Eternally by Maureen Child

eternally.gifI picked up Eternally despite my misgivings about the plot centering around a psychic bond (I have… issues with them, but I will go into that at a later date). A couple people I know had said they really liked the book, so what the hell?

Lord. and. Lady. on. a. fucking. pogo. stick.

The premise is interesting enough. Kieran McIntyre is a Guardian; the full details of such is not explained within the book, but, basically, he’s an immortal demon-hunter. Hot on a demon’s trail, he crashes a party at Julie Carpenter’s apartment. He warns her of imminent danger, but she writes him off as a crazy man and doesn’t believe him.

The next morning, she wakes up to find one roommate dead and the other in critical condition.

Like I said, interesting enough premise. By this point, I wanted to find out what happened next. 🙂

Unfortunately, the story only went downhill from there. It turns out that there’s a legend of “Destined Mates” for the Guardians… and Kieran feels that Julie is his. Oh, and he can telepathically communicate with her–and apparently, only a Mate could hear his projected telepathic thoughts.

Kieran’s not happy with the idea of having a Mate. After all, he’s done well enough for ages without one. But the more he thinks about it, the more it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. After all, if he has sex with Julie, thereby realising the bond, they will be both be able to telepathically communicate with each other. And the bond that they have will allow him to telepathically connect to the demons to better track them.

… Yeah. You heard me right. A bond between the hero and the heroine will allow him to connect to the demons just by virtue of them having it. Even though neither of them have no connection with said demon!

Logic? What the fuck do we need that for?

I have to say, this is probably my hugest beef with paranormal romances. The authors don’t bother to make the worldbuilding make any damn sense! (If they have worldbuilding at all. I’ve seen books where the author stuck a pair of fangs on Ye Olde Harlequin Alpha and called him a vampire… but that’s another tangent.)

Right, so now Kieran’s still opposed to the idea… but if he has sex with her, he gets all these powers to help fight the Evil Demons! Yes, that’s his primary motivation for pursuing the bond at all instead of sticking his head in the sand like a demented ostrich.

At this point, the book nearly hit the wall. But I kept reading, even though the supposed “hero” seems to be nothing more than your average arrogant asshole.

Add to that, he constantly refers to Julie as “woman.” Like, constantly. You know how in some books, the characters always refer to each other by name in dialogue (even though I don’t know anyone who talks like that in real life)? Yeah. Think that kind of frequency, only “Woman,” this. “Woman” that.

I mean, really. What would you say to a guy who said shit like, “Woman, you try my patience”? ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME.

(Me? The dude would be having a date with my fist. In the sensitive regions. But I’m a bitch. :twisted:)

But I was hormonal, tired, doped on way too much pain medication, and figured I’d keep trying anyway. Kinda like when you’re having sex, you know it isn’t working, isn’t likely to, and you should just give up and try later… but you’re stubborn and keep at it anyway. Yeah, that.

Cut about a hundred pages in which Kieran convinces Julie to come to his place for his protection, various incidents of mindless lust occur, Julie decides she’s not “safe” at his place and escapes (usually this falls into TSTL territory, but I can’t blame her; I’d have done the same thing), etcetera.

And then we get to the Big Fight. You know the one, about 3/4 of the way through most any romance novel.

In which Kieran tells Julie they’re Mates and that the only reason he wants her is so he can increase his power for the hunt.

Um. WTF?

I think it was supposed to be a confession, fight, and makeup scene, but I must, er, confess that I didn’t get that far. If the hero at this point is telling the heroine that all he wants is to fucking use her, then he’s not a hero. He’s just a fucking asshole.

I could not believe that Kieran loved Julie or wanted anything to do with her except use her. And, frankly, I don’t enjoy case studies of domestic abuse.

The book went flying.

The sad thing is, this could have been a really good story. The heroine is sassy and sensible, and there’s certainly enough conflict. Problem was the hero. If he actually had a heart, or had been portrayed in a more three dimensional fashion, this could’ve been awesome. Except the hero wasn’t much better than some villains I’ve read. That doesn’t make for a romance, sorry.

I want my $5.25 and three hours back.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

(This is an example of the “long” review. ;))

8 Replies to “Eternally by Maureen Child”

  1. Gotta say, Kieran never became human enough to be really likable for me either. Yes, his ‘Woman’ thing drove me nuts. And why Julie decided to stick with him when he admitted he only wanted her for her power? Don’t know. She got sort of undermined as a strong heroine at that point.

    Mostly, though? Waaaaay too many similiarities to Highlander the series for me.

  2. It struck me as similar to Highlander, too, but since I’ve only watched a couple eps (and that was a couple years ago), I wasn’t certain if it was “just me.”

    Glad to know it’s not. 😉

  3. I’m pretty new to the whole paranormal romance scene and to be honest I figured this kind of leaving stuff was acceptible. It seems like all of them that I’ve read so far have issues like this. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who felt like there were holes.

    Never thought about the Highlander bit…but holy cow is it ever similar. Nice call, Sara!

  4. Considering that paranormal romances these days are also marketed to fantasy readers, who expect worldbuilding to make sense (and don’t have much patience when it doesn’t), it’s stupid to let authors get away with this sort of thing.

    But they do.

    I can’t tell you how many fantasy readers I know who’ve complained that a paranormal romance with a very interesting premise turned out to be total dreck. Not because the romance was the primary focus of the plot, but because the worldbuilding wasn’t there or made no sense.

    It frustrates me to no end, because it’s pure laziness. It wouldn’t have taken that much effort to make the worldbuilding coherent, but I see a lot of para-rom authors taking the “easy way” out, and it pisses me off.

  5. Oh, that stinks. I’ve read Dear Author’s review of Eternally so I hesitated before buying in hopes of finding another reviewer who had a different POV. I suppose now I’ll not buy it. Love that cover though. What a shame.

  6. For some weird-ass obsessive compulsive reason, I’m wanting to have a full set of the Nocturne line, as long as they run it. (Considering HQ/S has a tendency to cancel lines after a couple years, paranormals are on a “downward slide” according to several people, and they’re only releasing two books per month… it shouldn’t be difficult. LOL.)

    I’d read the DA review, too, but I don’t always agree with Ja(y)ne’s opinion on books. Some I’ve loved, they’ve hated. I figured I’d give this a shot, but… 😕

    Pity, really. I loved the cover, too.

  7. I’m quite sure I won’t be picking up any Nocturnes unless they are written by an author I love, but I have a feeling that the same thing that happened with me with Bombshell will happen again–I’m sure the Bombshell editorial team people are very nice and all that, but I don’t think we’d have that much in common when it comes to what we read for leisure.

    I’ve seen the Nocturne booklist, and I see at least 3 authors I won’t ever read again, for one thing.

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