallels to historical dialogue, terminology, and context make this series feel so comfortable to me. Dane has done an amazing job of marrying the historical to the futuristic throughout the entire series. Lovers of either genre can find so much to enjoy here. Like I said, superior world building.
Mesmerized was a terrific blend of family, suspense, heartbreak, and love set against a burgeoning war. Action, adventure, and romance. Oh, and I'm such a sucker for the military romance and the special ops heroes. Awesome. Simply awesome.
But can I say? Oh, how I want Julian & Vincenz's book. I simply cannot wait to see what happens there with the woman they rescued here.