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Review: Hold Me if You Can by Stephanie Rowe

8 Jan

Hold Me if You Can by Stephanie Rowe
Sourcebooks (Jan. 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781402241970

Favorite Lines: “She was desperate, she was still carrying way too much fear, terror, and generally debilitating phobia from her trek down “murder victim lane.”” (p. 15, egalley)

Without her passions, she has no magic…

It’s unfortunate for Natalie that Nigel Aquarian is so compelling. With his inner demons, his unbridled heat, and his “I will conquer you” looks, he calls to her in exactly the way that nearly killed her.

But losing control means losing her life…

That he’s an immortal warrior and that her powers rise from intense passions would seem to make them a match made in heaven, but unless they embrace their greatest fears, they’ll play out their final match in hell.

With a unique voice that critics say “carves out her very own niche—call it paranormal romance adventure comedy,” Stephanie Rowe delivers an irresistible pair of desperadoes dancing on the edge of self-control and pure temptation.

I only have a few things to say about Stephanie Rowe’s Soulfire series. First of all, I really liked the first book in the series (Kiss at Your Own Risk). It was hilarious and so different from other paranormal romances I’d read at the time. Best of all the heroine was not normal at the beginning or end of the book. Well, Rowe takes that great model and puts it back to work in book three of her Soulfire series. She also keeps her outrageous villains coming in book three, Hold Me if You Can; unfortunately, it was not a pleasant experience.

The over the top actions and language of the villains pretty much made me bust a gut when I read it in book one. When I read it in Hold Me if You Can I rolled my eyes and skipped over it. What do I mean? Well this:

His nuts had already swollen to the size of grapefruits, and they were red and inflamed. Elephantiasis on the way. “A man’s jewels of ecstasy are personal zones of safety, woman!”–p. 112

Dear Lord. His nuts were like watermelons with poison ivy.–p. 112

It felt silly and immature and worked as an irritant instead of comedic relief. That irritation kept coming as the book progressed. In book one, I leaned a lot about the villain’s lair which is called the Den of Womanly Pursuits. The unique methods of torture and the abominations created there caught my interest. This go around I wasn’t half as interested. For the most part, each visit to the den became an exercise in annoyance which disappointed me because there was so much unfulfilled potential to Hold Me if You Can.

I liked the heroine and the hero, but the story felt over blown and grandiose in a bad way. Things were taken to major extremes; instead of making me laugh they made me roll my eyes and sigh. I read and enjoyed book one. I missed book two and felt lost as to what was going on in book three. Once I settled into the over the top story I understood what was going on, but I can’t say it’s a book I’d recommend.

It’s kinda like the American Pie movies. The first one shocks you into laughing and you keep watching to see what’s coming. However, by the times American Pie 2 (2001), American Wedding (2003), American Reunion(2012), as well as all the American Pie Presents videos (Band Camp, The Naked Mile, Beta House, and The Book of Love) have been released the shock factor no longer works. What was amusing in a shocking and fresh manner comes across as immature.

Once again, I’m in the minority according to GoodReads. Fifteen of its members rated Hold Me if You Can four or five stars. I’d like to know what you think about it. If you’ve read it…comment. If you haven’t read it, pick it up and let me know your feelings about it.