Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Siren in Bloom, Sophie Oak

I love Sophie Oak's books. I love Texas Sirens. One of the best writers in the game.

- Review by Kazza K

What can I say to do this book justice? Well, this is Texas Sirens 6, and it’s the best yet and that’s a big call because this series is already fabulous. Texas Sirens is one of the best series out there, irrespective of genre. I love ‘Nights in Bliss, Colorado’ but I adore Texas Sirens.

This time the Meyer brothers, Leo and Wolf, get the 'girl', Shelley McNamara, Trev's sister, and it's been a while coming, especially for Leo.

Shelley is still being dogged by her deceased husband’s criminal legacy. She is also missing contact with Leo, who she grew close to when Trev was working through substance abuse problems. Leo couldn’t stand Shelley’s scumlord husband, Bryce, and offered to take her away, Shelley declined. This book lets us in on exactly what went down, why Leo picked up his bat and ball and went home hurt and has remained distant. In the meantime, Wolf has been getting to know Shelley, at Julian Lodge’s evil, meddling behest, through emails, and is raring to meet her and be her Dom, unaware that his brother has a ‘history’ with Shelley.

Leo and Wolf have not been close for a while and getting them together and sharing the woman they both love, who is in danger, is the main premise. Of course, because the two brothers are not on the best of terms, there are misunderstandings, there is a bad guy, there’s appropriate drama and obligatory SO shootings. Plus there is a butthead politician, sexy guys in the background, aka Ben and Chase, and Logan with his problems from his time as Deputy Sheriff in Bliss. Not to mention the fabulously kooky, pain slut, Kitten, who speaks in third person, loved her.

Siren in Bloom has a more ambitious style, in that there are quite a few storylines/characters being addressed or brought more to the fore, and it's done beautifully. The MC's are never overrun by the other characters, they're perfectly complimented.

Julian Lodge is a stand out in this book, for mine, his lines are clever, witty and impeccably written. After Leo/Wolf/Shelley's 'punishment scene' didn't quite work out in The Club, and Julian was none too happy, particularly when Leo told him not to pitch a fit, Julian replied -

"Fit? Fit, Leo? You were supposed to publicly punish your submissive who created complete chaos with her disobedience. You were not supposed to allow her to turn into the BDSM version of Spartacus".

I’m not a quote junkie but between Julian, Leo and Logan, alone, I could have littered this review with lots of them, but I refrained.

I am, however, a character and characterization fanatic/obsessive. I want characters to be well written and psychologically appropriate. I laud any writer who can write a book let alone a series and keep their characters en pointe. I would implore aspiring writers to read Sophie Oak for her brilliant characterizations, not to mention her character-appropriate comedic writing. Her characters never devolve, they either stay true or slowly develop into what you know at heart is who they should be. Take Leo and Wolf, they are pitch perfect here, Leo as his Dom, psychotherapist self, Wolf as his crazy big hearted alpha but flexible, softy persona. Also, Ben and Chase, they have popped up previously, but in SiB more is revealed and it is just right. Their in-sync, twin bond is still there, Chase’s snarky, paranoid, stay off the grid mentality is ramped up just enough, and a little more is revealed of Ben’s past that makes his always potentially sensitive-self peak out. Then there’s Logan, he is perfect as the young guy who doesn’t want therapy but he’s appropriate to character - not rude about it - but is always trying to say it’s not necessary and does everything he can to ‘prove’ he’s a guy and he’s OK. That’s what happens in real life more often than not.

I must not leave without mentioning the love of my life, Jack Barnes. He makes a few appearances here and the speech he made to Leo about not giving up on someone you love had me so happy *sighs*.

If you love Sophie Oak you truly need to add this to your must read list, if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of her books, give it a go. You can read the books out of order, and there is certainly enough information in the book to catch you up but, seriously, read the whole series it’s a joy.

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