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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on April 16, 2015
Pure escape reading but I enjoy all of Laurell K. Hamilton's books. I read them over and over again.
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on November 16, 2014
fantastic condition I would recommend them to my friends
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Somewhere during the Anita Blake series, Laurell K. Hamilton decided to change the focus from horror/fantasy to sex, all the time and everyplace. With the newer Merry Gentry series, she cuts right to the chase.

"A Caress of Twilight" doesn't bother to follow up on its predecessor's sex-choked promise -- okay, we've got scheming and magic and urban fairies. But the second book only brings up a few interesting plot points, before tossing them away in favour of Merry's latest quickie.

In the previous book, faerie princess Merry Gentry is given a challenge by her aunt, the Queen: If she doesn't produce a kid before evil cousin Cel does, then Cel gets the throne. Outside the bedroom, however, things are getting messy: A mysterious force has left hundreds in California dead, and Merry has to find out why and who.

Coincidentally, an L.A. actress/fay-in-exile is seeking Merry's help for something that might be dangerous for them both, even as Merry learns that a bizarre, ancient power has been unleashed for murder. And what's more, Merry's very presence is beginning to awaken the godlike powers that the sidhe thought they had lost.

There's no point in beating about the bush -- this isn't a sex fantasy for the readers, but for the author. At least 90% of it is about sex in one way or another, and it's all centered on the beautiful, sexy, superpowerful, divinely-chosen Merry. Yes, it's really that bad.

Hamilton does reveal some interesting facets in this book, with a few new twists on the urban fantasy genre. The idea of the Starving Ones is simply astonishing. But none of those ideas are done justice here, because of the lackluster plotting and terrible writing. She repeats her own phrasing endlessly ("Hey, that sounds cool! I should use it again"), especially in the oddly dull sex scenes. They're explicit, yes, but also clinical and weirdly passionless. And sometimes simply weird.

Another example: her sexy male characters look alike -- flowing rainbow hair, odd colouring, poetry-laden powers. This would be okay, if they had individual personalities. Which they don't -- in fact, as her harem grows, the guys blend together even further. For that matter, they don't really do much except service Merry every so many pages.

Merry, of course, is the worst of all. She's an obvious fantasy alter ego for Hamilton. She's also chosen by the goddess, gauns superpowers casually, has every man panting with lust, and is (as Mary Poppins says) "practically perfect in every way." For a better writer than Hamilton, such a character might be appealing -- but Merry's arrogance is just nauseating.

"Caress of Twilight" is a cold caress. With lackluster writing and a heroine you can't help but loathe, the second book of the Merry Gentry series doesn't bode well for the future books.
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on July 14, 2004
This is my least favorite book by LKH thus far. Thats not to say that A Caress of Twilight was a bad book, but it was nowhere near as entertaining as I wanted it to be. It defnitely had the feel of an in between book. It wouldnt really stand alone and I dont think I would have tolerated it as well if I wasnt already so deeply rooted in the story from the previous book. I felt that the lack of characterization was very apparent in this second title. LKH depended too heavily upon physical descriptions and didnt delve deep enough into the core of the main characters IMO. As for the plot, it basically is still following what began in the first installment, but nothing really happens in ACOT until the ending. Still, I cant stop here. I plan on reading the 3rd book ASAP and I also am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Anita Blake series which I think is far superior to the Merry Gentry books. Basically, this wasnt a keeper, but it is a definite must read for any fan of the series.
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on July 13, 2004
I sort of abandoned this series when I discovered Anita Blake's world, so reading about Merry Gentry after reading five Anita Blake novels was a refreshing change of pace. Merry Gentry, the sexy, sassy faerie princess-slash-L.A. private detective, is back for another dangerous and erotic adventure. Bearing a child is the only way Merry can beat Prince Cel to the thrown, so she sets out to conceive a baby with various warriors of her royal guard. If her life weren't complicated enough, there is a series of mysterious, gruesome deaths that endanger the faerie world. Could the deaths be connected with the exiled Hollywood faerie goddess Merry has agreed to help? And will Merry bear the child that's needed to be Queen? There are various twists throughout the novel...
A Caress of Twilight, like A Kiss of Shadows, is full of erotic scenes and wonderful suspense. Merry is quite an earnest female character that isn't afraid of her sexuality and of acknowledging her harem. I do like this heroine very much. She isn't as tough as Anita Blake, but she isn't as self-righteous as the aforementioned character either, which is refreshing. I was also glad to get reacquainted with her bodyguards, especially Doyle and Rhys. I've noticed that Doyle is the Jean-Claude of this series -- a dark and sensual character whose feelings for Merry are noble. He is quite irresistible. Laurell K. Hamilton has once again written an enthralling fantasy novel that I couldn't put down. I cannot recommend A Caress of Twilight enough!
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on June 28, 2004
So here's the second book in LKH's series about fairy princess Merry Gentry. She was blackballed once from the fairy court but she'll be welcomed back with open arms and the throne provided she wins a conception race with her cousin. When she's not seeking the lucky farmer, she assists a fellow fey that was blackballed from the court for mysterious reasons, navigates Seelie and Unseelie court intrigues and searches for a legendary big bad-The Nameless, a repository of old magic and evil who has been set loose by some naughty fairy (less cornball than it sounds.) But the plot goes into effect only when the bedroom door is open.
Which brings us to the problem here. Does something have to go tight in the lower regions of Merry's body in every chapter? I sometimes wonder if Hamilton mourns the death of hair metal. Every man has washboard abs and long, flowing locks that would make the lads from Poison weep with envy. To be fair, she does run with a supernatural crowd-it's just the repeated, predictable characteristics of every male that grow wearisome. This is made less tolerable with all the sex. Normally I'm not one to complain about this subject. But, again personal taste, I either wanna read pages devoted solely to mindless sex or I wanna read a work of fiction. Combining the two can be a losing proposition as far as plot is concerned. Not to mention that many of the encounters in the book are a (Amazon's rules necessitate that I omit the details but they involve pain and sex with goblins and a teensy fairy guy. Seriously.)
But I keep reading these books nonetheless. Hamilton's alternate universe is artfully constructed. Merry's character is engaging and has some fine moments, such as the moment when she realizes the real reason her Mother truly dislikes her. Recommended with caveats noted.
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on April 28, 2004
Well, first off I should mention that I make it a regular habit (not on purpose mind you!) to read series out of order. I pick up a book read the back cover and think "hey this sounds great" only to be maybe two chapters in only to find out I'm reading book 3 out of 4! Well, this time is no different and I still found that yes, I want to read the next book in the series and even more important the first book. With that said this is the first time I've ever read anything by Ms. Hamilton and I found her writing to be very entertaining and her little world to be fun. Merry continues on in her quest to not only remain alive (despite her cousin's attempts on her life), but to try and conceive the future heir of the sidhe. With her bodyguards, Doyle, Frost, and Rhys, as well as goblin Kitto we follow this very sassy princess as she does her best to walk a very thin line between two different rulers. If you are not a fan of fantasy (like me) I still think you will find Ms. Hamilton's fantasy world fun and a worth while way to pass the time
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on April 15, 2004
Typical of the MG books, it's low-key erotica, although at least the sex scenes in this one seemed to be *trying* to be part of character development. I liked the story, even if I had figured out the "whodunit" of the lightweight mystery that supplies the subplot of the book (the main plot, of course, is still Merry getting pregnant). I can't complain, since Merry's remaining rather attached to my two favorite males in her little harem, although from the looks of the conclusion, book 3 will only get more complicated on the interpersonal dynamics between Merry and the men. Enjoyable dark fantasy-erotica. I've read most of the Anita Blake series. I've burned out on "Super Anita", so Merry is a bit of a change. At least she's honest about her harem, rather than swearing up and down she's "Saint Anita" and changing her mind midway to become "Courtesan Anita". I like Merry - she's fun and irreverant.
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on March 25, 2004
In general, I love Laurel K. Hamilton's books.
As other reviewers have noted, the plot point here is that Merry is supposed to be trying to get pregnant before her cousin Cel can father a child. Thus, she has lots of sex. My question is: why doesn't she spend some effort trying to TIME her conception? Don't sidhe ovulate? If sidhe don't work that way, I'd love to hear an explanation. Given that many (most?) of Hamiltons's readers are female, I'd think that they'd be interested in a digression about sidhe reproductive biology. Merry's failure to consult a fertility doctor frustrated me for the whole book.
I agree with other reviewers that the ending was rushed. I'll read the next one because I hope/want that it will be better, but this book was frustrating.
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on March 18, 2004
Have you read A Kiss of Shadows? If you have not, do not read this book because it is the second book of the Merry Gentry Series and it is not a great stand-alone novel.
Having already read A Kiss of Shadows, I read this book under the notion that the series could possibly get better. I was wrong. The characters do not go through any sort of interesting or believable character development; in fact, they go through no development at all! They are the same unconvincing and stagnant characters they were before. Merry is a pain in the buttocks and the rest of the herd just pacifies the annoying and licentious woman. The plot is of similar lurid caliber as the first book, just slightly worse.
If you thought that the first book was (at the very least) just OK, I do not recommend you read this book because it just gets worse.
If you though that the first book was marvelous and spectacular, then our tastes in books is likely greatly different; go for it!! You will probably enjoy it despite my opinion. :-)
If you thought that the first book was one of, if not, "THE" worst books you've ever read ... need I say more? ... (skip this one)
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