Billed as a gender-swapped retelling of Snow White, this fun historical...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Billed as a gender-swapped retelling of Snow White, this fun historical fantasy debut novel from Elizabeth Vail was entertaining and romantic. I loved the blend of historical and fantasy elements, and I've always been a sucker for characters with a secret identity. I enjoyed Frederick's belief that his magic was deadly, and that he had to keep a tight control over his emotions in order to protect everyone around him, and more than that, I loved how Charlotte continually pushed his limits without always meaning to.
Though I prefer my romances to be steamy, I did enjoy the chemistry between Charlotte and Frederick, especially the reminder that while he may be a footman, he was still a man, which is something Charlotte had a tendency to forget at times.
There were a few pacing issues that stood out to me, where the story would hit a lull that made me think that it was winding down to a conclusion before revving back up to more action, but even with these issues, I still found it a very enjoyable read, and a great deal at the current price.(less)
This book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time t...moreThis book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time to write these reviews, I’ll (hopefully) be able to form somewhat coherent sentences. Yet, when I glance over my notes for this installment, I find that it’s mostly filled with expletives, excited exclamation points, quite a bit of angry underlining, and, well, even more colorful expletives. That, in turn, pretty much sums up my feelings in reading this book.
I will attempt to distill my wildly flailing emotions over this story into something readable, while still refraining from giving away too much in the way of actual storyline.
Here we go.
We open the story to find Cherry still dried out from her laudanum addiction thanks to her guardian turned tutor turned friend, Lord Ashmore. Unfortunately for her, this means she’s still not quite at her physical peak, nor does she have the opium to give her the false courage and bravado she’s relied on since she began her reckless career as a Collector.
Hawke is still help prisoner at the Menagerie, but the real question remains as always — is he a prisoner of the Veil because they truly have control over him, or because he chooses to remain under their thumb for reasons that are his own?
Cherry has a lot of amends to make — Communion, Zylphia, the younger Lord Compton, and even her old servants may have been marked by the Veil for her previous antics, and it is yet unknown as to which ones may prove to be allies and which ones may have decided that their own hides are more valuable than whatever previous loyalty they may have felt towards Cherry.
We very quickly find a familiar and terrifying face from Cherry’s past has become a major player in the Menagerie, and the Veil itself has expanded its territory with the help of the Ferrymen. Not only that, but their horrifying experiments on the people under their rule have created a new breed of fighter to do their dirty work.
With Cherry’s fall from grace both from society and from her position as Collector, she finds herself in a sort of a no man’s land, unable to move as freely as she used to, with none of the easy welcome she’s accustomed to either above or below London’s fog.
Hawke’s horrifying behavior the last time we saw him left Cherry hurt and confused, and, stubborn as ever, she’s still continuing to refuse to heed the warnings from coming from practically everyone involved with the situation, nor has she yet taken to heart Ashmore’s lessons on learning to walk before you run in regards to her newfound knowledge of alchemy.
I find that that’s all I can really say without giving away spoilers. Everything else that I had angrily underlined or followed by multiple exclamation points gave away a major plot point. I will say, however, that this was one hell of a ride, full of action, adventure, and emotional turmoil, and the very last thing in my notebook was yet another very colorful expletive, followed by several exclamation points. Infer from that what you will.
A very solid 5/5 Stars and I cannot WAIT to get my greedy little hands on the next (and I think final?) installment.(less)
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other people...moreF*CK yes.
Now I want to go read the rest of the series.
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other people as part of their priestly duties (my own personal hangup, oh well), but that wasn't dwelled upon, and was probably explained in earlier books.
Some readers may be a bit bothered by the fact the protagonists are "underage" for most of the book, but in their world, it obviously wasn't an issue, so it wasn't an issue for me either.
I snagged this one from the library right before I left for vacation, and while I realized it was part of a series, what I didn't realize was that it...moreI snagged this one from the library right before I left for vacation, and while I realized it was part of a series, what I didn't realize was that it was book 12.. Unfortunately this meant that it was a little hard to keep up despite the author's best efforts, and it left me floundering at times trying to keep the vast number of characters and their powers and their relationships straight while still trying to keep up with the main storyline.
That said, the mystery and suspense was beautifully paced, and while I of course was disappointed to the lack of smut (heh), there were two rather satisfying romances on an emotional level.
I DID like that there were notes at the end of each chapter marking references from previous books. An author's note indicated that this was something new with this installment, and it did seem like it would be helpful, were I to want to go back and read up on a particular incident, or refresh my memory had I read some of the series up to that point.
3.5/5 Stars -- would probably been higher were I more familiar with the series going in.(less)
Not really a "romance" or even "romantica" -- More of a light drama with a hint of mystery, a touch of action, and lots and lots of sexy times. 4/5 St...moreNot really a "romance" or even "romantica" -- More of a light drama with a hint of mystery, a touch of action, and lots and lots of sexy times. 4/5 Stars, full review to follow in participation with a blog tour. (less)
Believe it or not, I think there may have been just a little bit to much sex for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it was hot sex, but it was a lot, and...moreBelieve it or not, I think there may have been just a little bit to much sex for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it was hot sex, but it was a lot, and sometimes got in the way of plot development.
Even so, it was an enjoyable take with two tortured protagonists, some action, a bit of intrigue, and lots of hot man on man action.
There was a little too much self hatred on the part of Kai for my tastes but given his background that was understandable.
I also liked that you didn't have to be familiar with the series to follow along though obviously that would make your enjoyment of the overall story arc a little more satisfying.
Overall a very pleasant way to spend the day. 4/5, full review to follow.(less)
Ug. Ever since the 50 Shades trilogy authors seem to think its perfectly okay to stop a story smack in the middle and call it a cliffhanger. No me gus...moreUg. Ever since the 50 Shades trilogy authors seem to think its perfectly okay to stop a story smack in the middle and call it a cliffhanger. No me gusta.
I can handle the hero sleeping around because hello he's a sex addict and the blurb gives us fair warning. I can handle the hot therapist who leads his group sessions being the cliche virgin who crosses professional boundaries. I can handle (and even encourage) the resulting angst.
What I can't handle though, is happily reading along and there's this big development between the two and BAM book is over be sure to buy the next one available now!
No thank you. I'm all for having a series but when you stop a story in a place like that feels more like a marketing ploy then a natural place to stop, it doesn't make me want to continue reading.
That said. I liked this book. I enjoyed the angst and the hero's background and his struggle with his behavior and his brothers and I liked our heroine even though the psych student in me cringed at just how many professional and ethical lines she crossed.
I just won't be continuing the series.
(apologies for any typos as I'm on my kindle)(less)
Outside of my comfort zone in a few spots but well written and with both an excellent premise and a very satisfying ending. More than a few editorial...moreOutside of my comfort zone in a few spots but well written and with both an excellent premise and a very satisfying ending. More than a few editorial mistakes but that doesn't count against the rating as I read an uncorrected proof. A very solid 4/5, full review to follow.(less)
First and foremost is the major factor that this this IS a fanfiction (Supernatural, in case you couldn't tell from the description), and so there are...moreFirst and foremost is the major factor that this this IS a fanfiction (Supernatural, in case you couldn't tell from the description), and so there are little nods/references to the show that seem out of place to those who aren't fans. For those who are fans, there may be a bit of disappointment that the characters are out of character. For me, honestly, I didn't mind them being out of character, but it was jolting at times to have the show references, because despite the character names, I had honestly forgotten it was a fanfiction by the time I was about halfway through, since the story had pulled me in so much.
My own personal opinion is that this story needs to be pulled from the fanfiction world, names changed/fandom references removed, professionally edited, and published, because it's an excellent work of fiction that doesn't need to rely on the draw of the fandom in order to gain a following.
I have never, in my entire life, cried this hard over a book. Sure, I've sniffled. I've even wiped a few stray tears or gotten quite choked up at times. I've had books that have stuck with me for days, and weeks, and even months.
This story though? Had me sobbing like a baby. I'm not exaggerating when I say I haven't cried like this except over deaths in my own family.
Days later an Elvis song came on at work and I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom and compose myself before I could continue to go about my day.
Read this at your own risk. DO NOT TAKE THE WARNINGS LIGHTLY. When people say that it broke their hearts, listen to them. When they say they cried for days, listen to them. My best friend thought I was exaggerating and read it. She's coming over tomorrow and I'm baking her a casserole out of guilt because she's so broken up over it.
Though very well-written, it ripped my still-beating heart out of my chest and stomped it to bloody bits while I could do nothing but watch helplessly from the sidelines.
There's no happy ending, and those who know me know I require a HEA.
I read this a week ago and I'm still raw.
That said, it doesn't leave you quite dead in the floor. It does patch you back up a bit with a bittersweet ending, but I can honestly say this is a story that I will never forget.
And yet, even with all of the pain, I'm still glad I read it. As agonizing as it was, the love between the protagonists was eternal, even though reality got in the way of the apple-pie fairytale they had truly deserved.
And now I have to go curl up in the corner and whimper for a bit because just writing this review has reopened the wound.
Gigolo stories are too few and far between in my mind, so I knew when I saw this book being mentioned on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books the other day, I...moreGigolo stories are too few and far between in my mind, so I knew when I saw this book being mentioned on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books the other day, I just had to pick it up. It was fun to see a woman hiring a man for no-strings-attached sex, and I loved that the feelings that developed between them were very slow-building. There's no sense that Lori fell for Ander because of the mind-shattering orgasms he could give her, and the natural feelings of both jealousy and its resulting chagrin felt very natural given the situation that they were in.
The sex was smoking hot, which honestly surprised me considering all of the awkwardness of hiring a lover, as well as the mundane technicalities involved when taking care of the financial side of the transaction.
While I was a bit weirded out by the fact that the author chose her own name as Lori's pen name, and the sheer volume of sex often got in the way of the actual plot, it was still a deliciously sexy, entertaining read with a surprising amount of emotional drama.
I'm not a hundred percent certain how I felt about this book. On one hand, I love the series, I loved the characters, and the chemistry was delightful...moreI'm not a hundred percent certain how I felt about this book. On one hand, I love the series, I loved the characters, and the chemistry was delightful. On the other, the whole supernatural element that came into play with the curse fell a bit flat for me, not due to the writing, but because I'm simply not in the mood for paranormal romance, even when the "paranormal" elements are so light.
See, I was just talking about how I know that Inspirational titles can have chemistry between the protagonists, and this was a lovely example. While t...moreSee, I was just talking about how I know that Inspirational titles can have chemistry between the protagonists, and this was a lovely example. While there was still no lovemaking (boo), even after the characters were married, I at least got the sense that they were attracted to each other.
Plus, bonus points for having a plain, tom-boyish herione ;)
I realize that there are different "rules" for Inspirational romances than there are for mainstream romance, and therefore there won't be a lot chemis...moreI realize that there are different "rules" for Inspirational romances than there are for mainstream romance, and therefore there won't be a lot chemistry and passion. Even so, I never really felt the love between Amelia and John. Sure, they both liked horses, and they both had a strong faith in G-d, and they were both considerate, but I've read Inspirational romances where you could feel the caring and love between the leads, so I know it's possible.
So while this one wasn't bad by a long stretch, it wasn't really that great either.