Well, let's get my first official Booklikes review off with a bang, shall we? Or maybe a whimper.
Keys to my Cuffs sounded really good when I read the blurb...
You’re the Keys
Loki’s life was a lie. Everything he’d done for the last eight years was under an assumed name for the Benton Police Department. He’d lied, cheated, and stolen all in the name of the law. He wore himself thin, and not even the open road could take away the pain anymore. Then his little next door neighbor moved in, and suddenly he had a reason to get out of bed every morning. Except he was an officer of the law, and a member of a prominent motorcycle club in the area, The Dixie Wardens MC. Neither of which she could deal with.
It wasn’t the scars that covered her new neighbor’s body that scared Channing. It was the badge. The fact that he belonged to The Dixie Wardens MC was only icing on the cake. She should be running away as fast as her legs could carry her. But there’s something about Bryce ‘Loki’ Rector. Something that eased the unreasonable fear she felt every time she came into contact with something that reminded her of her past.
They say love isn’t easy, and it definitely isn’t for the two of them. Loki has to learn to feel again, and Channing has to learn to live. Their road isn’t an easy one by any means, but Loki makes two promises. One, he’ll never let anything hurt Channing again. Two, it’d be over his dead body that he’d ever let her go.
I love a possessive, tattooed Alpha-male lead as good as the next girl. With the exception of the name Loki (sorry, I can't help but picture Tom Hiddleston in giant horns every time I read that), the premise of this book checked all my boxes. And, just to be clear, I read the sample before I hit that handy-dandy 1-click button. But sadly, 2 chapters in I gave up.
To be fair, I could see there might be a good story buried in there somewhere, and the author's voice wasn't bad. The dialogue was okay, authentic for the most part. I'm not a huge fan of alternating first-person POVs, but I was willing to go with it because there were clear differences in each character's voice too. Also, the heroine worked in a mortuary...eww. Points for originality, but still, gross.
My problem was with the lack of editing. I mean seriously, none whatsoever. An over-abundance of commas, wrong and inconsistent use of semi-colons, weird sentence structure and strange word choices ("yick" instead of yuck?!)--you name it, it was in there. I tried really hard to overlook it and keep reading, but when the word "main" was incorrectly used to describe a "mane" of hair, I gave up. Once my nitpicky brain zeroes in on something like that, I might as well be reading the back of a cereal box for all the interest I have in the story itself.
This book has a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon so I suppose I'm in the minority, but I can live with that. For the first time ever(!), I returned it for a refund of my $3.99. For that price, I expect decent editing.
Final grade: DNF
Using Fifty Shades and "literary" in the same sentence gives you a good idea why this article with induce rage for some:
"Despite its populist backstory, Fifty Shades was an easy sell for James’s literary agent Valerie Hoskins, thanks in part to the online accolades and word of mouth fueling its demand. “There was already a buzz about the trilogy in early 2012, appreciation for the books had gone viral,” she said adding, “all of the Big Six (five now) publishers in New York City were very keen to offer for it.”
Three years later, with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan bringing the guilty pleasure to life on the big screen this weekend, the fan-fiction world where the movie originated seems more relevant than ever for literary agents hoping to bank on the coveted “Fifty Shades effect.”
“We’re getting deals everywhere,” explained London-based literary agent Lorella Belli, who snagged a six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster for her author Sophie Jackson’s forthcoming trilogy, A Pound of Flesh, which also started out as Twilight fanfic. “[Fan-fiction writers] already have such a huge following without doing any kind of promotion,” she continued. Jackson’s story drew more than 4 million reads on Fanfiction.net, and she’s gone from being a schoolteacher in Britain to having three major publishing houses bid up her debut novel. Just last month, Hollywood agent Steve Fisher at Agency for the Performing Arts signed on to secure the film rights....
I didn't actually by this story as a standalone, but already had it as part of the mini-anthology, Full Dark, No Stars. And I was familiar with the BTK serial killer crimes enough to immediately recognize the inspiration for this short, which Mr. King acknowledges in the back of the book. This did have a different ending than the outcome for BTK, one I found more apropos, if you believe in that sort of thing. I could understand the wife's quandary on how to deal with her discovery and her husband's subsequent admission, and how it could affect her entire family if brought to light. The only thing I was left wondering in the end was how she could continue to live in that house?
And if you're interested in a review copy, shoot me a message. :)