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Hidden Gem (Lissa Kasey)

Hidden Gem - Lissa Kasey

2.75 stars rounded up

Imagine my emotional connection to a book like a car gear. It always stays at neutral before I begin. It can stay that way, which usually results in my 3-3.5 stars. It can move ahead, when I care more about the characters that sometimes I disregard any other weaknesses. But it can also move in reverse, when I feel detached with the characters or their turmoils.

This book falls into the latter category. While I admired Aki for being unapologetic about who he is or Shane for being unpretentious about what he sees in Aki -- at least in the beginning, where I also thought of him as an asshole -- but that behavior also made feel cold towards everyone and what had been going on. I didn't sympathize with what happened to them.

In other words, I just didn't feel the supposedly romantic element -- and definitely, did NOT believe that Shane could suddenly feel lovey-dovey towards Aki. Or heck, did Aki really love Shane? When THAT happened? So the romance part, or anything related to Shane and Aki as a unit, was a total failure for me.

Then the BDSM or D/s part. Boy, I hated that part. It felt like a weird interruption to the whole story flow. I didn't understand why it was needed. I surely didn't enjoy reading it. That session between Aki and Paris? Really? Was that even necessary?

Oh, and I also felt that the other characters got a little too many page-time. They will get their own book, won't they? So why couldn't we have those pages dedication instead for Shane and Aki to build their relationship? At least maybe it will help me believe in them in the end.

In addition, there were too many distraction to the serial killer case. If I feel emotionally dispassionate to the characters, sometimes I focus on something else. I want to focus on the mystery aspect of this story ... mainly the murder case. Alas, not many investigation going on. Which again was a total disappointment.

BUT ... I can still rounded this story up to my 3-stars category because I thought the futuristic setting was interesting. The idea of world after Third World War, the mutated DNA, the psi, (view spoiler) ... those parts were quite creative.

I also liked the feminine part of Aki and Candy, with their shoe fetish and the colored hair ... although at the same time, I need to ask why the whores are the feminine ones, and the detectives are the masculine gruff ones? Isn't that somewhat stereotype-y?

I loved Kasey's previous works -- but it might also had to do with my preference at that time. Who knows what I will think about it now. All I know, I am not feeling this one. So, I am not certain that I want to continue with the next one. We'll see in time *shrugs*



Part of my involvement in Joyfully Jay Reading Challenge Month 2016 Week 1: TBR Pile Challenge (Read a book that’s been on your TBR list for at least a year)