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House of the Rising Son by Trevann Rogers
I’m not a big paranormal reader. (I say this, but I’ll basically read anything, and I actually have read a ton of paranormal. It just isn’t what I… normally seek out.) Vampires and incubi and werewolves or, as is the case here, were‐cats, aren’t really something I go looking for. In the same vein, I don’t generally seek out books about musicians because it’s so hard for people to get it right‐ there’s a lot of imagining that goes on, but unless you’ve actually been there, it’s hard to get it close to the truth‐ not an author’s fault, but my fault, as a reader who has been there. So, since this book combined all of these things, I probably should have wanted to stay away from it. But something about it made me think it would be fun and exciting and just an enjoyable read.
And it was. It was a very fun, really enjoyable, totally exciting, action‐packed read. Cheyenne, one of our main characters, is half human and half incubus. He wants to be a rock star, but his father wants him to stop playing music and come home, where he can keep Cheyenne under his thumb. Our other main character is Alexander, a man who does what his father tells him, including dating the woman his father wants him to marry. But he sees Cheyenne in a club and falls pretty much straight into lust with him. And as he gets to know Cheyenne and Cheyenne’s kids, he starts to care about him in a deeper way.
So, yeah, it was fun. And that’s… I mean… I guess… that’s all I felt about this book. It wasn’t very deep or complex. The romance wasn’t… very romantic. It was sexy and sweet and fun, but not really… romantic. I didn’t dislike the characters, but there wasn’t a ton of depth to them. They were pretty real but I felt like I didn’t exactly get to know them. And the plot seemed to mostly be a lot of panicking, in between bouts of Cheyenne gyrating on a stage with a microphone in his hands.
But I don’t necessarily think the book was trying to be deep. I think it was mostly going for action‐packed and intensely exciting and fun, and it delivered that. Did I wish there was a little more depth, so these characters wouldn’t fly right out of my mind when the book was over? Yeah, I did. But at the same time, I can’t fault the book for being what it’s not. It gave me what it promised, and it was a really enjoyable read.
The book is… pretty heavily flawed. The plot rambles in a big way and most of the problems the characters encounter could be pretty easily fixed if they just stood up to their respective fathers. And while I get that that’s scary, and while I also feel that no one should ever have to come out if they don’t want, it got to the point where I couldn’t understand why Cheyenne and Alexander didn’t just… speak up for themselves. Alexander never actually tells his father he doesn’t want to marry the woman he has picked out for him. I thought he could at least tell him that, because, why not? But he never actually comes out and says it.
Meanwhile, Cheyenne’s father, we’re led to believe, actually cares about Cheyenne, but that was so farfetched it was laughable. These were the kinds of flaws that made the plot just… not memorable or, frankly, very believable.
And there were smaller scale things that just didn’t work for me‐ the whole rock star thing Cheyenne had going on was kind of unbelievable, too. Playing in one club in one city night after night is not how you become a rock star. Not unless you get hit with the most awesome streak of luck ever.
Also, I’ve seen a lot of real rock stars, and I’ve yet to see any of them in leather pants. Like, that is only rock star attire in someone’s imagination. But Cheyenne’s an incubus, so… maybe he’s different.
And, oddly, one of the things that really took me out of the book was a very small thing‐ Cheyenne and Alexander have sex in the shower, and they use water as lube. Water is the anti‐lube. Water turns skin‐on‐skin into sandpaper‐on‐sandpaper. That was such a simple thing for the authors to figure out, but they didn’t, and I couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been caught.
But it didn’t really matter that Cheyenne’s career wasn’t believable, just like it didn’t really matter that the plot was full of holes that could have been easily plugged. Because I didn’t go into this expecting it to change my life. And it was still so much fun even though I was at times weirdly frustrated with it.
And it didn’t really matter because there was a lot of other things to like here, that distracted me from the flaws. I liked the way Cheyenne and Alexander set up their relationship‐ it’s kind of unique, at least in most romances, and it was refreshing. And I liked that Cheyenne was a father and that his first goal was always to protect his kids. It added a refreshing spin on things and I liked how the story was built around that. And I really enjoyed Consuela’s character. She was definitely my favorite person in the book.
So, overall, I liked this. It probably sounds like I didn’t, because there were so many places I was frustrated with it and all the panicking the characters were doing, but I liked it. I wished it had had… just a little more depth, or the characters had been people I actually felt like I knew. But I’m interested to see where the series goes. This is the perfect book for when you need something light but wholly entertaining, something fun and dramatic.
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