Marked - Sue Tingey

[I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I almost gave up. But I don't like not finishing a book I'm supposed to review, so I made an effort.

First reason is because I didn't exactly get what I expected. When I got the ARC, the blurb I read led me to believe the story would be focused on paranormal investigation. The actual story, though, is more of the paranormal/supernatural romance type, with very little investigating in it. Not saying this is bad per se, but I'm not a huge proponent of romance at the best of times, and this one, like many others should I say, just didn't work.

Second reason is... the one that always makes me grit my teeth and feel like climbing up the curtains and scream: "Stop holding back information!" Typically goes as follows: Important Character finds him/herself in dangerous circumstances, and needs to tread on eggs; however, in order to properly tread on eggs, you obviously need background information—background information that other characters have, bur refuse to disclose for Some Reason, usually of the "you don't want to know" or "don't look" kind. Which is the best way of getting Important Character killed, or at least committing some Horrible Faux-Pas, but whatever, I guess we're dealing with some Schrödinger's Logics here.

So when half the book is filled with such inane moments, of course I'm bound to be annoyed. Lucky being a bit of a doormat in that regard, too easily allowing shifty characters to derail the conversation, didn't help.

Third: Male Posturing. I am oh so fed up with all those hot sexy love interests immediately crapping out testosterone as soon as they end up in the same room. I can understand Lucky not wanting to be involved with guys if it's meant to be like that all the time. Also the whole "now you bear my mark" thing, a.k.a "You're Mine In Whatever Way I Choose, by the way I never asked your opinion before lumping this on you but it's fine, right, I'm sure you don't mind". In a nutshell (I hate that expression so I'm going to use it just out of spite): doormat female character being treated like an item, and thrown under false pretenses in a world where women's most prized value is to allow their future husbands access to positions of power (and then they can pop out kids, then get offed when they've outlived their usefulness).

And there you also have the plot, not making much sense, and without much happening. The last chapters became a little more interesting (although still with the whole let's-be-sex-toys-together thing at moments when it just shouldn't have been there); yet what led to it could probably have been avoided had Lucky been a little less dumb, and her "protectors" more forthcoming with what may be taking place behind the scenes and how to start playing the political game. Seriously, you don't dump a person into such a situation "for your own safety", then tell her "actually you're in great danger here too", then add "but I'm not going to explain to you how it works because Reasons."

I'm afraid I'll have to pass on the next one. Definitely not my thing.