Monday, October 6, 2008

A Forever Kind of Thing by Sharon Cullen

TITLE: A Forever Kind of Thing
AUTHOR: Sharon Cullen
PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 70k)
GENRE: Paranormal romance
COST: $6.00

Cursed with immortality, Mikael Giovanni forsakes his leadership of his gypsy clan to wander the world, remaking himself into Mikael Butler. He grows tired of watching women he loves die, so he foregoes love and relationships completely, until a chance meeting with a perky librarian in Patience, Maine. Allie knows she should run far, far away from the gorgeous biker who just happened to buy the biggest property in town, but an attraction she doesn’t understand binds them together…even though she has no future, not even with him.

Even after having finished this, I can’t help but think that all the elements were there for a great romance. The hero cursed for all eternity? Classic. The strong heroine battling her own demons? Often a winner. Yet something in the execution of this novel fell short for me. Much of it stems from the characterization of the two leads, but after that, I’m kind of at a loss.

Mikael is alpha to the core, so the fact that he’s uncommunicative with the heroine – for her own good, of course – and bosses her around by telling her what she can and can’t do – also for her own good – shouldn’t come as a surprise. And it doesn’t, not really. But this type of boorish behavior, combined with the fact that he has a tendency to disappear on her without a clue or explanation simply because it’s for her own good, grates at an early place within the story. I kept wondering why Allie was bothering with this guy she barely knew in the first place. Then I would get reminded why by the author. Because he’s gorgeous and they have a connection, though I’m never allowed to actually see it in play. I just end up seeing him jerk her around unnecessarily.

Frankly, putting up with all this behavior makes Allie a doormat if there ever was one. Supposedly, she’s spunky. Translation? She’s stubborn and as irrational about communication as Mikael is. I guess that makes them ideal for each other after all.

It doesn't help that the entire romance angle hinges on a detail regarding Allie’s name that makes it difficult not to roll my eyes. I’m not sure why I’m expected to believe that Mikael would go weeks without learning Allie’s last name, especially when they are meeting every day and she works at the library. It felt far too coincidental, which didn’t help when I was already mildly annoyed with the leads.

The romance picks up in the last third of the book, with some nicely paced action and what felt like genuine emotion for the first time in the story. But it’s a little too late to save this from being more than a mediocre read. So much potential, so little to show for it.


8/10 – Technically solid, though nothing inspiring


4/10 – The fact that he runs out on her when she needs him? Sucks at communication? Bosses her around? Doesn’t really endear him to me.


4/10 – I think she’s kind of a doormat for putting up with Mikael’s bad behavior and justifying it as being in love with him.

Entertainment value

6/10 – I love the concept of the story if not all of the execution

World building

8/10 – I like the coziness the author creates in both her portrayal of Maine and gypsy life



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