After a few lackluster novella, this one was very powerful. Thankless in Death was a bit too disturbing for me, so it was really nice to see a more tyAfter a few lackluster novella, this one was very powerful. Thankless in Death was a bit too disturbing for me, so it was really nice to see a more typical In Death story with Taken. I love how you see Eve's growth as a leader. Where she once fought against reaching out to certain organizations, to play politics, she doesn't hesitate this time. If anything, this book is a solid record of character growth for Eve, and I highly enjoyed it and appearances by most of the cast. This is a great novella to re-read. I plan to eventually read the other fairy tale retellings as well....more
Bland and uninteresting with a waffling heroine, too many romances crammed into one story, a villain that was patterned after Snidely Whiplash and yetBland and uninteresting with a waffling heroine, too many romances crammed into one story, a villain that was patterned after Snidely Whiplash and yet another case of unrealistic magical healing sex. Not bad for a free read, but I wound up skimming most of the book, especially the secondary romance....more
I first read "Cheaper by the Dozen" as a child, and I still love the story of the Gilbreth family. Having seen the original movie (not the horrid ripoI first read "Cheaper by the Dozen" as a child, and I still love the story of the Gilbreth family. Having seen the original movie (not the horrid ripoff with Steve Martin) many times, it's interesting to see how faithful the movie was to the book. I love how the humor is deftly woven with the story of the Gilbreths and the advancements that Frank made in the field of motion study. This is his book, much as the sequel is Lillie's book. ...more
**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The premise was great. The deep glimpses into African American and Spanish**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The premise was great. The deep glimpses into African American and Spanish culture during this era of history is fantastic. The women in this book are fantastic, but they're dragged down by the men and a plot that moves so fast that you nearly get whiplash.
I started off liking Logan and by the end I wanted to hurl him off a cliff and tell Mariah, "Girl, you can do better, now go back and hook up with that preacher man." Mariah voices the issue I had with the romance. It was too, too fast and events that could naturally be spread out over days and weeks were instead crammed into one week. The timing of the final plot twist doesn't make sense either. There was no need to have this story go along as fast as it did. I think if the events were spread out over a year instead of a week, it would go a long way toward making the plot less jarring and Logan, especially, more likable.
**SPOILER ALERT** The book is then capped by an encounter with Mariah's mother that goes over the top. The timing doesn't work out well, and no reason is really given for Mariah's mother pursuing her to California other than for control. There was a lot of actual, solid reasons why Mariah's mother would demand her back, namely the huge impact to her income since Mariah is no longer there to design and make dresses. But we see how it affected one client, and suddenly she's in pursuit. She's one-dimensional to the point where she's a cartoonish villain, which is sad. The layers are there, but we're told about them, not shown them.
My biggest advice to the author: Slow down. Please, just slow down. Try not to have everything so over-the-top and let Mariah and Logan develop at a slower pace. Let her gradually win him over, not just repeat the same situation over and over until it's hammered into our heads. Let her go out on that date with the preacher, and let her gradually become friends with Logan's mother. Don't have everything be magically solved for Mariah. She's a strong, strong woman, she can take a setback without giving up. You have such great ideas and the bases for great characters. Let stuff happen on page, don't just tell it or rush through it. We know they'll reach a happily ever after in the end. So, let us enjoy the journey along the way....more
This was an amazing book. It's power comes in a hero and heroine who are both good-hearted and overcome a lot within themselves and society to be withThis was an amazing book. It's power comes in a hero and heroine who are both good-hearted and overcome a lot within themselves and society to be with each other. There are some who feel the ending might be a copout, but given the little hints dropped by certain characters throughout the book, I don't think it is. I'm in love with the culture of the Tang dynasty as much as I am with Huang and Yue-Ying. The book deftly switches between Huang and Yue-Ying's points of view, but you feel the build up from Yue-Ying's POV. The slowly kindling relationship is intentional, a lot like the lychees that Yue-Ying purchases as the novel opens, gradually exposing the raw, vulnerable sweetness within. If you love historical romances and want to try a new era beyond the typical regencies, I can't recommend this book enough. It reminds me what I love best about the genre....more