Fun, if predictable - which at this point is all I really want from my historical romances. The "Beauty and the Beast" underpinnings (and sometimes ovFun, if predictable - which at this point is all I really want from my historical romances. The "Beauty and the Beast" underpinnings (and sometimes overpinnings) of this story gave it the "don't want to put it down" quality because in theory I know how that story ends, but I wanted to know how it unfolded with Verity instead of Belle....more
After the first 3 Byrons of Braebourne installments, I was looking forward to the rake Adam and dear Mallory who had been such a friend to get new sisAfter the first 3 Byrons of Braebourne installments, I was looking forward to the rake Adam and dear Mallory who had been such a friend to get new sisters-in-law. For all the support and egalitarian manner in which Mallory is treated and raised, she somehow manages to be the least firm and strong character of the lot, which is disappointing. That should be the worst part, but the hits keep coming. Rake Adam is not the charming, sensual flirt I was expecting after his cameos in previous novels - instead he is lovestruck and in a great deal of emotional pain. Both of these things could have birthed a good character - simply consult any of the three previous novels. But instead Adam is weak, a bully, and throws around the word "love" as a way to control Mallory, instead of the partnership dynamics we've seen in previous novels of the series. This one went totally off the rails, and if it wasn't for the fact that I'd already read the first of the new Rakes of Cavendish Square series starring all-grown-up twin Leo Byron, I'd give up on Warren altogether. But as this uneven, unromantic, frankly terrifying emotional abuse seems a one-off smashed between perfectly respectable historical romances where the ladies don't take any nonsense from their lovers, I'm willing to just skip this and try Drake's novel, hoping to forget this ever happened. I wanted so much better for Mallory....more
I started in the middle of Brook's Iron Seas series, but thankfully her world building is tight, and she doesn't feel the need to infodump, but insteaI started in the middle of Brook's Iron Seas series, but thankfully her world building is tight, and she doesn't feel the need to infodump, but instead gives you just enough relevant details to ground the one you're reading. I'm fascinated by the blacksmiths and the nanogenes, the "infection" of tiny machines being the reason "zombies" are a threat - though thankfully a distant threat in this installment.
We are introduced to pulp fiction novelist Zenobia Fox, who gets into trouble because her brother is a Big Deal. For the first time, this trouble is a simple case of wrong-place-wrong-time, and language barriers mixed with deeply bred caution cause a fair number of misunderstandings as the story unfolds. Meeting ex-rebel-turned-legit-mayor Ariq is meant to be a hiccup in the plans, but the relationship they develop (at first to get what each of them wants, and then am earnest affection) becomes the centerpoint of the story as Ariq's past collides with the wrong-place-wrong-time rebellion brewing. Characters like the Empress, the Twins, Captain Corsair, and our heroine showcase how wonderfully variant a strong (literally and figuratively) female character can be in Brook's hands. This novel merely whetted my appetite for more of the Iron Seas. I want more kraken, some megalodon action, and a look at some of these zombies next time. (I have a pretty good feeling Brook's zombies aren't the undead kind, but in fact are the victims of being part machine and therefore being "hackable". I can't wait to see if I'm right!)...more
A good, classic mystery, this was easily predictable for the most part, but that did not diminish it as an enjoyable read. Both the mystery and the roA good, classic mystery, this was easily predictable for the most part, but that did not diminish it as an enjoyable read. Both the mystery and the romance followed expected pathways, but despite the trope familiarity, even the characters quite grew on me. It got a bit more churchy than I like towards the latter third, so I wasn't surprised to discover its author generally publishes in the Christian Fiction genre. I might not have noticed, except that I began to pay particular attention to the church-going habits of the characters the first time someone admitted out loud that they don't attend services, which I'm made to believe would have been anathema during the presumed selected time period of the novel, which was an interesting choice, clearly a vehicle to make a point about religiosity more than to be accurate.
Still, the romance was rewarding, the mystery not as dark or supernatural as sometimes intimated, and generally speaking, it was an engaging story. Certainly better fodder than some books I've chosen to distract me from having to speak to my seat mates on planes, so thank goodness for that....more
Fast-paced, as most Dresden books tend to be, this one sets the Big Plot on a path back to whatever Dresden calls Normal. A heist, a little twist, a kFast-paced, as most Dresden books tend to be, this one sets the Big Plot on a path back to whatever Dresden calls Normal. A heist, a little twist, a knapsack full of secrets, and maybe a girlfriend for Bob. And Waldo Butters is the hero Gotham, er, Chicago has been waiting for. A fun romp, with a particular bit of character development I've been waiting 15 books for, Dresden never lets me down....more
A fast-paced tumble through an alternate/future Earth where lawyers are dueling fencers or puglists, and most everyone lives in tall ships, Sophie HanA fast-paced tumble through an alternate/future Earth where lawyers are dueling fencers or puglists, and most everyone lives in tall ships, Sophie Hansa has been dragged into politics and intrigue while seeking out her birth family. She brings along her adopted brother Bram, and, equipped with a forensic talent honed by reruns of CSI and her diving camera, is charged with solving her aunt's murder, ensuring her half-sister's birthright, and preventing a war. "Child" is the first of a new series, and if this much happens while everyone is running around confused, I can't wait to see what happens when everyone gets on the same page. (Also, Parrish and his ferret-snake have some unfinished business with our heroine. I want to be a fly on the wall when he tries to explain to anyone that he's just been following orders.)...more
Domning is one if my favorites in medieval romance - I feel like I can't put it down, even though the plots tend to be thin. While this harbors just tDomning is one if my favorites in medieval romance - I feel like I can't put it down, even though the plots tend to be thin. While this harbors just the right amount of historical cliché and steamy bits, it's her characters that sell me on Domning, and this one was no different. Rafe was charming, Kate the late-bloomer in terms of truly comprehending her place in the world, and while there were plenty of misunderstandings, I think in the end, the heart was served. So I'm satisfied....more
This probably should have been a 2.5, but as the rating system only permits whole stars, I could not make myself give it 3. The characters ares likeabThis probably should have been a 2.5, but as the rating system only permits whole stars, I could not make myself give it 3. The characters ares likeable enough, but it feels like we barely scratch their surfaces, compared to the Delacroix book I just finished. The resolution occurs far too quickly and nearly after so much of the story spent concerned with the difficulty of the quest. There are truly needless inclusions, like the fiesty, vengeful spriggan that only one character can see. (I don't dislike hints of the supernatural in my medieval Celtic romances - but a bit of the Sight and some extra background or dialogue could have made the seemingly superfluous spriggan unnecessary.) There is part of a story that I imagine was hinted at in the previous volume, but as these are marketed as being a series but independent stories, having an entire storyline alluded to only to be completely dropped after a climactic scene didn't sit well with me. (Especially when there is the implication that one or both of the characters in said scene died!) Also, the scene towards the end of Vivienne being nearly raped was needless. It felt that it was there to make someone feel infused with justice instead of to make any story-sense; it contributed nothing, and as the characters involved were introduced only pages before, it felt rushed and unnecessary. Alexander was a complete ninny who has apparently learned nothing from the story that preceded this one, and learns nothing here as well, making him an empty-headed vehicle instead of a real character who develops over time.
Still. I liked Vivienne, Angus, and Ruari.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I didn't hate it, and kept reading, hoping it would untangle itself, so it's clear it gives hints of potential scattered throughout so as to keep a reader going. My extreme distaste for Alexander makes it unlikely I'll read another in this series, but I'm not ready to give up on Delacroix yet....more
Couldn't put it down! It's a little bit "A Great and Terrible Beauty", and owes a lot to Goodman's previous tale of girls' schools and secrets, "The LCouldn't put it down! It's a little bit "A Great and Terrible Beauty", and owes a lot to Goodman's previous tale of girls' schools and secrets, "The Lake of Dead Languages", which I enjoyed so much that I gave this one a go. The rich character development, the misleading threads, everything twins together to create a novel that kept me on the edge, desperately wanting to know what came next, what secrets were nested in other secrets. It wasn't completely mysterious, and all the signs pointed to the answers, but the story itself is so engaging that I often forgot to think about what it all meant when I needed to know what was going to happen. Eager to read the next installment!...more
Fast-paced and a rich world made this nearly impossible to put down. Reminded me of Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms, but instead of embracing magiFast-paced and a rich world made this nearly impossible to put down. Reminded me of Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms, but instead of embracing magic, it is outlawed. Politics, unexpected friendships, and even a little heartbreak spice this novel just right. Can't wait to read the next one!...more