Tag Archives: 7.50 out of 10

Heiress for Hire, by Madeline Hunter

26 May
A dark-haired white woman, wearing a golden-yellow ballgown, standing in front of some stairs that look light purple, looking towards the camera.

After reading the ARC for The Heiress Bride, I found this one on sale for under a dollar, and so I grabbed it.

Beware: PTSD from sexual, physical and emotional domestic abuse; explicit sex.

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A Christmas to Remember (anthology)

20 Feb
Cover for the anthology "A Christmas to remember", showing two people, shot from the back, holding hands in front of a red door where mistletoe hangs from a red bow near the top. One of them wears a blue jacket and a grey glove; the other wears a white jacket and a red glove. They appear to be a man and a woman, but the shot shows only a sliver of their silhouettes in the bulky clothes, focusing instead on their hands. The bottom half lists the contributors: Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon and Marilyn Pappano.

Over the years, I have realized that most genre romance Christmas stories are not a good match for me.

No, that’s not true.

Most genre romance Christmas stories at best irk me, at worst enrage me.

And yet, I have so many of them spread all over the TBR cordilleras of doom, both print and digital. (I blame poor impulse control when an author I’ve liked is involved, or if the blurb is clever.)

Anyhow, this anthology (one of several so named), was my choice for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge for December 2022 (“festive”). I hoped that, being short stories, I could read it quickly (I did), and review it quickly (oh, sweet innocent past me).

For what it’s worth, here is the belated review. Beware: relentlessly hetero, relentlessly white; death of parents, death of spouse, death of child (all off-page, as character backstory); some sex, not terribly explicit, on page. Oh, and spoilers for a couple of the stories abound in the review.

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As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making Of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes

8 Feb
Cary Elwes in full Dread Pirate Roberts costume, in a still from the climactic duel between him and Iñigo Montoya at the top of the Cliffs of Insanity. The background has been deleted so it's just off-white, with "As You Wish" in ornate font reminiscent of the 15 and 1600s across the top, and a black banner across the middle with the rest of the title in gold and white letters.

In my original notes for this review, I had written that I got the book because SuperWendy reviewed it, but apparently I dreamed that part. What did happen is that, when I saw the kindle version was on sale in January 2018, I nabbed a copy.

Then there it sat, unread, in the humongous if nebulous digital TBR of doom, until June, when the TBR Challenge theme that year was “comfort read”.

Boy, did I need a comfort read! So I dived in and practically inhaled it, wallowing in all the sweet (and bittersweet) nostalgia it evoked.

After which I still managed to miss posting the review on time; in fact, the original draft was from January 2019, a full half a year later.

However, in the spirit of “better late than never” and “blog fodder!”, here is the finished, and hopefully more coherent, final version.

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“River of Teeth” by Sarah Gailey

19 Aug

Update: edited on May 24 2018 to change pronouns to those preferred by the author.

Last year I became aware of Sarah Gailey on twitter (see here and here). Though I haven’t shared them here, I have very much enjoyed their pieces on Tor.com (they wrote a whole series on The Women of Harry Potter, starting with Hermione, and then there’s “In Defense of Villaineses”, and “Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF”).

Anyway, I finally snagged a copy of “River of Teeth,”  their debut novella, based on something that really almost happened. (Check out The Atavist piece that was the inspiration, or this Wired article for a summary.)

Beware: there’s violence, gore and death on the page. I wouldn’t say it’s lavishly described, but it’s graphic. Oh, and this is not a romance.

“River of Teeth” by Sarah Gailey

This is an alternative history set in the 1890s. In this timeline, H.R.23621 (aka, the Hippo Bill) actually passed, so that hippopotamuses were imported into the US to breed–for meat–in the marshy areas of the Gulf Coast. However, shit happens (doesn’t it always?) and what we have now a body of water where feral hippos roam, a blight on the country and a danger to both the environment and the populace.

Here, have a blurb:
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