Review: Cruel Summer by K.R. Conway

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Publisher: Wicked Whale

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9780987476524 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description: Kian O’Reilly is flawless as a killer. Well-practiced in the art of making murder look like an accident, he is selfish, wealthy, and totally arrogant as a soul-stealing immortal. But when he ends up stranded on Cape Cod with a stolen car and a dead drug dealer in the trunk, he thinks his luck couldn’t get any worse.
That is, until Ana Lane shows up.

Review: Why is there not a corvette on the cover? Love, hate?

The first half of this novel was really good. Kian, a soulless killer with a dead drug dealer in the trunk, stumbles into a spit and vinegar mechanic with a heart of gold. What follows is funny repartee’ between the two, with a shape shifting sidekick and some seriousness thrown in. Then it turns into a self-indulgent Nora Roberts spew where “His deep smooth voice seemed to fill the area like rich smoke…..”, and “My stupid heart was vibrating, causing my voice to turn breathless….”. Plus the rippled abs etc. etc. What the fuck happened here? From interesting characters that breath life into every scene to diminished love struck idiots frolicking on a yacht, mooning at each other and constantly deliberating  “This connection they feel for each other”.  So during all this love struck b.s. , Ana or Pix or whatever is dealing with a drunk, abusive Father that reveals her co-dependent tendencies which runs anathema to her personality, but wtf do I know. 

Why didn’t this novel expand interesting characters rather than inverting them into love struck dummys by moving the story line away from their myopic lives? Why not use the drug dealing ring as a launch to develop the characters with movement  or tangentially create a separate expanded story line with MJ’s shape shifting abilities? Or better yet, the head drug guy is an ancient Mortis and has designs on Ana as her psychic abilities hint at some deep uncovered power. Make her an ancient mermaid/selkie for fugs sake. She likes the water enough.

So Ana makes this internal affirmation that she has never loved anyone as much as Kian blah, blah, blah and then abruptly dismisses him from her life when he won’t heal her drunk abusive Father. Even when he explains that by healing him he would not only become a Mortis like Kian but an evil one without control. What does she do with all this love and trust? Slaps him and never sees him again. For one “Oh so giving in nature” she sure behaves like a self-centered narcissist.

Good show, way to ruin good characters and plunge a promising story line with good writing into unbelievable Harlequin. (slowly claps).

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