If you are new to his work then yes this is a good start off. But if you are collecting his work, this doesn't really add anything new that other bookIf you are new to his work then yes this is a good start off. But if you are collecting his work, this doesn't really add anything new that other books don't do a better job of displaying and elaborating on. A lot of the artwork shown in this are the most popular (repetitive) massed produced prints you see everywhere that are his most recognizable works. I've only skimmed through it but the blown up cropped in pictures used as chapter intros are super grainy and poor quality, they're kind of an eye sore.
The highlight? Photographs of his models in his studio posing for him for his pieces. Love that....more
Probably the most in-depth cohesive catalog of all of Mucha's work and life. It's very thorough in the timeline of Mucha's work and different mediumsProbably the most in-depth cohesive catalog of all of Mucha's work and life. It's very thorough in the timeline of Mucha's work and different mediums he worked in. I appreciated seeing photographs of him and his line drawings and works of his that I haven't seen before.
This a very hefty book which I'd say is a coffee table book just by the size and weight of it. ...more
Was an ok 3 stars until the last 20% with the lame melodrama. Went from thinking the heroine Vivian was decent & whatever to just annoying, selfisWas an ok 3 stars until the last 20% with the lame melodrama. Went from thinking the heroine Vivian was decent & whatever to just annoying, selfish and immature with how she handled the fallout. (view spoiler)[ You find out you are pregnant with the hero's baby and decide to sit on it, refuse to tell him and drag out telling him because of a stupid lie. He didn't tell you about a family secret, get over it. (hide spoiler)] That's always a trigger for me, (view spoiler)[keeping a pregnancy a secret (hide spoiler)] I can't stand it. Especially when authors write heroines this way thinking it's justified over some stupid overblown weak conflict. Especially when it's misinterpreting something and a character refuses to hear a person out. It's annoying as shit and makes for piss poor conflict.
This was very tepid in comparison to Gibson's Nothing But Trouble, where charismatic spit fire Chelsea pulled you in with her big Hollywood dreams.....here in comparison Vivian the "A-list" rising star actress came off more dry, self-involved, closed off and oddly flat. I found her and the romance to be very very dull and so tame. Neither MCs struck a chord with me. Henry was sweet but I didn't feel or see the sparks between these two like I was hoping.
And who the hell is editing Rachel Gibson's books??? I've let it pass before since I enjoy her writing so much but damn, this is getting really bad. She's the only author I know of (signed on to a big publisher) who has obvious typos in every one of her books. Things get missed time to time but every book? Something isn't right. I usually let it slide when it's between 5-10 mistakes, but yeah can't excuse it anymore. The amount of typos, grammar mistakes, poor punctuation, missing words in this one was insane and hard to miss. For a well seasoned author this isn't a good look. Whoever is Rachel's editor needs to seriously stop sleeping on the job or pick a new profession cause this is ridiculous. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The number of times I *almost* DNF'ed this one is a new record for me.
This had so many things going agaiThis made me want to stab things. Repeatedly.
The number of times I *almost* DNF'ed this one is a new record for me.
This had so many things going against it that I'm wondering why Vicky Dreiling even bothered with this.
1. The hero and heroine dance a waltz at a ball and have a charged ‘moment’ where he’s about to kiss her. The ton at the ball notice it and what do they do?......applaud. Applaud? Really?? Not in a million years would such a thing ever happen in Regency London. Get real. This made no sense and such a contrived forced plot point to drive the hero to announce he has no interest in the heroine which leads to her running off crying like a 5 year old and moaning about it through the rest of the story. He broke her heart! Oh nooooos.
My Gawd. You need patience for this.
2. The heroine Julianne. Rose of the first water, pearl of her mother’s eye, fart of the rainbow g-ds, jewel of the ton, who is so beautiful and vivacious that men flock to her. While mooning over the hero Hawk for 4 years, she’s turned down 12 proposals. Yes 12. But she didn’t lead any of them on, oh no. It was just harmless fun! But...ok on second thought maybe she did lead them on. Just a little. Oh dear. Oh how selfish of her. How cruel! She must learn from her mistakes and not lead other men around by their noses, it’s just not right.
She's just that kind and simpering tenderhearted. Why she has 5 young men currently clambering over each other to spend time with her, these men (universally) labeled ‘the cubs’, follow her everywhere. How sweet! But she must tell them she only sees them as friends. She must. She’ll do it after the ball. No wait, after the theater. Nope, dinner. Uh after the curricle ride. Oh wait..next week.
Just….really? How any of this doesn’t come off as anything but obnoxiously pretentious amazes me. And labeling 5 suitors as a group of cubs every time they show up vying for her attention is so irritating and stupid. It only further makes your character come off as self-important and cloying as she seems. It’s not cute. She sounds as feather brained as her giggling friends.
3. The infamous pamphlet. The stupid asinine infuriatingly pointless pamphlet. There was absolutely no point or reason to this considering it had absolutely nothing to do with the plot and the ‘advice’ comes from an extremely naive, inexperienced heroine who doesn’t even understand the basics of sex much less second base. Her sponsor gives her all these general ill-advised tips and so in a misguided silly attempt at "revenge" she decides to write a pamphlet to help other girls avoid her mistakes and find a husband. Um. Your mistakes? You count puppy love getting dashed as a life altering mistake? Uh...ok. lol But she knows what she's doing, she's an A-dult. Reputation, shmeputation. No one will find out she wrote this, cause Aunt Hester said so.
4. The heroine’s sponsor is as ridiculous & childish as the idiotic debutantes in this book. Great aunt Hester’s only point in this whole story is to coddle validate the heroine’s air-headed self-absorbed beliefs and naive thoughts of wounded vanity and self-superiority. She’s either always encouraging the heroine to counter argue her nephew (who is the heroine's guardian) or pull stupid stunts & publish that fakakta pamphlet. 'Eccentric elder aunt’ or not, who in their right senses would encourage 3 young innocent ladies to take a stroll alone with 5 young bachelors in Vauxhall park?? AT NIGHT????
5. All the characters are immature & stupid as sh*t.
Georgette spied the unlit path and halted. "Oh, look. That must be one of the famous dark walks." Naturally, everyone had to stop and look. The branches of the tall trees formed a canopy over the dark walk, making it look even more forbidding to Julianne. She imagined a villain grabbing an innocent young lady and dragging her down that secluded path. Chill bumps erupted along her arms. Sally shivered. "Oh, it looks scary." Georgette edged closer to the dark walk. Then she turned with a sly grin on her face. "I think we should walk a few paces down the path so that we can say we've actually been on one of the dark walks." Julianne rolled her eyes at her feather-brained friend. "Georgette don't be silly." "It's only a lark," Georgette said. "Let us make a pact never to reveal we walked there." Beaufort cleared his throat. "Lady Georgette, I cannot allow you to embark on that path." Julianne bit back a grin, knowing Georgette would consider Beaufort's words a dare. Georgette giggled, lifted her skirts, and tapped her toe on the path. "Oops, I stepped on the dark walk."
6. Where was the romance? The constant push and pull between the hero and heroine was very choppy and static. One minute they are arguing then out of nowhere flirting then suddenly kissing. Copy, paste, repeat. It made no sense and came off so one-dimensional and extremely mechanical. The sex scenes are the most obvious examples of that. How you go from 'just one kiss' to oops we are grinding on the bed with our clothes off is so jarring. There is literally no transition or build up between these two whether it's just sparring and flirting or kissing and having sex. The explosive moments that leads to characters taking that final leap was completely nonexistent which just made the whole 'romance' fall very flat. All Hawk did in this was flirt, wink excessively, and reprimand Julianne like a child. Literally NO effort was put into showing these two actually falling in love, it's just.....there. And I generally love best friends falling for friend's younger sister plot, but none of this made any sense. More energy and page time was spent on the heroine crying the house down because the hero doesn't return her feelings and that stupid pointless pamphlet. Why anyone would get so sniffy over writing an advice piece and defending it when they literally have NO experience in seducing anyone is beyond me. Getting high and mighty over something you have no experience in makes you look like the biggest fuckwit. Vicky's editor should have dissuaded & tossed out this nonsensical plot at the very first pitch.
The only person in this entire story that had any sense and showed maturity was shy wallflower Amy (heroine of Book 3). And I'm so glad she got a better story and hero than this confusing bizarre scattered mess....more
3.75 stars First, shout out to my friend Beanbag for gifting me this story. This was her way of protesting the outrageous price inflations publishers a3.75 stars First, shout out to my friend Beanbag for gifting me this story. This was her way of protesting the outrageous price inflations publishers are charging readers for kindle and hardcover books. Thank you so much for including me in your protest and choosing to share some of your favorite authors with me. Thank youuu!
A twist to the Beauty and the Beast fairytale that is probably not for everyone. I wasn’t sure if it was for me given the heroine of this story. Oooh boy. Louvaen Demunda puts any and all sharp tongued self-proclaimed shrews to shame.
She’s something else. I usually, normally write off uptight pinched mouth heroines like this after 5 minutes, especially if they spend so much time strong arming and verbally incinerating others without batting an eye. And oh yes she’s one of those. Brace yourself. But….she grew on me. Beyond the prickly exterior, you have to really admire her strength, intelligence, resourcefulness and sharp wit. She showed the bravery and spine usually saved for the heroes of the story who come charging in guns blazing, Louvean did a lot of the saving here instead. Of herself and those she loved. So kudos there!!!
Now I personally could have done without the whole ‘are you still a virgin?’ drill sergant routine she would obsessively screen her sister with. That got tiresome and went really overboard. I didn’t like her much when she was in Dragon Sister Mode. It was overbearing and just too extreme and reminded me of what a grandmother would do. But when she’s around the hero Ballard, I enjoyed her. I honestly was surprised how easily she warmed up to him. I found it a little *too easy* to be honest given her guarded tempermental personality. She doesn’t trust very easily and yet somehow seemed to warm up so quickly and easily around Ballard. I found it sweet yet conflicting to her character.
Grace Draven's stories and style of writing isn't for everyone. It's fantasy, fairy tale, historical, gothic combined. Her dark writing with funny spots of humor oddly works. There are some moments where you question what era exactly the story takes place given some of the colorful unvarnished blunt dialogue. There are a lot of twists and turns on this take of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. Instead of one cursed "prince" (no Princes here) you are dealing with two. (view spoiler)[Instead of true love breaking the curses, it causes more chaos. (hide spoiler)] I thought Ballard was way too kind and forgiving of his crazy wife who cursed not only him but her own son as well. The curse itself is so layered with so many trap doors that you can't help but feel hopeless for both men and the women who love them.
Now the reason I’m struggling between 3 and 4 stars are 2 reasons. One, the pacing was too slow in the second half, especially at the 70% mark I felt things came to a crawling hault for no reason. It felt more like a conclusion rather than 30% left of the story to go. The author deciding to focus and drag out the final show down between Lou and Jamenin (Gaston in this case) just took forreeeeever to wrap up. Your protoganisits are literally withering away in a castle but yet you are focusing on the mundane daily going on of making tea, sitting by the fire and bickering with neighbors?? It just ruined any sense of urgency and climax. It made the payoff a little underwhelming in the end because I just wanted them to…. just.... get…...there. As much as I loved the characters I found myself really fighting not to skim pages to get to the end. How many cursed fluxes do the poor guys have to go through??
The other thing that I didn’t 100% love? Ballard’s final ‘beastly’ form. I know I know, that seems too specific and nitpicking but I’m a visual reader. If I can’t picture things clear enough, my mind wanders and I scramble to fill in the blanks and what I kept coming up with during the final face off just….....wasn’t very impressive: (view spoiler)[
Not very frightening to me. :/ I just felt underwhelmed and scrambling to visualize what exactly he looked like with all that tree bark and patches of hair?? on his body. And his face to me was one gaping hole, and that bugged me. The way the author described it was too abstract. He doesn't need to look like a literal beast but help me out a little cause a lumbering tree man with glowing eyes is not really horrifying. (hide spoiler)] Gavin's transformation was much more terrifying and impressive in comparison.
But overall, nice twist to a fairytale. I enjoyed this and will definitely read more Grace Draven stories.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more