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Search tags: 7-heaving-bosoms
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review 2017-05-19 21:50
The Devil in Spring ★★★☆☆
Devil in Spring (Kleypas) - Lisa Kleypas

This book was a little disappointing, relative to the others in the series. I’m not sure why. The heroine was both strong and adorable, the hero was both strong and sensitive, and I was pleased that the story didn’t stop at the wedding, as so many stories do.

 

But…

 

The heroine’s quirkiness seemed a little cloying. The hero’s willingness to adapt and accept strained my ability to suspend disbelief, even knowing that I have to exercise more determination in this area when I read in this genre. Maybe I’ve just had my fill of Romance (capital R) for now and need to spend some time away from the genre.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Once again, Mary Jane Wells provides an excellent performance.

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review 2017-05-12 13:00
The Shuttle ★★★★☆
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The best part of this book was the story of a smart and determined young woman who travels overseas to rescue her sister from the husband who broke her spirit with deliberate, methodical cruelty. The best (and most surprising) writing in this book is the examination of his cruelty and exposure of the methods of psychological warfare that are used to subjugate one’s partner. It was surprising, because this novel was written in the first decade of the 20th century, long before terms such as “gaslighting” were in common use. I believe the author was exorcising some demons from her own life, as it was written during her turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to wrest control of her own independent wealth.

 

I enjoyed the writing. It is endlessly quotable. 

 

But this novel is not perfect. It has all the challenges of reading 100+ year old literature, the narrative wanders all over the place, it contains some very odd themes with its love-fest of capitalism and comparisons of American industrialist energy to waning English aristocracy, and the last quarter of the story devolves into standard bullshit Romance tropes.

 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much.

 

I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly game, for square 15: “Additional Task: Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!” The story, on its surface, is of multimillionaire American heiresses of a business empire who marry into impoverished English aristocracy.

 

Previous Updates:

4/19/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554280/hp-s-bl-opoly-2nd-dice-roll

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554882/the-shuttle-progress-41-512-pg

4/21/17 - page 53 10.35% "It just occurred to me that the author started work on this book during her very short and apparently turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to take her money, which she had earned with her writing."

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554986/the-shuttle-progress-53-512-pg

4/22/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1555085/the-shuttle-progress-99-512-pg

4/28/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558460/the-shuttle-progress-176-512-pg

4/29/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558785/the-shuttle-progress-242-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558977/the-shuttle-progress-272-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558994/the-shuttle-progress-277-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1559001/the-shuttle-progress-280-512-pg

5/8/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561332/the-shuttle-progress-298-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561502/the-shuttle-progress-303-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561506/the-shuttle-progress-304-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561566/the-shuttle-progress-350-512-pg

5/11/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561965/the-shuttle-progress-433-512-pg

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review 2017-04-16 16:55
Marrying Winterborne ★★★★☆
Marrying Winterborne - Lisa Kleypas

I picked this one up because I had enjoyed the first in the series very much. I had low expectations, though, because the male love interest seemed more the stereotypical Romance genre alpha-male, on the rapey-side, based on his appearance in Cold-Hearted Rake. Much to my surprise, though, the author gave him a more nuanced character in this book, and although he was certainly a bit manipulative, the heroine had full agency. Most of what I like about this series of books is the rediscovery of Romance as an enjoyable, escapist read.

 

Audiobook borrowed from my local library via Overdrive. Excellence performance by Mary Jane Wells.

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review 2017-03-06 13:18
The Grand Sophy ★★★☆☆
The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer

I have to agree with pretty much all the male characters in this story: Sophie is a terrifying woman. Well-intentioned, but a sly and manipulative busybody. A number of her schemes depend on luck, especially her dangerous games with horses. Still, it’s a fun story, and I really enjoyed everyone getting their hearts’ desire in the end, even people who don’t deserve it.

 

I subtracted a star for the disgustingly bigoted portrayal of the Jewish moneylender. I try to judge books with respect to the social attitudes of the time in which they were written, but this was written as a historical romance in 1950, not 1590.

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review 2017-03-04 12:41
Before I Fall ★★★★☆
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver,Sarah Drew

I should have really disliked this book, because (1) it’s YA, which usually wallows in feelings I left behind decades ago, and (2) it’s mostly written in first-person-present-tense, which I usually hate with the heat of a thousand fiery suns. I was convinced to give it a try by two excellent reviews from people I trust, and I decided to go with audio as the FPPT style is usually less obnoxious when read aloud.

 

And… I truly enjoyed it. It’s well-written, and the FPPT style actually fits with the story, and I could get over the adolescent drama, because getting over it is really what this book is about. I won’t go into plot details, because that’s been done elsewhere by more skilled reviewers, but I will mention the few flaws that made this a 4 star read for me. The mawkish romance toward the end felt like an obligatory addition to the plot, because apparently, all YA must include a love story and a teen girl’s life is incomplete without it. And the love interest was a male version of the manic pixie dream girl, and the only truly unrealistic character in the book.

 

A word of caution: As the book starts out, the main character is a truly unpleasant person, and I felt crazy impatient with her and her friends. I might have DNF’d if I hadn’t known that this was the point of the story. I’m glad I stuck with it.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Sarah Drew provides an excellent performance.

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