Title: Cast the Cards
Author: Shyla Colt
Genre: Contemporary, thriller, interracial
Content: MFM, twin brothers
Stand Alone: yes
Re-issued /Re-edited: no
Date published: Aug 01, 2013
Published by: Inspired Ink
Purchase links: LINK
Word count: 40,022
Page count: 120 pages
Savannah escaped a kidnapping but her best friend Clark—the man she secretly loved—didn’t. Guilt-ridden and changed after the event, she gives up her dream of teaching and earns a spot in the F.B.I as a profiler. When she’s targeted by the very same kidnappers wishing to finish the job, she is armed with her skills, backed by her first love’s twin brother, and forced to revisit her demons when Clark’s ghost appears.
After his twin’s murder, Officer Carey Carr loses more than his brother. Savannah avoids him for a decade. Her return—and her steaming-hot body—stir brand new feelings in Carey. But Clark’s reappearance has Carey battling to control his primal desires around the woman his twin loved.
As Savannah and Carey, with Clark’s help, embark on a cruel game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers, the twins come to an understanding that involves Savannah and more pleasure than the three of them have ever dreamed..
I hesitated to write this review. It has nothing to do with the story itself but mostly about the edits. Where were they?
However, I thought that it would be maybe useful somehow. It is difficult on many levels. 1/ because I am a French Canadian and my mother tongue is not English 2/ I never studied as an editor so who the heck am I to talk about edits? But then, I thought that I am a reader, that I bought a book and that I deserve quality.
So unfortunately my review is biased because the author did not put effort in the editing process.
Shyla Colt wrote over twenty books. She is not a newbie. Even those that publish only one book are hardly newbies: they wrote many stories until they were finally published. So I am not going to use the newbie excuse.
I have no idea if Cast the Cards is a self-published book or not. I could not track the publisher. Does it make a difference? I am not sure. The only reason why I mention it is because I’ve been told that self-publishing is monetary way more interesting at the end of the quarter. Self-publishing means that the authors may 1/ edits him/herself 2/ ask a beta to do it (that is not necessary an author or has technical skills to do it) 3/ pay a company to do it (probably rarely done because it is quite expensive). Just out of curiosity, check the common editorial rates to see the prices… wow.
I read many self-published books that were top grammar and in reverse I know a couple of well known publishers that offered me yuck quality. So it would be stupid to generalize and believe that because an author is published by a publisher, the editing will be perfect. wrong, dead wrong on this.
This said. The edits in Cast the Cards suck.
But what sucked even more is that the story had tons of potential.
I enjoyed the characters. Yes it is another twin brothers story but with a paranormal twist. I totally did not believe how the ghost became real. I had a hard time with the no food, no sleep, yet bodily fluids were totally there. I guess I have the exact same issues with vampires. Sorry, sometimes I focus and make an obsession on little details but you have to admit: they do not pee, they do not poo but they can ejaculate without problem. duh, no?
But I enjoyed their personalities. Twin had distinct personality even if they had this mysterious connection that I totally trust exists in real life BTW. I also liked the heroine. She was maybe a little bit too bad-ass but her personality was interesting and so much better than the virgin brainless that I read sometimes.
The plot was well developed considering the length of the story. I totally enjoyed the mystery. I would have liked to know more about the villains but it did not diminished my enjoyment.
Sex scenes were okay. I am not saying bad but the focus was definitely the plot and characters so sex were just good. Credibility was not there for me. Not because one of the character was a ghost. Nope. Truth is I believe in ghosts! ha! It was more the way he appeared or stayed and of course his solid form. I keep an open mind on paranormal and I am always the first to defend the little grey aliens and other mysterious not yet explained mysteries but somehow logic is always up front for me. I got confused with Heaven and ghost and in-between. It did not helped when he used the word “Hell” knowing where he was coming from.
I gave a 3-stars because I read the story from beginning to end and I really wanted to know the epilogue. The bad edits and bad formatting (epub) were more pronounced in the second part of the story so I was already too emotionally advanced in the story to stop reading. Besides, it was not THAT awful to read with typos all over the place that I had to use a dictionary. (sarcastic me?) but just enough to bother me. Shall I have been able to give Cast the Cards a higher rating if I did not have issues with the typos? Maybe. I would have been probably more tolerant. Maybe. I enjoyed some of the sparring match. They were sassy and funny.
Now… where are the heroine’s hair locks on the cover? Do not get me wrong, I love the cover and love the model. But I understand that finding the perfect cover model can be a challenge. However, readers always go back to the cover once in a while during the story and if they find a different look, it breaks the spell…
She glanced up, releasing a deep breath that tossled the wayward tufts of hair framing her face. (…) Brushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
So here you go. You know my opinion. I’ll leave it to you to decide now 🙂
Characters:4 ~ Plot:4 ~ Sex Heat:3 ~ Romance:3
Equality Level:4 ~ Credibility:2 ~ Originality:3
Consistency:2 ~ Editing:1