Yeah...the synopsis sounded promising until I got to about the third page and the heroine was thinking to herself that her cunt was throbbing and her...moreYeah...the synopsis sounded promising until I got to about the third page and the heroine was thinking to herself that her cunt was throbbing and her clit twitching.
Call me a prude, but I STILL don't like that word. And I like it even less when it's a woman referring to her own ladybits that way. Blech.
Not my cuppa, as they say. Onwards and upwards!(less)
I got to 35% before I admitted that I did not like this at all. I can get past lots of, shall we say, "idiosyncrasies" in someone's writing but t...moreOMG.
I got to 35% before I admitted that I did not like this at all. I can get past lots of, shall we say, "idiosyncrasies" in someone's writing but this book took the cake.
When the narrative contains sentences that say "she done gone and did" something I have to draw the line. Being from the south is one thing, but REALLY? I can put up with characters that talk that way (and I work with a lady that says "this here" and "that there", UGH) but in the prose itself??????
Cardboard characters, juvenile dialog, shitty punctuation, no character development...I'm wearing that "WHAT THE FUCK" face again.
And how the hell this book got on my kindle I have NO idea. Dear God, I hope it was free.
1 star. And again, only because GR won't let me go lower.(less)
I hate to admit it, but I really don't know everything. (Whew! That was really hard. I feel like the Fonz trying to say 'sorry'.)
I don't know beans ab...moreI hate to admit it, but I really don't know everything. (Whew! That was really hard. I feel like the Fonz trying to say 'sorry'.)
I don't know beans about the wives of Henry VIII, other than the fact that Anne Boleyn begat Elizabeth I then lost her head, Jane Seymour died (only to be reincarnated as that actress from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), Catherine of Aragon was the mother of Bloody Mary, and it seems as though all of them were related to or worked for each other. A rather incestuous bunch, it seems to me; Henry mustn't have liked to stray far for his diversions.
Anyway, Six of One is a unique take on the story of these six women, presented in the form of a tongue in cheek time-travel romance. Dolly, a history professor, is about to marry Harry, a man who has six exes. She chokes on a nut at her bachelorette party and wakes up in a castle in Tudor England, with Henry VIII's six wives surrounding her.
What I read of this book was amusing and light-hearted, clever and very clearly a spoof. I very reluctantly stopped reading it for one reason, and one reason only:
I HAD NO FREAKING IDEA WHO ANY OF THE WOMEN WERE!
Some were the main six, some were relatives of theirs, some were relatives of Henry's, some were ladies in waiting, I had no clue. Same with the present day. I didn't know enough about the actual characters to appreciate the cleverness of the puns, the plays on their names or their characters.
DAMN. I feel like I'm missing a good book here, but I'm too tired to learn that much about the Reformation period and Tudor England for the sake of one book. Perhaps if more historical romances were set in this period.....
No likey the story, the characters, the writing and me especially no likey the word cunt. I know, this is erotica, but I still don't like...moreMe no likey.
No likey the story, the characters, the writing and me especially no likey the word cunt. I know, this is erotica, but I still don't like the word. And it's everywhere.
I'm afraid this author just isn't for me. This is one of the rare cases where I'm going to abide by the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" adage. Especially as I didn't finish the book.
There were some things that bothered me about the portion of the book that I DID read. Of course, those were why I quit reading, and I'd be happy to chat about them if anyone's interested.
So I'm home sick with a terrible cold and thought to myself, self, you need to read something pleasant. Perhaps a re-read of a book you love? Nope, di...moreSo I'm home sick with a terrible cold and thought to myself, self, you need to read something pleasant. Perhaps a re-read of a book you love? Nope, did that yesterday with Goddess of the Hunt. Aaah, LOVE that book. Maybe I'll try one I bought last week at the used book store. Like this one, "An Arranged Marriage". Sounds promising.
My first inclination that this book was going to be a BIT different was the rape at the beginning. Notice I said rape, not forced seduction. This is a drugged, forced against her will with others in the room holding her down rape.
The heroine has a repugnant brother, who has gambled away his inheritance and seeks to get his hands on Eleanor's. He has set up a marriage for Eleanor to one of his drinking buddies (Eleanor describes him as smelling like a corpse) and in order to get that done he drugs Eleanor. He then drugs another man, Lord Stainbridge - and threatens to expose his unnatural proclivities to society and offers him a valuable jade (threatens and bribes all at the same time, wow!) in order that he will bed his sister. Of course, he tells Lord Stainbridge she is a prostitute.
In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, "Whoa".
As if all that isn't enough, the next day Lord Stainbridge (feeling rather icky, to say the least) goes to the brother's home to spy and catches the woman he raped the night before just as she is about to throw herself into the river. He brings her back to his home, where he spins a tale about his twin brother and how HE was the one who raped her, and that he will make his brother marry her.
Lord Stainbridge sends a letter to the Earl of Stainbridge (his twin) and confesses all to him. Then asks him to marry Eleanor and threatens to cut him off if he doesn't.
At this point, I'm thinking - woohoo! This is going to be different, maybe a bit twisted, and finally, I can recommend a book to Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) that she'll actually like.
Not to be, alas. That first bit must have just been a tease.
They get married, have some wooden dialogue, some drawing-room repartee, some really boring sex, then, we find out he's a spy (of sorts) and is expected to recommence an affair with an ex-lover to extract some secrets for the government. So he leaves her at home with all of his school friends (after telling them all to keep her busy, as they ALL know he is off schtupping his ex for his country).
No more mention of the gay brother, or her brother. Wait, the gay brother shows up for dinner and is all snarky with everyone for no reason I can tell. Is he a bad guy, or just repressed, misunderstood and miserable?
I actually liked a couple of the hero's friends more than I liked the hero. She should have cheated on him with either of them. That might have made the book more interesting.
Oh well, when I left these silly people Eleanor was expecting, Nicholas was spending all of his time with his former mistress, and I couldn't have cared less how it all ended up. What happened to her brother in the end? What about the closeted twin? I'll leave that for a day when I have absolutely NOTHING else to read, or for someone to send me a message and tell me.
I could, I suppose, force myself to read it then write a long snarky rant about how much I hate books like this, but...moreOh, I am so done with this book.
I could, I suppose, force myself to read it then write a long snarky rant about how much I hate books like this, but that's hardly fair. It's like shooting fish in a barrel and kinda mean-spirited. Or like pulling on a hangnail then complaining about it hurting.
I think Kieran Kramer is probably a good writer. (I won't even get started on the titles; that's a rant for another day.) The little bit I did read seemed to be well-written. It started off quite well: you meet the heroine just as she has caused her sister's fiance and his brother to come to blows over a poem she has written; she is shipped off to boarding school and the brother off to the Navy. Years later they still hate each other. But then this happens:
Harry and three of his bachelor buddies are flaked out in the games room of their gentlemen's club bemoaning the soon-to-be-married state of one of them. Then, voila, the fireplace shoves aside to reveal a secret passage and out comes a fat guy in an expensive outfit with a chippy on his arm. He starts to speak and they realize it is the Prince Regent himself! Drunk, of course. He does this speech about bachelorhood and makes a royal decree declaring the annual Impossible Bachelors wager, and the winner shall be granted an entire year of freedom from the trials and tribulations of marriage. One of the "Impossible Bachelors" is an Admiral in his Navy so he reassigns him (oh, FFS!!) to make sure he is present for the wager, and makes a further decree that those who cross the Prince Regent in his wish to see at least one of his bachelor subjects free from shameless pursuit shall forever be given the cut direct by His Royal Highness and his loyal subjects.
That was enough for me. I can suspend my disbelief as much as the next girl, but I just couldn't do it with this one.
Normally I love historical romances. I love the clothing, the way they speak, the beautiful homes, the pretty manners. I love it when a book I am reading immerses me in the history (without clubbing me over the head with it) so that I feel like I am right there. I like to learn about history while I am reading - whether it is about details of what it was like to live in 1814 or about the state of politicial relations with France. I like many different types of historical romances: I like the sweeping, grand sagas, the compelling, darker stories, the whimsical fairy-tale like stories, and the occasional frothy romp. I'll read about almost any historical period, although I seem to be partial to Georgian. I sometimes like books that make me laugh out loud while reading them, other times just the pleasure gained from just loving the way a story is being told is enough.
What I DON'T like is this: when you take an existing historical figure and insert them into the story for no reason other than to advance a premise THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. Or at least I don't believe it could have happened. And I didn't. Not in the slightest. My reaction, IIRC, was a quite unladylike snort.
I don't know tons about the Regency period other than it seems to have been similar to the 80s (excess and ridiculousness by the upper class) and that "Prinny" was quite the piece of work. But I found it impossible to believe that scene, and it sets up the entire series.
So having said all of that I'm returning it to library. And making myself promise that I will not, however much I am tempted by the giggling, glowing reviews on GR, pick up one of these books again.
**This book ranks a 4/5 on the Teeth Grind-o-Meter. (less)
A plea to all of my GR friends: If you see me adding another one of these frothy, fluffy bits of wallpaper you are to stop me IMMEDIATELY and remind m...moreA plea to all of my GR friends: If you see me adding another one of these frothy, fluffy bits of wallpaper you are to stop me IMMEDIATELY and remind me how much I don't like them.
Original comment January 16/11: I can't believe I checked this out of the library -- I usually avoid books like this just on principle. (less)
I give up. One of my resolutions this year is not to bother finishing a book that (a) is tons of work to read; and/or (b) I don't like. This one is mo...moreI give up. One of my resolutions this year is not to bother finishing a book that (a) is tons of work to read; and/or (b) I don't like. This one is mostly (a).
Kudos to Virginia Henley for all of her historical research but man, this book made my eyes cross. Historical name-dropping and the constant switching of names for titles becomes tiresome when you have to stop and think who it is she is talking about. The author crams historical events like the invasion of France, battles for the return of a hostage and about 10 different intrigues in Edward's court into about 20 pages. Where is the romance?! Oh yeah - buried in all of this high-school history homework.
Trying to keep track of the myriad main characters in this book simply became too much for me. I don't think I'm a stupid person (*holds hand up - no comments from the peanut gallery, please*) but also don't like to have to work this hard to read a romance novel.
My head hurts - I'm off to find a mindless, large-font historical-lite to make it feel better.(less)
BAILED at page 149. Life is too short for me to keep trying to like "literary fiction".
I don't like ANY of the characters in this book. If they weren...moreBAILED at page 149. Life is too short for me to keep trying to like "literary fiction".
I don't like ANY of the characters in this book. If they weren't creepy and ick (the twins), they were ocd, dead, grieving or absent.
I might have fared better if I'd had some connection with someone in the story, but the only person I like at all is dead. And after flipping to the end to find out what eventually happens, she's not very nice either.
(**off I go, looking through my books for a nice, cheerful, HEA***)(less)
I tried to read this book, I kinda really did! I just couldn't get interested in any of the characters. Perhaps it's just t...moreI. JUST. COULD. CARE. LESS.
I tried to read this book, I kinda really did! I just couldn't get interested in any of the characters. Perhaps it's just this specific book, as I remember reading a few Victoria Holts when I was younger, usually in my parent's Reader's Digest Condensed books. Or maybe it was Mary Higgins Clark that I'm thinking of....oops.
Anyhow. I DNF'ed this one. I love the idea of a gothic tale, I just didn't care for this particular one. I did pick up a new favourite word though - PERFIDY! Which the heroine actually used in conversation.
I'm going to keep looking - I know there is a gothic out there for me. :)(less)
Oh, what's wrong with me? I should be really liking this book and I just don't.
Here's the premise: book opens with hero in the Tower of London, on his...moreOh, what's wrong with me? I should be really liking this book and I just don't.
Here's the premise: book opens with hero in the Tower of London, on his way to his trial for the murder of his wife. Hmmm. Good start, I think.
Flashback one year -- heroine is on a Dutch trading ship on her way back to England from Australia when their ship is taken by Indonesian pirates. She and her daughter are separated and they are sold as slaves. Oooh, I think. This is different!
Hero is in the East Indies, on his last trading run before returning to England. On a royal visit he spies a European woman being sold at a slave auction and his Quaker sensabilities are outraged (Bing! first inkling I ain't gonna like it - I like my heroes with little to no morals) so he finagles a deal in which he can barter for her freedom. He is challenged by the sultan to an ancient game - roll the ivory dice 5 times and win all five challenges, one per day. The challenges are varied and most are life-or-death. A unique bond is forged between Gavin and Alexandra during the course of the 5 days and nights - she is brought to his room in a gilded cage and all of their interaction is through the bars.
The final challenge is the deal-breaker, and I won't go into it here. Intriguing (and titillating, and potentially sexy) as it is, this is where the book started to lose me. The hero hasn't been with a woman since his wife died in childbirth almost ten years before. He just doesn't believe in that stuff outside the confines of marriage and the only woman he had even been with was his wife. (Bing! Bing! Strike 2 - my heroes need to be experienced). All very admirable, of course, but where does that leave me, the reader!?!? It leaves me with no love scenes, that's where it leaves me!
In the hands of an author like Anne Stuart (my latest obession), Eloisa James, or any of many current writers, this would be no problem. There would be tension, there would be angst, there would be steam. There ain't none here. Maybe that's my problem - the writing. There's nothing grabbing me, pulling me in to the story and making me care about the two main characters. Gavin and Alexandra both seem to be very nice people who had a romantic adventure, but very nice only works for me in real life. Milquetoast, pleasant people don't make for compelling reading, imo. I'm not even really sure what they look like! The author hasn't really given me a whole lot to work with.
I've left the book at page 139. They are on their way back to England - Alex is worried about how she and her daughter will be received by society after being abducted, and Gavin has thrown out a proposal of marriage to Alex -- they have to, he says, because of what they did and his moral beliefs (again with these PRINCIPLES!).
I'm thinking there's lots of intrigue to come (the book opens with him on trial for Alex's murder) but I just can't stay interested. Dammit. I think I'll put it aside for a day when I'm not so picky. (less)
So here is what I think is the set up for the story.
Matthew is devastated after his "bastardy" is expos...more**PLOT SPOILERS AND EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WARNING**
So here is what I think is the set up for the story.
Matthew is devastated after his "bastardy" is exposed by his mother (nice lady, to be sure) who writes a letter to the London Times. The ton snubs him, friends desert him, his fiancee dumps him and his business interests are threatened with failure. Patience is his new sister-in-law. He yearns for her, but thinks he must regain his standing and set some wrongs to right before she can be his.
I'm not sure how he will deal with all of this, however, because he spends virtually all of his time with his cock throbbing and twitching. All because of Patience. When we meet her, she is telling Matthew that he will get over his fiancee someday soon, because he is just too special to be thrown over. I'm not sure he is paying any particular attention to her, because the author keeps telling us about his cock and all that throbbing and leaking it's doing. By page 11, his tongue is in her mouth and they are in a lustful clinch. Which makes her quim ache. WTF is a quim? Unbeknownst to Matthew (or maybe beknownst, the author doesn't tell us) she has been pining for him as well. Enough to make her quim constantly ache for him. That poor quim. If it's not aching, it's dripping. Poor girl's thighs must be chafed, with all that drippiness happening.
By page 39 not only are we well acquainted with Patience's quim, but we meet her pulsating clitoris. Between the throbbing cocks, aching quims and pulsating clitorises it's difficult to find the plot. What plot, you say? Exactly.
So here is what I got as backstory for Patience: she is unimaginably beautiful and is innundated with suitors. So much so that she is bored. Everything is handed to her. Also, she is gifted at playing the cello. A big instrument that she holds between her legs. Hmm. Think this symbolizes something. She fell in love with her instructor and carries with her his dear john letter to her. She has decided, I think, to never marry or fall in love or some such nonsense. Hard to tell - as much as Matthew's cock is always throbbing, her quim runneth over constantly and that pulsating clitoris interferes with her ability to think too hard about anything. Except Matthew, she thinks of him constantly. She loves his sharp jaw and dark eyes. And golden-tipped hair. That's all we are told about what he looks like. Jeez - what a rip off.
Now Matthew - his deal, I think is that he sees that Patience is bored and restless and needs to have an emotional breakthrough of sorts to come to terms with who she is and what she really wants. He wants it to be him, of course. And apparently, if you are a titled sort in 1851 England the way to accomplish this is to force her to become a submissive. Cut off all of her clothes, tie her up and fuck her face with your huge throbbing cock. Then come in her face. Cause nothing says I love you like a face full of that stuff. WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Make her quim throb for you all day. Spank her. Make her do anything you say, including humping your booted leg to orgasm. Keep her doing your bidding, abuse her physically, then tell her you worship her. Make her submit completely - all she can say is "Yes, Matthew". Because that's what she needs. And that will free her.
Now. If this were a book that I knew was erotic fiction, about a dominant/submissive relationship, I'd have looked at it completely differently. If that's what it was, it was great. There were some pretty hot encounters in the book - oh who am I kidding , the book is MOSTLY their encounters! Pretty hot stuff. After reading a few I could almost understand the appeal of that type of sexual twist. Of course, in real life if my spouse ever said some of that stuff to me he would get told to go fuck himself, but that's not the point! It was a good primer on how to have a dominant/submissive relationship. When Matthew explains the dynamics of submission to Patience, he is teaching the rest of us, too.
As a romance novel - for me it failed. Utterly. I haven't read Passion, where I believe you are introduced to Matthew and Patience but neither have lots of other people. There should have been something to give me a sense of who Patience and Matthew were, other than a physical description of Patience. As a result I didn't find the romance believable. Especially Matthew. If you're going to sell him as a dominant in a romance novel I think you need to spend a little time making sure the reader likes him, finds him attractive, believes in his love for the heroine - so that the coldness, callousness even, of his sexual encounters with the heroine make you love him, not think the heroine should tell him to fuck off.
And that's another thing. Maybe I'm naive but I don't LIKE reading narrative like this in a historical novel: "Christ, he'd spent his whole fucking life trying to make up for the fact..." and "...she held out the letter. The fucking letter." That's the way WE talk - not the way they did it in 1851. It's jarring.
Dirty words abound - fuck, suck, cunt, quim, cock, cods - over and over and over. The author needs a better thesarus, hers only has 2 entries in it - quim for cunt and cods for balls. The "c" word has it's place but please! Find another euphemism for a vagina! I know "womanly softness" is a little purple, but can't you find something? They used to have some pretty funny words for these body parts 150 years ago - where are they?
Label a novel romance and I'm expecting folks to make love, not do some dirty movie-type fucking, pardon my french. And when he proposes and they consummate their relationship, he says this to her:
"But I shall make you fit me, Patience." Clenching her hair in one hand, he moved the other to her hip, gripping it. His hold was more perfect than any bonds could ever be, for she felt the weight and force of his intent. His eyes captured hers. "I will fuck you..." he said on a harsh whisper, thrusting into her. Her breasts bounced and the severe sound of his voice softened her from the inside out. He thrust deeper. "And fuck you..." His deepening voice melted her like wax. His pubic bone slammed into hers. "I will fuck you until you fit."
Boy, that's sure how I want to "make love" to the man who has just proposed to me.
Aha! That's it. That's what I don't like about this book. I have certain expectations about a historical romance and when it gets messed with, I don't like it. Not one bit. Hmm. Guess I'm more of a romantic than I thought.
In the end I'd say this: just reading the hot parts made for a pretty good erotic bdsm type read for me. 3 stars for that. As a historical romance, 2 stars. I read another review on GR that talked about the beautiful romance novel this was - I would have loved to have read THAT book! It got lost for me in the dom/sub part. They seemed too disconnected to relate them to each other. For me that type of relationship within the context of a historical romance just seems wrong.
I'm disappointed in the type of story it turned out to be, and disappointed in the writing. I'm going to mark this as a DNF for now - I'd be willing to try it again, but now I want to read Passion - where I should have started in the first place. (less)