Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 23, 2012
Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he's loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he's on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn't come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don't leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything's a competition-even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen's all for an adventure with a native, but he's not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm's not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing's too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18. 

VISIT AMY LANE:
VISIT ALEKSANDR VOINOV:
FIND THE BOOK:

Review:

I'm not sure that I fully understood Country Mouse. While the idea behind the romance is interesting, the way it played out was subpar. The story itself was too focused on sex and the budding relationship seemed too quixotic.

As previously stated, Amy Lane's writing and I just don't seem to get along. Maybe it's because many of her story lines are too unrealistic for contemporary fiction. Maybe it's because I have weird taste in books. Who knows. My point in saying this is that I requested Country Mouse from Netgalley because of co-author, Aleksandr Voinov. I really enjoyed the other novel I read by him, Gold Digger - see my review HERE - and I wanted to see how he handled what sounded like a less intense story (from what I've read, his books all deal with controversial and dark issues). I also wanted to see if he could help pull me out of this Amy Lane funk. Sadly, that second thing didn't work out. 

These two authors have very different writing styles that had some serious clashing points within the story. Aleksandr's prose is mature, his characters well developed and… broody. On the other side of this, Amy Lane's writing has always felt very amateur to me. Her stories are jam-packed in a way that annoys me rather than intrigues me. She always piles issues one on top of another for the main characters to resolve, and half of them actually take away from the story instead of helping it. They are pointlessly added to draw in more conflict. As I write this I am think of the last Amy Lane novel I read, Chase in Shadow. I don't mean that I'm basing my opinion of this novel off of Chase in Shadow or any of Ms. Lane's other stories, I am stating my issues with Amy Lane's writing traits and pointing out the distinctions between these two authors. Luckily enough, Country Mouse was not overcrowded with struggles, which made it a better, but not great, read.

The pace of the novel and relationship between the characters progressed way, way too quickly. I can understand why they pushed the romance as hard as they did, seeing how the book was so short. I could've read it in less than an hour, if I'd read it in one sitting. If the novel had been longer and the budding relationship given a genuine time frame, I think I would've enjoyed this a lot more. There were also some passages in the novel that I that I had to reread several times because they didn't make sense to me, more towards the beginning of the novel, and even after rereading them, I still didn't really understand. I don't think I'll ever understand British comedy - besides Monty Python... does that count?

I did enjoy the characters in this one. As I said previously, I think they could've had a real relationship had the plot line been drawn out. Owen and Malcolm are very different, but I loved that they were both able to bring out the real personalities and emotions of the other. Owen, the American traveling through Europe with his ex-girlfriend and good friend, sees himself as a "country mouse" and is more set on seeing the sites than seeing someone's bedroom. Malcolm, the dominant Brit, has a dirty itch to scratch and thinks that this little country mouse would be perfect for a night of play. But after one night, they realize they want more. I found myself annoyed by the pretty powerful insta-love. The sex scenes were very well done. That being said, the way the authors tried to write this as a lite BDSM novel seemed so weird to me. It didn't fit. So while the scenes were hot, they just confused me more.

I'm definitely going to read more Voinov, but I am officially breaking up with Amy Lane books. (I feel like I've said that before, but I mean it this time!) This story was overall enjoyable, but nothing mind-blowing. It's more likely to please fans of the M/M romance genre that are looking for a story with more sex and less love. Personally, I'm all about the love.


I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

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