Tuesday, May 7, 2013

REVIEW: The Stolen Luck by Shawna Reppert

The Stolen Luck The Stolen Luck by Shawna Reppert
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Do not mistake this for a BDSM romance. When the story said slavery, it meant actual slavery. Despite the dark premise, the story was actually not that dark. The couple, however, were fuckwits.

I spent the first 2/3 of the story vexed with Loren. Once Loren stopped vexing me, I thought it was over but then James picked up where Loren left off.The story was told in an irregularly alternating 3rd person POV between James and Loren. I thought I could get some relief by reading from the POV from a character who wasn’t vexing me at the moment. Unfortunately, while one was vexing the other was unimpressive and didn’t compensate with any exemplary character quality.

+ Loren, the love interest

Loren was a fuckwit because for someone who constantly protested his enslavement to James he sure didn’t try hard to get out of it. I understood his hesitance and fear of failure, but it was quickly if not immediately obvious that James made empty threats, that he was conflicted about being a slave owner and disrespecting his ancestors and principles for owning an elf slave, the race who granted his family their Luck. Loren had plenty of opportunities to leave, especially when he was at James’ family manor surrounded by good people who would have helped Loren if he simply asked, no exaggeration whatsoever.

At that point, it ceased to be protesting and rightful challenging of slavery. It became whining and unproductive. I detest whiny characters. FFS, Loren. The funny thing is that he could have simply asked James for a contract where once James willfully set Loren free then Loren would help James recover the Luck. A contract would have resolved the damn slavery issue once and for all! All James needed was a fucking promise set in paper! There would have been no issue of Loren reneging on the promise because he was an elf and elves, unlike humans, take their promises seriously.

Aside from the whining issue, I hated how Loren kept antagonizing James and being easily offended. There are these things called words and Loren should have used them. Loren should have directly communicated his reasons for his feelings instead of throwing bitchfits that baffled James. For example, I’m pretty sure if Loren said point blank that James’ friend was a sexual offender James would have believed him. Pretty sure as the grass is green.

Also, what kind of a slave antagonizes their new slave owner upon their first conversation? A stupid one that’s what. Of course, when James reacted non-violently and instead considered Loren’s physical and emotional injuries it should have instantly clued Loren in that James was a softie... and easily escapable. Not to mention that Loren had the ability to read mind, emotions specifically, which I suspected would have been useful in determining truthfulness.

In sum, Loren was whiny and bitchy and a shade of stupid. He did grow as a character towards the end, but not as much I would have liked.

+ James, the protagonist

I would have liked James to show more resolve and less guilt. He suffered too much internal conflict; I think the story overdid it trying to humanize James for his offense as a slave owner. Dude didn’t need to be humanized. Desperate times call for desperate measures so I totally got what he was going through. His loved ones were on the line. Anyway, I also blamed James for not thinking of making a contract with Loren and setting Loren free. It would have cut back one issue James had to deal with.

For the first 2/3 of the story, James was unimpressive in spite of his card sharp and sword skills. If the guy exercised his brain cells and came up with a strategy, then the bad guys wouldn’t have made such big trouble for Loren and him and almost got the two killed on so many occasions that it was getting idiotic on James’ side. And then there was the last 1/3 of the story.

Instead of growing a character in the last 1/3 of the story, he regressed, much to my annoyance. A couple chapters ago in the middle of the story, Loren revealed how he became a slave, and then James said that Thorne, Loren’s cousin, could have been responsible for it to which Loren refused to believe because elves are always good guys. (Yeah, I sniggered.) So what happened when James finally meet the suspicious Thorne? He allowed himself to be seduced and turned against Loren, the guy who previously, a few chapters ago, saved his life. *facepalm* Admittedly, James did wake up to the truth before things became irreparably wrecked, but he should haven’t been hoodwinked by Thorne in the first place.

So beside Loren, the stupid was also strong in James.

+ the plot

The good news was that there was no instant love and that sexual consent was a priority in the romance due to the slavery premise. There was also a HEA and smut as an ending. The bad news was that the story, as a romance, was not that very romantic. The couple were constantly challenging each other and challenging feelings for each other. Their bickering suppressed any sexual tension the story tried to manufacture.

In Conclusion

I rate The Stolen Luck 2-stars for it was okay. It was a nice romance, it was just not very romantic. The couple’s lack of smart stood in the way. The silver lining side was I did like how same sex relationship in the fantasy was a complete non-issue.

Goodreads | Amazon

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