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Topic: Meredith Duran - Duke of Shadows

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Subject: Meredith Duran - Duke of Shadows
Date Posted: 12/31/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I keep trying and trying and it's not working.  There's no conflict!!!  Did anyone not like this?  Or is it only me?

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
Posts: 1,051
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It bored me so bad I quit reading & passed it on. I rarely do that because I can't stand not finishing a book once I start but this one was terrible.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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I started it and put it down so that I can read it again when I am in a more receptive mood.

I can tell that its one of those books that takes a while to get going (if it ever does). But too many people whose opinion I respect liked it so I am going to give it one more chance some day

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I did the same -- I put it down and picked it back up 4 months later because Kim said it was so good and I've liked all of her other suggestions but this one is just not working!!  It's well written but I don't see where the story is going. 

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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well, there is a good review of it on AAR which gave it a B- by Sandy (whose reviews I agree with more thasn half the time)

 

http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=6694

 

It just might be its not for you. No harm done. Most first novels are very problematic.I can count on my hand the authors whose first novels come out fully realized in terms of their authorative voice

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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So funny, I thought I was the only one who didn't care for it.   It does get better (slightly) towards the end, but I never thought it all that great.  Best part was the first chapter, from there it went down hill, for me at least. :)

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Waiting for Kim to comment on this one.....

Anne

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Actually, I like Sandy's AAR review:P  Or is that not what I should comment on?  Lol, okay, here's the deal, if you've done what Jess is doing, and you tried (& tried) & couldn't get going, and had to put it away for a later date, either the handwriting may be on the wall and you should just give it up, or it's just too soon to try again.  What I can and cannot read changes every few weeks/months/years, so yesterday's wallbanger could possibly be next year's keeper:P  There are truly bad romances out there with no redeeming qualities whatever.  We all know that.  Personally, I don't think this book is one of them, but for whatever reason, it may not be working for you.  Personal preferences and hot buttons, timing, things that you've been reading lately, current events in your own life, all sorts of things determine what's going to appeal to you at any given time, and it's always subject to change.  I can read 100 rave reviews and see raves from people whose opinions I've come to trust, and still won't get into something, or understand what all the fuss is about.  It happens, and it's nothing to feel bad about.  If you didn't read Sandy's review yet, read it and keep it in mind that I noticed the things she mentioned that kept her from giving it a DIK rating; they just didn't affect my enjoyment of the book enough for me to grade it down from an A+.  It does have certain imperfections, I just didn't care about them because I was absorbed in the story from beginning to end, and none of the imperfections jarred me out of it.  I couldn't put it down.  That won't be the case for everyone.  Some people will notice the imperfections more than others, maybe some character or plot element will bore or bug them, and those things will either prevent them from becoming engrossed in the story and staying that way, or they won't.  And there are lots of external factors that determine that too.  All I can say is that I loved it, and when I finished it, I flipped back to page 1 and read it again.  It's my favorite book of 2008, but it's going to be someone else's least favorite.  Honestly, there's just no way to tell, and all you can do is try things based on recommendations you trust, and if they don't work for you personally, it's really no biggie.  I think we all recommend with high hopes, because we want to share the things we love, but I'm sure we all know our recommendations aren't going to work for everyone.  Outlander, for instance, didn't even make my top 10 list for books I read in 2008, and people whose tastes are so similar to mine it's almost scary, count it as one of their top 10 favorites of all time.  On the one hand, I wish I had loved it as much as they did, and on the other, I know that's just the way it goes, and I don't worry about it:) 

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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It was also one of my best reads of last year, but I know there are books that I did not like that others love. All you can do is trust your reaction to a story. Everyone has so many different experiences in life that develop the way you interpret things and add that to individual personality, no wonder we all have such different tastes.

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Okay, I really have to read it now, because almost every single person who commented in this thread is someone whose tastes are usually very similar to mine and I have to see which ones I agree with. :-)

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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Personal preferences and hot buttons, timing, things that you've been reading lately, current events in your own life, all sorts of things determine what's going to appeal to you at any given time, and it's always subject to change. 

Good advice Kim & so true.  There have been books that I've loved in my 20's and gone back to 15 years later and said wth? 

Funny thing with Duran is that it is well written and definitely not a wall banger and I really liked the h/h, but I just found myself not interested in turning the page and thinking, where is this thing going?  One of my biggest needs for a romance novel is conflict.....and for them there was none.  Unless it happens later in the story and I'm just too impatient to get there.  I mean, she was on her own and deserted by her fiance and had no inhibitions of any kind...  Even if you read the back jacket, it doesn't really tell you what the book is about. 

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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I guess I went into having already heard from people that it was a really different kind of romance, so I wasn't expecting the normal "conflict" type stuff.  I really enjoyed it, especially the personalities.  But it's definately different.

sara

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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It's hard to pin down, Monica.  I could blab about it all day, but I'd tell you about things like originality of setting, a darker theme, blah-blah-blah, and still really not cut to the heart of the matter.  It's funny that Jess hasn't finished it yet, because she hit the nail on the head with what she said about new author's first novels being fully realized in terms of authorative voice.  Her voice is not - or rather wasn't - fully developed with this first novel.  There are problems with it, no doubt.  And the way those problems translate into reader opinions is very telling.  So many people don't quite get the message - wonder what the conflict is.  Mostly, I took the heroine as a very troubled and emotionally damaged individual - which is what she is.  The hero left her in the middle of this bloody uprising, and to be fair, he had valid reasons and he thought she would be safe where he was leaving her, but nonetheless, he deserted her.  And then he fails her further by not finding her.  She's as much bruised by that as she is by anything else that happened to her, and aside from hiding out in the country because she just can't deal with people anymore, she's punishing him too.  And the rest, after he finally finds out she survived, is about whether or not she can forgive him, and for that obligatory HEA, of course, she eventually does.  Still, it's almost like trying to interpret something written in old english.  There's so much symbolism, and not so much talking about & explaining things.  And when Emma does talk, she's like a wraith.  Not really present or engaged, and she doesn't want to be.  She has this single-minded purpose that she doesn't fully understand, but she thinks she can heal herself in some way, even though she doesn't understand why she isn't right in her head.  It's actually post traumatic stress disorder & survivors guilt, and a lot of latent anger and resentment toward the one man she thought she could trust & identify with, but who ultimately let her down.  BUT, it's not packaged up so neatly, and you have to overlook some pointless window dressing to get to the real, honest truth of what's happening between the H&H.  The clues to understanding Emma are vague.  The hero is nearly transparent.  He lost her, let her down, and he's consumed with guilt, and still in love.  I think that when Duran comes fully into her own, she'll be unwinding equally confounding plots and digging deeper into more complicated relationship dynamics like an old pro.  This book is still on WL, isn't it?  I'd say hang onto it and wait & see how she does with her two upcoming books before letting it go.  I have a feeling that people who let go of their copies now are going to want them back when the 2 new titles get released this year.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 3:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I honestly dont remember why I didnt like it LOL..... Might've been because I just didnt think the female character  all that appealing, she was kinda blah.   She didn't have the looks, her personality was kinda repressed, you see her fiance mistreat her and yet she does nothing..I mean, way later in the book you see that she does have inner strength but by this time,  I was just hoping the book would end already lol.    Oh, the first love scene was absoultely fantastic though!

I honestly think, my biggest problem with this book was reading it when my expectations was so high.  All things considered, this being the authors first book, it was not a bad book.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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Okay, I'm convinced.  Back on the shelf she goes......................

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I think that's a good idea.  If you have the space to keep it, I'd just hang on to it for a little while & see what's what with her upcoming releases first.  It could end up being one of those books that's damned near impossible to find later on.  I'm still trying to get my hands on Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne and it's probably not even that good:P



Last Edited on: 1/2/09 2:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 496
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I could have this exact same arguement abotu Virgin River by Robyn Carr. Picked it up based on all the positive hype on this board and really hated it. I have no idea why everyone is so in love with this book. Gack. Duke of Shadows is sitting in my TBR pile, I wonder if I will enjoy it...
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Christina, I didnt like it either LOL!

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hmm I loved Virgin River..the whole series..haven't read the other book ya'll are talking about...

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2008
Posts: 12
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I did finish it....which means I rated it atleast 2/5...otherwise I'd have just stopped.  I think I enjoyed the art theme or I would have stopped reading it.  The heroine was so damaged...I don't mind an emotionally damaged hero as much as an emotionally damaged heroine...she was an energy drainer for me.  I kept wanting to slap her and say "Wake up, he couldn't find you, and then you hid from him!"

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I could have this exact same arguement abotu Virgin River by Robyn Carr.

I can't say I didn't like it, but I couldn't get past the first chapter and I know everyone is so in love with it. 

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I absolutely loved this.  One of the best ever.

Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 1,034
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I usually get really frustrated with the 'lovers who are separated' storylines, but Duke of Shadows was a GREAT story. Loved it, loved it!

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Lol.  I think this book is going to be controversial until the end of time.  I'm positively dying to see what she does with her upcoming ones:P  It's funny actually, I pulled this book out of the drawer the other day and started reading back through it - just to make sure I still loved it.  I ended up sitting up with it half the night again, so I'm gonna have to say that yeah, I sure do:P

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I brought this book with me on vacation in Florida, where it isn't warm like it should be.  I will see if I can find time to read it.  I just have to know what I will think of it :-)

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