Monday, February 24, 2014

What I'm Reading Now: Deadly Sins by Lora Leigh

Title: Deadly Sins
Author: Lora Leigh
Publisher: St. Martins Press 2012
Hot Factor: Sexually explicit. Not for readers under 18.
My Rating: 0 out of 5 (I usually give a least a star for getting published, but this time it didn't help)

I was looking for a good romance and my sister loaned me Deadly Sins, by Lora Leigh, published by St. Martin's Press in 2012. I was looking forward to it as I've read a couple of the books in Lora Leigh's Nauti Boys series and liked them. She's known for solid plots and hot sex scenes. Just what the doctor ordered during a record cold and snowy January!

Unfortunately, this book did not deliver. I can't even say it was the author's fault. Contrary to popular belief, a writer does not slave away in their garrett, send a manuscript to a publisher and it magically becomes a novel. There are usually several rounds of editing of the plot, scene sequences, and dialogue. The last step is a thorough going over by a proofreader who should catch errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any novel you read is a months long collaboration between the author and the team at the press.

This novel had so many technical problems it makes me wonder if somehow an early draft was released by accident. There were numerous continuity errors. For instance, a character finishes his coffee, then three paragraphs later, he's sipping it again. Wish I had one of those magic refill mugs. During one sex scene, Logan and Skye are on the bed, then the kitchen counter, then back on the bed. Ms. Leigh is already accomplished enough in writing sex scenes, she doesn't need to add teleportation.  There are character name switches, hard to follow dialogue tags, repeating sentences, and worse yet, a typo.

For this I blame the editing team. These are all things they should have caught before the book went to print. Ms. Leigh would have done better to self publish. At least she wouldn't have had to share royalties with an inept team.

As for the characters and plot, which the author is responsible for, we've got standard fare romance characters and plot. Logan is the studly, hard with a mushy interior former military man. Skye is the girl with a mission. She's annoying, though. She's supposed to have been raised to be in the FBI through some bizarre program which I cannot imagine parents agreeing to. But she's a wimp. I hate that. If she is supposed to be a bad-ass FBI agent, then she should kick-butt. Not turn a weapon over to Logan, who's hands are tied, and then proceed to get beaten to a pulp by the bad guy. Give me a break.

The plot is murky and not in a "I can't wait to see what happens" way. It was more like, "What IS happening?" Ms. Leigh didn't do a great job integrating the background from the first novel so we had an idea of what was going on. I also don't see how the prologue, which I actually read, ties into the rest of the book.

I usually give these types of books a lot of leeway. I'm aware of the genre tropes and they don't bother me. I'm not expecting fine literature, but I am expecting a professional presentation, great characters, and an engaging plot. I can't recommend this book to others and it's going right into the recycle bin. Unfortunate, because as I said before, I've liked this author in the past.

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