Is anyone interested in reading a book as a group? The city where I live used to have an “Everyone’s Reading” event, and the entire city was supposed to be reading the same book at the same time. It was a great idea, meant to foster friendships, conversations, togetherness and literacy. The only problem was I never saw anyone else reading the book they chose. I was so disappointed!
I was talking to Deborah over at A Chick Who Reads (thereadingchick.com), and she was asking for comments on which book she should read next. Our conversation evolved into tentative plans for a virtual review/book club as we settled on the one book on her list that I also had on my kindle, waiting to be read.
The book we decided to read together is Kulti by Mariana Zapata, published on March 20, 2015. We have set a date a month out (May 15th) for our (end of) reading/reviewing date.
So who’s up for a good read? Book reviewers, book bloggers, readers, and anyone else who’d enjoy reading the same book and then posting reviews or discussing what we’ve read, please join us for this fun experiment! We’d love to have you.
I normally love Mariana Zapata’s books. They suck me in. The heroes are usually flawed in some way, but underneath their gruff exteriors, they are good guys, and I always end up liking them a lot. They stick with me after I put the book down, and it’s usually a few days before I can let them go and move on to read something else. The pacing on her books is usually slow. She takes a long time to build the relationships between characters and the romances. I don’t have a problem with that as long as there is plenty of time left in the book for the “good stuff” to unfold and happen. Then you cherish and enjoy it when it does get there.
When I picked up Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin, I had a picture in my mind of what Sacha Malykhin would be like. He was the lead singer of the headlining band. He was tall, dark and tattooed. I pictured him as someone who would be rough, tough and a little worn around the edges. He would be a guy who had been around some. He wasn’t like that at all. The heroine, Gaby Barreto, is the twin sister of one of the guys in the opening act, and she’s with them selling band merchandise. She’s grown up with the three guys in the opening band. As a result, they treat her like one of the guys, tease her mercilessly and call her “Flabby” all the time. It got old after a while. There wasn’t a lot about her that was sweet or feminine. She meets Sacha when mistaking him for someone else, she kicks him in the backside. The guys in her brother’s band were mean and gross. They pull her hair, punch, pinch, and slap her. There are endless discussions about taking a poop. I get that the guys were a little less than refined. Didn’t they ever have times when they were? Gaby plays soccer against them, and the hero kicks a soccer ball into her face, bruising her face. I started to feel sorry for her for the abuse she was taking.
The storyline in this one is extremely slow in building. She and Sacha are friends and buddies and not much else until around the 80% mark in the book. I kept wondering when the heck he was going to make his move. I get that he was sensitive to the fact that she’d just recently come out of a relationship and he wanted to give her time. I also wondered several times if it was going to turn out that someone else was the hero since he didn’t appear to be in any hurry. Couldn’t he at least have kissed her sooner? This guy was either a saint or he wasn’t that into her. When they finally do decide to have a physical relationship, they’ve barely begun and the book is over.
I wanted so much more from this book. I wanted the hero to be stronger. He was goofy, he was funny, and he was sweet. He was not an alpha male. He’s never a douchebag although he treats her like one of the guys just like the rest of them do. I felt like she deserved better than another guy friend. This one had me confused. I liked parts of it but not all of it. It was lacking somehow.
Image from Goodreads
The Blurb: He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.
After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.
And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.
… she should have chosen the strip club.
When I read the blurb, I at first thought “Widower” meant he had lost his wife! It turns out that was the name of the motorcycle club. I read one of the author’s other books The Wall of Winnipeg and really enjoyed it even though that one had been slow-developing. The hero in the Wall was short-tempered, bossy and a little obnoxious, but as the book went on and you got to know the character, he grew on you. The hero in Under Locke, Charles Dexter Locke, is much the same.
I don’t get the whole “doesn’t know how to tell time” thing in the blurb. Dex gripes at Iris a couple of times about being late for work, but she’s not. No explanation is ever given for that – perhaps it’s just to suggest he’s a bit of jerk. The story was slow-moving and the romance non-existent until past the halfway mark. The heroine spends most of the book annoyed with the hero because she overhears him call her a “f@$#ing idiot”. She eventually confronts him about it, and he apologizes and says he often says things he doesn’t mean. Does she let it drop? No. She confronts him about it on at least two or three other occasions and makes the poor guy apologize and beg her for forgiveness over and over again. I kept wishing she’d just drop it. It seemed childish and petty after awhile for a character that had faced so many horrible and more serious challenges in her life. To be that upset over a stupid comment she’d heard seemed silly, especially after he was already showing her that underneath the gruff exterior he was really a good guy.
The motorcycle club part of it wasn’t really at the forefront of the story. I’ve read other biker books that were more over the top, rough, wild and dangerous in nature. I liked that it wasn’t as huge of a factor in this book. Dex was a member, her brother was a member, and her father was an ex-member. The fact that he was a talented tattoo artist wasn’t really played up all that much either. He did the Accounting details for the MC club. I really liked the hero and her brother as well as the other tattoo artists. They were all good guys and took good care of Iris. She ends up having to move in with the hero when bad guys beat her brother up as a result of something the father did. The brother then goes off with another club member looking for the father.
It was a long book, but then hers usually are. Some of the slower or more repetitive bits could have been edited out. Her estranged father was the bad guy in the story, and it took a long time for him to get his comeuppance, but it was satisfying when it happened. I loved the interplay and romance between Ritz and Dex once it started to develop. I’d recommend this one. I just wished the pacing had been a bit faster.
Image and blurb from Goodreads