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Topic: Virtual Book Club: January Book Discussion - Behind Close Doors

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Subject: Virtual Book Club: January Book Discussion - Behind Close Doors
Date Posted: 1/15/2010 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 249
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I  would like to add a blanket Spoiler alert for this thread - in order to allow for free flowing discussions, we will be exploring all parts of the book, most likely giving away the entire story line.  Please do not read this thread if you wish to read the book without any preconceived notions.

 

 

hat was your overall feel for the book?

Did McKenna craft believable characters? Which ones did you like/dislike
and why?

Some people do not like to read such explicitly written love scenes, were
comfortable reading this book (was in within your reading comfort zone)?

We have now read many different styles of romance books, with still more
out there. What has been your favorite so far? Are there others that you
would like to explore? Will you look into new authors and/or styles based
on what we have read so far?

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 249
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What was your overall feel for the book?
I personally did not like this book very much. I didn't like Seth's
roughness and felt that some of the scenes and language used was too crude
for my personal taste.

Did McKenna craft believable characters? Which ones did you like/dislike
and why?
I think she did create believable characters based on my reactions to them.
I really didn't like Seth at all. He was way too rough and his controlling
attitude really irked me. I think he was well written and quite believable
but unworthy of such a sweet girl. Saying that, as sweet as Raine appeared
to be, she really was naive. Again well written because I really felt her
struggles and understood her thought process - except when it came to Seth.
Why any women would put up with a beast like that and find his high
handedness soothing is beyond me, but that is the nice thing about this
world - we are all different. It would be quite boring if we all went the
same.

Some people do not like to read such explicitly written love scenes, were
comfortable reading this book (was in within your reading comfort zone)?
This book was a little out of my comfort zone. Some the scenes were a
little too crudely described for my personal tastes. lol, I guess I have
prudish tendencies.

We have now read many different styles of romance books, with still more
out there. What has been your favorite so far? Are there others that you
would like to explore? Will you look into new authors and/or styles based
on what we have read so far?
As we have said in the pasts in many of the different discussion threads, I
think this is an ever changing answer. As we grow and evolve, our tastes
change. Right now, I really like the light heartedness of When Christmas
Comes, I did not like Behind Close Doors and I think that LaVryle Spencer's
book was tooo detailed rich, although well written. With all I have going
on right now, I think I am seeking more of the easy reads and will save the
more thought provoking, deep reads for a later time.
Date Posted: 1/16/2010 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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It has been over a year since I read this book, so I'm probably not the best person to discuss it, but I wanted to join in. :)
What was your overall feel for the book?
This was the first Shannon McKenna book I've ever read and I loved it.  At the time I was relatively new to gripping romantic
suspense with alpha heroes.  I felt like I had jumped right into an action movie!  lol  It led me to glom the rest of her books.  Some 
of them have been so-so, but the books in this McCloud series have been amongst my favorites that I've read the last couple of years.
 
Did McKenna craft believable characters? Which ones did you like/dislike
and why?
I think the characters were very believable.  Both Seth and Raine were REAL to me.  One of the things I like about McKenna's
writing is that she writes dialogue and her characters' thoughts the way they actually would be - literal and abrupt.  If the guy is a 
macho jerk, then he acts and talks like a macho jerk.  In this case, for the most part, Seth WAS a macho jerk.  I could see in each of 
them, though, something that the other truly needed.  Raine was very innocent and naive and I could understand why Seth's 
take-charge attitude was an attraction for her.  The gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true heroines are always hard to like, but I think Raine's
 weaknesses were exposed in a way that made her seem more"normal".  Seth had "bad boy" down to a science.  I don't know that I
 could have handled his crude, high-handed ways all of the time, but I definitely have a weakness for tough, alpha heroes and I
 thought Seth was a very sexy guy.

Some people do not like to read such explicitly written love scenes, were
comfortable reading this book (was in within your reading comfort zone)?
I can see where a book like this might not be everyone's cup of tea.  It definitely isn't for the faint of heart, both in 
explicit love scenes and the violence.  I really enjoyed it, though.  I don't think a love scene has to be as graphic as the ones
in this book to be meaningful, but if done right, IMO, it doesn't hurt.  lol   And I read erotica, so the crude language doesn't
bother me at all.

We have now read many different styles of romance books, with still more
out there. What has been your favorite so far? Are there others that you
would like to explore? Will you look into new authors and/or styles based
on what we have read so far?
This is the first book I've read that this discussion group has suggested, so I can't really comment.  lol   I know one of the previous
books was by Catherine Anderson.  While I haven't read that one (Annie's Song), I have read most of her books and loved them all. 
I may not normally participate in these monthly readings/discussions, I do read the threads and check out the books/authors!  



Last Edited on: 1/16/10 5:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/17/2010 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 249
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Michele, welcome to the discussion and I am glad you enjoy these posts.  :)

I agree that this book was like an action movie!  It definitely took you on a high adventure with lots of drama.  Definitely a sign of a good writer (IMO).  :)

Date Posted: 1/17/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I still haven't finished.. I already knew there was graphic sex thanks to one of the 'guess the book threads' several years ago(the reason I bought it LOL) but the suggestion of violence and the guy spying on her creeped me out so I guess I'm a fraidy cat and was waiting to see how much violence there was!

Date Posted: 1/17/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's been a while since I've read this book.  I believe this was her firt book.  I'm a huge Shannon McKenna fan.  I also had the impression that it was like watching an action movie.  It was also the first book to really get me into romantic suspense. Before it I only read historical romances-as far as reading romances go.  I like to keep the mystery and romance seperate.  Now I love RS. 

Part of what I liked about the book is that he was a bit of a jerk.  I hate perfect heroes.   He comes off as much nicer in subsequent books. Granted he's not the main character then. But he's also gotten over the need to track down his brothere's killer. 

Whenever I recommend her books I put a warning in there to stear clear of them if you aren't fond of Uber-alpha males.  I don't remember the sex beign particularly violent-but it's been awhile since I've read it. I have another copy here but I keep having game books to read.  I know he's definately the dominant as far as the sex goes. But I don't remember him raping her or anything. Maybe just pushign her a little beyond her comfort zone.  The heroine becomes a bit of neurotic mess in teh book.  But not like an annoying neurotic mess.  Considering her life-it would be unbelievable if she wasn't somewhat messed up. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2010 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 165
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Thought I'd put in my 2cents though I'm not a part of the discussion group. I read this one a while back.

What was your overall feel for the book? I liked it. I did feel Seth was a bit overboard on his uber alpha self but I like Alpha and wasn't that bothered about it. It would have been nice to have a "perfect" hero with the right balance of alpha and beta and whatever else we women like in a man. But to be uber alpha to me basically means "jerk". Part of the fun in reading about them is seeing their transformation that normally takes place after meeting the heroine. Makes for some good sexual tension in the story.

Did McKenna craft believable characters? Which ones did you like/dislike and why? 
I thought they were pretty believable. I remember McKenna writes some pretty good villians. Ruthful and evil and depraved.

Some people do not like to read such explicitly written love scenes, were comfortable reading this book (was in within your reading comfort zone)? I admit to one of those that felt the love scenes (graphic sex) was a little overboard. I don't mind a few good sexually explicit scenes but McKenna added so many I found myself skimming over them to get back to the story.

We have now read many different styles of romance books, with still more out there. What has been your favorite so far? Are there others that you would like to explore? Will you look into new authors and/or styles based on what we have read so far? Not qualified to answer since I haven't participated before.

Date Posted: 1/17/2010 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,590
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I had every intention of re-reading this book before I participated, but that didn't happen, lol, so I'm gonna have to go by what I remember.

First of all, a blanket statement: Shannon McKenna was one of the first erotic authors I had ever picked up, a little over a year ago, and I fell in love with her style of writing and have completely devoured everything she's written since then. She was also one of the first romantic suspense authorsI ever read, and my love of the genre is based on McKenna.

What was your overall feel for the book? This was the first McKenna novel I read (I think I read a description on B&N.com and ordered it blindly). It was Seth that sparked my love of the uber-Alpha male. There is just something about meeting a character so rough-hewn, and watching his icy exterior melt away when he meets the love of his life. I agree with one of the other posters (can't remember who it was) that said he mellowed out throughout the rest of the series. He almost seemed like a different character. But I love the male camaraderie between Seth and the McCloud brothers throughout the series. Such macho men, you gotta love them! McKenna  truly does know how to write you directly into the action, and make you feel like you fell smack dab in the middle of an action movie.

I don't really consider McKenna to be an erotica author, but she definitely writes in an erotic style. My very first impression was that it might have been a little overdone, but I quickly got over that way of thinking, and grew to like the "rougher" sex scenes. To me, the rough sex and Seth's extreme possessiveness was just the author's way of conveying just how much Seth truly loved and wanted Raine, even when he didn't realize it himself. I know it's not the most "PC" way of thinking for a relationship, but come on, what romance novel ever has a truly PC hero and heroine?! lol

As to my favorite so far (aside from Behind Closed Doors, which I'm not counting because I read it prior to the discussion group forming), my favorite was probably Annie's Song. It really stuck with me for some reason.



Last Edited on: 1/17/10 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2010 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2009
Posts: 296
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What was your overall feel for the book?

I liked the book and found it very absorbing - I loved the soap opera plot where she was really Victor's daughter and ended up having mixed feelings with him.  Hating him for ordering the death of her (then father) and yet becoming closer to him as she sees part of herself mirrored in his personality and wanting the closeness of a family that she hasn't had.  So yes I liked the book!

Did McKenna craft believable characters? Which ones did you like/dislike and why? 
Definitely thought the characters were believable with my favorite being Victor - you want to hate him but then you can see both sides of the story and you understand why he has done what he has done and who he is - you begin to like him and it is a sad scene in the book when he finally does die.

Some people do not like to read such explicitly written love scenes, were comfortable reading this book (was in within your reading comfort zone)? 
The sex scenes in the book were good.  I didn't mind the explicite nature of them.  I only started to get a little annoyed witht he quantity of them and thought it took away from the story a little bit.  I'd say three to four in depth sex scenes per book is enough but it started to seem like everytime Seth and Raine ran into each other they would drop their clothes and go at it no matter what was happening.  That part of the book started to feel a little bit like a bad porn movie (a little bit).

We have now read many different styles of romance books, with still more out there. What has been your favorite so far? Are there others that you would like to explore? Will you look into new authors and/or styles based on what we have read so far? Haven't read the other books you guys have read - this is my first one to join you in the discussion about but I did enjoy it and it has made me want to read some other romantic suspense novels and try out that sub-genre some more.

Date Posted: 1/18/2010 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Not all of her books have as much sex in them as this one.  I think a lot of it had to do with that he used sex to kind of get Raine under his control.  (if I remember it right). I want to read this again but I always seem to have a challenge going or swap books to read.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 249
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Mary, I totally agree with you that he used sex to get Raine under control.  I didn't think of it that way until you just mentioned it.