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text 2014-01-23 10:39
Discussion Thursdays with Luxa: When Favorite Books have Babies

Let's Discuss - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Thursdays with Luxa, formerly known as Let’s Discuss, is a weekly post hosted by Thoughts and Pens. Since she took over, Charlotte has changed the name to Thursdays with Luxa if you want to find it on her blog. The discussion posts are supposed to have something to do with books, but you can pretty much choose your own topic. You can link up to your discussion post at Charlotte’s blog, and also visit other posts and participate in the discussions they are having. When you link up, it should be to a post made in the past seven days, even if Thoughts and Pens post hers every Thursday. You don’t have to post weekly discussion posts, and you can participate when you feel like it.

 

Discussion Thursdays with Luxa: When Favorite Books have Babies

 

Actually, first I have to say thank you to Charlotte, because she’s the one who made me come up with the idea to do a discussion post about this point. It seems it is very popular to sell a new book as ‘a mix between The Hunger Games and Vampire Academy’ or ‘This has some similarities to Graceling and Beauty and the Beast’ – these kinds of blurbs really tell me nothing at all! And very often, I find them quite off-putting, too. If someone thinks they are awesome enough to compare their newest book to Graceling, for example, it means my expectations are going to be sky-high, since I loved that series. And at the first thing that either seems like a pale copy, or actually has nothing to do with either Graceling or Beauty and the Beast, I’m not going to be happy I was tricked by that stupid blurb.

 

I want the blurbs to be an actual short summary of the book I am about to decide if I want to read or not – and that summary has to be completely without spoilers, too. It would be great if it was like the short-pitch used to actually sell that book to a publisher or an agent or an editor. I want a book to be able to draw me in all on its own, to be interesting enough for me to pick it up without trying to surf on the wave of popular books that have been released before it. And more often than not – those books that are supposedly the babies of other books (whether those books are among my favorites or not) I will not pick up. Because it’s as if they need the hype in order to find readers, and I have no inclination to be a part of a hype-machine and just feel cheated in the end.

 

Thanks for stopping by, remember to sign up for Thursdays with Luxa so I can come visit your discussion post as well.

Lexxie signature (un)Conventional Bookviews

Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/discussion-thursdays-luxa-favorite-books-babies
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review 2013-10-19 21:45
Nom Nom Nom Recommended Read!
The Wrong Billionaire's Bed - Jessica Clare

Mini Review:

I will be also reviewing this later on The Book Pushers  and will crosspost here. 

 

 

I think this is the best book yet in the series yet and I think each installment gets better and better. Audrey along with her sister are staying in a friend's cabin to help Daphne get detoxed and over the drug addiction she has been battling over the years. But Audrey didn't realise that one of the billionaire club members, Reese who is caught in flagrante with a woman in a hot tub. Things are further complicated when Audrey's childhood crush, Cade comes to stay and Audrey begins to struggle with her feelings for him and attraction with Reese. 

 

I loved the push and pulling between Reese and Audrey. Their scenes together was just amazing and full of sparks and snark. I was laughing out loud when they would start bickering and be at each others throats in one minute and climbing each other at the next. 

This was a fun and sexy entry in the Billionaire Club series and I loved it! 

 

 

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review 2013-10-10 20:03
Book Recommendation! Joint Review: Rogue's Possession by Jeffe Kennedy
Rogue's Possession - Jeffe Kennedy

Joint review with E_bookpusher and was originally posted on The Book Pushers. 

 

 

 

E: So a while ago I read and absolutely loved the first Covenant of Thrones book, reviewed here with Has Rogue’s Pawn. I enjoyed it so much that I started pestering poor Kennedy about the sequel. Time passed and she notified us that she would be writing more in this series so I was really excited and then she made me wait. Happily Rogue’s Possession is now out and I have to say that once again Kennedy blew me away. I stayed up into the wee hours of a workday morning because I was so hooked. I am recommending that you read the first installment before you start this one because they are very closely entwined.

 

Has: I also had a very sleepless night finishing this book because the world that Jeffe Kennedy created was so rich and full of seductive and imaginative details that I just didn’t want the book to end. But I so totally agree about reading or rereading in my case the first book, Rogue’s Pawn because this installment really felt like the middle of the story and it was a true follow-up in the trilogy. And this is a series which has rich and vivid characters and an intricate plot, and I loved that the dreamy but dark overtones from the first book continues to be strong in Rogue’s Possession.

 

E: Gwynn has been struggling with the rules of the world she stumbled into, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. Agreements and interpretation of agreements are all subject to how much power you have, allegiances, and how well you are able to think around the obvious linear answer. Gwynn is at a severe disadvantage because of agreements made in the first book and her lack of knowledge about exactly what her magic can do. She serves Lord Falcon as his battle mage doing what he says while attempting to minimize loss of human life and therefore loss of herself. She also has an agreement with Lord Rogue that she will allow him to sire her firstborn child. He is very eager to make this happen in the fullest extent possible but she negotiated several years before she is required to comply. This also means Rogue has a vested interest in keeping her alive and in as good health as possible. As she starts more intimate magic lessons with Rogue she starts to question why he is so insistent on fathering a child with her only to discover that he can’t tell her. But he is willing to bend/workaround/play with the rules as much as possible to help her discover the answer.

 

Has: This is one of the reasons why I really adore this series, because Gwynn is an intelligent and engaging character and actually used her wits to get out of difficult situations. And like in the first book, her logic and scientific reasoning is a touchstone in a crazy world, where the fae do not play by logical rules, but I do love how flustered or puzzled they become when Gwynn manages to turn the tables on them. I have to say my favourite scenes are when she has to outsmart the fae, who are pretty wily and tricky to interact with, and it was fun to see all the negotiation and sidestepping questions to get information. But I think the best ones are when she deals with Rogue and the way they flirt with each other by exchanging favours but within the boundaries they set for each other. The tension between them which I thought was hot and sizzling in the first book, was an inferno for this one!

 

E: I enjoyed the transition from discovering an entirely new world to one of discovering more about its inhabitants, what drives them, and exactly how even the little things Gwynn does have a ripple effect that grows as time passes. Gwynn also came more into her own with both negotiation and finesse in her magic skills. However, nothing, especially in this world, is gained without paying a price and Gwynn continued to learn that lesson. She was forced to face one of her deepest fears, move beyond her experience to take control of the situation, and allow others the right to exercise their own free will. I was really impressed at how much Gwynn grew over the course of this installment from a bewildered person who was basically a puppet with power to someone who was willing to bend the world rules to achieve what she wanted. I also enjoyed her interactions with Rogue even more this time. The initial power imbalance was starting to level out and Rogue’s perception of Gwynn had changed from looking at an obligation who was making things harder to a desirable individual who could become a partner.

 

Has: Yes! I loved that her character grew so much from the scared and confused woman to a woman who is embracing her magic and using her wits and not taking prisoners. I definitely agree with you that she was more of an equal footing with Rogue, in fact I felt that he was catching up with her a lot of the times especially in the first half of the book. I also liked the hint of things to come with her abilities coming to the fore and that it provided an interesting contrast with Rogue and his own hidden abilities. I really loved the synchronicity of that especially on how it interlinks with their power dynamics. I also definitely agree and loved that Gwynn faced up to one of her major fears in this book, and again highlighted how much growth and changed she underwent, but at the same time she didn’t lose her sense of humanity and empathy.

 

I also adored the new characters that were introduced such as Athena who joins Gwynn’s ragtag crew of friends and servants. It was interesting to see the follow-on effects from when Gwynn initially changed Athena to her becoming more self aware and developing a more serious and kick ass personality that lived up to her namesake. And Walter the Wizard, who like Gwynn found himself in the land of the fae and is a sorcerer, and was part of several of the most humorous scenes in the book which had me chuckling away. They both added colour and humour to the cast of established characters who were alive and so very vibrant that they leaped off the pages for me. I have also fallen more in love with Gwynn’s pet familiar, Darling. He really shined in this book and was part of one of the best combat scenes and who added his own twist in a lot of levels in the David and Goliath myth – when you read this scene you would agree with what he asks of Gwynn later on!

 

E: I loved the variety of challenges that Kennedy threw in Gwynn’s path and I have strong hopes that the next book will allow the aspects of Rogue’s character that I caught glimpses of in this story to come to more prominence. Kennedy created and continued to expand a very visual lush different world. She kept the action, tension, and romantic elements nicely entwined as the story progressed. Kennedy also included a couple surprising twists towards the end, well they surprised me even though looking back I could see the trail of crumbs. This was another great installment that was well worth waiting for. Now I can’t wait for the next one!
I give Rogue’s Possession an A.

 

Has: Rogue’s Possession for me was a fantastic followup to the first book, and unlike other trilogies – this didn’t fall into the pitfalls of middle book syndrome but actually answered some questions and pushed the plot further as well as developing the characterization. I am also left on tenterhooks to see how things are played out because the ending brought many things into play, which I can’t wait to see what happens next. But overall, this installment was really highlights that this is one of the most imaginative, seductive and darkly sensual fantasy romances I’ve ever read. There is a real emphasis on the characters and the plot as well as the world-building which is explored in much more depth but retains the surreal and dreamy tone with great touches of humour as well as darkness. While the romance, which has a real sexual frission is more cerebral but leaves me wanting for the next book and I suppose the best things in life are worth waiting for! But overall I loved how this book ended which was beyond perfect and I cant wait to see what happens next with the eccentric and colourful characters that Jeffe Kennedy has created. This is definitely one of the most unique series I’ve read!

I also give Rogue’s Possession an A!

Source: thebookpushers.com/2013/10/10/joint-review-rogues-possession-covenant-of-thorns-2-by-jeffe-kennedy
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review 2011-05-08 00:00
Babies, Bikes and Broads: The third book in the Cat Rising series
Babies, Bikes and Broads - Cynn Chadwick Oh dear. This is tricky because the author is a friend of a friend. Let me start by saying that despite my overall dislike of the book, something about it kept me reading.

This is the story of Cat, who returns home to Galway, NC, from Scotland to help her widower brother take care of his two kids. What she doesn't count on is her high-school crush and summer romance, Janey, also returning (from NJ). Cat harbors a grudge (20 years later) for Janey's having left her for grad school and marrying a man.

The writing is decent, but Chadwick has a habit of italicizing a lot of phrases and words to a point where it becomes distracting. There are also some editorial issues, like the two spellings of Mama - Mamma and Mama - especially toward the end of the book.

The story is really quite simple and formulaic and it would be enjoyable if the characters were not so brusque and/or contantly quoting platitudes. And the niece and nephew are obnoxious.

Most of my problem with the book, I think, comes from my political perspective. For starters, Galway must be some kind of lesbian haven to the point where it's in the south and relatively rural (or so it seems) and everyone's all accepting of everyone else. And apparently, Cat, who is around my age (41) was sleeping around with a lot of girls in high school. I wondered if she went to freaking Harvey Milk in NYC because even in relatively liberal NJ, back in the 1980s it was *not* cool to be a lesbian. Almost all the lesbians in the book are "beautiful" (as if there is only one kind of beautiful) and femme. There are fur coats, rabbits-feet good luck charms and a hunter who needs to be consulted about a Mama bear.

I think this book is actually a fantasy that attempts to populate an alternate United States with lesbians who just fit into the mainstream and it's all okay. This irritates me because while this book is fiction, it doesn't represent any kind of reality I'm aware of, and I do find it troubling that too many people regard the ability to have chilrend, whether through in vitro fertilization or adoption, and marraige, to be the pinnacle of what will constitute some kind of equality - as if being equal within a system of oppression is a good thing.

Basically this is fantasy of what some of us think life should be like for lesbians. But this vegan left-wing political dyke disagrees and is quite irritated by it. Too bad.
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