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Topic: EXTREMELY BORED with Slightly Dangerous (Balogh)

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Subject: EXTREMELY BORED with Slightly Dangerous (Balogh)
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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This was my first book by this author and I chose it because of the great reviews.  I was underwhelmed to say the least.  What a snoozefest!  I normally like the "opposites attract" theme, but this was a real missed opportunity, IMO.  The hero was so one dimensional he was practically a cardboard cutout.  I forced myself to finish it, thinking that it must improve in order to qualify for such rave reviews.  It did improve a little at the end.  In fact , the ending was the best part of the book, which is not saying much AT ALL.  Overall, I'd give it a D+.  Did anybody else hate it or am I way off base?  Is this book typical of Balogh?  The love scenes were very lukewarm also and the plot was practically nonexistant.  A MUCH better similarly themed book, IMO, was Mr. Perfect (if I recall the title correctly) by Loretta Chase.  Should I just give up on Balogh now?  I think Slightly Dangerous was even on AAR's top 10 romances of all time!  Go figure =(

 



Last Edited on: 12/11/09 2:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2009
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I'd like to know other people's feelings on Balogh also - I've heard good things but haven't grabbed one of her books yet.  I think I may have one setting in my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Well that's one of my favs, so I don't know what to tell you, Claudia. ;-)  You might enjoy her older books, which can be extremely angsty. But given that they're hard to find, I don't know if you should bother.  Her sex scenes are never what you'd call hot, so she may just not be the author for you.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I have no idea how to feel about Balogh anymore.  The bloom is off the rose for me.  I was in the "loved it" crowd for Slightly Dangerous at one time; it was my fav book in the series, but I read it again when I was considering clearing out my Balogh collection - which I ended up doing - and found it boring as hell:P  She's no longer auto-buy for me, and I took all of her out of print books off my WL.  I think, at the time I discovered her, she was perfect for me, and I really enjoyed her writing.  My tastes have just evolved to the point that I currently find her work boring and formulaic.  I would never advise anyone not to try her though.  I loved her books at one time myself, and I'm sure lots of others will as well.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
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I just finished the same book. I thought it was formulaic but entertaining easy reading - I would give it a B. The heroine was likeable and amusing, but I thought Balogh got lazy in showing why she was likeable - Balogh kept saying the woman created laughter and witty conversation all around her without ever giving us a witty conversation to enjoy. The hero unbent enough at the end to get smiles out of me, but weirdly kept saying he wasn't going to change.  And "lukewarm" is generous.

I've read books by Balogh I liked more and some I liked less. My favorite so far was Summer to Remember. I DNF'ed Slightly Scandalous (Freyja's book). I thought First Comes Marriage was a bad mashup of Little Lord Fauntleroy and Pride and Prejudice - but I enjoyed the second and third books of that series more. In general, I liked Balogh better before I had read enough of them to know the formula. :)

On the other hand, the only Loretta Chase I've read was Don't Tempt Me, and I thought both the plot and the humor were strained. I haven't been tempted to read another one, although I see enough rave reviews of Lord Perfect that I may try it one day.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
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Slightly Dangerous was my favorite out of the Slightly series and the only one I kept.  Though I will say I have not read it for quite a while, so my feelings may have changed on it.  She was an automatic read for me until I read the Simply series which I just hated.  The Huxtable series was better, but I am getting a little bored with her in general.  Same basic premise, just different players.  Not that romance authors don't do that in general, but when you get tot he point where you can almost predict how the books is going to go before you read it, it's time to check out a new author.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
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That is the only Balogh book I've read in a long time and I loved it! 

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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On the other hand, the only Loretta Chase I've read was Don't Tempt Me, and I thought both the plot and the humor were strained. I haven't been tempted to read another one, although I see enough rave reviews of Lord Perfect that I may try it one day.

I wouldn't have suggested Don't Tempt Me to anyone as an introduction to Chase.  I really enjoyed it, but it has gotten such mixed reviews that it belongs more in the realm of Chase books you pick up once you're hooked.  Lord of Scoundrels would always be my first recommendation.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone say they hated it or DNF it.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2008
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The only Loretta Chase books I have liked was Lord of Scoundrels and The Last Hellion. I just read A Precious Jewel by Balogh and it seems everyone raves about it, I was /meh? on it.  Balogh is boring. I did read her Slightly series and A Summer to Remember, I am just bored outta my gourd with her books anymore.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
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Thanks, Kim, I'll try that one next.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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I adore Balogh but I prefer her earlier novels. I really liked Slightly Dangerous but I LOVED The Secret Pearl and ADORED (now has a special spot on my keeper shelf) The Precious Jewel. I enjoyed A Summer To Remember and Simply Love but didn't love them. Still she is now one of my very favorite historical authors up there with Kinsale and Ivory. The Precious Jewel was BRILLIANT!

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
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Claudia, you should try The Secret Pearl. I remember you liked some of Laura Kinsale's stuff and also Robin Schone. The Secret Pearl is a much better story if you are looking for angst and depth in a Balogh book. The beginning is great- it really sets up the story nicely.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Claudia - You said you found the hero one-dimensional... I might suggest that you would have found he has much greater depth if you read his entire story, rather than just his romance. There are 7 books in this series prior to this one...

On the other hand, Balogh may just not be your cuppa. My sis doesn't care for some of my favorite regency authors (including Balogh, Carlyle, Feather, Jordan, and Holt). I'm not a fan of some of her faves (including Lindsey, Enoch, and Foley). But we both love Laurens, Kleypas, Jeffries, and Quinn. Thankfully, there are enough authors getting published that we can each find something we like!

Colleen

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
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Its sort of a relief to know that some others aren't wild about her either.  I like my novels emotional and with a lot of fireworks and STEAMY love scenes.  I guess that just isn't Balogh and so maybe she's not for me.  I do have The Rake and "may" give that one a try.  I'm hoping its bettter.  Anybody read it?

 

Anything that's as boring as SD, however, will be a DNF for me.  Too many good books in my TBR to waste time on the boring ones!

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Claudia, you might give Liz Carlyle a read. Angst and action.

Colleen

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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Claudia, isn't The Rake, Mary Jo Putney or did Balogh write one with the same name?

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
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Yep-afaik, "The Rake" is Mary Jo Putney's re-release of a push-the-envelope trad. Regency "The Rake and the Reformer".  back in the day Reggie Davenport rocked the lil Regency world. 

 

if you're looking for angst-imo Mary doesn't "do" that all that much anymore.  Wish she did.  I like angst as well-it's one of the reasons I prefer her earlier work.  She just may not be for you.  No harm; no penalty.  It would be a very vanilla world if we all liked the same things....

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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I LOVED The Secret Pearl        Me, too.   It was a very well written novel.  I haven't read any others of Mary Balogh yet but have several on the TBR.   I will have to seek out The Precious Jewel.

The Rake and The Reformer is by Mary Jo Putney and a keeper for me.  I have reread it several times.     I also think the place to start with Loretta Chase is the series that Lord of Scoundrels comes from and the Lord Perfect series, too.

Subject: slightly dangerous
Date Posted: 12/15/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2008
Posts: 41
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I agree with Colleen's comment about how reading the other previous books in the series would give you a better perspective on this hero.  Part of the reason he may seem one-dimensional is that this is what he has deliberately done to himself.  He has walled up all of his emotions and not allowed himself to feel anything or get close to anyone except his siblings.  As a result he is a deeply lonely man with much love bottled up inside.  There are reasons why he has done this that are very moving once you learn of them and the way the heroine touches the deadened parts inside him makes for a wonderful romance in the end.

All this is my attempt to encourage you to continue reading.  I think in the end you will be glad you did.  If not, then maybe this type of story is not to your taste but at least you will have given it a fair shot.  There aren't a lot of books that I'd recommend persisting with, but my faith in the power of this story is such that I'd go out on a limb in the chance that you may like it.  It isn't my very favorite Balogh, but it would fall in the top five for sure.

Here are my favorites:

THE TEMPORARY WIFE

LORD CAREW'S BRIDE

SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS

THE NOTORIOUS RAKE

SIMPLY LOVE

THIEF OF DREAMS

SLIGHTLY MARRIED

 

I need to re-read A SUMMER TO REMEMBER to see if it holds up but it was one of the first I ever read by this author back in the 90s and I can't remember the details.  Also I liked Morgan's book in the SLIGHTLY series but can't remember which one it was.  (SLIGHTLY TEMPTED?)

--annaR

 

 

Date Posted: 12/17/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
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OK I guess I've had it with Balogh.  Sounds like her other stuff insn't much different.  Overrated author, IMO.  Just finished 3 Kleypas novels I hadn't read yet.  She hasn't written a bad one yet. 

Date Posted: 12/18/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The trouble with Balogh is that she's such a well established romance icon, nobody writes bad reviews of her work.  Maybe they're afraid they'll be lambasted:P  Look at AAR.  Every review, even for books I was lukewarm about when I still loved her, read like love letters.

Date Posted: 12/18/2009 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I've never known AAR reviewers to pander, they usually tell it pretty straight. People just have different opinions. I constantly see raves of authors I think are incredibly weak.

Date Posted: 12/18/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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That was a joke, Willa:P  I don't honestly think AAR is afraid of being blackballed, but the Balogh reviews are little OTT flowery, IMO.  I'm sure the woman puts her pants on one leg at a time.

Date Posted: 12/18/2009 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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I haven't liked a number of Kleypas books - Lady Sophia's Lover, Somewhere I'll find you, Suddenly You and a few others were very mediocre for me. I couldn't even finish somewhere I'll Find You. I guess it really is just a matter of taste lol. I have really either loved or really liked everything I have read by Balogh thus far and its funny because I sort of avoided her initially because I thought she was more like my Grandmother's cup of tea. Ever since my first Balogh - The Secret Pearl, I am totally hooked. However I have definitely enjoyed her older novels more.

Date Posted: 12/18/2009 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,532
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I will duck when I say this, but I can't even read Kleypas books.  ducking my head......I just can't get past the 35th page.   I swapped for and passed on about 7 of them.  I gave up after putting down the third one.

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