Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Ensnared by Charisma Knight
Ensnared is an interracial (is it interracial if the hero is an alien? Technically he wouldn't be defined by something like human race, but I digress...) sci-fi/paranormal romance. The heroine of the story is a woman named Charlie Marine who is from Earth and who also has some psychic abilities. The hero is an alien, a shifter dragon, named Rhyker. At the beginning of the story we learn that the people of Rhyker's planet have more or less been wiped out during a war with Earth. The surviving males of his race remain with another alien race with whom they've allied. A few of the shifters go to earth. Years in the future we meet Charlie who is headed on a vacation to Mars despite the protest of her sister who is worried because of the disappearance of human women. Even their other sister has disappeared. Undeterred Charlie moves forward with her vacation plans and soon finds herself kidnapped and taken to the alien planet where she is given to Rhyker. Rhyker wants her but won't force her, she is determined to resist. The two soon discover that things aren't exactly what they seem and danger and frightening betrayals reveal themselves. I give Ensnared
a point going in for being a sci-fi romance. I've only read a handful of books by this author, but I love that she isn't afraid to write these types of storylines. We need more writers willing to explore sci-fi and fantasy if you ask me. When I received the request to review Ensnared I was very happy. I hadn't heard of this book, so I was excited to give it a try. I wish I could give it five stars or even four, but it was a bit of a hit or miss for me.
The Bad: A big part of my problem was Charlie. I didn't like her. She was supposed to be a strong woman, but her brand of strong was being hard-headed to the point of stupid. Some of the things that this character did just felt silly and contrary. The first half of the book didn't grab me either. It started strong and captured my interest regarding Rhyker and the fate of his planet, but as soon as Charlie hit the scene it just fizzled. Charlie meeting Rhyker left me feeling totally indifferent and frankly their first encounter was creepy and weird.
The Good: As much as I may not have cared for the first half of this book, I felt the second half went a long way towards redeeming it. The story solidified for me, and suddenly it had purpose, a plot that fit the opening scene. It's all about the monsters outside of the wall. That's all I'll say. I only wish there had been a love story that revolved around this plot all along. I liked Rhyker and the fact that he didn't want Charlie to be a passive woman that bowed to his every word and need. I wish that he could have been developed a little more and that there were a lot more of him in his dragon form. The times that he and Charlie actually worked together near the end worked for me. Just wish it had been there all the way through.
My Final Thoughts: I admit that I have high expectations when it comes to science fiction romance. I feel like writers have so much freedom to explore and create and frankly it is fun for me to see what they come up with. Although this started out poorly in my opinion, the second half of the book was the book that I wanted. Was it a case of too little too late? I don't think so, because the author clearly has several more stories to tell (namely Charlie's two sisters and Rhyker's brother - who I am totally feeling by the way!). While the second half wasn't perfect, it set up these future stories and managed to regain my faltering interest in the book. I'm really looking forward to reading more sci-fi romances from this author and seeing how she grows in this particular genre. I'm rating Ensnared a strong 2.5, may as well be a 3, out of 5. I recommend it to readers who enjoy sci-fi or paranormal romance.
* I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review *
Publisher: Sugar & Spice Press
Publish Date: September 5, 2014