I don't think I would have re-read this book if it hadn't literally fallen on my head...as books stored on high precarious perches are wont to do. BacI don't think I would have re-read this book if it hadn't literally fallen on my head...as books stored on high precarious perches are wont to do. Back in the early days of my romance reading life I read Zebra and Signet Regency novels as if they were the air I breathed. My locker at school was crammed full of them so I could grab a new one every time I finished one (in class), my backpack had a couple, my closet was overflowing. They were some of the few I could afford at the used book store as well.
I remember reading this one--I'm a sucker for "switcheroo" romances in any form--and sighing over how romantic it was all was.
Look I was a henwitted and sheltered child so forgive my transgresses.
Reading this now I'm simply APPALLED that I ever found it romantic. Until page 188 (out of 221pages) our romantic male lead Charles Trevor is UNCERTAIN if he still loved the female lead's sister (Elyza) still. Elyza being the beautiful sister he had been admiring from afar for ever so long and whom he thought he was proposing to after spending an evening at the masquerade conversing with.
I can't help but wonder how he enjoyed himself so greatly with Emily (disguised as Elyza). Did he never SPEAK to Elyza? Did it not occur to him that Emily's brand of humor, which largely consists of clever quips and commentary about social foibles, was entirely DIFFERENT from Elyza's more...shall we say narcissistic humor? He claims to have loved Elyza from afar for "all of the season", yet it must have REALLY been from afar to not notice the differences between the two girls even with masks on.
I mean the differences were ENDLESSLY pointed out by Emily or Elyza or others. Starting with how Emily had dark brown eyes and darker blond hair while Elyza had cornflower blue eyes and almost WHITE blonde hair. Maybe the hair could be excused--she could have been wearing a wig--but they didn't have colored contacts back in Regency England so how then did he not notice the eye color when ALL he spoke about was how lovely Elyza's eyes were when compared to the sky?
Let's put that aside for his behavior post-proposal to Emily, aka the "wrong" sister. He legitimately spends 90% of the book saying what a good girl Emily is and how understanding she is to be letting him out of the engagement (at some point or other in the nearish future), but gosh won't it be great to be able to marry her sister? Meaning he's going to be tossed over by Emily (because they "don't suit") and immediately engage himself to Elyza. I'm certain the ton would never be so crass as to gossip that the reason they didn't suit was because he preferred Elyza to Emily (and that's assuming they're nice about it). In all honesty if that came to pass Emily would be looked on with far more favor then Elyza or Charles because the ton would instantly surmise (rightfully or otherwise) that Charles preferred Elyza because she was the beauty.
The only real bright spot in this entire book is Emily. While I couldn't quite get past her constantly sighing over being a martyr (even if she never said as much) I greatly enjoyed her otherwise. To be perfectly honest I wish Lord Beddington (a "rakehell" and ruiner of gently bred women's reputations :eyeroll: more on this in a moment) had swept Emily away. Once her got past the nonsense over Elyza he was far more intriguing, upfront and honest then Charles ever was. He stated quite plainly that Elyza was pretty, but pretty wasn't enough for him anymore. He was bored of it and Emily, with her quick wit and tongue, was perfectly suited to him.
Truthfully Rabe does a terrible job of making him seem unsuitable for Emily. Yes he tried to lure her sister into scandalous things, but really I could well see Elyza chasing him first. Girl had as much sense in her head as a peagoose. He acted no worse for his behavior then most formerly rakehell heroes...but then I suppose that's the rub. Around when this was originally published (1994) I don't think it was quite the thing to have the romantic male lead be a "rakehell" or "have a reputation". From the books I read published around that time and earlier, insofar as Regencies went, leading men tended to have perhaps a reputation as a heart breaker or as having mistresses, but that's as grey as they got. Men rumored to have ruined gently bred young ladies were not likely.
Where was I before I started my love of Beddington. Oh yes. Charles' other sin was to blatantly flirt with Elyza in front of Emily (in front of other guests!), then redden when he realized what he was doing and as an after thought offer Emily some compliments of a less passionate nature. To Elyza it often was "You look stunning!" and to Emily "You aren't hard on the eyes at all". Rousing romantic that he was.
So really I can't help but think the me of 15 was an incurable IDIOT. But I suppose that's bound to happen when your only brush with romance was through the pages of a book....more
Space adventure romance. This reminded me of two of my fav scifi romance authors--Linnea Sinclair and Jayne Castle. Hackett had me going a mile a minuSpace adventure romance. This reminded me of two of my fav scifi romance authors--Linnea Sinclair and Jayne Castle. Hackett had me going a mile a minute with each chapter...and I really want to know about Darc....more
Sooo...remember back in April when I read a book called MY LIFE AT THE MBRC? And how it was literally the most entertaining book I had read in a whileSooo...remember back in April when I read a book called MY LIFE AT THE MBRC? And how it was literally the most entertaining book I had read in a while? Go read my review then come back here because otherwise this review, which is about the sequel to that book, will make no sense at all.
Welcome back to the Magical Being Rehabilitation Center where all your paranormal needs are met! You have female vampires suffering from a fear of blood, teen techie centaurs rebelling against their parents' insistence on speaking in riddles, elves with a stick so far up their you know what they can't see straight, the goblin mafia offering the world's best cookies and of course poor human Morgan L. Fae being harassed by the kiddie Dark Lord.
This my friends is the life I want to live. No joke.
I've been anticipating this book for a few months now and it did not let me down. Let me repeat that--no let downing of my expectations occurred. Not a single one. Well except Devin isn't real. But that's hardly Shea's fault.
Its been 2 years since Morgan joined the MBRC as a human consultant for all things human related. In those 2 years she's become a professor, aided the MBRC in negotiations with the Goblin Mafia (aka her friend Hunter's group), rebuffed Devin's continual flirtations and learned to love the dysfunctionality of the place. But she's a senior in HS now and hard decisions must be made. Like what school to attend...and whether she really wanted to spend the rest of her life steeped in the magic world.
I appreciated that Shea presented Morgan's choice between being normal and staying in the magical one as something she was thinking hard about. We saw her struggle through weighing the pros and the cons (lying for the rest of her life vs. helping an entire culture live more comfortably). It wasn't just Krad (aka Kiddie Dark Lord)'s harassment of her and endangerment to her person she considered, she was honestly trying to figure out if what she was giving up was worth the price.
In the time she had joined the MBRC she did extraordinary things, not because she had special powers, but because she got to know these people. She learned and listened and didn't discount anyone no matter their race, alignment or clothing preferences. Could they have found someone to take up her post as consultant? Oh I'm sure. But could they have found someone who devoted so much of herself to each person's overall happiness not just their species' happiness? Probably not.
I don't want to ruin too much of this because honestly there's a lot to love and gush about. This is a book that doesn't take itself, its concept, its characters or hell reader expectations too seriously. Its cliche to say, but I found Morgan's reaction to Krad to be spot on with how I would have reacted. The way she was constantly ruffling Aysel or his father's lives. The way she wanted what was best for her friends even if that meant being ridiculously dressed and blazingly hot.
Shea captured a character I not only would like to know in real life, but who I completely emphasized with. So no I don't want to say farewell to the MBRC...but I trust that they're having plenty of adventures I'd approve of....more
All my love. Every single bit of it. Just...more please?
+++ I found this book by accident. I follow author Jeannie Lin on twitter (amongst other placesAll my love. Every single bit of it. Just...more please?
+++ I found this book by accident. I follow author Jeannie Lin on twitter (amongst other places), and she tweeted about finding this book thanks to the author tweeting about Lin's book (we're going deep here guys). Now anyone who knows me knows of my love of asian dramas, in particular the sub genre known as "wuxia"...or honestly any asian drama that involves gorgeous clothes, historical time period and at least ONE kick ass chick who slaps around the male love interest. I blame Michelle Yeoh for this by the way.
As the author notes PHOENIX CHOSEN is not a wuxia - this isn't a martial arts fantasy. This is straight up fantasy. Which hey not complaining about that at all. In terms of comparison this is more akin to Juuni Kokki (or The Twelve Kingdoms) in that it focuses on a young girl, tossed into the political intrigue and violence of a Kingdom searching for its leader, who previously was (at best) mediocre at all things. Through quick wits, a touch of recklessness and some damn loyal compatriots, things sort of kind of work out in her favor.
If you blink and look sideways. There will be more books soooo we'll see how long that works out for Estyria.
Estyria, affectionately known as Phoenix, is having a rough run of luck. Her life is pretty aimless, her love life is non-existent and she just got hit by a mini van...who's driver sped away pretty quickly. She awakens to a world straight out of some Chinese drama, next to a guy who she doesn't know and soon falls unconscious after another guy threatens her life.
All in all its not what you'd call a stellar first impression of things.
Really she takes things very well considering. Once its all laid out to her she becomes pretty determined and while she holds it against Sethalor and Aedrian, that's hardly her fault. One seems to alternately despise her and be attracted to her, while the other definitely is attracted to her, but is almost resentful that she can't remember what they may mean to each other. And that's before she decides to take on the only option she has to get home, which is to enter into candidacy for the throne of a land that exiled her family.
In the beginning there's a lot of confusion as Estyria attempts to navigate everything. The position her grandparents hold requires a lot of etiquette and very careful consideration of everything she says or does. Regardless of her parents' exile, Estyria is now bound to the traditions and sanctions of the land and as such needs to learn real quick how to fit in. This isn't without its own troubles; Sethalor and Aedrian prove to be hard to decipher, while she doesn't entirely want to trust the grandparents who seem content to let their daughter be tossed out. Not to mention her own trust issues spilling over from a trauma in her past that she hints at, but doesn't want to examine.
Sethalor, or Seth, is everything that is respectable, refined and elegant. He's nominally in charge until a new ruler is chosen (by Heaven), but he hates the court and everything it has taken from him. He's adept at keeping his emotions in check, but at the same time he's reckless when those he cares about (Aedrian or Esytria) are in trouble. I got a bit tired at his wounded lover looks towards Estyria though, as several characters point out its not helping anyone so he needed to focus more on the present.
Aedrian. Oh Aedrian. Let me just hug away all your troubles dear one. He's brash, aggressive and blunt to the point of insolence at times. His own mixed up feelings for Seth tend to make him act first, so when he restrains himself its impressive. He starts out the story extremely hostile and antagonist towards everyone except Seth which doesn't really change by the end (now that I think about it). BUT as the story unfolds its becomes obvious that these two have faced a lot together so maybe its justified.
In terms of world building--its lush and beautiful and detailed. Some of it is really complicated (I'm still a bit loosey-goosey about the political climate and how it connects to our world) and some of it I think will be expanded upon in the next book, since much of the background took back seat to the current problems at hand (ie: saving the land from starving and thus being invaded). What I liked was that while if the reader was well versed in asian culture(s) there's a lot to take away from the story, if they're not Xia does a wonderful job examining and explaining the culture without ever dropping heavy pieces of info-dumping.
I've already blathered on a lot longer then I meant to, but the bottom line is that I can't recommend this loudly enough. For fantasy fans looking for something not anglo-influenced, for fans of political intrigue or readers who enjoy watching a female main character take charge of her fate, this is perfect....more
I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as THE LOST SISTERHOOD. I think the basic premise here appealed to me somewhat less and I could see certain ploI definitely didn't enjoy this as much as THE LOST SISTERHOOD. I think the basic premise here appealed to me somewhat less and I could see certain plot element threads that Fortier carried throughout both books...more
**spoiler alert** The Nightmare and the Mad Man. By far my favorite of the series to date.
+++ Vincent, who was introduced to the series as trying to ma**spoiler alert** The Nightmare and the Mad Man. By far my favorite of the series to date.
+++ Vincent, who was introduced to the series as trying to manipulate Jordan in the first book to save his father (and paid the price for it, of which we saw the result of in the last book) and Mirren who was introduced in the last book as manipulating Rook (and by default Jordan) to save her son, have come together to cut out the middle man and take care of business themselves. The business? Ridding the world of the menace known as AtreidesDidier Lambert, Mirren's father and the architect of what the world knows as the Reve.
He also happens to be a meglomaniac with a God Complex willing to sacrifice anybody to "The Sandman" in his bid for world domination. But that's the least of his flaws where Mirren and Vincent are concerned.
I gotta admit I didn't much like Vincent until he mentally broke. Mirren notes that "waking" Vincent is just a little too perfect, a little too Hollywood and that sums up my issues with him in the first book. He was aware of the fact as well, but now that he's fought nightmares and survived he's a wonderful kind of unbalanced that fits with Mirren's own madness well.
In odd ways this is one of the most functional relationships I've read about in a while. These two are unfailingly honest with each from the start, support each other through everything, have faith the other is working towards goals of mutual interest and hide nothing. It was honestly refreshing for to read. If either had doubts they talked about it together, how it would effect them both, how they could find a solution for it together.
Meanwhile Coll manages to be his own somewhat insufferable self and Masie pops up to remind everyone she's a creative badass so don't forget it.
Didier...he was...its hard to really get a feel for this guy. He's a larger then life prescence in the other books - omnipotent, deadly and a menacing figure. This book picks up right where the last one left off, so we get to see Vincent's confrontation (spoiler: it doesn't go exactly as planned) and Mirren's conflicted feelings. (which again, she talks to Vincent about and they discuss what that means for the two of them together with no additional drama. In fact at one point Vincent's like "I'm killing your father, is that okay with you?" and after a moment of soul searching Mirren replies "That's between you and him, I won't interfere." THANK YOU MIRREN FOR YOUR LACK OF MELODRAMA)
I'm not sure how long this series is going to go for, but at this point it just keeps getting better. Next installment we get to watch everyone deal with the fall out from revelations about "The Sandman", a couple deaths and Masie on a roadtrip. Which...that can't possibly go well for anyone....more
This is a four for now, based on the ARC ending. Michelle confirmed via twitter the final published edition would have a different ending (though howThis is a four for now, based on the ARC ending. Michelle confirmed via twitter the final published edition would have a different ending (though how different I din't know). When it comes out I'll update this to reflect how I feel about both.
For now I'm a ball of grief for what happened, though it felt a somewhat abrupt. Will there be another book to resolve the dangling threads? Does the published ending resolve them better?
Grace is at times hard to feel sympathetic for. She may not have been born to this life but she continues being part of it. And as she admits the only truly unforgivable thing is being naive. As this is from her point of view (and knowing something goes badly) it's hard to see the signs....more
Sara was and remains my favorite Governess Club member. I am acutely aware of what it is like to become so overwhelmed by anxious thoughts that the meSara was and remains my favorite Governess Club member. I am acutely aware of what it is like to become so overwhelmed by anxious thoughts that the mere act of breathing is impossible.
Her revelatory moment reminded me of Penelope's in the movie PENELOPE (and in fact much like that character Sara took her love life in her own hands uncertainty be damned)....more
**spoiler alert** I'll be frank - I disliked Carter for the majority of this book. I liked him in the beginning, before the whole fake marriage thing**spoiler alert** I'll be frank - I disliked Carter for the majority of this book. I liked him in the beginning, before the whole fake marriage thing took hold of the plot and he became the biggest angst-puppy this side of Jacob. Soon as he realized how attracted he was to Faith I developed a strange case of insta-hate just add idiot werewolf. It didn't help that Miller is somewhat inconsistent with his "tone" when its his third person view either.
Faith is pretty consistent--her insecurities are front and center from the very beginning and they don't really change. Carter though spends so much time lying to himself about what he wants from his fake marriage to Faith that his true feelings never come off as genuine. He goes from flirty best friend to hot and heavy wannabe lover with baggage the size of Texas in under a minute.
I also felt as if Miller was really confusing with her terminology. For instance the whole "luminary"/"mate" thing. Those who read paranormal romance know that "mate" pretty much means "the one you're destined for and is absolutely perfect for you forever after". Especially in most shifter/werewolf romances. I think in this world, which I didn't get this vibe from the first two books, "mate" is akin to basically "spouse" and doesn't hold the forever after connotations. Mate and Luminary are used pretty interchangeably throughout the books though so I got a little confused. Nate (Carter's rival for the detective spot) says he found his mate. Carter claims that his first (cheating, shrew of a deceased) wife was his Luminary.
And apparently despite the fact that finding your Luminary means you get a longer lifespan (it goes from hundreds of years to a thousand or something like this, so hey Methuselah!) it doesn't stop you from contracting werewolf only blood born diseases that can kill you. Which seems kind of jacked up honestly. "Here's your fated mate! Oh but too bad she's gonna die a couple decades INTO your bond" Way to be a dick Fate.
Nate bothered me as well - why in the name of my books would the Bureau want a tattle tale to be their Detective? Seriously. This guy was literally going to run to his and Carter's superiors to tattle on him about breaking the rules THEN when Carter halted that train he instead decided to just besmirch his name. Really? This is the kind of guy you want investigating sensitive cases? Yeah you're going for the same job, but wouldn't it benefit your case MORE if you weren't seen as going behind your comrade's back?
I liked Faith, thought she was a spitfire and feisty and certainly emphasized with her, but Carter kind of ruined their romance for me. Especially near the end when he goes beserker upset at her over a stupid little thing. Like I was worried he was going to hit her even though I knew him to be the romantic lead beserker upset. Okay so really this book didn't do much for me. ...more