Tag Archives: Romance

The Mountain Between Us (sort of a movie review)

12 Jan

I first heard about this movie on twitter, a few months ago, when the question of whether it was a romance or not was asked (@mostlybree doing the Lord’s work). Looking up a bit more information, I discovered that it is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by…some dude I had never heard of.¹

Which explained, to me, why I had basically heard nothing about the movie until just a couple of weeks before it came out, when it seemed as if the marketing team suddenly realized that a) Idris Elba fucking sells, b) romance readers will go see romances, and c) a romance starring Idris Elba really fucking sells. Suddenly, all sorts of trailers for the movie, highlighting the romance angle, popped up on twitter and youtube.

Here’s one:

 

The short teaser: there’s weather coming, and a number of airports on both sides of the Rockies are closing ahead of the storm. Both Alex and Ben have pressing reasons to get out of Dodge…erm, Boise. Unable to find a seat in the last commercial flights out, and through a connection of Alex’s, they charter a small plane to get them to Denver, where they may be able to catch connecting flights to the East Coast. Unfortunately, their pilot, Walter (played charmingly by Beau Bridges), suffers a cardiac episode as they approach some of the mountain ridges in their route, and the plane crashes. Stranded during a particularly bad storm, in winter, above the snow line, Alex and Ben have to find a way to survive.

Please note: I’m going to go into some detail on the rest of the plot after the cut, so if you are planning on seeing this movie unspoiled, you may want to avert your eyes, perhaps come back *after* you’ve seen it.

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Calling bullshit on “unconventional HEA”

3 Mar

Some of my readers may remember that, once upon a time, I was addicted to the reader-crack that is the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Quitting it was a hard slog, and there were relapses, but J. R. Ward finally cured me, when she decided that killing off the heroine, after she and the hero finally declare their feelings for each other, was a ‘daring’ and ‘novel’ way to play the HEA card, and that that death was part of what makes her books–about vampires and other supernatural beings–so ‘realistic.’

:coughchokecough:

That was more than fine with me–she can write whatever the hell she wants, and I can not read it.

What’s the big deal, then?

Well, my problem is with the marketing of that book as genre romance.

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“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook

25 Feb

wreckedI have said before, all over these intrawebs, that I am a fan of Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas stories.

First, there’s the top-notch world-building: steampunk, alternative history that involves actual political and economic forces behind the different players’ actions, and internal consistency. Then, there are the wonderfully realized characters. What’s not to like?

Well, there’s one teenie teensie tiny snag: how few of these stories there are, and the likelihood that no more are forthcoming. :sigh:

Ah, well, fans of the series can always re-read the published stories–which is what I’ve been doing lately.

Behold, a review!

“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook¹

While this story is set in the Iron Seas universe, and was published after the first three length novels, it is not connected to any of those characters or stories, so I believe it can be read on its own. Keep in mind that that is hard to judge, though, because I read the stories in order, and I cannot un-know what I already know about the world Ms Brook has created.

Here’s a blurb:

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…

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The Kraken King, by Meljean Brook

23 Feb

The Kraken KingI have said before that I am quite the fan of Ms Brook’s Iron Seas steampunk romance series. I have all the novels in print, on my shelf, where it makes me happy to look at them. I also have all the short stories released by themselves in my phone, so I can get a quick Iron Seas fix every so often.

And yet, to date I have only reviewed one of the stories set in this world.

I know, I suck.

I probably  should start with the novel that started it all, The Iron Duke, but I have found myself utterly captivated by the latest full length novel published, and so here we are.

The Kraken King, by Meljean Brook

This novel was originally published as a digital serial starting in April 2014, with the print book coming out in early November. At 568 pages, this is by far the longest of the four novels so far released in the series. Let me tell you that not one of those pages is filler–between action, characterization, and setting, every word matters.

As I said, this is the fourth full length novel, but it is actually the tenth story set in the Iron Seas world. I believe that new readers could read this story without getting lost, though obviously fans will get a lot more out of it, particularly when it comes to some secondary characters. Still, one of the things Ms Brook does best is that she manages to provide enough information about the world within just a few pages so that even a reader utterly unfamiliar with the world can quickly grasp the gist, filling in the blanks as the story progresses.

The blurb from the author’s site:
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Burning Up (Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, Meljean Brook)

30 Dec

Burning UpAs much as I talk about Meljean Brook’s amazing Iron Seas series, it came as a surprise that I had never reviewed the story that forever hooked me on it. I hereby hasten to correct that egregious oversight.

It will be brief, but it will be done!

Burning Up by Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra and Meljean Brook

Not too long ago, in one of the Smart Bitches podcasts, there was a conversation on how effective are novellas as a way to introduce new series to readers.

My knee-jerk reaction is to say that they don’t work for me, but the truth is that they don’t when:

  1. the world building doesn’t hold up in the novella,
  2. events that are essential to the longer stories happen in the novellas (I like the shorts as extras, not compulsory reading, myself), and
  3. when the novella is actually the first few chapters of a novel (yes, this has happened–ask Nora Roberts about Laurell K Hamilton and the Out Of This World anthology)

Three out of the four stories in Burning Up are part, or the starting point, of series of different lengths and success. I will review them as they appear in my print copy. Please do be aware the there’s explicit sex, and in some quite a bit of it, in all four stories.

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Assorted weirdness

24 Sep

Updated 06/07/17: I have become aware that Ms Green is not only transphobic, but that she is currently dating a white supremacists/Nazi wannabe/’alt-right’ guy. So, while there is a lot of good information and sex positivity in her channel for cisgender individuals, her online presence as a whole, and her current behaviour, speak of deeply held prejudices. “Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres” (you can tell who people are, by the company they keep), after all. If you are gender fluid, you probably will want to avoid watching.

Last night I found Laci Green’s SEX+ youtube channel and indulged in an veritable orgy of watching. If you have kids, I STRONGLY recommend you spend a few hours watching, choose a few and ensure your teen watches them. I cannot stress enough how I wish someone had been both knowledgeable enough and frank enough with me during my teens, to tell me half the stuff she’s talking about.

*

This morning I had an interview. It’s in-company, with the idea of finally moving on to a salary manager position. Was depressed once more at the fact that all the people in the corporate office I saw are these skinny blonde twentysomething women who haven’t worked facing the customers in their short privileged lives.

And yet, they are the ones making the decisions, God help me.

*

To cheer myself up a bit, I stopped at my only remaining local romance friendly used book store, where I dropped $30 I cannot afford (hey, that’s nine books, sue me).

Unfortunately, the books! all mine! to read! glow was smothered by the conversation held loudly by the clerk (not the owner, thank you baby Jesus) and another regular customer.

Why, you may ask?

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Michael’s Family, by Kathryn Shay

26 Jan

Michael's FamilyI just re read this old Superromance after reading this essay by author Rebecca Rogers Maher. And, having stuck my oar in with a recommendation, I can’t possibly not review it now, can I?

Keeping in mind that Michael’s Family was published back in 1997 (no cell phones, which has some relevance during a couple of scenes), and that this is genre romance published by Harlequin, Ms Shay’s portrayal of the consequences of date rape feel quite realistic.

So, here goes:

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