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Dark Light, by Jayne Castle

27 Sep

Trigger warning for a discussion of suicide (by the characters) that is…not good. Really not good.

(Note: this review has been in my drafts for about three years; I’m using the process of cleaning it up to a publishable state to try and get back into reviewing, for I’ve read a few really good books lately that I’d love to rave about, but I´m struggling to put book thoughts down into something coherent, let alone readable.)

Original cover for Jayne Castle's Dark Light
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A Study in Scandal, by Caroline Linden

16 Jan

I am trying to slip this one under the wire, see if I can start the year right.

I got this novella, in print, at RWA National Conference, in July 2017, so it was totally in the humongous, overwhelming, print TBR Cordillera of Doom, and therefore it qualifies wonderfully for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge 2019, January edition. Yay!

Also, I’m pathetically grateful January’s theme is shorts, because between life and the reading slump from hell, I don’t know I would have even attempted anything longer.

“A Study in Scandal” by Caroline Linden

While this is one of the later stories in the Scandals series, I wasn’t lost, despite not having read any of the other stories.¹ There was a bit of filling in some of the series’ backstory during the first couple of pages, but it was easy enough to follow.

I did have other problems with the story, but we’ll get to that. First, the back cover blurb:
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Stormy Nights, by Jules Jones and Stormy Duffy

17 May

There really is no rhyme or reason why books languish in my physical and digital TBR Cordilleras of Doom.

Case in point: it had been a long while since I read anything by Jules Jones, though what I have read, I have liked, and there are a number of her works in my digital TBR pile.

So why I haven’t read more of her stuff? (I got nothing¹)

At any rate, back in August 2017, Ms Jones very kindly sent me a copy of this anthology for review. And while my reading has been iffy at best for a long time now, I read all nine stories in the book in one sitting just a few days after that.

Sadly, then the “can’t write to save my life” curse struck, fueled by current events, and here we are now, nine months later. ::guilty wince::

Warning: there is explicit sex and some light kink in all of these. If that’s not your thing, stop here. None of these are genre romance stories, with HEA/HFN, though all are full of hope and joy. Also, Jules Jones and Storm Duffy are two writing facets of the same author.

Stormy Nights, by Jules Jones and Stormy Duffy

This is a collection of nine short stories of varying lengths and genres; some are very romantic, some are more short erotic vignettes than stories, and one is an incredibly poignant fantasy with very strong romantic elements. There are merpeople, and fae, and just plain contemporaries.

In competition for the shortest blurb EVER:

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

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Someone to Love, by Mary Balogh

16 May

This is my (very) late entry in SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge for February. As with my January read, I actually managed to read the book on time¹ but I just haven’t been able to string more than a couple of sentences together for months.

Ah well, c’est la vie, non?

Warning: otherization/fetishization of the one Asian character in the novel.

Someone to Love, by Mary Balogh

This is the first novel in a series about the family of the late Earl of Riverdale, and how his death–and the secrets he kept until then–have affected their fortunes and their very lives. I found the premise very intriguing and read the book quickly and with general enjoyment.

While we are introduced to a rather large cast of characters (I had to check the family tree a couple of times during the first few chapters), as the author is setting up a series of books, the story moves along smoothly, at a sustained pace, to the last chapter or so.

But more on that below. Here, have a blurb:
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