Tag Archives: 7.75 out of 10

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke, by Loretta Chase

2 Jan
A white redheaded woman, with long hear loose, wearing a fuchsia gown with ruffles and a ribbon futtlering behind her, as she runs up some stone steps towards a white stone mansion far in the distance. She's caught stealing a glance over her shoulders, towards the viewer.

Last week I said that I would wait before reading the next Difficult Dukes book.

What do you know, I was kidding myself. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether Ms Chase would make Ashmont, drunkard extraordinaire, work for me.

Reader beware: backstory of maternal death in childbirth and paternal neglect (and a bit of a spoiler for A Duke in Shining Armor in the review).

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On Borrowed Crime, by Kate Young

10 Oct
Watercolor-like illustration of a library, with bookcases and a large window in the background, and a desk with books, an old fashioned desk lamp, a magnifying glass, files, books, a mini recorder, and anonymous threatening notes scattered over the blotter on the desk in the foreground.

I had originally planned to read Ms Young’s Crime for the Books, the most recent title in this series; however, I realized that I have ARCs for the first two books, and since I have a thing about reading order, here we are.

Once again, I had not realized this series is narrated in first person past tense; I have a feeling a lot of the cozy mysteries in my TBR ARCs are going to be like this, and I should work to make my peace with it.

Reader beware: some graphic gruesomeness; whiteness (maybe one PoC character, though their race is not specified); old drunkard being a creepy lecher; a whole lot of class privilege; whiffs of domestic and/or intimate partner violence.

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Haven, by Rebekah Weatherspoon

24 Jan
Cover of Haven, shows a muscular white bearded man, naked from the waist up, superimposed on a misty background of forests and snowcapped mountains.

How come I didn’t know this was in first person?

Generally speaking, it’s very rare for me to enjoy first person narrative, and it’s even more rare when it’s alternating points of view. Despite all of which, Ms Weatherspoon snagged my attention from the first page and never let go.

Content note for violence (the protagonists meet when he has to shoot the people chasing her, who have just murdered her brother off the page), language and graphic descriptions of sex, including almost-but-not-quite exhibitionism in public. 1

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Vanguard, by Ann Aguirre

17 Aug

Please be advised: back in 2009, I was Ms Aguirre’s virtual assistant, for about ten months. I was also one of the first beta readers for Razorland, the manuscript that became Enclave, the first novel set in this world.

Despite how much I like Ms Aguirre’s work, I have not reviewed any of the novels in the series, or anything else by her written or published after 2008, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Given that said relationship, as well as my beta reading any of her work, ended about eight years ago, I decided I would review this novel, no matter what. Keep in mind that we are still friendly online.

I was lucky to get an ARC about three weeks ago; I really wanted to publish this review on release day, but…well, you know what happens to plans.

Caveat: there is some violence on the page, as well as violence in most of the characters’ past.

Vanguard, by Ann Aguirre

This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is recovering from, basically, a zombie plague. (Except these are not truly zombies.)

If you have not read the Razorland books, you will definitely have questions about what happened before, especially because there are repeated references to past events, by pretty much all characters. You will also have questions because the world is presented with very little background explanation. It’s not hard to extrapolate and come up with your own conclusions as to what brought the world to this point, but if you truly want all the whys and wherefores, you will end up reading the rest of the series.

Which is pretty damned good, so it’s a win-win.

If you are a fan of the Razorland series, you should know that this is not the beginning of a second trilogy; it is not even a direct continuation of the original trilogy. You should also know that Vanguard is told in third person, from three deep points of view. This is Tegan’s story–one I had very much hoped to read since meeting her in the ruins, during the events narrated in Enclave.

Oh, alright; it’s also about Szarok and Morrow, but the best parts are about Tegan.

Here, have a blurb:
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