Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All Work & No Play

All Work & No Play
Title: All Work & No Way
Author: Carol Lynne
Series: Cattle Valley
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Cattle Valley is a community that is largely gay. The town is one of the most accepting on the planet and that appeals to Ryan, Nate, and Rio. The three men have been in a relationship together and are hoping Cattle Valley's residents will be more open to it than their hometown. Only when they get there, Nate discovers that even Cattle Valley has its problems.

Starting with the basics - the story was definitely interesting and I did enjoy reading it. I didn't spot any major grammar mistakes that would turn a reader off. The only big problem I found with this is that Lynne's plots are starting to all blend together. They all seem to follow the same general formula - People are happy, someone starts trouble, there's a fight, the trouble maker goes to jail and everyone lives happily ever after. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I had spaced her books out, but I've read over a dozen of her books in the past two weeks.

Lynne's novel seem to focus more on external conflicts rather than internal conflict. To me, a good plot has a blend of the two so that you're not overwhelmed and bored with one of them. A romance story that focuses on a bigot and has a sickenly happy couple is only entertaining for so long same with a story that is nothing but angst. That's why I enjoyed Twin Temptations - it had a pretty good blend of internal conflict and external.

The characters in this novel were pretty well developed. I like Nate in particular who acts like a stereotypical gay man, but is a lot deeper than that. The one thing that I didn't like was how Nate brags numerous times about having his fourth degree blackbelt in various styles. It made him seem arrogant when he normally isn't. Also, I've done martial arts for many years and met many high ranking blackbelts and that generally don't brag about their ranks. A true fourth degree blackbelt knows that he still has a lot to learn and he's not invincible.

This one was really hard to rate for me. I kept bouncing between three and four stars. On one hand, I did enjoy the story. On the other hand, the plot is almost the same as her other novels but with different characters. I recommend reading this, but don’t read too many of her books at once or you'll tire of them.

** Warning ** This novel contains sex scenes and may not be appropriate for readers under than age of 18.

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