Tag Archives: 9.00 out of 10

Cold-Hearted Rake, by Lisa Kleypas

16 Mar
Cover for Cold-Hearted Rake; background shows part of a medieval-ish stone house and some gardens, in a blueish tint. Foreground shows a white redheaded woman wearing a pink gown, with the back mostly open and no underpinnings, looking at the reader over her soulder

I am trying to keep up with Wendy the SuperLibrarian’s TBR Challenge and struggling some to find novels that fit the themes; not because I don’t have entire cordilleras of TBR tittles, but because I have done nothing but over-commit this year. So when I realized how little time I had to get the reading done and the review written, I went off what I remembered of the “look inside” sample, wherein the male protagonist appears to be a callous and resentful ass.

Spoiler: turns out that neither of the main characters are all that grumpy by nature; rather, they’re reacting to pretty shitty circumstances. BUT I DON’T CARE, IT FITS THE THEME.

(Also, there are letters)

::ahem::

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Saffron Alley, by A. J. Demas

25 Feb
Cover for Saffron Alley, showing a man with short hair, wearing a Roman-ish short tunic, sword belt and holding a round shield aloft with his left arm, his right hand on the waist of a long-haired man wearing a long sleeveless tunic, who's holding a sword on his left hand, his right forearm over the first man's left shoulder as they face each other. The sun is behind the shield.

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to glom an author and enjoy it, and I must say, I’ve missed it.

And yet, I read the second and third books in the Sword Dance trilogy in one day, and now I’m torn between being grateful the author only has five books under this pseudonym/in this world, and bemoaning that there are only five books in this world. 1

In part it’s just because my reading has been shit for almost seven years, but I’ve also grown a lot more grumpy and a lot less forgiving of writing tics. Spacing out books by the same author benefits everyone here.

Readers, people. We suck.

Reader notes: there’s some graphic sex and just a bit of violence, mostly near the end. One of the leads is bisexual, the other is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (entirely by choice); also an undercurrent of xenophobia.

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A Touch of Stone and Snow, by Milla Vane

10 Jan
A Touch of Stone and Snow cover shows a muscular white man, midriff bared, wearing a chaimmail cowl, and bit of pieces of plated armor around his neck, top of the right shoulders, the waist, skins or fabric underneath, holding a steel sword, tip down.

Once again, first things first: heed all the warnings. The world of A Gathering of Dragons is very, very dark.

These are romances, there is always consent between the protagonists, the world building is very progressive in its sexual politics, but the background is of violence, sexual and otherwise. There’s gore and a lot of very explicit sex on the page, and the language reflect this. Also, while considerably shorter than the first novel, this one is still almost 400 pages. Reader, beware.

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Eidolon, by Grace Draven

27 Dec
Cover for Eidolon, by Grace Draven; a redheaded white woman in an embrace with a man with literal gray skin, showing the scar across his missing left eye.
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