Friday, 22 June 2012

The Hostage Bargain by Annika Martin

Please note, this is not a YA book. There is sex in the book and talk of sex in this review, so if that bothers you then feel free to click away (although, while you're clicking away, I suggest clicking to this discussion of violence vs. sex in YA books that I read yesterday, seeing as we're on the subject of sex anyway...and if you do read this review, I still think you should go read the discussion).

by Annika Martin

Summary: When small town girl Melinda Prescott is taken hostage by three hot bank robbers, she quickly discovers that a life of bank heists, luxury hotels, and kinky menages is way more exciting than working on the family farm. She should be scared of her dominating, fierce captors…but there’s something wicked inside her that’s craving to obey their every dark desire.

Melinda eagerly throws in with her three smoldering fugitives…and soon realizes that these are no ordinary bank robbers—and that bad guys aren’t always who they seem. But will her delicious captors overcome their own demons enough to let her in? And can they fight a conspiracy that’s larger than all of them?
This is not the kind of book I would normally read, but I was in the mood for some totally mindless entertainment, a book that didn't make me think too much or feel too much and then I saw this one recommended on a book rec post in a livejournal community I'm a member of and, seeing as I have this weird love of hostage/kidnapping type stories, I decided to read this one (plus, it was only like £1.90).

The book was pretty good and definitely served its purpose (uh, I mean my purpose in wanting mindless entertainment, not the general purpose that this genre is for - erotic novels just don't do anything for me in that way *shrugs*), I'd probably rate it about 3.5 stars out of 5, possibly 4. But, to be clear, I'm rating it purely on enjoyability, not as a book in general and how it measures up against other books.

The writing is... decent, not amazing but I've read worse (although there were a few typing errors missed in editing) and some of the dialogue--particularly during sex scenes--had me laughing out loud. The plot is lacking in believability but if I wanted believability then I wouldn't have read an erotic romance novel about a girl getting into a relationship with three bank robbers who kidnapped her, so for what it was, the plot was good. It kept me hooked from start to finish (which is a compliment because it was an e-book and generally, I hate reading e-books so the fact I spent hours reading this e-cover to cover says a lot).

The characters were probably my favourite part. The guys were cute, I loved the relationship they had with each other - this totally adorable, although verging on unhealthy, bromance and then I liked Melinda too, she was a decent protagonist so throwing her into the mix was interesting and I could totally get why she'd rather stay with them and live life on the edge instead of going back to her boring normal life in a small suffocating town.

Seeing as it's an erotic novel, I suppose I should mention the sex scenes for anyone who is into reading these books for that (or who is put off by that):

The sex scenes were basically what you'd expect from a book like this. Cliche and over the top, but that's fine because they're supposed to be. There were some scenes that crossed some lines that personally kind of gross me out, but that's just - personal preference, some people are into that so that's fair enough, I just do not see the appeal. There were also two of the sex scenes that totally reminded me of two movies (the butter scene from Last Tango in Paris and the car scene in Jailbreakers starring Shannon Doherty - maybe the author was inspired by those or maybe it was just a coincidence).

Sex scenes in books like this make me laugh - in my head, I imagine them being read in a dramatic voice and the dirty talk and all that... it's just funny to me and that makes these kinds of books entertaining, just probably not in the ways that were intended when they were written. Again though, that's just a personal preference thing.

To sum up: the book was entertaining, it entertained me enough that I probably will read the sequels when they're out (although it works as a standalone). If you don't mind these kinds of romance novels and just want something light and fun and fast paced, then I recommend this one (but, I'm no expert - I can probably count on one hand the number of erotic romance novels I've read in my life so I don't have many books to measure it up against).


p.s. I hate the in the world do some books end up with such bad covers?

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