Thursday, July 5, 2007

Muse by Adra Steia

Book description (since it doesn't have a back cover):

Leah and Miguel have been separated for ten years, after the birth and adoption of their child when they were just teenagers. Reunited, they discover their psychic bond is as strong as ever. Miguel is now a troubled artist, and Leah is struggling to make a life for herself.

As they decide to resume their turbulent, passionate romance, Miguel summons his Muse, a seductive, violent spirit that haunts their home. After several violent, bloody attacks, Leah learns very quickly that his Muse is not all he claims she is, and that the vindictive spirit will stop at nothing to possess Miguel. To save him, Leah must sacrifice everything.

Reading the back cover, the reader would rightly assume that Leah is the heroine. The reader would also assume that Miguel is the hero. That being said, this is NOT a romance. Why, you ask? Because the hero does not die in a fucking romance. I don't care what the fuck he's done. I don't care if he's not redeemable. I was so pissed when I got done reading this book. I was so steamed that I actually talked to my husband about it (who is clueless by the way). Over and over in my mind I was saying "You can't kill the hero off in a romance". You can't. Isn't that like a rule of thumb or something? I don't know what genre you would put it in, but it's not a romance.

Miguel Dominguez is an artist. A talented artist. When he goes to do a commission, he is shocked to find Leah, his first and only true love. Miguel talks Leah into coming with him. That part is believable b/c Miguel and Leah were desperately in love when they parted ways ten years before. There are major unresolved feelings there. Not to mention Leah is working as a maid for their old high school bully. So while she's wary of Miguel and his intentions, she leaves with him.

Off they go with Miguel's brother, Jose, to start their new life in the old family home. That's when the real fun begins.

This is where it all started to break up for me. Obviously the house is haunted. On the first night/morning, Leah finds a skeletal ghost in her bed trying to kiss her. So yeah, I'd say haunted. But is it? When to call in a ghost specialist?

-Get pushed into the bathtub and strangled by a shower curtain? Check.
-Get helped down a couple flights of stairs into the basement? Check.
-Have a psycho ghost tell you that your husband is hers? Check.
-Get your face gouged out by an angry ghost? Check.

Okay, better call in the experts. 'Cuz obviously something is going on. But here's the thing. Only Leah and Jose think that the "ghost" is really dangerous. Miguel is thrilled b/c the ghost is his muse. The ghost is giving him a lot of ideas for new work and he refuses to give her up. He refuses to believe she's dangerous. Leah's injuries are easily explained. He thinks they're self-inflicted. Then he finds himself attracted to her. Which makes him feel like a cheat b/c he really loves Leah. Which on a small sidenote, you can really tell that he did love Leah. He was crazy about her. These two really seemed to be made for each other. End side note.

Let me back up for a moment. The whole book, the author has us waffling back and forth about Miguel's brother, Jose. On one hand, you really admire him b/c he was there for Miguel when he had a mental breakdown years back. On the other hand, he's an ass b/c he thinks everything is Leah's fault and that she will bring Miguel's downfall. So Jose and Leah's relationship is rocky, at best.

Leah and Jose both convince Miguel to leave the day after his art show. Then he changes his mind b/c he would rather live without the love of his life than his muse. His thought is that he was without her once, he can be without her again. And off to the haunted basement, he goes. Leah realizes that she'll lose him for good if she can't get him out of the basement. So her and Jose along with the Ghostbuster set fire to the house. Then Miguel dies in Leah's arms. Like he dies and doesn't come back to life. It pissed me off just to type that.

Oh, but here's the kicker. The Ghostbuster told Leah and Jose that there were no spirits in the house. Miguel apparently had more psychic energy than he ever thought and he created the muse from left over spiritual energy. So while the muse did exist, she was Miguel's to control. And apparently he liked having his muse call him on his cell phone during his honeymoon, even though it was off. He also liked having wet dreams about her. M'kay. So we get that Miguel has issues. But he LOVED Leah. Like you just knew he would die for her.

My thoughts are that the author decided during the 50 or so pages to kill Miguel off. He was redeemable up until then. But did she redeem him? No, she didn't. Which ruined the whole point of having a HEA. Oh and to make it even better, Leah was pregnant. Leah didn't want to tell Miguel b/c she was afraid the muse would really hurt her. She tells Miguel as he lay dying.

Fast forward four years. Leah has a daughter. Leah has Jose in her life. Miguel comes into her mind and tells her that Jose loves her. They can be happy. Blahblahblah. So Jose and Leah hook up. W.T.F.????

1 out of 5 stars.


Holly said...

LMAO! You freaking CRACK ME UP!

But..there was an HEA, so uh..this IS a romance, right?


Rowena said...

LMAO, tell us how you really feel Casee...haha.

This book just got bumped down on my reading log, haha...thanks for the review sweets, love it!

Casee said...

Dude, Holly. That does NOT count as a HEA. I think you nailed in our earlier conversation. Horror fits.

Rowena, I am so glad to hear that. Bump it far down. Like to the very very bottom.

Kristie (J) said...

The cover sure makes it looks like a romance!! I would have been sorely ticked if I read this one and then that ending!!!
Romance = HEA!!!!

adra steia said...

LOL thanks for the review. Somebody lied to ya, darling... This book is a 'love story' not a romance. I wrote it as a horror, actually. It's in the 'horror' section of Fictionwise.

Anyway, so what did you think of it as a horror novel?


Adra Steia

Casee said...

Hi Adra,

Thanks for your comment. And for not taking offense. My review is by no means meant as a personal attack.

I spoke w/ Holly yesterday and she did try to get me to look at it differently. I understood where she was coming from, but I bought and read it thinking it was a romance. As a horror, it's great. Very horrifying. I also told Holly that it fit b/c I wouldn't read a Stephen King novel expecting a HEA.

adra steia said...

It's a very different book. All of my stuff is. I don't do anything that's way out there (well, except for the swamp cannibals in Swamp Baby), but it's definitely not your average story, or your average characters.

As for getting offended, nah. I am a book reviewer as well, and I know I see some books ocmpletely differently than the author wrote them. LOL my biggest concern is clearing up that this techinically ISN'T a romance. It can be classified on the farthest borders of romance b/c there is a technical HEA, but by most conventional standards, well, it ain't.

Now, I DO have a regular romantic suspense in ARC format coming out in September, and an historical inspirational romance (also, doesn't fit the usual standards).

Casee said...

To be honest, if I would have known it was a horror, I wouldn't have picked it up. I'm strictly a romance kind of girl. *g* Of course I'll take that romance in any way...contemp, historical, paranormal, etc.

I'm going to have to pick up your romantic suspense. :) You said it comes out in September? Same publisher?

adra steia said...

No, it's coming out from a new small press called Tease Publishing. E-format is in September, Print in NOvember. There's a book trailer for it at

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Chantal said...

Wow, your review is very different from the others that I have seen.
Based on what Holly posted when she read it, I plan to read this.
I want to wait a while though. I'm trying to read lighter stuff right now.