Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ARC Review: Taste Me by Tamara Hogan

Title: Taste Me
Author: Tamara Hogan 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Underbelly #1 
Publisher: Sourcebooks 
Number of Pages: 384 
Source: Sent to me from the publisher

TASTE ME is the first book in a gritty, fast-paced, and sexy urban fantasy romance series featuring a world where incubi, sirens, valkyries, vampires, and werewolves live undetected alongside humankind. Someone has to keep the peace-and the secrets. Siren rock star Scarlett Fontaine is finally home after an exhausting year on tour with her band. Incubus security guru Lukas Sebastiani has more urgent problems than protecting the stubborn diva, but now that they're forced into close proximity, they're fighting an attraction that leads them to the brink of disaster...

Taste Me by Tamara Hogan had such a great premise that I really wanted to love it. However somewhere along the way I realized that I just wasn't connecting or caring about any of the characters in the book. I was so disappointed because the world created has a little bit of all of my favorite paranormal characters. This book ended up being a did not finish for me.

Lukas and Scarlett have grown up together and somewhere along the way became a couple. Lukas broke it off with her because she was a Siren and he's a Incubus and the it created problems he wasn't ready to deal with yet.  While the relationship has been over for awhile, neither Scarlett or Lukas can get past what they once had. Lukas' is on the Underworld Council as the second  Incubus chair (his father being the first one) the Siren Chairs are Scarlett's mother and sister. When the council learns about members of the paranormal community being killed, they agree that Lukas, as CEO of a security company should be in charge of the big rock concert that Scarlett is performing in. The two don't want to work together, but do it because the council demands it.

I thought that the whole underworld council world building part of the book was really well written. I felt like I got to know all the main groups that would be represented in the series and why they did/didn't get along with each other. What I didn't understand though, was why it took so long for Lukas and Scarlett to interact with each other-154 pages in (which is where I gave up) they had only come in contact with each other twice. The most frustrating part to me was that it felt like we got to know Lukas and all the minor characters really well by this point, but Scarlett while being central to the storyline barely had a voice. This may have changed in the second half of the book, by this point I had a hard time caring what happened to her because her voice was so small.

Another frustration for me was the whole mystery of why Scarlett needed protection. Lukas and the others are clueless to who the bad guy is, but the reader is shown who the villain is very early on in the book. I felt like shaking Lukas and Scarlett for not connecting the dots earlier in the story and got bored waiting for them to figure out what I or since I didn't finish this book, assumed I already knew.

Not finishing a book is always hard for me, and I felt bad that I didn't like this book more. While this wasn't for me, the Urban Fantasy rock star world is a bit different from most UF settings, so if you are looking for something different, give Taste Me a try.

Curran Crush Meter: Low
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Low 
Martini Sigh Meter: Low 
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Low 
Gighul Sidekick Meter: Medium 
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Low