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Books Read in 2016: ‘Night Pleasures’ by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter, #1)Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Summary from Goodreads:

The Dark-Hunters are ancient warriors who have sworn to protect mankind and the fate of the world is in their hands. . .

He is solitude. He is darkness. He is the ruler of the night. Yet Kyrian of Thrace has just woken up handcuffed to his worst nightmare: An accountant. Worse, she’s being hunted by one of the most lethal vampires out there. And if Amanda Devereaux goes down, then he does too. But it’s not just their lives that are hanging in the balance. Kyrian and Amanda are all that stands between humanity and oblivion. Let’s hope they win.

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF @ 26%

Looks like I’m mostly striking out with books that average over 4-star ratings on Goodreads so far this year.

I’ve been interested in expanding the scope of my romance reading into both paranormal (PNR) and the newly burgeoning sci-fi romance (SFR) subgenres. I decided that because Sherrilyn Kenyon had such high ratings on her books that I wouldn’t go amiss with one of her books as my entry into the PNR subgenre.

So I picked a book that was listed as being #1 in a series—and since her Dark-Hunter series is rather well-known in romance circles (so much so that she’s suing a YA author for using the term “shadow-hunters”), I figured the first book in the DH series would be a great place to start.

Yeah. Not so much.

To begin with, I have a hard time believing that this is actually the first book in a series. There are too many other characters with way too much backstory for them to have not been main characters of their own books (specifically the friend who’s married to a Greek god—it doesn’t work to just drop that in to conversation as if this is normal).

The setup of this book is that Amanda Devereaux is the only “normal” member of a family full of witches, seers, vampire hunters, etc. (Except for her father—and I’m sure that was a story in and of itself, too.) She’s so ho-hum, la-ti-dah about the whole supernatural/paranormal thing (just stop hunting vampires! just stop being weird! just stop suggesting putting a hex/curse on my ex!) that her character development suffers for it. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the supernatural/paranormal, but the only people she spends time with are her family. She has no friends, no interests outside of her family (at least, not as far as I could tell from what I read).

In fact, she’s so “normal” that she’s an accountant. How boring! How cliché!

Then she gets knocked over the head one night when she’s gone to let her sister’s dog out (because her identical twin sister is on a vampire hunt that’s taking longer than she expected) and wakes up handcuffed to this HOT, chiseled, gorgeous, mountain of manhood (did I mention he’s HOT?) who’s bleeding all over her.

Turns out, she’s been taken by mistake (they meant to take her identical twin) by a daimon (still not sure what this is supposed to be or how they’re supposed to be different from other vampires except they’re supposed to be descended from Apollo).

When we first get into the viewpoint of Kyrian of Thrace (the “hero”), his only thoughts are of the carnal—how long it’s been since he’s been between a woman’s legs, and what he could do to the woman who happens to be chained to him right now. Of course, this gets him all hot and bothered, and Amanda can’t help noticing how . . . muscular and hard he is all over. Including that place that’s pressed intimately up against her. He’s also some kind of vampire, too, although not really, but he is . . . but he isn’t. He’s warm-blooded, breathes, has a pulse, and can have get an erection—which requires blood flow.

Instead of screaming in shock and alarm—because she’s been knocked out, kidnapped, and is now chained to a guy who could potentially rape her at any moment—all she can do is think about how HOT he is. And how different he is than all the boring guys she’s dated in the past. Because he’s HOT and MUSCULAR and GORGEOUS. And he has an accent. And did I mention that he’s HOT?

      An aside here: I started out with this as an audiobook, which was narrated by Carrington MacDuffie. I had to stop listening about 45 minutes into it because the fake southern accents (this is supposed to be set in New Orleans) were so atrocious—even worse than the worst ones in Gone with the Wind and True Blood—and I couldn’t tell what kind of an accent Kyrian was supposed to have. Plus, I just couldn’t stand listening to paragraph after paragraph of rambling, repetitive lust.

Sure, I gave up on this book somewhat early—after Kyrian and Amanda visit her friends from what I’m certain was a previous book and her friend’s husband’s parents at first want to kill (smite?) Kyrian and then end up helping Kyrian and Amanda out. And Kyrian, who’s been given 24 hours to chase down the bad guy, leaves. And Amanda looks fondly or warmly or longingly at him and it’s the first time in over two millennia that someone has looked at him that way. And he wants to have sex with her more than ever now.

I’d thought about giving up before the 26% mark—when I was clicking past paragraph after paragraph of rambling, repetitive lust just to get to the next line of dialogue or the next action beat, hoping that the premise of this book would start bearing fruit. But once I got just past a quarter of the way into the book and I realized it was going to be very little plot and almost no character development interspersed between a whole lot of lusty thoughts and/or borderline erotica sex scenes, I decided it wasn’t worth my time to keep trying to slog through it.

And, although I gave brief thought to finding out what series came before this one in which I might get more world building and, possibly, more plot and character development, I decided I really wasn’t all that impressed with Kenyon’s writing style, which comes across in this book as underdeveloped and somewhat rudimentary as far as the parts of books I like the most—good dialogue and action that move the plot along, and lots of character and relationship development. So I doubt I’ll be trying any of her other books, and will just leave them available at the library for those who really do enjoy her books.

See all my Goodreads reviews

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