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Search tags: Gothic-Romance
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review 2017-05-26 08:17
The Last Light of Day: A Gay Gothic Romance
The Last Light of Day: A Gay Gothic Romance - Rachel Kane

This is a 'new to me' author. It appears they have released 10 books since Dec 2016 which always makes me wonder if it is another writing collective. Anyway, regardless I'm here to review this book not the entire back catalogue. 


The cover of this book is deceiving, I thought this was an historical. Then when I first started reading I did wonder if maybe it was a paranormal and Cornell had actually gone back in time. What it is really is a contemporary about a family stuck in the past and clinging to its former glory by its finger tips. For some its about the money, for others it about the prestige and legacy. For our MC, Hayes, it's about protecting the land.


As the subtitle (which is a self-publishing marketing technique that I hate btw) tells us, this is styled on gothic novels of old and brings it up to date. The tone of it is moody, atmospheric, and creepy.


I liked that we got most of the story (in 1st person) from Cornell's pov, the outsider pulled by circumstances into the strange atmosphere of the house. However every so often we get a 1st person pov from Hayes, the broody son and heir of the house. These chapters are important in our sympathy for Hayes' situation, without them some readers may find Hayes a difficult character to like. 


There is a degree of suspension of disbelief required, the whole family seems stuck in another century with no internet/mobile phones etc.


I really enjoyed this book. It was fascinating watching the family reach breaking point as Hayes 30th birthday approached and terms of a will needed fulfilling. And honestly those chapters in Hayes pov quite often broke my heart, this man trapped in his upbringing, and tied up in his desire to protect his property, and fighting his true desires.

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review 2017-03-13 22:25
Paranormal romance
The Protector: Paranormal Gothic Romance... The Protector: Paranormal Gothic Romance (Heart of Stone Series) (Volume 1) - Lexy Timms

The Protector by Lexy Timms is a well-written paranormal book.  Ms Timms has created amazing characters for this story.  Constance and Jack's book is loaded with action, drama, suspense and lots of sexy bits.  The story does jump around to different times, and for me that was a bit annoying.  While this wasn't my favorite Lexy Timms book, it wasn't horrible, so I would be happy to read more from this author.  The Protector is book 1 of the Heart Of Stone Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.


I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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review 2017-03-02 18:17
Woman Has Choice Between Man Who Treats Her Badly and a Boring But Nice Guy, Guess Who She Chooses?
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Sorry for the long title, but this whole book irked the life out of me. I get that Holt is writing Gothic romances, but she always seems to take the worst parts of Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre) and Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and uses that to make the male heroes in these stories. I think Heathcliff was terrible by the way for anyone that is ready to jump at me in the comments. I think due to the last book and this one I am going to pass on Holt for a second even though most of her books are available to borrow at my library right now.


Besides the above mentioned issues I had with the hero, "Shivering Sands" has one of the most nonsensical plots I have read this year. And don't forget, I read "Holly" by Jude Deveraux so that's saying something. 


We follow the character of Caroline Verlaine as she goes about investigating (poorly) at Lovat Stacy to find out more about her older sister's Roma's disappearance. Though for most of the book she just blunders along and runs around defending Napier Stacy (sorry getting ahead of myself here. 


The book starts off a bit off (at least to me) when we find out that Caroline is a widow. Caroline we find is a bit of an odd duck. She comes from a family of archaeologists, but she has a natural aptitude for the piano. Her family is not very rich, but they manage to send her off to Paris to get lessons. There she falls in love with a self absorbed man who she says repeatedly was a genius (Pietro). Due to Pietro being a genius she is told by a teacher and even by her husband in his actions and words that she is there to merely prop him up and tell him how great he is. He does not want her playing the piano since that would in some way take away from his awesomeness. I was really happy when Pietro died. 


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Recovering from Pietro's death then has Caroline going off to see her sister who is near Lovat Stacy looking into some Roman ruins that are nearby. The action does not get going until after we have Caroline finding out about her sister's disappearance. She then through a ridiculous circumstance is given the opportunity to teach the piano at Lovat Stacy for three young women who live there and the nearby vicarage. 


Caroline feels something is off at Lovat Stacy after finding about the the estranged son of the Stacy household (Napier) is finally back, ready to marry a ward of the Stacy household, Edith. Even though Caroline is told countless stories about Napier and how he caused his older brother's Beau's death, she feels angry anytime tells her about what a bad guy he is. There interactions are also short and often leave her angry. He has a way about him that is reminiscent of her dead husband's. I honestly didn't get the romance here at all. We eventually get an explanation regarding Napier that I had a hard time believing, it didn't even make sense. 


We get additional characters in this one that may be hard to follow. Besides Caroline and Edith, we also get Sylvia, Allegra, and Alice. After a while my brain just started getting overloaded to switching between them and the other characters (like the Stacy housekeeper) and I think Mr. Stacy's sister who was off as well. 


The writing was okay, it definitely made me think of books like Jane Eyre. I just wish I cared more about anything that was happening.


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The flow was not good in this one though. If you are waiting for anything to happen, just skip to the end (honestly I did to see who was behind things and then went back to reading again) and read the ridiculous explanations that follow. 


The setting of Stacy Lovat could have been something with the so-called "Shivering Sands" but I felt blah towards it. I just got down reading "Murder is Easy" and the village of Wychwood under Ashe felt more mysterious and dark.


As I said above, I booed the ending since for me I wish that Holt had her heroine realize that running off with a facsimile of her dead husband maybe wasn't a hot idea. 


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text 2017-03-02 16:47
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Eh. If most of Holt's books are just about a woman being attracted to a man who treats her like crap I think I am going to pass. I wish that Holt had her heroine run off with the guy who actually treated her with respect even though she found him boring and not just contempt all of the time. I feel like yelling are these the only options?


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text 2017-03-02 01:02
Reading progress update: I've read 75%.
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Unfortunately I'm a bit bored. 

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