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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 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 June 8, 2003
A Fair-Folk-in-modern-day fantasy, character-driven, with a lot of romance and a bit of darkness.
I actually really enjoyed both this book and its prequel.
Granted, this isn't great literature--it's definitely light entertainment. Though this volume doesn't have any scene as (inadvertently?) funny as the who's-going-to-clean-up-the-tentacles scene in the last one, Hamilton's thoroughly bizarre idea of what makes for attractive male clothing goes a long ways to add humor.
I like the "romantic" aspects of these books, and I actually think quite a few of the characters are well written, though there are a few too many so we don't get quite enough of each. I particularly liked the small and angstful Sage, but all Meredith's harem are appealing. There are interesting worldbuilding elements. Yeah, it's light stuff, romance fiction for fantasy readers, but there's a place in my world for that.
In this one, the plot wasn't great -- particularly the climax, which had promise but fell apart, segueing into an expository wrap-up. The ideas were good, but not developed. However, it did set up for a sequel, and if I see a third book I'll read it.
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on April 17, 2003
Merry is a Fey princess who lives in an alternate USA where all sorts of creatures from the fairy realm live alongside mortals. But Merry is also half human and now has become the co-heir to the Unseelie throne with her cousin Prince Cel. Cel has tried to kill her before and will again. To gain the throne either Merry or Cel must sire an heir.
Merry is now obliged to make love to the select Queens Guard in the hope of having a child. The Guard are all immortal fey with their own long history that is becoming evident with each novel. They are not just 'studs' but once were much more.While the story has many erotic and sensual scenes, it remains a great read with well written plot elements and characters that are the central elements of a good book.
If starting to read this series go back and get the first book as it explains some of the various convoluted characters that surround Merry. Not everything in Fairie is as it seems and everything and everyone have their own game.
But Merry is not just a cute half-fairy Princess she packs weapons and magic and is not afraid to use either. Novel by novel the characters are developing and the overall tale is evolving.
It is so engrossing that I read it in less than a day - I couldn't wait to find out the end and now am waiting impatiently for the next story to find out what will happen next.
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on July 26, 2002
I just finished reading the second Merry Gentry books. I did like this one, although perhaps not as much as the first installment.
The Princess and co. stayed in the City of Angeles for the duration of this book. I was happy to read more regarding the Seelie court. Also, Meredith comes to the realization that she's not just a princess...she's heir to the throne, to power.
I know that Ms. Hamilton receives complaints regarding the sex in her books. Personally, I don't think that reading about hot sex, etc. is a bad thing. However, I wasn't all that impressed with what I read in TWILIGHT. The scenes with Doyle, Kitto and Galen weren't all that spectacular. Perhaps this is Ms. Hamilton's response to all the negative comments. The sex is still there, but now it's not even all that great.
It was also nice to learn a little more about men in Merry's life. I wish more time had been spent on Doyle's character. Anyway, I will look forward to reading the next installment of Merry's quest for pregnancy and thus the throne.
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on May 5, 2002
Actually, I found this book more enjoyable than the first in the series. Up front, I want to tell anyone who reads Hamilton's books simply because she gives great sex scenes, then this book is definitely for you. I read all the previous reviews and I can see the point of all of them, bad and good. ...You need to realize that writing (and reading) is purely for enjoyment.
It is easy to see that Hamilton wrote this book as a go-between of the first and those to come. She is setting the scene of something big to come. I thought this was an important bases to help the readers get a better understanding of each character. I for one enjoyed reading about how each has grown and changed from the first novel to the end of this second one. She also gave background on a few (All the Guys).
...[N]ot all sexy guys have got to have long hair. I mean, come on, it's getting a bit redundant. I know the fairie court has a thing with long hair, but between the vampire series and this one, the long hair is getting soooo old.
Happy Reading. I hope L. Hamilton hurries with the next book.
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on April 18, 2002
I've read every installment of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series, so I was very interested when she came out with a new series of stories about a Faerie Princess/Private Detective named Meredith Gentry. Merry's life is quite complex. In the first installment "A Kiss of Shadows," Merry was hiding out in LA, as a Private Detective, from her aunt, Queen Andais. Her aunt the Queen was not protecting her from all the assassination attempts against her by her cousin Cel, Queen Andais' son. Now, in "A Caress of Twilight," Merry has become the Queen's heir to the throne, along with Cel. Queen Andais will concede the throne to the first one of them to have a child. So, Merry has herself a small "harem" of Sidhe warriors to help father her child. Each of her warrior lovers are pretty unique. They are all gorgeous and larger than life. They have been celibate for almost 1000 years and now they have a chance to be King, because the first one who gets her pregnant will share the throne with her.
There are a lot more twists and turns in the plot that keep you pretty entertained. Merry goes back to LA away from the Unseelie Court where she feels more comfortable and safe and her lover-warriors join her as body guards for the private detective company she works for.
You will find a lot of intriguing characters in this series. Laurell has an expansive imagination when it comes to describing faeries, goblins, etc. Her heroine, Meredith, is not unlike Anita Blake from her other series. She is a petite woman with a strong will and powers that keep growing with every story. Also, just like Anita, she has just as much trouble with her love life as she does fighting the bad guys and believe me, there are bad guys at every turn.
If you're a fan of the Anita Blake series, you'll find this series enjoyable as well. I just hope that she stays true to her characters, if she does, this story should get interesting.
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on April 10, 2002
I was surprised to see this in the bookshop, as I had not been expecting it to be out yet. I of course bought it, I love Laurell's novels. And I found this one a very enjoyable read. I acutally think this was in some ways much better than the first, as it really allows you to see their fey world more, and also distance yourself from the Anita series. Of course after Naricissus that really was not a difficult task.
A Caress of Twilight had a lot more character development, allowing the reader to see more into the minds of Merry and her men. Especially Doyle and Frost. The sex is much tamer, which i preferred, more sensual then being explicit like A Kiss in the Shadows. If you want something which is a good read, with rich, well defined characters then this is a must.
However like all of Laurell's books, the murder/threatening plot is pushed to the back and then basically forgotten until being suddenly resolved in a chapter. I'm heartly sick of having everything neatly wrapped up in the final chapter, when just a little more detail is needed. This is her writing style however so I should not complain.
Give it a go and read it. You will enjoy it, I'm sure of it.
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on April 9, 2002
I personally, would like to start off by saying i love the anita blake series, with the exception of the last 3 (that richard makes me so mad!) and when i read Akiss of shadows i was thrilled , i loved the book. When I heard that there was to be a sequel i became nervous, I liked the character of Merry and of course I LOVED DOYLE, who i feel even if Merry does not realize it, should be king.He is a leader, he cares for Merry and he is sexy as hell! the others are just window dressing. But i became nervous and thought about how let down i was with the Anita Blake series.
I pray that she does not continue to use the sex with the guards as a plot devise like she did with Anitas never ending powers. I mean sex in a novel does not bother me but after a while, i started skipping over the scenes to get to the plot! I too thought Sage was going to be another body in the mix, they are all interchangable, he could always be used for later.The relationships between Merry and the raven I thought was the focus but when you start randomly introducing characters it just becomes sex, not about the people or their relationships. the over all plot was wonderful it gave us a little more of the seelie court and their shining throne of hippocrates.we even got to meet merrys mother. I too began to wonder as another reviewer did how long can the having sex with Merry, whos going to be king plot device last? Well im rooting for DOYLE and I would also like to ask mrs. Hamilton to please dont push DOYLE in the back round, like she did JEAN CLAUDE, a lovely character who just seemed to fade away!
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on April 9, 2002
I was surprised to see all the negative reviews. I really liked A Caress of Twilight.
I agree that plot is rather weak, but I think the characters and relationships more than compensate. There is a lot of sex, but there was also a lot of sex in A Kiss of Shadows. Sex plays a significant role in fey life and that is reflected in Merry's dealings with other fey characters, whether they be sidthe or not.
You can see that Merry's feelings for the men in her life are being tempered by political realities. She needs a king, not just a husband and a father for her child. Perhaps that is why Galeen has such a small role in this book compared to the first.
Merry is a very different character than Anita Blake and some fans of that series may not like the Merry Gentry books. Anita is very independent, rather violent and won't let men open the door for her. Merry relies more on others, especially men, prefers to deal with things politically rather than with violence and is much less abrasive. I like both characters and think the contrasts between them help keep the series distinct.
I imagine that the Anita Blake books have a greater appeal for men. The Merry Gentry books remind me more of fantasy romance novels. If you prefer action with a strong sprinkling of violence, I would suggest starting with Guilty Pleasures. If you prefer books with more of an emphasis on the relationship between characters, I would start with A Kiss of Shadows.
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