If I played the drinking game...

Fighting Instinct - Mary Calmes

You would be reading a review right now that made absolutely no sense. That's right there is a drinking game to accompany this author's books due to the fact that there are some fairly formulaic components to her writing and yet somehow her books are so easy to enjoy. Whether it is because of or in spite of this fact depends on the reader.


This author is a must have for me. Of the 39 titles by her that I own I have 2 remaining to be read. Fighting Instinct is book #2 in her L'Ange series and for me it was slightly better than the first book.  I found the relationship between Linus and Arman to be more than a little fascinating. 


For anyone not familiar with this series it involves shapeshifters and while shapeshifters aren't my first choice I don't have an issue with the subject and I don't necessarily avoid them. I do however find them a bit done to death. Interestingly enough I also find that people often have the idea that there are some kind of cut and dried rules to writing paranormal stories whether it's vampires, witches, shapeshifters, whatever and this fascinates me because to the best of my knowledge these things aren't real, they don't exist so where did these rules come from and how is it we attribute human morals, values and behaviors to them?


...and this is where I'm going to ramble a bit, so if you'd like to skip this next part feel free. I'll never know, so my feelings won't be hurt in the slightest...


One of my favorite authors and you'll have to forgive me here because it's been years and I'm not 100% sure but I believe it was either MaryJanice Davidson or Charlaine Harris was asked how much research they did when writing their books and basically their response was research? How do you research something that doesn't exist? It's my story so I just decide what is and isn't. This made sense to me. Why do vampires have to be afraid of garlic? As one author's vampires said it doesn't hurt us, it just smells bad (I don't totally agree with that particular vamps viewpoint. I love the smell of garlic when I'm cooking but afterwards when it lingers in the kitchen I get where he's coming from and maybe where the author got that idea from). Why are werewolves weakened by silver? Honestly because somebody somewhere wanted them to be, so they came up with a logical explanation and used it and it stuck because it made sense to people. Why can a wooden stake through the heart kill a vampire? Ok, let's face it a stake through the heart is pretty much going to kill anything, so this one is totally founded in logic except why wood? But in general I get it, I really do. I like things that make sense in real life and in books that reflect real life. But when you throw things like shape shifters and vampires into the mix for me it's time to suspend or at least redefine the rules of logic and reality. And more and more authors are realizing that. Things like the fact that someone else's vampires couldn't walk in daylight because they'd turn into dust, no longer means that theirs have to, maybe it's because they sparkle as if they've been sprinkled with glitter. (I'm sorry, really? I have a hard time being afraid of something that looks like it's covered it glitter, but hey, it worked for the author and it's her story so she gets sparkly, glitter covered vampires).


Ok, I think that's enough rambling hopefully to help me make my next point. Which is why do I find that some things are ok in stories like this and not other stories. Simply it's because when I read a story that isn't set in the real world I've already suspended my perception of what is and isn't real, otherwise how am I  suppose to believe in things like vampires and shape shifters I know they don't exist but when I'm reading that book for me to really enjoy the story they have to exist. So in order to do this I have to leave or redefine my moral values and beliefs as well. In the real world would I find what Armand did acceptable...hell no! Would I be ok with the fact that there is an excessive amount of possessiveness in these books. Let's call it 'obsessive possessive' and honestly it's not my thing and again the answer is...hell no! But for this book it was sexy and hot.


So at the end of it, I totally enjoyed this story. I liked Armand and LInus a lot. They were sexy and hot together. I liked that Armand was possessive of Linus and yet, in spite of all he'd been through Linus simply saw it as another facet of the love that Armand had for him and he had no fear of looking at Armand and saying 'no' when Armand's possessiveness was over the top. Which brings me to another thing that I like about Mary Calmes books her characters are frequently over the top, in their looks, behavior, responses, reactions that they garner from people for me it's part of what makes reading her books so much fun. I wait to see just how far over the top things will go and how will she manage to make it ok for that character, in that story.


So if none of this makes any sense, just think of it as the ramblings of someone who may or may not have played the Mary Calmes drinking game and carry on with your day ;-)