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review 2018-06-23 19:11
The Valley of Amazement
The Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan

I did something while reading this book that I have never done before: I flipped to the last page to see if it had a happy ending. Because good lord does Violet get put through the ringer.

 

This is often a difficult read, so I'll say upfront: if sexual exploitation makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this book. I'm usually one who wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole, but while the tone was unflinching, the details when divulged were detached enough to not affect me too much. Everyone has different tolerance levels and triggers, though, so it's something to consider.

 

This is set in the first half of the 1900s in China in the culture of the courtesan houses. It resembles Memoirs of a Geisha in that respect and it doesn't shy away from how young girls were sold and stolen into this life, but beyond the inner workings of the courtesan houses, this is a much different story with a different focus. 

 

As with all of Tan's work, this story is about the relationship between mothers and daughters, but unlike her other stories, this one is told primarily through Violet's POV. We follow her from a young, conceited girl growing up in her mother's courtesan house - not as a courtesan though, just to be clear on that point. She can only see how things effect her, how her mother is distant and aloof, and how she doesn't feel like she's loved enough. After they're separated by a ne'er-do-well and Violet is sold to another house, she must use her fierceness and determination to survive her new life and come to terms with the many twists and turns that her life makes. 

 

It's not all dire. She has a friend in the courtesan house to help her and protect her as much as possible, and she knows how to navigate this world better than most, though she makes many foolish decisions along the way. There are good moments as well, and Violet learns how to appreciate others, the depths of love and sacrifices that we make for each other along the way, all of which helps her to better understand the choices her own mother had made. But every time she takes a step forward, she's knocked twenty steps back. It's a long hard road, but there is a hopeful ending.

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review 2018-01-18 03:52
Royal Blood by Tiamat
Royal Blood - Tiamat

The rating will most likely depend on whether you read this story as a stand alone or withing the series. As a part of the series, it might easily fetch 5 stars.

The book starts in a humorous fairy tale fashion, pulling you right in: the characters are somewhat familiar, the setting is typical, the story is easy to follow. You know this set-up, you move along, quite sure of yourself and the boys in the tale.

However, just as you begin to think "oh, I know where it's going!", the unusual (especially where the puzzled Prince is concerned) turn of events shifts the story line and you find yourself as puzzled as the Prince himself. Series of hot, steamy and very passionate almost - but not quite! - dub-con scenes follow, with still enough plot and humor to go around.

In the end, all parties get what they deserve and want. 

No kittens, tigers or babies were actually hurt (much) during the production of this book :D

Recommended :)

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review 2018-01-15 01:40
The Chimera (Bound Gods #1) by Adrienne Wilder
The Chimera - Adrienne Wilder

Frigging brilliant! My only complaint is that Kaleb is not suffering the change of scenery enough. He must have had friends, he must have had hopes and ambitions and plans, like being in college, obtaining freedom from his father. Maybe the reality is yet to settle in? :D

Looking forward to the next installment.

PS 
There are problems with editing, but I am choosing to ignore them since they were not too bad.
Mixed up "he, she" in reference to Kaleb's trans male brother drove me bonkers. There should be "He" in this book with this particular set of characters, no way around it. 

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text 2018-01-14 05:26
Эклипсис (Эклипсис #1) by Tiamat
Эклипсис - Тиамат,Tiamat

К сожалению, развитие дел в книге перестало для меня работать.

Даб-кон в сопровождении насильного оргазма - нэ моэ. Впрочем, это я еще смогла бы читать, и даже получать удовольствие, если бы один из тройничка, толкая эльфа в объятия его бывшего насильника, при этом не клялся жертве в вечной любви. Кавалер Альва меня сильно разочаровал. Предательством тут попахивает, дорогие мои, сеньк ю вери мач, предательством и извращенством не самого приятного образа. Лечение ПТСД методом "клин-клином вышибают", только усиливает травму. 

Сваливать похоть и вину на жертву изнасилования, простите, опять не мое - был там, делал это, получил, как говорится, рубашенцию (для утерения соков страстно-мордастного совокупления).

Хоу-эва, до этой главы история была замечательна и трогательна и читала и читала бы я ее дальше, но мои заморочки, извините, не позволяют. 

Поэтому оставляю днф-ом и без оценки. Что, на самом деле, есть очень, очень жаль :(

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review 2018-01-13 03:44
Dragon's Treasure by Qaida Harte
Dragon's Treasure - Qaida Harte

Warning: rape, torture, blood and gore. Not a pretty read for the first 40%.

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