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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cupid: A Dark Erotic Romance by Kenya Wright and Jade Eby

Cupid is a really hard book for me to rate. It's filled with "I'm going to love this," moments, but it also had its problems. It is written, in part, by author Kenya Wright who I honestly believe is currently one of the most creatively entertaining, out-of-the-box writers that's out there. This author is fearless and her books are always well thought out and  well-written. Of course this doesn't mean that every book that she churns out is a winner, but there is raw talent there. I guess that's why I'm a bit disappointed with this book and why my review isn't easy for me. I hate spoilers so I'm going to try to pull this review off without giving away anything that will ruin the story for you.

What It's About
There's a serial killer loose on Ovid Island, but no one seems to know or care. The island is a playground for self absorbed rich people with more wealth than decency. It is also the playground of a killer who eventually is dubbed "Cupid." We meet Cupid just as he's finished killing a
man and his mistress. He is interrupted when his victim's wife enters the darkened room where the murder has taken place. The power is out in the room so she doesn't see anything, but she feels that something isn't right, assumes her husband is playing games, and leaves. This scene starts the basis for the rest of the book. A killer who becomes infatuated, an investigative reporter/widow whose relationship with her deceased husband was less than stellar,  a wealthy man who takes an interest in the investigation, and a mother whose presence and bad deeds are at the heart of it all.

What I liked
-The plot. A man killing men who hurt women. He's a vigilante, a superman who (on the cover at least) is bearing his superhero name on his chest like Superman and his super "S." Since he's not hurting innocent folks then he's not all bad right? Well yes... and no. This cupid is cray. He's got mommy issues times a thousand, murderer may as well be his last name, and speaking of those people he's murdered - they haven't always been bad. You have the heroine, Diana. She's smart and does her homework. You get the sense that no one pulls the wool over Diana's eyes and that she'll make a formidable foe for the killer. The core of Diana the character was awesome and the glimpse into her childhood was pure gold. It explains so much about her personality. Asher is Diana's wealthy benefactor. He approaches her following her husband's death and wants to fund her investigation of the island's killer. He's super wealthy and by all accounts super sexy. The scenes with Asher, his mother, and the cook are great! I also quite liked the fact that there was only one sex scene in the book. Really, this isn't an erotic romance. Not yet anyway. It's a psychological thriller in which the characters have hot sex at one point. So I'm happy that sex wasn't shoved down my throat just for the sake of being "erotic." Finally, I liked that we weren't in the dark about why "Cupid" kills. His reasons and his victims aren't random and his madness isn't without a very clear cause.
In general I was pretty intrigued and was enjoying the story

What I didn't like
I bet you're wondering why, if I liked the story so much, am I giving it a 3 star rating. There were some aspects to the plot, particularly when it comes to Asher and his mother's history, that I felt were too convenient. I don't believe that Diana would have had a hard time finding this information or that what she found wasn't already public knowledge. For all that Diana was smart and an amazing investigator, I felt she was a little too weak willed when it came to Asher. Her husband was just murdered for crying out loud and Asher can convince her to do just about anything. Her husband isn't even buried yet before the book comes to an end or before she caves in to all that Asher sexiness. I also felt the identity of Cupid was given away too soon. I would have liked a bit more mystery, but I chalk that up to writer prerogative and I don't really hold that against the story at all. If you read my reviews you know that I don't make a huge issue over grammar mistakes unless they are glaring. Unfortunately, there were a fair share of misspelled or misused words in Cupid. Enough for me to take notice of anyway so heads up if that sort of thing bugs you.

My final thoughts
Cupid has moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There's more than one murder scene and to me those were some of the best and most well written parts of the story. Unfortunately, it just comes to an end and there's a second book to wait for. I'm not familiar with author Jade Eby or her work, but I'm a Kenya Wright fan through and through. Because of that I expected there to be more than one book when I started reading this one. Will I read the next installment? Yes, indeed I will. I was intrigued enough to see this through. There's a cat and mouse game afoot and I need to see how Diana handles what's ahead. Dear authors, please let Diana live up to her full potential here!
I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5 rating. There are a few problems that I had with certain things being glaringly unbelievable to me. While some may overlook these problems, the fact is it was too obvious for me to ignore and it took me right out of the story for a few minutes just to think it over. I unfortunately can't go too deep into that without spoilers. I also wish Diana's husband had at least been buried, which would have meant letting the events progress over a longer time span.

Regardless, I can't wait for Part II and to see where this goes.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Published: February 11, 2015
Pages: 213

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