Posted in: Author should not read without a bottle of Jack Daniels, Karen's Capsule Reviews
Shannon McKenna’s McCloud Brothers books have always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I know that I really shouldn’t like them, because they normally have the most assholic heroes and the heroines are generally too stupid to live.
This however, has never stopped me from looking forward to her new releases. I always fondly remember our 2005 vacation whenever I think about some of her earlier books.
Fade to Midnight is Kev Larsen’s story. Readers of this series will know that Kev has been missing for eighteen years, presumed dead by most, even at times by us readers. There was a time when I wondered whether Ms McKenna would ever bite the bullet and write his story. And so here we are. At last.
Here’s the blurb from Ms McKenna’s website:
Gone But Not Forgotten
Davy…Connor…Sean… Three brothers who have conquered their demons, but they’ve never forgotten their long lost brother, Kev, whom they believed to be dead. When the McCloud brothers discover Kev is alive, they won’t rest until they find him…
Beaten and tortured almost to death, Kev Larsen was found eighteen years earlier in a warehouse alley. He survived his brutal ordeal, but his memories before that night were completely erased. When he nearly dies from trying to save someone from drowning, the brain surgery he has to save his life triggers fragmented, terrifying memories. With only these memories and the name of his torturer to guide him, Kev is determined to unlock the secrets to his past.
Edie Parrish has always been good at not letting anyone get too close to her. If someone were to learn of her unusual gift, her life would be immediately jeopardized. But when Kev Larsen discovers who she really is, Edie has only one choice: to trust him. And soon, Edie can’t resist her consuming desire for him—even though she knows she’ll have to pay a price for it.
Now Kev and Edie must race against time and place their faith in each other to stop a deadly legacy…
Fade to Midnight was a fairly quick read for me, as most of Ms McKenna’s books usually are.
The book starts with a prologue, which tells the the tale of what happened to Kev all those years ago, and it went slowly downhill from there.
What I Liked About Fade To Midnight
I liked the fact that Kev Larsen finally had his own story. I also liked the occasional glimpse into the lives of the other McCloud siblings. I’m pretty fond of going down romance book memory lane, so this was a positive experience for me. Other than that, I’m afraid to say I’m struggling to remember any other bits that gave me any kind of pleasure, guilty or otherwise.
What Made Me Want To Stab Myself In The Eye
Fuck. Me. Jesus.
Let me count the ways this book sucked…
First of all, Kev Larsen took obsession to a new, and extremely scary level. Throughout his incarceration at the hands of the evil Doctor Osterman (the baddie who’d stolen him in his teens for the purpose of experimenting on his brain), the only thing that kept him going was his little “angel”. He didn’t know who she was, but she was his comfort blanket, even through the years when he had no idea who he was or where he’d come from. I’m used to McKenna’s heroes loving their heroines to death, and to a certain point, this is probably one of the things that appealed to me about her earlier books, however, there was nothing remotely sexy about Kev’s stalkerish behaviour towards Edie Parrish (our heroine).
As for Edie, although I didn’t dislike her intensely, she seriously annoyed the fuck out of me. She had about as much backbone as a jellyfish, and as much personality. She was the most downtrodden heroine that I’ve come across in a long while. She was the proverbial punching bag for everybody around her. Her ex had treated her like shit, her father disinherited her and still kept treating her like a pile of poo. Even Kev got into the habit of making her do things that she wasn’t at all sure of. In fact, the only person who didn’t treat her like a twat was her beloved thirteen year old sister, Ronnie.
Edie had this amazing psychic-type gift where she could draw the future, (a result of Doctor Osterman’s cognitive enhancement experiments) yet she didn’t seem to have much of a handle on it, even though she’d lived with her gift for years.
Due to her ability to etch-a-sketch, she became a graphic novelist. Her most famous character was an anti-hero protagonist who she’d named Fade Shadowseeker. Surprise, surprise, we later learn that Fade is the spitting image of Kev Larsen. Fucking whoop-dee-doo.
Kev and Edie finally meet in the flesh at a book signing, and this next paragraph is a good example of how totally gaga, Kev was over his “angel”:
“Edie Parrish had loosened gravity’s hold upon him. Kev floated beside her, lucky for the touch of that slender hand to anchor him to earth, or he’d float right up into the sky, as light as a cloud.
He was so jazzed, he could hardly breathe. Edie Parrish blew his mind. So beautiful, so smart. Deep and strong. Thorny like a rose. The photograph hadn’t begun to catch all she was.
His memory of her child self was frozen in time, like a medieval icon, but this Edie Parrish was no icon. She was warm, soft, perfect in every delicate detail. That translucent skin made her look like a forest sylph. Big, expressive silver-gray eyes, rimmed with indigo, shadowed with delicate purple smudges. Sooty lashes. Her face was narrow and delicate, brows dark and tilted up. Her hair a mass of unruly dark waves that brushed the top of her rounded ass.”
Kev went from the above fairly poetic stream of consciousness, to the following mildly creepy pov:
“She dressed down, tried to hide, but she couldn’t. Not from him. She shone like a sports stadium spotlight to him. He could extrapolate every tilt and curve from the stretch and swing of those drab, don’t-look-at-me clothes. The generous swell of her tits, the length of her slender frame, the way the jeans clung to her ass…His mouth watered to lean down close, and start memorising the smells of her scalp, her pelt. He wanted to stare at her in bright sunlight, study the glinting grain of the nap of female hair on her body. Stroke and kiss the hot fuzz in all her hidden places.”
Hmmmm…I just don’t see how sniffing somebody’s vaginal hair can be sexy, but whatever floats your boat I guess.
Just over an hour later, Edie takes Kev back to her house, and they proceeded to have dirty, skanky sex. About two minutes after Kev gives Edie the most amazing orgasm of her life, they fall madly, and deeply in love. *Yawn*.
The most annoying thing about the whole book was how overdone everything was. The characters were either Mary Sue good, or cookie-cutter evil, nary a shade of grey to be found anywhere. This got very old, very quickly.
Fade to Midnight sucked great big fucking hairy donkey balls. Two and a half hours of my life that I wont be getting back any time soon. My disappointment with this book knows no bounds. Kev Larsen deserved a much better book than he got. He really did.