Crow's Row

Crow's Row - Julie Hockley You really gotta suspend your disbelief at the door with this one. Believe me, I tried, but it was asking too much.

Meh. This was mostly a meh book. It wasn't very believable, though I had high hopes for the premise. I picked it up because of the seedy criminal element and some bit about the hero driving a motorcycle. Unfortunately our hero-- Cameron aka Leader of All the Gangs in Christendom just doesn't really feel authentic. He's in his mid-twenties. Really not old enough for me to believe that a bunch of mafia-types would take him seriously as their boss. What he really does with this criminal element I have no idea. It's all sort of skirted around in ways that just didn't make me believe it. There's a good bit of info about how he's involved in the criminal underworld and what that means. He explains it a bunch of times, but each time it felt like information that I already had. I didn't need to be told that selling drugs was both dangerous and illegal, or that once in the business it would be difficult to get out of. I got it. He just didn't feel genuine to me. When Cameron was talking about working for organized crime he did much the same way I would (which is to say with absolutely no authority on the subject). It sounded like things you pick up from TV and movies, maybe even tamer than that. It didn't feel either gritty or raw and it needed to.

Others have complained that Cameron holds himself back a good time longer in the physical relationship-- longer than any criminal alpha-male really would-- before consummating his relationship with our carrot-haired heroine. (We get to hear a good bit about her hair color. I for one am wondering where all of these red-haired heroines are coming from. I think I've read a good 30 books this year with women with absurd shades of red on their heads. Really people, there just aren't that many red-heads in the world, perhaps that's because they have all been magically transported into romance novels.)

For the rest, it's the usual trope-- she's insecure and doesn't feel sexy or desirable or good enough for Cameron the big-bad boss. He of course thinks otherwise and sees her secret soul (don't they always). At least the reason that he cares about her worked for me. Bringing in the dead brother, Bill was the saving grace for me continuing to read. That link between the two of them, and the backstory that goes with it is far-fetched but I could hold on it.

And as is typical, we have a cliff-hanger ending. Or maybe you could call it a completely avoidable ending. I'm not sure. I'm also beginning to think that in addition to a plethora of non-existent red-heads in romance there is also an inability for any author to write a damn ending to a book. Really. An ending. A novel idea. I don't want to buy the sequel-- I just want the book to end, preferably with an HEA, but if that's not possible then just tie things up enough so I can deal .(No offense Ms. Hockley you're not the only offender, or even the worst in that regard), but that's been bugging me for a while now.