Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The Wicked and the Wondrous
The Wicked and the Wondrous by Christine Feehan.
- ***½ The Twilight Before Christmas. Contemporary paranormal romance.
This is the second story in the Drake sisters series about a magical family.
Kate Drake is the second oldest sister and a writer, returning to her hometown to open a bookstore and settle down. Matt Granite has also returned to their hometown--an ex-army ranger, he's now joined his family's contracting business. They become reacquainted when Matt offers his professional services to help with the old mill building Kate wants to renovate for her bookstore.
Unfortunately, in the process, they accidentally release an ancient evil that hates Christmas and is threatening the entire town, and the sisters have to work together to defeat it.
Kate and Matt were pretty cute together: Kate's one of the more private sisters, and doesn't think someone as great as Matt would be interested in her, particularly since whenever she's around him, she gets clumsy, and his brothers keep laughing at her. Little does she know that they're laughing at Matt, who tends to get clumsy in her presence as well, and for the same reason. I always enjoy the type of plot that has the characters looking at the same thing but drawing completely different conclusions.
However, the horror plot leaves quite a bit to be desired. The evil entity's motivation is weak, and the fight gets repetitious until it's ended in a predictable manner.
Also, this story suffers from the same problems as the rest of this series: awkward dialogue, and too much repetition. Still, it's worth reading as part of the series.
- ***** "After the Music". Gothic.
Dillon Wentworth was a famous musician, until he was seriously burned trying to rescue his children from a fire that killed his unfaithful wife. The injuries have made it impossible for him to play as well as he once did, but the guilt and depression were worse. But now he's starting to work again, to help out his former band members, some of whom are in financial difficulties, and they've all gathered at his secluded estate.
Jessica Fitzpatrick has been taking care of the children since the fire, but there have been mysterious threats, and she's worried about them, so she decides the safest place for them will be with their father... and if moving in forces him to face his fears and act like a father again, so much the better.
This is a classic gothic romance: you've got the brooding, scarred hero in the secluded country estate; the spunky yet innocent governess; mysterious danger; and you can't tell who to trust. And, of course, the happy ending.
I would never presume to tell an author what to write, but good lord... Feehan's gothics are the absolute best things she writes. Too bad there are so few of them. Part of it, admittedly, is my own love of the gothic subgenre, but there's more to it than that. Her dialogue, choppy and awkward in other books, particularly in the Drake and Dark series, is smooth and realistic. The plots and the atmosphere fit perfectly, and the descriptions are some of the best I've ever read. Ah, well. Their rarity makes them even more of a treasure.
Categories: Books, 5stars, 3.5stars, ParanormalRomance, Gothic