Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Devoured by Emily Snow

Title: Devoured (Devoured, #1)
Author: Emily Snow
Publication Date: October 9, 2012

My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This book was an emotional roller-coaster.  Sienna had a lot going on; a lot of emotional demons to battle. Lucas had secrets of his own. But together these two were combustible.

From Goodreads:

Sienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring—after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother’s Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she’d see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma’s estate.

When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he’s both infuriated and intrigued. He still can't get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he’s determined to have her.

Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he’ll hand over the deed to her grandmother’s home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she’s made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas’s game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.

My Thoughts:

As I said, this book had me all over the place. One minute I was loving the story and the characters and the next I kept getting caught up in nit-picky things. Things I usually do not get nit-picky about but for some reason bothered me with this book. I might not be making sense here, so let me explain.

First, Lucas was blazing hot. He was...just awesome. He wanted Sienna and he was going to do what he had to get her. What suprirsed me though was that it had been two years...yes two years...since he had seen Sienna. That's a long freaking time. But whatever. I got over that. But then, the house. I have a question about that. Did he know it was Sienna's grandma's house? Was that in his plan? This either wasn't explained or I totally missed it.  Or, maybe that will be explored in the second book. (Yes, there is a book 2. I will get to that in a minute.) If this is going to be explained, then my concern is not a big deal. I mean, Lucas is a huge rock star so presumably he could pay an investigator to find this out. Right? I mean, creepy, but then it's Lucas so maybe not so creepy. Maybe. And then, I think he must have had someone check into Sienna because he knew about her mom. (Or at least, I got the impression he had an inkling of what had happened before she told him.)  See what I mean about me picking apart things? I need to stop. Because I did like Lucas (scratch that. I loved him...hard) but I just...well there were questions and I wanted answers. But, anyways, moving on.

Let's chat about Sienna, yes?  I liked her. I did. But I did not get why she had freaked out about the handcuffs. Was it because she didn't know him that well? Or that she was just freaked out because she wanted to and didn't think she should be okay with it? I was at a loss as to her explanation (or lack thereof) and again was left with more questions than answers. This might be something explored in the prequel but I didn't read that. I was able to surmise as I read that (reading through the lines a little) Sienna was afraid of giving up control. She thought being submissive was giving herself over to someone entirely and losing who she was. This of course is not what D/s is about and eventually she figures that out and ends up stronger in the end. Not to mention, for a 23 year old just trying to find herself her personality, questions about herself and her family, and who she was/is, was realistic. But again, I had to figure out this out by reading (and re-reading) a lot of internal dialogue that wasn't exactly clear.

The steam factor was high though this was mostly because of the smokin' sexual tension between the two. Although Lucas is a dominant and Sienna is submissive (though it takes time for her to embrace this), this is not a book heavy on Domination/submission at all. If you aren't sure about the subject, this might be the book to usher you in. At one point the hero blindfolds the heroine, but it has nothing to do with sex actually. And then it's used again later on in the sexual sense. There are a few mentions here and there and I think he tied her up hands once, but that's really it.  The dominant and submissive aspect of their relationship was more about the personalities than the sex. And this I thought was a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I can see these two being way more into the sex aspect of it, but in this first book, as they explored their relationship and started understanding each other, I think it worked.

The "end" conflict I felt came out of the blue. There was no mention of Sam until the end and I was like, "wait, what?"  And then the book ended and the epilogue started and just freaked me out. I was like, ohmygod what is happening! I was ready to scream. So thank the freaking book gods that things ended how it did or else I was going to throw a serious temper tantrum.  I would have preferred more, but I had gotten so worked up I found myself, at least, content.  [Note: this was also when I figured out there would be a book 2 and proceeded to get sulky. (I explain this more later).]

What about the writing and the technical aspects of the book?  It was well done. I didn't find many grammer errors, or at least not enough to make the English Lit teacher in my fidget. This is a definite plus.  I did have an issue with the narrative point of view however.  The book is written in present tense. I really cannot get into books that are written like this. I don't know why this is. And trust me I have tried and tried and tried! I want to like these books. I want to LOVE them as so many do. But I just cannot.  I don't feel as connected to the characters when books are written in this tense.

In addition, there are times in the book where the narrative it too much "tell" and not enough show. In a few of the steamy scenes in fact, we had a inner monologue type description of the scene and what happened, instead of dialogue and action between the two.  There was too much "showing" what was happening. This was jarring for me since it took me too much out of the action and into Sienna's head and lessened the effectiveness of the scene.  This is especially true when Sienna pours out everything to Lucas about herself. That scene I thought was (and should be) pivotal to their relationship.  I wanted and needed to see more of that, to hear their conversation, in order to feel invested in Sienna and Lucas. Instead I had to try and surmise what the conversation had been.

Now. Regarding the second book in the series. If I had known there would be a HFN and somewhat cliffhanger-y(ish) ending, I might not have bought this. Granted, at the time I bought it, I was not on my current "I will not buy a cliffhanger book ever again" kick, but still, it annoyed me. Please understand, my annoyance with this literary "device" has nothing to do with this specific author nor should it reflect on the quality of the book. I liked the book. I will read more from this author. But I, myself, just do not like the way cliffhangers are used from a reader standpoint. It makes me feel ripped off in the end. [Note: I was over this with second book in the 50 Shades trilogy so, yeah...enough already!]

The story of Sienna and Lucas continues with Consumed, which I will be getting when it comes out because I really want to see what happens with Sam.  A third book will explore the relationship between Kylie and Wyatt per Goodreads.  (This makes me happy since it likely means Consumed will finish the story of Sienna and Lucas. I hope!)

Here are the purchase links for Amazon and Barnes and Noble. There is a prequel which I have not read and probably won't, but it might have been helpful to have that in order to know the backstory. I figured most of it out, through Sienna's thoughts and conversations with her friend and Lucas, but having it explored more here would have been cool. So, you might want to grab that first and then dive into Devoured.

*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*

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