December 20, 2012

Eve of Samhain: A Close-Up Review (New Adult)

"As a college senior and server at Hanaford Park's hottest nightclub, twenty-one year old Ryann Pierce's plan was simple: work hard, make lots of money, and avoid the ass-grabbers at all costs. What she never planned for was Quinn Donegan—the living, breathing advertisement for sinful behavior that waltzed into her life.

With an angelic face, a hard body and a butt-load of charm, Quinn had a way with the ladies—a lot of ladies. Cursed with a deadly, addictive touch, his trail of indiscretion blazed across five hundred years. Tired and jaded, Ryann is a shocking revelation Quinn didn't see coming.

Filled with desire, yet unable to touch one another, Ryann and Quinn embark on a daunting journey, battling frustrating physical limitations while exploring their new love. In a race against the clock, Ryann learns she must plead for Quinn's life before…the Eve of Samhain. Determined to end her lover's suffering, not even the danger dogging her every move can keep her from her mission.
" (from Goodreads)
Eve of Samhain by Lisa Sanchez

*Note: This review contains mild spoilers.


Ryann: if there is one thing that Ryann is good at, it is playing the helpless damsel in distress. The girl almost never does anything to help herself. She just reacts like, "Oh no, I'm in danger!" and then lo and behold, Quinn comes and saves her. All right, she has some attitude, and stands up to Quinn occasionally, but as the book progresses she gets sappier and sappier about him. And she can really be emotionally immature and overdramatic.

On the plus side, I thought it was admirable that she'd chosen to save herself for someone she loved.

Quinn: Ryann is always mentioning how hot Quinn is. I'm not sure if this reflects more on him or on her, but in either case: he's a faerie cursed to seduce women, of course he looks amazing. We get it. Ryann doesn't need to tell us for the billionth time how much he makes her loins burn or whatever. That just got kind of ridiculous after a while.

Other than that, I don't actually have much to say about Quinn.

Ryann and Quinn: their relationship was at its cutest when they were arguing/flirting at the beginning. And I have to admit the curse worked to make things frustrating for both Ryann and the reader at drawing out the tension in the first half or so. But the romance really starts to take over the plot partway through, and the romance itself wasn't doing much for me once the two have declared themselves.

Side characters:

The Friends: We don't really get to know Jessica or Martha that well. Basically, they're just there to help out Ryann when needed (especially with fashion choices).

The Villain: The villain didn't scare me — he was just kind of a creep with slightly disturbing eyes. Unfortunately, we're not told much about his motivation, and the plotline involving him seemed very thin (more on that below).

The Faerie Queen: usually faeries are portrayed as emotionless or enigmatic, so in a way, it was refreshing to see a nice faerie queen. Refreshing, but not that believable. I mean, she is nice in an I-want-to-conveniently-solve-a-major-problem-for-you kind of way. (Spoiler, highlight to read: she gives Ryann long life!)

Also, why the faerie queen wouldn't have better things to do than concern herself with whether or not two individuals were going to have sex is beyond me. Seriously...why would she care?? Really, aside from the surface reasons, we're not given much motivation for her character either.


The story seems pretty simplistically structured in terms of plot; a lot of it is just about how Ryann has fallen for Quinn. I liked the idea of the myth about this faerie who seduces women, and I wish more of the legend side (involving the faerie world and so on) had been explored, instead of focusing on the romance. I feel like there was a lot here that could have been developed but wasn't.

The threat to Ryann's safety (that got built up in the first half) is vanquished really easily — at this point, I think you can probably guess who saves her. The whole thing wasn't climactic enough for me. I liked the twist of who the villain was (although I totally guessed something was up with him) but I wanted more explanation of why he was after Ryann. The surface motivation we're given isn't very satisfying.

Also, it was a little disappointing that the whole college aspect of the story drops out towards the end (we don't see Ryann attending class anymore, because she's fixated on something else).

Writing style: I found the first half more entertaining and humorous, and then it went downhill from there, with everything becoming quite cliched. There was so much hyperbole and over-the-top drama to be found in Eve of Samhain. The whole trying-to-seduce-Quinn plotline struck me as cheesy, coming across as an excuse for a sex scene more than a storyline in its own right. (And in all honesty, I thought the sex scene itself wasn't very tastefully written.)

Final verdict: 2 shooting stars. I thought the premise had unfulfilled potential, and I enjoyed the first half, but the writing was so poor in the second half it made me want to cringe. Ultimately, it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author for review.

Note: This book contains mature (sexual) content and coarse language — definitely not for younger readers!

This book counts towards my goal for the New Adult reading challenge.

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