My first thought upon finishing Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is...what was that? Seriously, I'm not sure what I just read. This book was part historical, parMy first thought upon finishing Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is...what was that? Seriously, I'm not sure what I just read. This book was part historical, part fantasy, with maybe a little women's fiction, and honestly, I don't think the mash-up was blended well.
** Beware of Spoilers **
Lamp Black is not a time slip novel, the historical portion comes into play through a dual timeline. In the contemporary timeline, Laura is an artist whose just moved to a remote section of Wales with her husband, whose job keeps him in London through the week. Pretty convenient if you want to have an affair with your handsome new neighbor who thinks he's Merlin and you're his long-lost love. Yep. So if this was simply Laura's story and the neighbor Rhys was just a guy without all the mental baggage... But it's not, and furthermore, never promised to be. My bad.
As for the historical portion, we have Megan, a young maiden who falls in love with the magical Merlin of lore. But, did they really fall in love? Either I missed it because I was heavily skimming at that point, or the love wasn't sold, because I didn't see it. So how do Laura's and Megan's story connect? Through Merlin, and through the home Laura lives in. I really expected a larger, more mystical connection between them, reincarnation, perhaps. If that had been the case, or if Laura had this connection with Merlin without the additional weirdness with Rhys, I might have been on board.
Where does Laura's husband play into all this? As the fool, honestly. Sigh.
I feel like a jerk making suggestions about a story that is finished. Like the author should be taking notes on what I think? I simply feel disappointed because I was hoping for an amazing story and feel like I got a something muddled. Or maybe, it's just me. Maybe everything went over my head.
I will say the Wales setting was amazing, and the author used it to her full advantage....more
DNF, 12%. I typically give books more of a chance than this, but this happened: Margaret, by now beyond reason, pulled violently away from him, dislodDNF, 12%. I typically give books more of a chance than this, but this happened: Margaret, by now beyond reason, pulled violently away from him, dislodging her cloak from her shoulders. She let it fall and started to run, thinking only of escape. But in her confusion she ran toward the summerhouse rather than away from it, and in a moment found herself backed against its door, desperate. “Miss Mayfield?” called Keighley. “What is the matter?” His voice held only bewilderment, but Margaret was incapable of noticing. As he rounded the curve in the path and confronted her, she could think of only one thing to do. If she could somehow open the summerhouse door and get inside, she could relock it and scream for help. Surely they would come for her before he could get in. She turned and scrabbled at the door. The lock was new, but it appeared that someone had been tampering with it, for after a moment something slipped and the door opened. Margaret gasped with relief. “Miss Mayfield?” said a deep voice just behind her. She gave a little shriek and thrust herself through the doorway, tearing the shoulder of her gown on the frame. But before she could slam the door again and lock it, the man was upon her. He put one hand on the door and said, “What is it? What is wrong? Are you ill?” “Leave me alone,” cried Margaret, stumbling back into the building. She caught her heel on an uneven floorboard and started to fall, her arms flailing about violently. The shoulder of her dress parted, and as she jerked to pull it closed again her head struck the corner of a small table behind her, and she crumpled, insensible, to the floor.
It doesn't get better from there.
“Oh, take a damper, Mayfield. If you and your wife had not made such a Cheltenham tragedy of this matter, we might have passed it off as the trifle it was. Did it occur to you to ask, ‘Did she fall?’ when you came upon us in your summerhouse? No, you immediately assumed the worst, as you supposedly ‘moral’ people always do, and cried ‘Unhand my daughter.’ Well, your narrow-mindedness is simply not my responsibility. You will do as you please, of course, but if I were you, I would tell the gossips the truth. Miss Mayfìeld tripped and fell, and I was trying to help her.” “Only an idiot would believe that,” sputtered Mayfield. “Indeed?” Sir Justin eyed him with icy contempt. “From what I have seen of your friends, that should cause no difficulty. Good evening.”
Like Justin (though I'm sure he's going to come around to their hysteria), I don't have time for this. ...more
Oh, Pretty Baby. I've read The Good Girl, and thought I knew what I would get from you. Even though I knew to expect the unexpected when reading MaryOh, Pretty Baby. I've read The Good Girl, and thought I knew what I would get from you. Even though I knew to expect the unexpected when reading Mary Kubica, you still stunned me. And I love that.
Pretty Baby is told in three alternating points-of-view: Heidi, a generous wife and mother, determined to help the environment, help those less fortunate. Heidi seems to have some unresolved issues due to a traumatic health event eleven years prior.
Chris, Heidi's husband and father to their twelve-year-old Zoe, a man with a lot of patience for his wife, worry for the potential threat she's brought into their home, and with a sexy co-worker who seems out to snag him.
Willow, a young homeless girl with a baby, Heidi has been watching and worrying about them for days. When Heidi's compulsion to help leads her to inviting Willow into her family's home, a bizarre and troubling perfect storm of events comes to a shocking head.
Pretty Baby did not go where I expected. There are no "good and bad guys" among the leading characters. This is no simple story. I was compelled and surprised until the very end.
It's inevitable that Pretty Baby will be compared to The Good Girl. The structure is similar, with a Before and After, though we don't know what big event divides the two. Mary Kubica has a authorial voice I enjoy: very concise, compelling writing and ambiguous characters. And yes, we do get twists in Pretty Baby. Once again, I'm left feeling unsettled, yet wholly satisfied with my reading experience. Mary Kubica is a must read author.
I've just finished All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue and am having a difficult time getting my thoughts in order. I'll be throwing out some observations onI've just finished All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue and am having a difficult time getting my thoughts in order. I'll be throwing out some observations on the story - I don't recap plots. We'll see how it goes!
- The Prologue was gorgeous. I was brought into young Aurelia's young world, her love for young Max, and my heart was broken right alongside hers.
- Aurelia was FEISTY, and coming from a notoriously feisty girl, I like it. She was not afraid to speak her mind, regardless if it cost her suitors. (If I'd lived in Regency England, the chances of me being placed on the shelf for being too mouthy, independent would have been good) Aurelia was bold and daring, and never backed down or gave in to Max when he was being an ass. Which was always.
- Max was fairly awful throughout most of the book. Basically the only time I liked him was when he was passionate with Aurelia, not in control. I really hate when the hero professes HE doesn't want the heroine, but he doesn't want ANYONE ELSE to have her either. Insulting Aurelia, taking hits at her self-esteem, and taking away her other choices was pretty much Max's M.O. and I thought that sucked.
- BUT, Max does undergo character growth, at the very end. It was just too little, too late, for me. I just really wanted to flick him in the forehead. I will say he does give good grovel.
- What this book does really well is examining the vulnerability of women, particularly unmarried women with no dowery to bring suitors. Aurelia wanted love, yes, but became desperate to marry so she would no longer be a financial burden to her brother and pregnant wife. I can't believe how panic-inducing that position would be, but with the thoughtfulness and emphasis Jordan placed on this issue, I can imagine. And honestly, these women are basically being sold into marriage and sometimes knowing these things actually happened makes me want to hit something.
- The book's pacing felt off, for me. The first 70‰ has a lot of antagonizing between the Max and Aurelia, which seems to go nowhere. Then something important happens. Then the next 25% puts us in another holding pattern. Then the last 5% is where everything wraps up.
- Once again, I'm left thinking that even though Sophie Jordan's books don't precisely hit the spot with me, she's a great writer.
SO. 4-stars for the writing. 2-stars for Max. 5-stars for Aurelia... I think that averages out at 3.6 (ish) stars.
I'll round it up to four, for Aurelia's sake. ;-)...more
Whether it's Historical Romance, or new adult, Sophie Jordan is a good writer.
I was afraid that Declan's "my father didn't love me, I'** 3.5 stars **
Whether it's Historical Romance, or new adult, Sophie Jordan is a good writer.
I was afraid that Declan's "my father didn't love me, I'm so damaged" issues were going to bug me, but it wasn't pushed too heavily, and honestly, the poor guy had good reason. Being former step-siblings, his and Rosalie's relationship had inherent complications. Really good for drama and tension.
The second half of A Good Debutante's was fairly steamy and exciting. And while I didn't feel as if I'd read anything "new" and knock-my-socks-off awesome, this was a good book. ...more
Maybe it's mood, or that I haven't read previous books in the series, but I could not get into The Highlander Takes a Bride. The dialogue, specificallMaybe it's mood, or that I haven't read previous books in the series, but I could not get into The Highlander Takes a Bride. The dialogue, specifically the dialect, had me on shaky ground. I love a good Scottish book, but I had a really hard time reading the dialect as written. THEN... The Hero. He'd gladly accepted a handy and BJ from one of the women on the property previous to seeing the Heroine, but once he met her, he noticed the maid/whore's onion breath, lank hair, and lack of qualities that made a "Lady". Just... I know this is logical for the time, but SHUT UP, ASSHOLE.
I might try this again when I'm feeling more patient. ...more
I wasn't initially sure The Other Daughter was the book for me, but I was wrong. The story had a strong plot that continued to build throughout and coI wasn't initially sure The Other Daughter was the book for me, but I was wrong. The story had a strong plot that continued to build throughout and continually kept me on my toes. The resolution was thorough and completely satisfying, for me.
I'd recommend The Other Daughter to readers who:
- like stories set in post-WWI England, a time period I always thought I wasn't interested in, but am now rethinking. Between the Bright Young Things social set and the amazing London, I was a happy girl.
- like a good revenge plot, specifically one centered on familial deception, class differences, and surprising turns of events.
- don't mind that romance takes a back seat. Please take note: The Other Daughter is not a romance. Yes, there are romantic undertones, but they are subtle and comes strong in the end. Be patient, romance lovers.
I'm fortunate I didn't listen to my long-held belief that I don't like books set in the early-1900s. The Other Daughter was a terrific story, one I'm very glad I read....more
If I Could Turn Back Time turned out the be exactly the book I was expecting/hoping for, but I didn't re** 4.5 stars - the midsection was a bit slow**
If I Could Turn Back Time turned out the be exactly the book I was expecting/hoping for, but I didn't realize that until almost the end. Is that confusing?
The beginning of the book was good. I love the "accidentally waking up back in time to possibly change what went wrong" trope (think 13 Going on Thirty and, especially, Hindsight), and it initially seemed that Ramie had gone back to save the relationship with her high school boyfriend AND her father's life. What Ramie soon realizes is that knowledge doesn't always equal power, and sometimes you don't get what you want, but what you need.
What follows is Ramie's trials of being a thirty-eight-year old in her eighteen-year old body, trying not to mess up the space-time continuum (to quote Back to the Future) and to maybe make a choice that leads her older self to a happier life. Ramie does move from the past to an unknown-to-her-future, learning what impact her changes have made. Some not so pretty, but it does build up to a brilliant conclusion that was just perfect, and left me crying in my soup. Happy tears.
If I Could Turn Back Time is a smart book. Rest assured, everything makes perfect sense in the end. It is very slow-building, so I suggest patience and to let the story come to you. You will not be smacked in the head with plot explosions or big events, but each moment culminating into an ending that is so very satisfying.
Nothing Between Us was HOT. Dirty, filthy, sexy, kinky, dirty, DIRTY HOT.
The story was really good. I knew and adored Colby from previous books and wNothing Between Us was HOT. Dirty, filthy, sexy, kinky, dirty, DIRTY HOT.
The story was really good. I knew and adored Colby from previous books and wanted his HEA. Georgia and Keats were perfect for him. I love a good menage (story), but am not always sold on long-term triad relationships. Loren did an excellent job of keeping all three lovers as equals, with strong voices and equal playing time. By the end, I did believe in Colby, Georgia, and Keats.
Each character got a nice story arc that gave the story conflict and emotion. It was just a really well-rounded book.
But yeah, Nothing Between Us was sooooo dirty. I loved it....more
I had expectations when I picked up The Good Girl. It was everything I hoped it would be: it was dark, thrilling, it messed with my mind a bit, and II had expectations when I picked up The Good Girl. It was everything I hoped it would be: it was dark, thrilling, it messed with my mind a bit, and I didn't know exactly what happened with Mia until the very end. I also sort of wanted an ending that would leave me undsettled. I got that, as well.
The Good Girl unfolds in dual timelines: Before Mia comes home and After. Though we do know Mia is rescued, do not think that the story is not suspenseful. Not knowing the Why and How and Everything in between is where the suspense really grips the reader.
The Good Girl was an unsettling, terrific book, and I can't wait to see it as a movie. I have Mary Kubica's next novel (Pretty Baby) on my shelf. I cannot wait to read it, and all her future novels....more
About half way through this read, I realized I had already read Summer Rental when it came out in 2011. I liked it then and I liked it the second timeAbout half way through this read, I realized I had already read Summer Rental when it came out in 2011. I liked it then and I liked it the second time around. The friendships were strong. The light thriller/suspense aspect was pretty good. Ty Bazemore was pretty damn dreamy.
There were times the plot conveniences were a bit of a stretch, but oh well. I've always adored Mary Kay Andrews's books. Summer Rental was easy-breezy fun....more
"I’ve waited a lifetime for this, Chloe. I want to savor every moment.”
I'm new to the Renegade Royals series, and knew nothing about these characters."I’ve waited a lifetime for this, Chloe. I want to savor every moment.”
I'm new to the Renegade Royals series, and knew nothing about these characters. Even so, their story made me cry. Talk about emotional and so very bittersweet. But also really, really endearing. Tall, Dark and Royal was that good.
I cannot wait to read each and every book of this series. ...more