Sigh. A cute premise and pretty decent writing is solidly ruined by most of the plot hinging on everyone the heroine meets acting irrationally pissedSigh. A cute premise and pretty decent writing is solidly ruined by most of the plot hinging on everyone the heroine meets acting irrationally pissed at her, and refusing to clue her in to WTF is going on. If you want me to believe that an uptight preschool teacher is the chosen one, for the love of monkeys give her a rock star support team, not these bickering assholes. ...more
most romance novels rely on utterly absurd contrivances and miscommunication to create a plot. Quick has come up with a way to make the contrivance acmost romance novels rely on utterly absurd contrivances and miscommunication to create a plot. Quick has come up with a way to make the contrivance actually BE the plot, and that bit of built-in sensibility works beautifully.
Elenora is a young woman of decent family (because, hell yes regency romance where things like "the ton" are important and all) that's gotten the short end of the stick after her parents die. Arthur is an overly responsible (and, of course, overly rich and overly handsome) gentlemen trying to figure out who murdered his uncle. he figures his sleuthing among society will be far less disturbed by the marriage brokers of the peerage if he already has a fiancee, so he hires Elenora to pose as such during all the big parties one goes to while hunting for murderers. turns out she's quite clever, and really good at digging up the things he's missed, so they make a dynamic duo. also, they're of course swoonily attracted to each other and there's some sex, because this is a romance novel.
romance isn't my typical genre - i just can't turn my brain off enough to enjoy stupid failures of communication, the threat of rape by a dastardly villain, or the reliance on a timidly virginal heroine that so many of them rely on. finding a book that subverts or avoids all the usual pitfalls and is a snappy-paced read to boot? pure fluffy fun....more
right from the beginning of this book, the 2 literary hooks being set are fairly obvious: this is utterly a Jane Austen pastiche + a gentle touch of mright from the beginning of this book, the 2 literary hooks being set are fairly obvious: this is utterly a Jane Austen pastiche + a gentle touch of magic, and there's a talented but homely heroine lovingly supporting everyone else while assuming no possibility of love for her own non-pretty self. i happened to be perfectly in the mood for both of these things, and so 'Shades of Milk and Honey' was an utterly charming read, quite firmly in the camp of comfort food.
Jane and her sister are very minor gentry out in the country (the family isn't called the Bennets, but you get the idea), where their father is working on putting aside a small dowry/living for each of them. Jane is very plain, but has natural talent weaving the sort of household glamour that a well brought-up lady would use to enrich her home. her sister Melody is the pretty one that of course relies on her face rather than any aptitude in a vocation to catch a suitor. a wacky mom, a host of possible suitors in the neighborhood, some balls and parties, a pending scandal of epic proportions, and a bright sparkle of everyday magic all end up in the mix. though the story about this family's escapades is complete in this volume, the writing is plenty enough to have me checking out the second in the series....more
Kenyon has a formula that works for her (and her diehard fans): describe a tortured but hottt bad boy, explain how he got to be so very tortured and vKenyon has a formula that works for her (and her diehard fans): describe a tortured but hottt bad boy, explain how he got to be so very tortured and very very bad, then drop him in the pathof a refreshingly average,sweet caring woman who totally just wants to love him and discover how nice he is underneath his tough tough exterior. this installment is not much different, even though it's about a truly ancient being of immeasurable power. Apparently everybody is going to find their true love somewhere around New Orleans, and it's all going to end out great for everybody, no matter whether God or demons or fate themselves are involved. Pure popcorn fluff of the type that is ideal for beaches and airplane rides....more
a wonderfully ideal palate cleanser for those of us that like lightly trashy fantasy in-between our srs bzns fantasy, this series opener hits pretty ma wonderfully ideal palate cleanser for those of us that like lightly trashy fantasy in-between our srs bzns fantasy, this series opener hits pretty much every note just right. there's a nicely imagined world of magical and mugglemundane people, an engaging plot, leads with solid chemistry, and villains that are deeply dastardly (indeed, if there's anything really wrong with this book, it's that everyone is pretty one-note). oh, and, hey, pretty hawt to boot. special bonus points: you know that obnoxious crap where the plot of a standard romance novel is fueled mainly by miscommunication? well, in this book right here, the heroine gets all worried over something imminently practical she's done, starts to get nervous about overstepping her bounds, and the hero says, "wow, i was such a bonehead to have not done that earlier. thanks for being awesome," and then the plot continues on just fine without the unnecessary silliness. i'll definitely be picking up more of Beardsley's stuff....more
'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasa'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasantness at home (being drug through the gossip rags, abandonment, murder attempts, etc), and therefore neatly avoiding her idiot husband. it's a fun romp through one wacky cliffhanger escape after another, and you don't even realize that nothing actually happened until the end. ...more
a relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sca relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sci-fi where mature, intelligent people think their way through problems that need to be solved, instead of laser-blasting their way through bad guys. it's most definitely a pleasant way to pass an afternoon, with huge bonus points for a slowly developed love story based on mutual admiration rather than swoony teenage hormones. unfortunately, the sci-fi-ness of it all was merely a light flavoring sprinkled through a sandwich of diplomacy and data-gathering that could have otherwise taken place across any remote set of locales that a science team would have to travel to: it all felt very here-and-now, and not so much galaxy-far-away. ...more
Jade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by thJade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by the same team that runs the coffee shop she works at next door. keeping tenants in the joint is difficult due to rumors of ghosts in the place, which ultimately turn out to be true. by the end of this story, Jade has to figure out who the ghost is and why it's bugging her, and what she's going to do about hottie landlord.
one of the most solidly written freebies i've come across, this book has clearly seen the blessed red pen of an editor. the story works very well, being neither the comedic fluffy romance you'd expect with the back-of-book blurb, nor a horrific tale of poltergeist harassment, but with a generally nice balance between the two. characters tend to be messy and nuanced, not cardboard good guys. there are actual friendships between women, not just catty chick cut-downs (crazily enough for a romance novel, this book passes the Bechdel test!!). if it wasn't for the eye-rolling insta-romance and the suddenly silly ending, it'd be a solid 4* read....more
well. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model iswell. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model is alive and well in this age of easy self-publishing. the only reasons i slogged through to the end were a)i read most of it on a lazy sunday where relaxing with something brainless was a reasonable pursuit and b)sheer stubbornness of not wanting to DNF something at 70% complete.
on the plus side, this ebook was mainly typo-free, which has been an pretty frequent issue with SP books. the cover also appears to be pretty professional and all.
on the minus side... alexa is a werewolf, self-declared as the alpha of her pack. the male alpha is the only person over 20-something in said pack. with these two as examples, apparently, the sole qualification to be alpha here has nothing to do with charisma, leadership, natural dominance, or animal cunning, nope - you just gotta be a brash, selfish idiot. she works in an office where she & the gang openly take hits on secretive creatures of the night, under no kind of charter from the supernatural community (as in, other than a paycheck, i can't figure out why they feel the need to kill some murdering bloodsuckers and go out the bar with others, and i can't figure out why the hit-ees don't just bomb the joint). the plot (such as it is) keeps happening TO her, rather than the other way around. there's an obligatory love triangle that appears to be set up for the sole purpose of having alexa reluctantly-at-first-but-hey-sparks-fly-anyway shag 2 different man friends.
an unlikable protagonist is a real kiss of death for me, and this girl has the mindset of a 22 year old mall bimbo, complete with what all ass-kicking alpha werewolves go "huntressing" in: a wardrobe of playboy bunny baby tees. since a plot doesn't bother to show up until 2/3 of the way through, there's really nothing to entice you to stay in alexa's suburban world. ...more
in a recent discussion about Pandora's Star, a frequent complaint was that despite all the awesome new tech of the future, mostoh, this is a fun one.
in a recent discussion about Pandora's Star, a frequent complaint was that despite all the awesome new tech of the future, most of the characters acted like they were from a 1983 danielle steel novel. with that recent blistering critique in mind, i was rather primed to look for the way that imagined technology of the future impacts how the characters live and respond to a SF universe, and Creasy absolutely delivered. these people live and breathe (in a couple of cases, rather literally) the future we find them in, and the story is a great balance between the mechanics of the science and the developing relationships between a crew of "rovers."
clearly, i am a sucker for "space pirates." i thoroughly adore a bunch of scruffy han solos swaggering their way through shady dealings, zipping out of the clutches of some well-dressed bureaucrat who works for The Man. 'song of scarabaeus' certainly had its flaws (e.g., i'm leaving this shelved as "romance" solely because of the presence of the idiotic romance novel trope of some b.s. manufactured reason why "we must never be together"), but the quick-paced adventure and interesting use of technology overcome its issues just fine....more
every bit as ridiculously fun as the cover blurb promises, 'grave mercy' is the tale of a young woman convent-educated to be a skilled assas3.5 stars.
every bit as ridiculously fun as the cover blurb promises, 'grave mercy' is the tale of a young woman convent-educated to be a skilled assassin for the crown of Brittany. our heroine is young and naïve, told nly what she needs to know, but smart enough to figure some things out on her own. most characters get to be nuanced instead of b&w stock, rare for a YA novel. it's plenty silly (especially when the heroine gets bored of dresses and impatient with politics, and longingly wishes for someone to need stabbing), but delightfully so, and imminently readable. ...more