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What I'm reading, what I'm thinking of reading & what I've read. And stuff.

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Dessert divas
Christine Manfield
A Man on the Moon
Andrew Chaikin
The Dark Highlander  - Karen Marie Moning, Phil Gigante Man I found this book annoying, and on a number of levels.
The story... well, I thought the story was quite interesting. But then there was the "If I don't get a regular shag, I'll turn EVOL!!" plot thread... yeah, right. Is that the best pickup line you can come up with? I'm sure it must be a metaphor for something. But that was a minor irritant.
In the end, the thing that most annoyed me about this book was the way the author seemed to treat her readers like we're idiots. Typically, she'd give some dialogue and action, then spend the next how-many-paragraphs explaining what that dialogue and action meant - like we couldn't work that out for ourselves. One (minor, brief) example: (can't be bothered scanning through the CD to transcribe directly) Chloe is described dressing in crumpled trousers and the first top that comes to hand. We are then told she didn't care what she was wearing... amazingly, I'd managed to make that inference myself from the description of what she put on. This kind of thing happened again and again - boring and tedious writing. Sadly, I had the audiobook - if I had a paper copy of the book I might have just skimmed over that tedious rubbish to get to the next bit that actually advanced the story.
The next annoying thing the author did was to give us the same scene twice from two different points of view... which might have been interesting if the second perspective had added anything to the story except more words. Instead it was usually just another chance to be bashed over the head with more explicit blethering on about stuff the reader pretty much had a firm understanding of.
Thirdly, towards the end there was a tendency to remind the reader of the whole plot so far. Our lead characters played over in their minds a kaleidoscope of scenes from earlier in the book. BORING!!!! I've listened to the whole effing book already!!! I don't need to be reminded what happened after the shower, or on the aeroplane, or by the waterfall, or on the stone bench in the garden. I read that bit!!!! I don't need to be reminded of the depth, width or thickness of the love the characters feel for each other - I read that bit too!!! If this is supposed to crank up the angst, it's not working, not for me anyhow.
On a technical (annoying) note I also found her sliding between present and past tense during a scene, in much the same way as I'm doing in this review... but I don't have an editor to proof it for me, nor is writing this review my job. I'm not a really picky reader - this is the first time I've ever actually noticed this in a book.
Oooh! and I thought of another one... referencing one of one's own novels in another of one's books is cheap, not clever. Having two characters discuss how awesome romance books are... just made me feel dirty. More than annoying.
Somewhere in a previous review, someone asks why the women in these types of book are so often virgins. My question is why the blokes are always hung like some kind of large stock animal. (No! he's hung like TWO horses!) Great emphasis was also put on the fact that the lass in this story was a tiny wee thing. So, what is she, a tardis? Is the er... contrast supposed to be extra arousing??? Actually, that doesn't work for me either.
The final thing I want to comment on is the voice of the narrator - or rather the performer - of the audiobook. His voice was generally pleasant, and his scots accent was very nice. The tendency for American pronunciation of some words to be different to NZ irked on occasion. Sadly the voice he used for Chloe, the heroine of the story just about drove me nuts, and made a lot of her dialoge sound trivial, ridiculous, affected, and generally superficial. Even if there were other audiobooks in this series available at my local library I don't think I'd bother with them. I'm rather curious to find if a non-audiobook from this author might be less annoying to me. I'm also aware that at least one other reviewer has commented that the quantity of "filler narration" is higher in this book than is usual for this author. So don't be too surprised if - even after this rather negative review - I give Karen Marie Moning another try. Just not yet.