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review 2018-02-01 22:08
Review: A Right Honorable Gentleman
A Right Honorable Gentleman - Courtney Milan

A short, fun romance that wasn't quite as satisfying as I'd have liked. The hero says he's changed, but with such a short story, there's no room to see that he actually has versus if he's just trying, but soon to fall back into old habits.

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text 2018-01-31 12:00
January 2018 Reading Wrap Up
Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 - Stephen Puleo
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin

Pretty average month, mostly in the 2.5-3 stars range; however it was productive, thanks to COYER, BoB Cycle 21, and 24 in 48 challenges. The books attached to this post are my highlights for the month.



BL/GR: 13/52 (25% completed)

COYER Winter Switch

              The Strict: 6 read this month; 10 books read overall for this phase

               The List: 6/30 (5% complete); 2 DNF

Participated in Bout of Books Cycle 21

Participated in 24in48 Read-a-thon



1. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill - 3 stars


2. Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flatts by Kristen Iverson - 3 stars


3. The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich - 3 stars


4. Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo - 4 stars


5. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking - 2 stars


6. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David von Drehle - 2.5 stars


7. A Right Honorable Gentleman by Courtney Milan - 1 star


8. Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson - 4 stars


9. Love is Love by Various Authors - 3.5 stars


10. Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole - 4.5 stars


11. The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars


12. The Jade Temptress (Pingkang Li Mystery #2) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars


13. Agnes Moore's Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole - 2.5 stars



Something True by Karelia Stetz-Waters at 18% because I only liked one MC and the side characters were extremely annoying or stereotyped.


Currently Reading:

Gambled Away by Various Authors

The Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

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review 2018-01-21 21:18
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan

The Siege of Yorktown 1781. Colonel Hamilton has his army in place and is just obliterating the small town while awaiting for reinforcements. Two of the stories arise from the battlefield; the third is tied to the descendant of someone at Yorktown. They share their stories in letters and interviews with Eliza Hamilton as she writes her husband's biography after his death (roughly in the late 1810s and early 1820s).


Promised Land by Rose Lerner - 4 stars

Rachel faked her death to run away from her marriage and towards Washington's army. She meets up with her husband (one of Washington's spies) at Yorktown. I love a good "can this marriage be saved?" trope in historical romance and this one delivered. Both MCs are Jewish and the story really shined with the choice to have the MCs be of a religious minority; certain scenes that depicted how the Jews dealt with Jewish law and customs while also serving in the military were used to deepen their relationship. I thought the one sex scene was shoe-horned in and didn't add to the story, but by the time it happened I was already rooting for Rachel and Nathanial's HEA. This was my first time reading Lerner, but it won't be my last.


The Pursuit of.....(Worth Saga) by Courtney Milan - 4 stars

This novella falls third (or maybe #2.5) in the Worth Saga series, but you don't have to read the first two books to understand what is going on in this story. John Hunter is an ex-slave (ran away from his master, then returned to rescue his sister and mother) living in Rhode Island when the call for black men to enlist in Washington's army comes with an entitlement to freedom papers after the war. John's sister is married to enslaved man, so to keep her man at home while also earning his brother's freedom papers, John enlists in his stead. At Yorktown, he meets British Lt Henry Latham (see post from last week). John helps Henry escape from the British army; in return, Henry accompanies John on his way back to Rhode Island and his family. I love road trips, although this one is longer due to being on foot. There is stinky cheese, the sexual politics and morality of slavery, plus actual courting after John is reunited with his family and Henry goes back to Britain. I loved John and Henry, and seeing them as older men (thirty or so years after the HEA) was a real treat. The Milan magic is in full force here.


That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole - 4 stars

This novella ties into another of Cole's stand alone novellas, Be Not Afraid (from the anthology For Love and Liberty). In this novella, Andromeda Stiel (granddaughter of Elijah and Kate Sutton from Be Not Afraid) visits The Grange in her grandfather's place to give his story of serving under Hamilton (both in New York and Yorktown) to Eliza. It is at The Grange that Andromeda meets Mercy Alston, the maid and secretary for Eliza. I finally get a Boston marriage-style HEA! This is the shortest of the stories, as there is no military action or duties to add to the story. It also has a mostly fade to black sex scene.


I gave a half star more because of the authors' notes found in the back of the book. The authors tell the readers where they got their inspiration (each acknowledged Lin-Manual Miranda and his show) and historical research, plus what drove them to put the project together in the first place.

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text 2018-01-20 19:19
2017 Year in Review: Stats
Shadowhouse Fall - Daniel José Older
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (The Lady Sherlock Series) - Sherry Thomas
Food of the Gods: A Rupert Wong Novel - Cassandra Khaw
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley
The Heiress Effect - Courtney Milan
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) - N.K. Jemisin
Clean Room Vol. 3: Waiting for the Stars to Fall - Gail Simone,Jon Davis-Hunt
Did anyone else end up with a broken counter on the Goodreads stats page? I know they had an issue with the date read field earlier in the year. While that eventually worked itself out, my total for 2017 is way off. The states page claims over 100, but the list is really only 79.
My breakdown of the 79 "books" I finished in 2017:

anthologies: 0
collections: 0
Adult novels: 50
YA novels: 8
MG novels: 0
graphic novels: 1
art book: 0
comic omnibus: 15
magazine issues: 0
children's books: 2
nonfiction: 3
I make a demographics list every year as a way of giving myself the opportunity to think about who I've read and how I can do better.
Across all categories:
  Written by Women: 53 (67%, down from 72% in 2016)
  Written by POC: 29 (37%, up from 17% in 2016)
  Written by Transgender authors: 5 (6%, up from 1% in 2016) 
  Written by Non-binary authors: 2 (3%, up from 1% in 2016)
While this looks like a large improvement from last year, I should note that this is not unique authors, but total across all my reading. I went on Cassandra Khaw and Daniel José Older benders this fall that account for a lot of my non-white reading. I also went on a Courtney Milan bender in January that is helping inflate the written by women category. 
My favorite book from 2017 were really hard to select! It was a great reading year, but I narrowed it down to 10. Please don't ask me to order them as that's clearly an impossible task. They should all appear in the banner at the top, but here's a list, alphabetically:
I reviewed all 79 titles read in 2017, which is really more than I expected. Not all those reviews are great, but in terms of quantity, I beat my expectations. 
My favorite new-to-me author of 2017 is Cassandra Khaw. She's talented and her range includes (nay, celebrates!) splatterpunk. 
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text 2018-01-19 17:38
Friday Reads - January 19, 2018
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Isabel Cooper,Jeannie Lin,Rose Lerner,Joanna Bourne,Molly O'Keefe

*bookish meme created by Nothing But A Good Book


As I said in my previous post, this has been a week. As such, I am finding only pockets of time to read. So I am still reading Hamilton's Battalion, but I just started the last story and hope to finish it sometime tomorrow.


Then it is off to start the Pingkang Li mystery series by Jeannie Lin, starting with The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress. I already read the prequel novella, Capturing the Silken Thief, a long time ago and the last novella is in the anthology Gambled Away, so that will hopefully take me into next weekend's 24 in 48 Read-a-thon.

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