Yes! You Heard It Here!! I HATE Serialized novels, and yet it seems that I keep ending up with them. I'm not talking about those series of stories that are made up of stand alone novels. Those are good and we have all enjoyed those to a fault. But full length novels that aren't anything more than a part of a much larger story?? Much too much like real life for me. I want my HEA and I want it NOW! Yet I keep on getting sucked into these books that leave me hanging.
One in particular has gotten me really exercised over this issue. I found this initial story on All Romance eBooks and bought it -- it seemed like a good story and it was only 99 cents. Good deal, right? From a literary stand point, no way. It got me hooked on Sebastian and Sophia's story, and by the time I was done I knew the story wouldn't turn me loose. Sebastian Lock is a man that Sophia discovered when a mysterious door in the back of a seedy bar yielded to her curiosity. She found a whole different world beyond that door--plush surroundings, a very upscale cocktail party going one with expensively dressed women and wildly gorgeous men, all of whom were obviously wealthy, prosperous, and having a very good time. Nothing kinky at first glance, but there were other mysterious doors that Sophia didn't venture to open that night. As she was nervously nursing her drink at the bar, a suave and beautifully dressed man began a conversation with her. Yet Sophia managed to extricate herself from that scene, little realizing that she had become the focus of this powerful man's interest and he was not going to let her slip through his fingers. This was a novella that starts the reader on the journey with Sophia as she is courted, in a manner of speaking, but a man who is willing to pay $400 to her law firm for one hour of her time in order to convince her to begin seeing him. Yet when she tried to get to know him he retreats behind a wall of secrets, generalized responses to her questions, enigmatic statements about his business ventures, etc.
The second novel in this serial novel is even more frustrating because it lures the reader even deeper into Sebastian and Sophia's relationship, one that seems to be on a sure footing and moving forward for a time and then seems to stall. At a social event to which she was invited, Sophia meets one of Sebastian's business associates--another bachelor who is handsome and obviously well-heeled--and yet his words to Sophia are a warning not to get attached because Sebastian will never stay with her long-term. He will leave her behind like he has every woman in his life since his failed relationship with his fiance. Now the reader must keep in mind that Sophia is an attorney with the kind of curiosity that lawyers need and use to solve riddles and resolve legal issues and find answers when no one else has the patience to keep looking. It is this curiosity that got Sophia involved with Sebastian in the first place, and it is that same curious streak that keeps forcing her into areas of Sebastian's life where he clearly doesn't want her. It is when this kind of fact-finding mission that seems to precipitate the major stall in their relationship and one that brings the reader to the cliff-hanging final paragraph in this portion of their story. Argh!! So frustrating! I almost threw the eReader across the room. Would have, too, if it hadn't been for the fact that I like the device a lot and have lots of books on it.
Yet my final word on this for now is that author Maya Cross has written a wonderful story, one that is so fascinating that it was literally impossible to put it down. There was that underlying tension that was inescapable: that Sebastian was hiding some pretty heavy-duty stuff, yet he wanted in the worst way to have Sophia in his life. The "come here, get away" style Sebastian had for dealing with Sophia was a part of the frustration of reading this novel. Sometimes he was endearing, tender, and so very caring for Sophia and her concerns. Other times he was distant, cold, unfeeling, and seemingly out for the physical satisfaction he found in her bed. Yet the reader has this hunch that there is much, much more to this story and that is what really hooks the reader. And for someone like me who loves a good mystery anyway, I was a goner.
I will indeed continue on with this story. I'm stuck in every sense of the word. Just don't assume that I like it. I have also come to the conclusion that I am my own worst enemy. Always a sucker for a good story!
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