Mary Springer reviews And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane

And Playing the Role of Herself by K. E. Lane cover

Caid has landed a lead role on the hit TV show, 9th Precinct, which is a spinoff of another show that stars Robyn Ward. Caid sometimes costars with Robyn and shares her trailer, but is often tongue-tied around the gorgeous woman. However, when changes to the script mean they have to spend more time together, sparks fly and Caid realizes Robyn isn’t as uninterested in her as she seems. But, past demons linger around every corner.

I have had a hard time coming to an opinion about this book. My biggest problem is that I could not understand why Caid wanted to be in a relationship with Robyn. As I was reading, I was often reminded of how incredibly attractive Robyn is. Wanting to be in a relationship with someone who is so sexy and beautiful is completely understandable, but only if it’s understood as a superficial infatuation. I’m not sure what more there was to Robyn’s character that attracted Caid besides that she was dedicated to her career, enjoyed running, and liked to cook for her.

What might be really holding me back from a positive takeaway is Robyn’s emotional immaturity. Again and again, Robyn reacts to situations by running away, projecting onto Caid, and then lashing out Caid. This cycle grew tiresome and I failed to understand why Caid was so forgiving. I think this could have been solved if we could have seen some chapters from Robyn’s point of view. We are only really told about her problems from dialogue and it would have helped to understand her and given her the benefit of the doubt if we could see some of her thoughts or internal experiences.

Another problem I had was that the problems Caid and Robyn had in their relationship were often solved by random plot events. Caid and Robyn would have a problem, they refuse to solve it, so something bad is randomly thrown in with no foreshadowing or build up. This forces Caid and Robyn to get together, Robyn apologizes, and Caid forgives her again.

This is why I have a hard time believing Caid wanted to be in a relationship with Robyn. The woman would not have made the choice to be a mature adult and communicate if random plot events had been thrown at them. Communication is big issue the two have and only kind of gets resolved at the very end. Caid admits they aren’t good at communicating, but neither of them makes a move to try and work through it. Caid is literally afraid to talk to Robyn about important relationship issues because she is so afraid that Robyn will react as she has done in the past. When Robyn finally hears this she is shocked, when she really should not be. At all.

At the end I just felt confused and doubtful about their relationship. It seemed like it would only take a couple months before Robyn decided something scared her and she ran away again. Maybe Caid would give her a bouquet of flowers and Robyn would say, “I’m not used to someone treating me this way! You’re pressuring me into something aren’t you? I’m leaving!”

My point is that Robyn never really seems to grow up, which she desperately needs to do. That’s not say Caid is a perfect angel. She admits to being possessive and jealous of Robyn and her relationship with her best friend Josh.

The story kept me engaged and invested throughout, and the writing itself was excellent. Lane does a great job of sucking the reader into the story.

The most important part of a romance novel is the romance, and at first I loved it. However, by the end I was just reading to see what happened out of a sense of obligation to these characters. Also, the sex scenes. Those were great.

Kristi reviews On A Silver Platter by Linda Morganstein

I have never written a review about a DNF “Did Not Finish,” but after two months of trying to get through this particular title, I thought I would reflect on why I couldn’t make it.

Alexis “Call me Alex” Pope is acting as a stunt woman on the set of On A Silver Platter, the “tale of alien invasion based roughly on the beheading of St. John the Baptist” (12). On a sound set plagued by an overreaching script, a pompous director and no-nonsense producer, plus a stalker, the only thing that could make things more complicated would be a murder. Add to this a flirtation with a committed woman and a blind date with another, plus sudden stardom as Wonder Woman in a kinky lingerie fashion show, and Alex has more than enough on her platter.

All of this action occurs within the first hundred pages. Unfortunately, I could not get any farther than that. This book seems to go off on so many different tangents, I was not sure if I was reading a murder mystery, a lesbian romance, or some sort of fanfic for Lynda Carter (not that I don’t love the woman myself). The scenes are descriptive and decently written, but the story is so overwrought with multiple characters who have little relation to the main plot, assuming that would be the murder of one of the movie’s stars. I lost interest in what Alex might do, either in her short stunt career or as the ameteur sleuth, extremely quickly.

The set up of the book’s style is similar to Ellen Hart’s Jane Lawless books: a list of the “cast of characters” in the beginning of the book, a woman pulled into a mystery by a secondary involvement, who was introspective in terms of her self and surroundings. So, I was hoping for a similar nuanced style from Morganstein, but I feel like I know little about Alex or the reasons behind her actions. Nor could I really manage enough feelings for the book, beyond confusion, to really care. On A Silver Platter is the third book of this series, so maybe I will hop back to Ordinary Furies and see where Alex started.