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text 2018-08-20 17:18
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters - Susan Mallery

I loved Mallery's Blackberry Island series earlier this year, so I figured I would like more of her women's fiction. But this book sucked. Kelly and Olivia are grown adults and sisters from a dysfunctional family. Kelly is a tulip farmer, learning the trade from her dad and being his partner in the business. Olivia is an up and coming businesswoman who is smart and creative. I am going to say right now Kelly is a snooze fest when she wasn't being incredibly awkward or cringey around Griffith, hometown boy made good then came home. Griffith is a dudebro and smugly self-righteous. Helen is Kelly's best friend, equal in the snooze fest, and is crushing on Kelly and Olivia's dad, Jeff (from whom the snooze fest gene must come from). When Helen isn't having such ridiculous lewd thoughts about her best friend's dad, she is CONSTANTLY complaining about her body shape/weight and dieting. Kelly and Olivia's mom is the evil bad guy who stops being evil when she falls in love with Griffith's younger brother and Olivia's high school/college boyfriend, Ryan. Ugh.

 

There is small town contemporary romance, then there is too small town - is there anyone else to date/maybe try Tinder or OK cupid - contemporary romance. DNF'ed this morning at 20%.

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review 2018-08-20 17:07
Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #3) by Brenda Novak
Home to Whiskey Creek - Brenda Novak

I previously described this story as "Reddit and 4chan had a baby" and after a few days of DNF'ing this book, I stand by that description. Novak showed she was out of her depth by having her heroine have a back story that included a gang rape. The hero and heroine were not up to the challenge of overcoming this (and other) obstacles; they were far too weak and the heroine needed a lot more therapy while she was back in her hometown. The additional storyline of the hero's best friend being gay and in love with the hero for years was already repetitive by the end of book two, and Baxter forcing a kiss from Noah came across as a sexual assault. I lost all respect for Baxter and the others in the friend gang were not anymore mature or level headed. 

 

I might try Novak's suspense novels because I do (for the most part) really like her writing and voice. I just can't take her shoe-horning serious topics into a light contemporary romance storylines - the two aren't meshing well and it comes off as sloppy or damaging writing.

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review 2018-07-15 05:41
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 2 - Gamei Hitsuji,Hikoki

DNF 20%

 

I am disappointed to say that this volume was a bit of a letdown. There were too much technobabble and unnecessary exposition in the passages I read. I had a difficult time to slog through the passages talking about Kabbalah and the different elements for example. It is a shame that I have to rate this book a low rating because I liked the first volume. I forgave the first volume for its wall of text because it was meant to be an introduction for the series. However, in this second volume, the info dumps became old fast. I wish information like that were in a guidebook or some side material so that the story would be read more smoothly without all the technobabble. 

 

However, I liked the illustrations in the book.

 

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review 2018-07-02 14:29
Fifty Shades New Zealand Style
Fierce (Not Quite a Billionaire) - Rosalind James

This ended up being a big old nope at 20 percent. I usually love Rosalind James's books. I recommend her Escape to New Zealand series to anyone that asks about a really good romance with some hot scenes.

 

Premise is that this book follows a New Zealand Mr. Grey (Hemi) coming along and deciding that he is going to (swear word) a woman (Hope) that he meets when he goes to see a photo shoot set up.

 

 

James can usually turn a phrase and make me see her characters, but I had a hard time even picturing this whole thing. She tried to turn her New Zealand characters into Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and it did not work at all. 

 

The little we find out about Hope is that she is struggling to make things work for her and her teenage sister. They are sharing a tiny place in New York (I think it's a studio) and she's working for an insane photographer. When she meets Hemi she feels intrigued by him and he weirdly decides he is going to have to have her. Cause that's what doms do I guess (I have no idea). Hemi arranges things so that Hope gets a job at his company and from there he is going to make sure that she eventually gives into him (barf). 

 

Hemi is crude and sorry not sexy at all to me. I was done after he propositions Hope in his office and she rightfully slaps him. Of course James has Hope thinking to herself that she could not helped being turned on by the whole thing and I just quit this book at this point. I just got frustrated because a scene before this Hemi tries to force Hope into going out to dinner with him and she says no to that. He even tries to force her to go overseas on an assignment even after she explains why she can't (her sister being left alone is a huge problem). So he's not exactly blowing my socks off with empathy. 

 

I would recommend passing on this one. 

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text 2018-06-27 18:45
NIGHT GAUNTS AND OTHER TALES OF SUSPENSE by Joyce Carol Oates
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

NIGHT GAUNTS sounded so promising to me when I requested it from Edelweiss months ago. (And just look at that alluring cover!) 

 

Since then, I've only managed to complete one story, and it's one that I already read in another collection. I've repeatedly attempted to read two other stories and I just couldn't get into them, so I'm calling it quits. No rating, no review.

 

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for letting me take a shot at this for free. I'm sorry it didn't work out.

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