by Alisa Sheckley

March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-345-50587-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Del Rey Books
Mass Market Paperback

The prospect of discovering a new author or series is what most readers relish. Picking up that novel in the bookstore, reading the cover blurb, and making the purchase brings a new sense of anticipation and excitement. The author is unfamiliar and the reader hopes that they have made a good choice. The story sounds good, and they start to read, anxious to embark on a new journey.

This was my attitude when I selected The Better to Hold You by Alisa Sheckley. I am an avid urban fantasy reader, and was intrigued by the blurb. How would the main character handle a husband who suddenly was acting strangely? What about her career? Would she be able to adapt to a new life?

Sadly, I have to say that my decision to read this novel was not a good one. I felt only lukewarm at best toward Abra Barrow and loathed her husband. He was a jerk and she was too weak. The only time she was confident was at work. She allowed herself to be cowed by Hunter, even when he was out of town.

The plot could have worked. It should have worked. And yet the lackluster characters made it all seem forced. The only ones who came across with any strength were the bad guys, and you cannot root for them. Of course at some point I just wished Hunter would kill Abra and get it over with. It is not a good sign when a reader wants to kill off the heroine. Her new relationship with Red is supposed to carry the series forward, but I just did not ever get their dynamic. I will not be reading the second book.

Reviewed in April 2009 by Paula.

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