This book is over a decade old and does feel a little outdated, but it was super cute & funny. Becky Bloomwood is completely del...moreGone Pecan Reviews
This book is over a decade old and does feel a little outdated, but it was super cute & funny. Becky Bloomwood is completely delusional when it comes to her finances. She is, ahem, a shopaholic. She uses shopping as a means of coping with almost everything.
Becky is a financial journalist (hello, irony) living in London. She wears the latest clothes (and we’re talking high end stuff) and eats at the most NOW restaurants. Her entire life revolves around shopping. Some people eat. She’s completely shallow and a little ditzy.
But the thing is, she’s got a heart of gold, despite her inability to really empathize with people. And when it comes down to it, she’s a really smart, capable person who grows and learns from her mistakes.
I did like the book; there were parts when I actually laughed out loud. But Becky was not always very sympathetic or likable, which I guess is the point and makes her coming of age really resonate. I initally began this on audio, but I found myself wanting to hear more, so I picked up the paperback from the library to complete it.
I liked the love interest, Luke Brandon (apparently you have to say his complete name whenever you refer to him), but I wish there were more exposition when they finally end up together. I wanted to know how he felt for her, when he realized he had feelings for her…I guess that’s why there are so many sequels. I will probably read more, but not right away.
Extra: This is the second book in the series, so please don’t read any further if you haven’t read the first book for risk of bei...moreRead it on Gone Pecan
Extra: This is the second book in the series, so please don’t read any further if you haven’t read the first book for risk of being spoiled. I reviewed Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year & LOVED IT.
Zuzana and Mik are Karou’s human friends, and they’re heartbroken by not being able to find her since she took off (as in, in flight) after a confrontation with Angels on a bridge in the middle of Prague. These two actually add a lot to the book because they bring out Karou’s human-ness and add a layer of humor, love, and friendship to the story. The parts with them in it were the best parts of the book for me.
Akiva is the Angel, Beast’s Bane, who has fallen in love with Karou before he found out that she is actually Madrigal, his lover who was executed when their relationship and plans for ending the war between the Angels and the Chimera was discovered. Akiva reunites with his brother and sister in Loramendi, thinking that his siblings would have turned him in for being with Karou again, but that’s not the case. Liraz & Hazael welcome him back into their circle, though they’re not exactly pleased with what happened in Prague. Akiva is thrown back into the war, where the Angels are taking over Eretz and killing innocent Chimera, but Akiva does his best to try to save them and to continue his work that he started with Madrigal because he feels guilty. He’s also looking for some kind of sign that Karou is alive.
Karou is alive, if not well, working for Thiago, the White Wolf who had her executed all those years ago. She’s taken over Brimstone’s job as resurrectionist. She’s also brought the Chimera soldiers to Earth and is holed up with them in Saharan Africa. Karou is not entirely comfortable in her current position, she knows that Thiago doesn’t trust her, but she feels like she’s doing all she can to help her people (and atone for her sins) and she’s the only person who can do it.
Oh, so much bloody conflict. Well, did I mention that Thiago doesn’t trust Karou? So, there’s that. And it’s generally best not to be on the White Wolf’s bad side. He sends his right hand man, as it were, Ten, to “help” Karou with the resurrections, probably in hopes that Ten will learn enough that she can take over for Karou if anything happened to befall our heroine. Also, Thiago is lying about what his soldiers are doing, surprise surprise. Karou runs into Akiva one night on her own and he gives her a thurible that he found in the caves where she was raised. There’s a soul in there and Karou hopes it’s Brimstone.
On Akiva’s side, his siblings become increasingly disgusted by the things they’re doing and by being mindless slaves to their “father” Joram and his brother, Jael, the Captain of the Dominion. Also, Razgut returns to his “home” and pretty much tattles on Akiva. Jael is pretty creeptastic. He has this disfiguring scar on his face and an affinity for his neices, blech. *Shudder*
This book is soooooo different than Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which is not to say I didn’t like it. We learn a lot more about all sorts of things that were never even mentioned in the previous book, most importantly about the Angels and their history. There are tons of new characters introduced, my favorite being Ziri, the last of the Kirin (Madrigal’s people). It’s a rocking book with lots of stuff going on. There were definitely a few things, at the end of course, that I was totally not expecting to happen that really made me sit up in my seat and say “Whuuttttt!?!?!?!” Yeah. It’s good. The problem is that you get little pieces here and there and you don’t understand what they have to do with each other and then they just come together to form this really solid story. It’s confusing, to say the least, if you don’t really remember a lot of stuff from the first book. I would definitely recommend rereading the DoS&B if you can before you dive into this one, as I am sure I will need to do with this book when the final one comes out. I’m more of a contemporary reader, not much for fantasy and the like, but I thoroughly enjoyed (to my great astonishment) DoS&B last year because I didn’t know it was about angels and “demons,” but I am in love with this world and I’m glad I took the chance. Also, the audiobook rocked! The narrarator was fabulous and I recommend it.(less)
It was funny, but Alex Barnaby is no Stephanie Plum and Sam Hooker is no Joe Morelli. I may be interested in reading the next one…haven’t decided yet...more It was funny, but Alex Barnaby is no Stephanie Plum and Sam Hooker is no Joe Morelli. I may be interested in reading the next one…haven’t decided yet. I got this on audiobook, and I didn’t like the reader, so maybe that’s why. 3.5/5
Susan Elizabeth Phillips one of my favorite romance writers. Her stories are always layered and romantic and funny. She’s a definite go-to w...moreGone Pecan
Susan Elizabeth Phillips one of my favorite romance writers. Her stories are always layered and romantic and funny. She’s a definite go-to when I am in that kind of mood.
Natural Born Charmer is the seventh and final book in her Chicago Stars series about a professional football team. This book stars the charismatic Dean Robillard, the Stars star quarterback. He’s grown up a little bit since the preceeding book, Match Me if You Can. This time, he’s on a cross-country trip to his new farm in Tennessee when he stumbles upon a woman in a beaver suit walking down the highway and takes pity on her. Turns out Blue needs more than just a ride.
Despite her illusion of independence, Blue Bailey has nothing. So she tags along with Dean because she has friends near where he’s heading that she can stay with to get back on her feet, but those plans fall through. Dean is happy because he’s thinking the longer they’re stuck together, the better his chances are of getting lucky with the Beav. And Dean is a man used to getting what he wants. So, he’s a little disappointed that Blue isn’t just laying down at his feet, but she’s no dummy. She knows that the longer she can keep him interested, the farther she can get.
When they finally arrive at his new home, he’s shocked and peeved to find his estranged mother there. So, all the more reason to keep Blue around. He fakes an engagement to her to keep his mother and the people in town from becoming too friendly, uses her as a human shield.
I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of things going on in this novel. There are issues regarding absentee parents, runaway children, quirky small towns, the famous and the infamous. But none of it seemed forced and, despite all the many and varied tropes, it wasn’t predictable, except, you know, it is a love story, so you can kind of figure out where it’s going to lead. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I was involuntarily smiling throughout.