Too sick to read anything meaty so ploughing my way through the Bridgerton series between naps and feeling intensely nauseous. This pregnancy businessToo sick to read anything meaty so ploughing my way through the Bridgerton series between naps and feeling intensely nauseous. This pregnancy business is really cramping my reading style. Quickly reaching saturation point with regency romance fluff, hoping to feel well enough to sit up and knit/listen to audiobooks soon. :P...more
Art still lovely but storyline was heavier, darker than I was expecting - touches on topics of domestic violence, work/life balance, job dissatisfactiArt still lovely but storyline was heavier, darker than I was expecting - touches on topics of domestic violence, work/life balance, job dissatisfaction, substance abuse, political unrest, terrorism, marital problems and other things that went without significant comic or romantic relief to balance out the yin and yang of the plot. I would call this the "Empire Strikes Back" of the first four graphic novels in the collection; waiting to see some shit get resolved ASAP. Bit of a hard read while pregnant, for several reasons. Opens with a birth, much like the first book....more
Review disclaimer: I have some personal history with the artist, but honestly this is damn fine work and well worth reading. I've no doubt it will beReview disclaimer: I have some personal history with the artist, but honestly this is damn fine work and well worth reading. I've no doubt it will be made into an insanely popular HBO series one day. Pick it up while it's still pure comic, before adaptation into another medium changes it forever....more
Alas, I wanted to like this, but it was not the thoughtful hilarity I have come to expect from Chip and Matt's 'Sex Criminals' comic collaboration. FoAlas, I wanted to like this, but it was not the thoughtful hilarity I have come to expect from Chip and Matt's 'Sex Criminals' comic collaboration. For one thing, the little book is highly textual with hardly any images, so most jokes have to stand on their own without visual enhancement. The ones that do have pics are usually torn straight from the pages of the comic and embellished with bland annotations, like the stick figure sex positions including the infamous 'Brimping'; adding a write-up to something so inherently funny was unnecessary. New sketches would have been better than new copy. The jokes are also heavily geared towards a U.S. audience, with lots of references to current and historical American figures, which is bizarre coming from Canadian artists and must have been done at the insistence of the publisher. The one-off reference to Todd McFarlane was just pure pandering. Best parts were "what not to call your partner's penis/vagina" and some of the faux porn movie reviews, but overall the tone was forced, more like the 'funny email forwards' my parents used to circulate than clever tongue-in-cheek (or wherever) humour. I hope it sells well and makes these guys some money so they can keep publishing their comic, but as a stand alone piece it is sadly disappointing. ...more
Super fun read! Not a stay-up-all-night kind of book, but I would read a few chapters, get to an emotional or tense part, put it down and then be readSuper fun read! Not a stay-up-all-night kind of book, but I would read a few chapters, get to an emotional or tense part, put it down and then be ready and excited to pick it up again the next day.
Terrific science fiction space opera romance, set in a scene of interstellar conflict, written with a genuine female lead - not a male marine with breasts and long hair glued on to create some sort of lady puppet, but a real woman with power and instincts and reactions that were all drawn from her feminine qualities, without weakening her command or making her in any way less compelling than her male lead counterpart.
When there is danger, she meets it with bravery and measured caution. When she is victimized, there is black humour, and an attempt to fathom the drive behind the violence and understand her attacker, while trying to remain calm and as in control of the situation as possible. When there is pain, she doesn't shrink from it.
The romance between older, experienced souls (in their 30s & 40s) feels authentic, and as reader you want it to develop very badly. The reactions of others also follow logical paths in this imagined universe, grounding the flights of fancy that give us warring societies and technological advances and many other invented gems. War is not just the scene of glorious battles; it is shown to have real costs and come with great sacrifices. Wounds are not just inflicted and left; Bujold details the life-changes and agonizing healing process. Politics is more than a game; it's messy and complicated and requires lies, broken promises, hard decisions.
If you like John Scalzi (especially Old Man's War), or enjoy bold sweeping sagas and star-crossed lovers, you will enjoy this - I promise. I intend to read the whole series, hopefully at a reasonable pace, so I can savor each and every book. Thumbs up. ...more
A jolly nice little audiobook listen, perfect for snowy winter days, perfect for commuting. This was my first taste of Lois McMaster Bujold, who I knoA jolly nice little audiobook listen, perfect for snowy winter days, perfect for commuting. This was my first taste of Lois McMaster Bujold, who I know to be held in high regard by several of my friends who are inveterate readers (to the point that they nicknamed their home "Beta Colony"). I did not expect such a pleasing blend of sci-fi, romance, and espionage; a tiny little slice of fun space opera in a wee novella.
The plot was tremendously predictable, in a children's pantomime, "look out, the bad guy is behind you!" kind of way, but I enjoyed its simple development and resolution. Not brain-draining, just a nice plain narrative. The description of Miles and Ekaterin's wedding fell into purple prose at points, but overall not too heavy on the description.
Voicework on bioengineered space mercenary Sergeant Taura was terrific - gravelly but very feminine. Armsman Roic came off as a bit of a rube, but I guess that was the point. Charming, I will go back to the beginning and read (or perhaps listen) to them in sequence.
No, no, no. Not what I wanted. I remember liking the first book (Nine Rules) quite a lot, and was eager to read its sequel, but this was just not to mNo, no, no. Not what I wanted. I remember liking the first book (Nine Rules) quite a lot, and was eager to read its sequel, but this was just not to my taste at all.
Sickly sweet passages of lurve interspersed with a heavy dose of regency erotica and a lot of angsty misunderstandings about feelings. Ugh. I barely managed to finish.
Not sure exactly how to pinpoint what bothered me the most but both hero and heroine seemed terribly needy and insecure and I just could not empathize with either of them.
The supposedly highly independent women of Minerva House seemed to fold like a deck of cards whenever a nice strong man showed up to take control of the situation.
There were a few passages I really balked at, the one that leaps to mind being the section where heroine is telling hero about her childhood dreams and imaginings and says she imagined herself as a princess in a tower waiting for a prince to come rescue her.
Sure, fine, whatever - but then this exchange happens... Hero: "A princess?" Heroine: "Yes, well, pretending to be a queen seemed too much. A girl must know her limitations."
WTF? Women! Know your limits! Don't aspire to true power, just get wistful and hope for a life with no meaningful work where you don't have to make decisions. Argh. The feminist inside me died a little reading that passage.
Anyhow, if you are looking for a solid I-touch-myself fapfest, this book has enough steamy moments to cook a pork bun. Look no further! You have found softcore ladies-first porn heaven. Sing it with me: "It's getting hot in here / so take off all your corsets / she is / getting so hot / she's gonna rip his cravaaaat off!" (Sorry, I had to do it)
If you're jonesing for consistent, three-dimensional character development or a plot that doesn't hinge on self-esteem problems, this may not be for you....more
This is a "Dharma and Greg", opposites-attract story, taken to great lengths. With libidos running high, lawyers/country clubs/Republicans being villaThis is a "Dharma and Greg", opposites-attract story, taken to great lengths. With libidos running high, lawyers/country clubs/Republicans being villainized, and a woman whose distant past in a hippie commune is ruining her current sex life and career possibilities, there's no shortage of conflicts and mysteries to keep Hero & Heroine apart.
To me, none of the lady's excuses seemed like anything that anyone with a lick of sense would find reasonable. He's too rich, too successful, and too good looking? You don't like that he didn't want to break the law? He's too sexy? Weak objections, dude.
Generally, I prefer my characters and their morality to be a little less black and white, and although the author does eventually achieve some greys, the initial you-love-money!, you-dress-badly!, i-hate-you! dialogue between Mr. SuccessObssessed and Ms. SaveTheWorld was OTT.
Nonetheless, I made the mistake of starting this Jennifer Crusie book on a Sunday night, read until completion at 2am, and thus was a zombie at work on Monday morning. I really should know better by now. Even though this was not Crusie's best effort IMHO - an opening so abrupt, I thought my ereader was missing some early chapters, many unanswered questions about who the guy at the door was, how long since he had dated the main character, what had split them up - I still enjoyed it.
The female lead's obsession with having sex in public places and her stubborn desire to cling to poverty, slovenliness, and Mary Jane ideals made her seem immature and hard for me to relate to. I understand not wanting to become a Stepford Wife, but if you are really a ball-busting feminist with aspirations to change the world, then go for the guy and change HIM, don't just run away, cringe in the dark shadows of abstinence, and avoid the people whose opinions and worldviews you object to like they might be contagious. Have the courage of your convictions, stick to your guns, etc. Geez.
Please don't be put off by this review - 'Bet Me', 'Welcome to Temptation' and select other Crusie novels are some of the best contemporary romance out there, this is just one that didn't hit home....more
I like Tessa Dare, but this one did not tickle my fancy. Having been raised by British parents, I have trouble with excessive displays, and Toby's relI like Tessa Dare, but this one did not tickle my fancy. Having been raised by British parents, I have trouble with excessive displays, and Toby's relentless flirtation and overtly sexual courtship of Isabel was over the top for me.
The "innocent savage comes to London seeking a husband" felt overdone at the start, and got me off on the wrong foot with this pair. Also, the dogged determination on the part of both hero and heroine to set themselves up for failure by both expecting too much and giving too little to their partners actual life goals resulted in much head shaking and teeth sucking on my part.
There are better Dare novels out there, this isn't going to put me off reading her, just a couple whose happy ending seemed very overwrought and was made difficult for no reason other than obstinacy and idiocy. Meh....more
Meh. I usually love Mary Balogh, but this was not her strongest effort. Even taking into account that there's inevitably a fair bit of setup and backMeh. I usually love Mary Balogh, but this was not her strongest effort. Even taking into account that there's inevitably a fair bit of setup and back story to establish a series when you are writing the first book, such as introducing all the characters and cementing them as "the beautiful one", "the plain one", etc. this felt disjointed, formulaic and stilted.
Signature Balogh style is to steer very close to the rocky shores of severely aggravating communication breakdown and then pull back before the crash, by having a good sit down talk between hero & heroine that resolves issues that are keeping them apart. In this instance, it was done with a heavy hand, and I found myself sympathizing with the woeful sighs of the hero as he felt himself drawn into yet another Talk About FEEEEELINGS from the heroine. Same deal with the big declaration of undying lurve at the end. Too mushy, even for a die-hard romantic like myself.
The whole tenor of the book is over-the-top. Don't just say a thing is lovely; declare it to be the loveliest, bestest, most gorgeousest EVAR! Don't settle for moving up the social chain from Baronet to Viscount; go all the way for Seekrit Duke! Don't just gather a bouquet of flowers; decimate the entire field! I have no patience for this much unironic hyperbole and soap-opera dialogue, sorry....more
Hmm. Not perfect, but not awful. I liked the plot-to-romance ratio in this book; the story moved along at a decent pace and the spy drama kept me intrHmm. Not perfect, but not awful. I liked the plot-to-romance ratio in this book; the story moved along at a decent pace and the spy drama kept me intrigued enough to pull me along despite some painful TSTL revelations by both hero and heroine. No matter how pithy the dialogue between two people, it's difficult to overcome the thing that originally drove them apart when it is as hard to swallow as "a guy said she cheated... and I believed him!" as the root of what has driven true love apart. Come on people. I can't stand breakdown in communication problems when they go beyond 'Simple Misunderstanding' into 'Absurd Willful Stupidity'. This was one of those latter cases.
Nevertheless, good points include: decent weaving of actual historical events into the plot, plenty of diverting red herrings, acceptably hot sex scenes, a sweet little "nations divided, joined by love" subplot romance between a spy informant and former military man, and a cat who saves the day.
Bad points include: hero musing about whether he might be capable of raping heroine because his blueballs are just soooo bad (not okay, way to ruin the moment, author), ongoing excruciating lack of communication between all parties (I know it's a spy thing, but seriously), and some over the top "our love is magical and forever" talk in the closing chapters where hero manages to heal the painful wounds of heroine's dreadful past with a marriage proposal and a solemn promise that he won't sleep around anymore. Because reformed rakes make the best husbands, natch.
I'll keep reading the "Fallen Angels" series, but this was not my favourite. Too many things that made me go "eww", alas. ...more