Tag Archives: 6.00 out of 10

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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“The Seduction of Lord Stone” by Anna Campbell

5 Mar

TheSeductionofLordStoneWhile I am not on twitter, I lurk there, following #not chilled, and two or three people’s stream/timeline/whatever it’s called. I am fascinated by all the things I learn about that way.

Among these many interesting things, I saw that Anna Campbell just released the second in a trilogy of shorter stories about a trio of tonnish widows returning to society after their mandatory year of mourning.

As each of these are only 99c, and as I enjoy Ms Campbell’s writing (and her), very much indeed, I snapped both of them up.

Here are my thoughts.

“The Seduction of Lord Stone” by Anna Campbell

The prologue introduces our three friends, henceforth known as The Dashing Widows. Two of them are nearing the end of their obligatory year of mourning, and they are chomping at the bit to get back out there, and to finally be allowed to live. Instead of, you know, playing the small, background character of “wife” in someone else’s life. Their thirst for life after such prolonged emptiness convinces the third to join in their quest.

The blurb, from the author’s site:

For this reckless widow, love is the most dangerous game of all.

Caroline, Lady Beaumont, arrives in London seeking excitement after ten dreary years of marriage and an even drearier year of mourning. That means conquering society, dancing like there’s no tomorrow, and taking a lover to provide passion without promises. Promises, in this dashing widow’s dictionary, equal prison. So what is an adventurous lady to do when she loses her heart to a notorious rake who, for the first time in his life, wants forever?

Devilish Silas Nash, Viscount Stone is in love at last—with a beautiful, headstrong widow bent on playing the field. Worse, she’s enlisted his help to set her up with his disreputable best friend. No red-blooded man takes such a challenge lying down, and Silas schemes to seduce his darling into his arms, warm, willing and besotted. But will his passionate plots come undone against a woman determined to act the mistress, but never the wife?

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Worth: Lord of Reckoning, by Grace Burrowes

26 Aug

Worth, Lord of Recknoning coverThis book was free back in April, before the reading slump from Hell struck, and has been sitting in ye olde kindle app since.

This is one of two novels by Ms Burrowes that were nominated for this year’s RITA Award for long historical (the other one was Douglas: Lord of Heartache, which I had read a few months ago).

I originally thought, after being unable to finish reading The Summer of You for July’s TBR Challenge, that this novel would do, but, well, reading slump from Hell, you know?

Worth: Lord of Reckoning, by Grace Burrowes

This is the eleventh book in The Lonely Lords, a loosely connected series. As far as I can tell, for whatever reasons, some of these were published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, and others have been self-published. This books is one of the latter, and I had a lot of issues with it.

Here’s the blurb:
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Make it a Double, by Sawyer Bennett

4 Mar

Sensual coupleThis week, Kristie(J) (who is back, blogging! yay!) talked about reading a bunch of Ms Bennett’s books and loving/liking most of them, so I thought, what the heck, let’s give her a whirl. And wouldn’t you know it, this one was a freebie, so I grabbed it.

There is some swearing and some graphic sex, and a bit of stalking, so…reader beware.

Make it a Double, by Sawyer Bennett

This is the second in the Last Call books. It is also young adult, narrated alternatively by the two leads, in first person present tense. Honestly, if I had known that before doing the one-click thing, I probably wouldn’t have grabbed it. Yes, I’ve liked a few of these, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy unless done really well.

Last Call is a bar, owned by our protagonists twin brother, Hunter, who is the main character in the first book. Brody has recently been released from prison after serving five years for vehicular manslaughter. Understandably, he’s having a hell of a time trying to integrate to life outside.

Here, have a blurb from the author’s website:
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The Pregnant Heiress, by Eileen Wilks

23 Jan

The Pregnant HeiressThe Pregnant Heiress, by Eileen Wilks

I don’t know how long I’ve had this book in the TBR mountain range, but I believe it’s probably a few years.

I became aware of Ms Wilks’ category titles back in 2008, and even though I knew even then that she also writes Urban Fantasy (hell, I probably own at least one of these books), I haven’t read a lot of her stuff.

At any rate, I was looking for shorter stories to read this month for SLWendy’s TBR challenge, and happened to see this book on the shelf.

I didn’t like it as much as two other categories I read this month, though, which is why this review is coming to you later in the week.

The Pregnant Heiress is the second book in The Fortunes of Texas: The Lost Heirs continuity. (Amazing fact: the entire Fortune’s Children series, with all related sub series and offshoots, was published during a period of almost exactly ten years—we are talking 69 books!)

Ms Wilks handles well all the limitations of category length plus continuity requirements–a number of characters from other books, both previous and future, must appear, and at least a few clues for future events must be included in this installment.

Still, this story suffers from those constraints, notably in the category shorthand that stands in for a lot of the characterization and most of the plot.

Warning: there’s mention of past physical violence towards the heroine, though not rape.

Here’s the (gah) blurb from my print copy:
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Dark Haven (Wild) series by Sarah McCarty

12 Jan

Dark Haven (Wild) series by Sarah McCarty

This series consists of six short erotic romance novellas—varying in length from 100 to 140 pages—originally published by Berkley in two trade-format, one-author anthologies: Running Wild (2008) and Wild Instincts (2009).

I read these a while back, after reading both Caine’s Reckoning and Sam’s Creed, and it occurred to me to re-read them with an eye to review them this year. Here’s the result.

Warning: this is very, very, very long. Also, erotic romance, which means  graphic sex, graphic language.

Since these stories are so short, I’m going to review both volumes in one post. I’m posting the mini blurbs for each story, taken from the back of each volume, followed by a mini summary/review, with some general comments at the end.

This, however, must be said up front: the world building is pretty perfunctory. Mostly, we are told that there are werewolves around, who live in a number of Packs around (presumably?) the world. We are also told that Packs have very rigid hierarchies and a number of equally rigid traditions and rules, to wit:
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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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