Phoenix Rising by Corrina Lawson
1st book in The Phoenix Institute series
Here’s the blurb from Samhain’s site:
He was born to be a weapon. For her, he must learn to be a hero.
A Phoenix Institute story
Since birth, Alec Farley has been trained to be a living weapon. His firestarter and telekinetic abilities have been honed to deadly perfection by the Resource, a shadowy anti-terrorist organization—the only family he has ever known. What the Resource didn’t teach him, though, is how to play well with others.
When psychologist Beth Nakamora meets Alec to help him work on his people skills, she’s hit with a double-barreled first impression. He’s hot in more ways than one. And her first instinct is to rescue him from his insular existence.
Her plan to kidnap and deprogram him goes awry when her latent telepathic ability flares, turning Alec’s powers off. Hoping close proximity will reignite his flame, she leads him by the hand through a world he’s never known. And something else flares: Alec’s anger over everything he’s been denied. Especially the passion that melds his mind and body with hers.
The Resource, however, isn’t going to let anything—or anyone—steal its prime investment. Alec needs to be reminded where his loyalties lie…starting with breaking his trust in the woman he’s come to love.
Contains telekinetic sex, nuclear explosion sex hot enough to melt steel, and various and sundry swear words.
I have such mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I feel like I should have loved it since it’s an idea I like. I want to read more superhero/comic book type romances. Give me some X-Men or Wildcats or Witchblade or something along those lines (I confess to being a product of 90s comics. I was an Image fan. No one ever said I had the best taste in comics). Marjorie Liu comes very very close with her Dirk and Steele books, but I really do want more.
One of the main problems I had with this book is that Alec seemed so juvenile in his emotions. I never quite found him romance hero material. Hero material, yes, but he seemed locked in his teens as far as his hormones went. This is not what I want when reading an action romance. Beth also seemed so young and I never really felt as if she was the competent, professional that she was supposed to be. I almost found the leader of F-Team (the elite team that backs him up) more appealing. Actually, I found Beth’s adopted father Drake intriguing too. Now if there were books about them, I’d read them.
Even with all the problems that I had with the two main characters, I did enjoy reading the book. I liked the writing, for the most part, and aside from Alec’s rather juvenile behavior, the action was great. I will look for the next book in the series since I think it has potential and my qualms with this one are mostly with these particular protagonists. Next time, hopefully, we won’t be trying to meld a coming-of-age story with an action romance. So in the end, I thought of it as a happy-for-now, rather than a happy-ever-after.
Does anyone have any suggestions for some action/superhero romances?
When I saw that Wendy was doing another TBR Challenge for 2012, I decided that maybe, just maybe, this would be a way to get my butt in gear and this poor neglected blog back in action. A lot has happened in the past few years. I have a kid who’s almost 2 and I also no longer work at a bookstore. I also have found myself reading less and less book blogs and more home/design/family blogs. So I really have changed focus and keep wondering if I should just start over with a new blog, or keep all the old stuff. Who knows? Any ideas? But whoever said that I would stop reading once I had kids obviously was not a true reader. I still read a ton.
On to the TBR Challenge! In honor of Wendy, our fearless leader, I chose…
The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin!
I’m going to swipe my book description from Amazon.
For four years Major Sam Griffin had stayed away from Serenity, Texas, gruffly avoiding the fact that he was still heart-achingly in love with the woman who had almost married his brother.
Now home on leave, the devastatingly handsome pilot had to face beautiful Emma Dalton again. And though there was unmistakable yearning in her eyes, Sam could never put down the roots he knew the shy librarian so strongly craved. When Sam finally had the chance to win the heart of the woman he'd always loved, could he convince Emma that her home would always be where he was?
This blurb doesn’t really do the book justice. Yes, Emma almost married his brother, but the reason she doesn’t, is that he dies the day of the wedding. And so Emma and Sam haven’t spoken since as each has secrets that they haven’t shared. Sam has good reason to believe that it was his fault and Emma also has good reason to have felt guilt. Sam comes home when Emma, who is close to Sam’s mother, sends him a letter telling him his mother has cancer. So he comes home, and eventually, the truth comes out, as we all knew it would.
I actually quite liked it. Emma and Sam really do have good reasons for their actions (avoiding each other, etc), so the lack of them just hashing things out all at once was reasonable. The Major and the Librarian isn’t a really deep emotional book, but it was a nice winter afternoon read. I enjoyed how the .romance played out as they got to know each other again while they cared for Sam’s mother. One thing that did bother me is that although we are shown how Sam’s career as a Naval officer impacts his life, Emma’s librarian job is just wallpaper. She could have been anything. So librarian fail. At least we didn’t have her as an uptight virgin!
If I had to grade this, I’d give it a C+. Glad I read it, but it’s not a keeper or something I feel compelled to have around to reread.