Aaaand we made it, guys! This is the last post until after baby girl Adele arrives (hopefully very soon because my baby bump is not a bump as much as a boulder and it weights a whole lot). Now, the plan is for me to come back here in around a month, on September 21. IF all goes well and I’m not completely destroyed by then. Plus, my boy will have started virtual school by then so there’s a lot of meat on the grill. But let’s be positive and say the blog will start over then. And as last, after that super cool Fair (it was good, wasn’t it?) I’m leaving with a review, which is very cool, too. So, so long, readers of mine, be safe, wear a mask, and read books until I’m back.
A Hundred Lies (A Hundred Kisses #3) by Jean M. Grant released August 5 in the Historical Romance with fantasy/paranormal elements genre.
1322, Scotland Rosalie Threston’s fortune-telling lies have caught up with her. Uprooted yet again, she’s on the run from a ruthless English noblewoman. She flees to Scotland and seeks refuge in the arms of a laird’s son who happens to be a real Seer.
A bloody past and inevitable future plague Domhnall Montgomerie. He avoids physical contact with others to ease the painful visions. When an accidental touch reveals only delight, he wonders if Rose is the key to silencing the Sight. Mystical awakening unravels with each kiss. But can Domhnall embrace his gift in time to save her life, even it means exposing her lies?
She drew his hand into her palm. Her pulse drummed in her ears. Breathe, Rose. Breathe. His fingers trembled in her hand but neither of them released the look. She tried to convey trust and understanding with her own gentle smile. When he seemed settled, she turned her gaze to his hand. After a pause, she said, “It is as I said. Air is your element.”
“What else do you see?” He leaned in, closer. Sweat, sage, hmmm…male? Was male a scent?
Feeling his eyes upon hers, she continued to scrutinize, drawing light touches over the mounds. “You’re somewhat content, though you spend hours alone to get away?”
He held a straight face. “Easy enough facts to guess. I’m a watchman. Fortune-tellers are good in their ploy.” She refrained from arguing. He was on the defense. Understandable. Most people were. He was correct after all. She stroked his fingers. Pretended to examine. His hands were ice-cold.
All right, memory. Time to shine. The marketplace fire, something from his youth. Domhnall liked animals. Seemed to not like fire or touch. She chanced the next statement. “Something in your past upsets you.” Again, stone-faced. At least his hand had stopped trembling.
She would throw out statements until one stuck. Had she been incorrect in her eavesdropping? Surely the servants had been gossiping about Domhnall.
He chewed his lip. Held her gaze.
She paused and pushed the candle closer. “To see better.”
Yes. Fire. It bothered him.
I took up this story for review because I loved the premise. A heroine far from perfect, and one that was ‘normal’; finally, it was the hero who had the ‘sight’, and who didn’t like it one bit.
Now let me explain the stars. Why I gave 4 on Amazon?
Because I can recognize a good book while not thoroughly enjoying it, and a review on Amazon should be about the value of the book, not my personal preferences (which I will say, but not use as parameter for stars. That is going to be based on how the book is, technically).
And this is a good book, a solid, honest story.
I liked the plot.
The characters were well drawn, both heroes and villains.
Things made sense, as far emotions, reactions, and happenings went.
The things that didn’t work for me are based on personal preferences (most of all, a writing style that relies more on narration than dialogue), but that doesn’t mean the book is badly thought or written.
If you like that style, you’ll enjoy the story.
And why the 3 stars?
Because it was underwhelming.
I have to say, all went well until around 40% of the book.
Then it started to drag.
All their internal struggles (who we experienced in narrative through their thoughts–so. Many. Thoughts.) were laid out very well at the beginning. At the 40% mark we know their issues, fear, hopes–the whole thing. The problem is that they kept going at it. More than once (or twice) I found myself talking to the characters, telling them, “yeah, I know how you feel about that. You told me already. A lot. Move on.”
If I had to list what didn’t really work for me, I’d say:
The pace. Slow. A lot of narrative where I favor both action and story being carried by dialogue.
Narrative led to a lot of telling (vs showing).
Characters. The hero was on the whiny side for me. I get it, you’re troubled and sad and mad and lonely and people think you weird, but when the antagonist told him he always pulled back from action, always hid, and was always afraid of who he was, I couldn’t help but thinking he was onto something.
The heroine was nice. I liked how she managed her business, and reminded me of the TV show (that I love) Psych.
I never fully trust a character who fall in love for apparently no reason. Here, they had had little interaction when the hero goes out with a, “Maybe this is love?” Well, really, how do you know??? There was imply not enough time for you to get to that doubt. You hope she’s a seer like you, you feel comfortable with her, and she doesn’t trigger your visions. From there to love, the step is kind of long.
When the heroine came clean, something that weighted on her mind since the first time she met the hero (so, a big, big deal for her) the scene ended up feeling like this: Her: “I’m not a seer, I fake my abilities.”
Him: “Darn it. You lied to me. Okay, let me think about it until tomorrow. I’ll let you know.” For me, it was not enough simply because of how much emotional anguish she went through because of it.
The last battle with the villain was, again, underwhelming. Everything was seemingly over, then the hero had a vision about where the villain was going to be. They met up, fought, talked their talks, and it was done.
Again, maybe it was simply the writing style that didn’t do it for me.
So, that’s it. This is a good book. Maybe take advantage of the free preview, where you can read a chapter or so, before you buy the book. This way you can have a feeling of the writing style and see if it’s for you or not.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines and websites. When she’s not writing or chasing after children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Jean-M.-Grant/e/B0728KFXP9/
This post is part of a Review Tour. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-tour-hundred-lies-by-jean-m-grant.html
- $25 Amazon/BN GC