I feel like I'm missing something here. Everyone I talk to seems to LOVE Josh Lanyon and his Dangerous Ground series, but I've read two of these novellas now and so far I've been getting more entertainment from my friends' enthusiastic and cheeky comments about them than from the actual books themselves.
I do have to say that I think Dangerous Ground
and Old Poison
were well-written and well-edited. The pacing is good, and there's a satisfying balance between the action and those quieter domestic moments between Will and Taylor that my sappy heart lives for. I also think Lanyon is particularly adept at capturing those tiny, mundane things we do as humans (like needling someone into escalating a fight when all you really want to do is end it and make up). As people, we often do these types of things without realizing them, so I think it's impressive that an author can pick up on these small moments and reactions and infuse them into his story. It's exactly these tiny details that breath life and realism into a character or story, so kudos to Lanyon for that!
But despite all of the things I did
enjoy about this book, I still experienced an odd sort of detachment from the characters and the story as I was reading. It's possible that this sense of detachment stems from the fact that the stories are so short. Then again, I've read plenty of short stories and novellas with significantly smaller word counts and not had the same reaction to them. Maybe it's that the ending felt ridiculously abrupt. I just don't get it! Lanyon has good pacing the entire way through the story, but it's as if when he hits that 100 page count he drops the axe, regardless of where his characters are or what they are doing at the time. I swear he wouldn't even notice if he cut Will or Taylor off in mid-sentence!
I also think that my main difficulty with Old Poison
(and this series as a whole) is that while I believe that Taylor loves Will with ever fibre of his being, I don't feel as if Will truly
reciprocates those feelings. As I'm reading the story, no matter what it says on the page about his feelings towards Taylor, I just can't help feeling like Will always has one foot out the door. Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't think that you can be deeply in love and committed to someone and still be thinking about how good your relationship was or could be with another person, still kiss this other person (and ENJOY it!), and then keep those details from your significant other
I know it's weird, but because I don't feel like Will
is 100% invested in his relationship with Taylor, I don't feel like I can be either. And who wants to read a romance novel about two characters that you're not entirely convinced should be together?! Not this girl.
Verdict: If Will doesn't shape up soon, I maybe forced to give up on this series. :(