Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Immortal Nights (Argeneau #24) by Lynsay Sands

Things have not been going well for Abigail.  After her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Abigail feels that she has not choice but to drop out of medical school to care for her.  For months she acts as her mother's caregiver, putting her life on hold but its a sacrifice she's willing to make.  When Abigail's mother dies, the only relief that Abigail has is that the money she had saved for medical school and the sale of the house is enough to pay off all of the medical debt.  Unfortunately, this leaves Abigail with a few hundred dollars to her name, no job, no plan and feeling alone.  When she gets the chance to visit her childhood friend, Abigail jumps at the opportunity never guessing that will lead to her involvement in a kidnapping and ultimately, change her life forever.

It's book twenty-four and it's fair to say that there's nothing new about this story.  By this point, Sands is clearly writing her books by the numbers making it even more predictable than other paranormal romance novels.  Declaring a human a life mate is a short cut to get the romance happening thus explaining how one can claim to be in love after only eight days.  Even if I could tolerate the insta love, the idea of fooling around with a man you found in a cage after sneaking onto an airplane, while his captors are in the cockpit no less is beyond ridiculous.  Even the woo woo that is essential this this kind of story could not stop me from giving the whole thing the side eye.

I want to know where the humor went in this series? Sure, the earlier books were certainly formulaic but at least they had laugh out loud moments to distract you from how unoriginal the whole boy meets girl plot is.  The entire point of this book seems to be to rush Tomasso and Abigail quickly into sex.  They don't even know each other's names and yet they are quickly going at it.  I have no objection to porn but I do however object to bad porn masquerading as romance.

Abigail, is like many of the protagonists in that she doesn't really have many ties, thus making it easier for her to simply run off with her immortal lover.  The one tie she does have have is her childhood friend Jet who she promptly forgets about the moment she lays eyes on Tomasso Notte. In my book, this makes her an awful person.  For all she knew, Jet could have been taken prisoner.  He could have been being abused and violated or even murdered but she was too busy getting it on with Tomasso to think about her BFF from childhood.

If Abigail only failing had been being a rainy day friend, I perhaps could have lived with that as a failing.  Unfortunately, Sands has created a female love interest with low self esteem, who constantly whines about how fat and unattractive she is. Sure to some extent there are women with body issues but Abigail is extreme and constantly doubts that someone as attractive as Tomasso could possibly be interested in her sexually.  She even wonders if Tomasso will want to touch her after seeing her in daylight as though she's somehow disfigured because she's fat. The whole thing fatphobic and downright anti woman.  Would it really be so hard for Sands to write a female love interest who looks at herself in the mirror and likes what she sees for a change?

If you can tolerate all of Abigail's self loathing, there's still the issue that a good part of this novel is set on a tropical beach.  Let me say that again, a TROPICAL BEACH.  Who decides that it's a good idea for an immortal with an aversion to sunlight to romp around on a damn tropical beach and only a few days later feel the effects of all the sunlight?  Clearly Sands just like the setting of a beach becuase it's viewed as romantic that she didn't think about the fact that by having a naked Tomasso roam around on a beach fishing and taking care of Abigail's needs that she was breaking a damn plot/character trait that she spent 23 books affirming?  Look, to some degree one has to suspend belief to even pick up a book in this series but when a writer cannot even stick to the world they created it just makes the whole process futile.

For the last two book Sands has been building a side plot about Immortals being kidnapped and experimented on.  There's some heavy implication that scientists are creating odd creatures in the lab or at the very least that other supernatural creatures also exist in this world.  It sounds to me as though Sands is building up to create another half baked spin off in the same way she did with the enforcers.  At this point, I would relish something new and exciting in the world because each book has become so similar it's getting hard to tell them apart.

Once again there were no characters of colour or GLBT people to think of. I've pretty much given up on any real inclusion in this series.

I suspect book 25 will bring up another couple and the completion of the story about immortals being kidnapped. The problem is that I don't really care.  There's fluff and then there's the Argeneau series. It's beyond mindless and whatever imagination Sands had for this series died some time ago.  I think more than anything I'm reading out of habit now because the enjoyment is long gone.