Trapped for decades, a powerful god seeks freedom . . . and revenge. But the only thing that can save him is the passion of a woman's touch . . .
Emma Keane is your average city girl trying to get a date. There's just one thing holding her back: the disembodied male voice speaking to her through her mind. Sound kind of crazy? Maybe. But crazy turns downright deadly when the voice persuades her to travel to the wilds of the Mayan jungle. There she will free his body-his incredibly hot, muscled, naked body.
Humans are so frail, so undisciplined, so susceptible to love. And when this ancient being connects with Emma, the feelings she sparks drive him utterly mad. Protective, keep-her-close, never-let-her-go kind of mad. Which might not be such a bad thing because from the moment the beautiful, passionate Emma unshackles his body, they are hunted at every turn. Now he'll have to do everything in his power to keep her safe. But will it be enough?
When I saw the cover and read the blurb on NetGalley, I couldn’t resist requesting this book. I had never heard of this series before, but apparently it’s been out for a while. I received an uncorrected advance copy for the upcoming re-edited release in print.
The story begins with Emma Keane going on a blind date. As soon as her blind date opens his mouth, we’re introduced to the snarky male voice inside Emma’s head. She tearfully acknowledges that she can never pursue a “normal” relationship as long as the voice is around to make her appear like a freak, so she lets her date go. On her way home, she’s hit by a cab and ends up in a coma for a month. That is the turning point of the story, and the voice who she calls Guy, tells her that he needs her help to free him. On the one hand she’s reluctant to believe him because in the twenty-two years that he’s been inside her head, he’s never divulged his name or who he is, where he’s from. Nothing. On the other hand, she sees it as her chance to be finally free. So she agrees. All she has to do is travel into the Mayan jungle, jump into a lake of sorts and recite a phrase he taught her. What could go wrong? The answer, just about everything.
What followed felt like a massive info dump. There were enemies, The Maaskab. Allies, the Uchben. Mysterious jars and dark magic. A love triangle that was reminiscent of a certain teenage vampire trilogy, and a child shouldn’t have been able to exist. I really wanted to like this book, but there were just too many things that put me off the story.
The Push and Pull – There was a lot of it between Emma and Guy. At first it was cute, then after the third time it got increasingly tedious and boring. She’d let him in, he’d say all the right things only to take everything back a few minutes later and then the anger and resentment would set in which led her to do some pretty foolish things. His defense was that it was for her own good that he kept trying to fight his attraction and wanted to push her away.
The Love Triangle – I felt like she led Tomasso on only to try and stuff him in the friend zone whenever it was convenient for her. Whenever she got into a heated argument with Guy, she ran to Tomasso. Guy didn’t seem to trust him a hundred percent, but of course it was set up to look like jealousy rather than valid concern.
Emma – “Holy Virgin of Guadalupe”, she nearly drove me to the brink of insanity. Not just by her actions, but her inner monologues did me in too.
Chapter 24: She has an epiphany. She realizes that Guy really had been trying to protect her.
“The threats were real. The priests were real. They had taken my grandmother and had come hunting for me. Guy really had been watching over me my entire life despite being trapped in a watery hell, unable to breathe or feel sunlight. And to his credit, he never once complained or whimpered about his effed-up situation. He’d simply focused on doing what he could to keep anything dangerous away from me. Even Jake, the serial killer. Yes. Yes, Guy’d driven me crazy during the process, but I got it now.”
Chapter 27: She finds out he is Votan, God of Death and War. Well now she’s livid. Again.
“All this time, I’d been living with a killer.”
I guess her capacity to be thankful just ran out. Despite their connection of twenty-two years, she automatically assumed the worst of him.
And what she did with their bond. Twice. Not smart.
Info Dump – There were so many moving parts to this story, that my focus shifted so many times trying to catalog them all and weigh them against new information. The last info dump came when the villain spilled his evil plan. At that point I just took a leaf from Emma’s book and “Put it in your Can’t Deal with This Now Pocket.”
The Big Showdown was anticlimactic which was a bit of a disappointment.
The story was told from Emma’s POV in the first person Guy’s POV in the third person in alternating chapters. I didn’t mind that approach, but I found it difficult being in Emma’s head for so long. I liked how the story flowed, with her present running parallel to Guy’s past until they met face to face. The action portions were not altogether uninteresting, but the focus of the story was definitely more on the trust and honesty issues between Emma and Guy. I felt that a lot of the drama could have been solved with a bit of mature communication if Emma hadn’t been always on the defensive. Guy wasn’t completely innocent either, but with his sister’s visions, I thought he’d be a little more receptive to the possibility of being with her. There is no doubt that Ms Pamfiloff has an incredible imagination. I just couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters or their fate. I didn’t laugh when I probably should have, nor did I cry when it might have been appropriate. The ending wasn’t really a cliffhanger, but you’ll probably have a what the heck moment. You’ll have to pick up book two to find out what happens. If you’re still curious, I think you should give this a go, but as for me, I struggled with this book, and I will not be continuing on with the series.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review, but I also purchased a copy from Amazon in 2012.