Tag Archives: 5.50 out of 10

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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Rock Redemption, by Nalini Singh

2 Dec

Rock RedemptionAs most of my regular readers know, I am a fan of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling stories. I have not only read every one of those books; I’ve written fairly positive reviews for all of the full length novels in the series, as well a for a few of the short stories set in the same universe.

I have also read, enjoyed greatly, and reviewed, the first three installments of the Rock Kiss series.

There was no way on earth I wasn’t going to get the next book.

And so, a while back–well before it was released–I asked for, and received, an ARC of this story.

Unfortunately, the reading slump from Hell got in the way; later on, life got in the way, and so on, and so forth. To make an already long story a wee bit less so, here’s a very belated review, filed under “better late than never (maybe).”

Two caveats: I seem to have read a different book than the one I’ve seen reviewed (yes, that’s a hint–don’t read on if you are easily offended), and one of the protagonists is a survivor of child abuse. Read on at your own risk.

Rock Redemption, by Nalini Singh

Kit’s and Noah’s story has been blatantly set up pretty much from the beginning of the series–there’s a very telling scene in Rock Addiction that can be likened to a neon sign flashing: “look! future book protagonists right here!”

Perhaps that’s why, even though I always intended to read their book, I wasn’t as fired up about it as other fans of Ms Singh.

And perhaps that’s why it’s so easy for me to find flaws in the story, the characters, and the writing.

See, this is one of those books where pretty much every trope–and the proverbial kitchen sink–make an appearance. I know I’ve read, and loved, books with an overabundance of trope, but this was not one of them. Not by a long chalk.

Here, have a blurb from Ms Singh’s website:
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Christmas in the Duke’s Arms (Grace Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, Miranda Neville and Shana Galen)

18 Dec

Christmas  in the Duke's Arms anthologyNot-so-incredibly, it’s TBR Challenge time again. The older I get, the quicker the third Wednesday of each month arrives.¹

The theme for this month is a holiday book. While our fearless leader, the lovely SuperLibrarian Wendy, doesn’t restrict the theme to end of the year holidays, I m weak and tend to buy way too many Christmas-themed books.

Also, this is my year for cheating on the TBR Challenge—I’ve only had this book a couple of weeks. Ah well, at least it got read, instead of languishing forever more in the infamous TBR that can be seen from space. And hey, I think this is also the year of the anthologies—I missed four months, and three of the eight I managed to write and post are for anthologies.

(Note to self: do better next year!)

With that out of the way, here’s the review.

Christmas in the Duke’s Arms, by Grace Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, Miranda Neville and Shana Galen

The Duke’s Arms is an undistinguished little inn in the tiny village of Hopewell-on-Lyft. But one Christmas season sees both inn and village seething with adventure, intrigue, rabbits, and, above all, love as four couples find Yuletide happiness.

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The Mistress of Trevelyan, by Jennifer St Giles

13 Sep

The Mistress of TrevelyanThe Mistress of Trevelyan, by Jennifer St Giles

A week or so ago, there was a recommendation thread  for Gothic romances over at Smart Bitches.. While I am not a dedicated fan, I have read a few, and particularly enjoyed Sandra Schwab’s Castle of the Wolf as an excellent example of a modern take on the historical Gothic.

This book was mentioned a couple of times as a good read, I really liked the blurb from amazon, and at $2.99, the price was right, so I bought it, and a couple of days ago I started to read it.

Sadly, it didn’t live to my expectations at all, and some parts were frankly quite terrible.

Here’s the blurb from amazon: Continue reading

Long-lost Mom, by Jill Shalvis

23 Oct

Long-lost Mom, by Jill Shalvis

Even though I have two (or is it three?) novels by Ms Shalvis in the tottering TBR mountain, Long-lost Mom, a shorter romance published back in 1999 by Silhouette Intimate Moments, is the first book of hers that I’ve read.

I have to preface this review by saying that I’m more than a bit flummoxed by my reaction to the book—as you’ll see when you read further.

First the typically awful back cover blurb: Continue reading