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I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter 

Heart of Timber (Cold) - Brandon Shire

2 disappointing and I-can't-believe-what-I-just-read stars.**Review posted November 17, 2013

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I remember when I asked an author to give me some pointers for my first beta read.

Focus on the story without trying to make it your own. Does the story speak to you? Why or why not? That one question is what a beta should be able to answer honestly.

A very thoughtful and helpful advice and I'm sure that basic rule applies to every book I'm reading.

After loving Cold I was so excited for Lem and Anderson when I heard they would get their well deserved HEA. Here I am, at the (possible) end of their journey, and I'm brutally honest when I tell you that I'm shocked how shockingly bad Heart of Timber is. Brandon Shire is one of my favorite authors and I admire his writing. Yet it saddens me tremendously to admit that Heart of Timber did not speak to me at all. I'm not sure if I can explain it reasonably but I missed Brandon's compelling writing in HoT. Vast parts of HoT didn't even read like a Brandon Shire book. Some parts of the story were overly melodramatic and downright cheesy. Many of you know that he's got a distinct voice but unfortunately my search for it was fruitless. 

Heart of Timber picks up right where Cold left off with Anderson being released from prison. The book is segmented in five different parts. Release Day, Two Years Free, Three Years Free, Four Years Free and Five Years Free. I think the book was too short to provide any significant relationship development, considering they only met at 48 % for the first time after Lem had been released from prison.

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The positive(s)
Gia, Anderson's sister. I really appreciated her very much. And even though (view spoiler)

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Basically I liked Lem very much but he lost a lot of my sympathies at 71 % when I knew why he killed his brother.Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me??? I. Mean. Really? THIS. IS. THE. BIG. SECRET??? Ridiculous.Russell must have been one of the (view spoiler) No. F@cking. Way. Yet it happened nonetheless. It gave me the shivers in a very bad way. Not only because of what happened but mainly what led to that pathetic disaster. I know what (view spoiler)

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The negatives
HUGE spoiler
Russell (view spoiler) That's. Not. Love. It. Is. Not. And howunrealistic, melodramatic and cheesy was that scene? I was so freaking mad, my jaw dropped on the floor.

Here's an excerpt of this infamous scene:

(view spoiler)

I didn't think Lem could be that stupid.

(view spoiler)

Well, it's a little bit too late now…

(view spoiler)

Wrong. We always have a choice.

While I liked the beginning, I soon started to dislike Anderson who was bitchy, whiny and selfish all the time. Let's not beat around the bush, I was never a fan of him in Cold but he really took the cake in HoT. Instead of being grateful to his sister Gia for being so supportive and caring, he was constantly pissed off. Don't interfere with my life blah, blah, blah. Dude, take a reality check. You obviously need someone who's taking care of you because you can't do it on your own, you stubborn jerk.

The Dom/sub fantasy was incredibly awkward at best and left me totally cold. Besides, the sex scenes in general didn't do it for me. Mainly because there was a huge lack of chemistry between these two. I'm sorry but I just didn't feel it. Also, when one of the MCs is such a nuisance, it's probably tough to feel an emotional connection anyway. In consequence, a lack of emotion equals the non-existence of chemistry, at least for me.

As already indicated, the MCs don't have any page time together up until the 48 % mark. I mean that's already a pretty huge reason for me to dislike this story and all the more so because I needed more relationship development which happened off page due to the time leaps. Still, I was willing to cut HoT and its characters some slack. It is very unfortunate that the story took a further nose dive when they had their first "real" sex scene. Sorry but I wasn't thrilled at all. I don't mind when a couple is fucking each other's brains out but please…let me feel some chemistry, just gimme something. The final sex scene under the stars was all right but to be honest, it wasn't anything to write home about either. Well, at this point of time I was probably so irritated that I couldn't have cared less.

By the way, wasn't it incredibly convenient that (view spoiler). Easy and tidy with a nice little bow.

The ending was way too rushed and the phone call (view spoiler). Like, let's hurry and do it now since I worked up the nerve to tell him. Ugh.

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Overall Heart of Timber is a huge disappointment and not having been able to enjoy this book is all the worse because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year.

Read at your own risk. Good luck!

Thanks, Kels, for doing the buddy read with me! You know a problem shared is a problem halved. *mwah*



If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/731847751