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review 2018-01-17 06:02
Dragon Love
Fury of Obsession (Dragonfury Series Book 5) - Coreene Callahan

I listened to the audiobook of this and I was underwhelmed. At first I was excited since it's interracial. The heroine is a beautiful, dark-skinned African American woman and the hero is a dragon shifter (Caucasian in human form) from Eastern Europe. I still dug that about the story even though I was overall disappointed. I think that the major issue is that it was too derivative for me. I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I like that it's had an impact on paranormal romance, but I would like to see an author inspired by these books to take to some diversions in storytelling that make their story more unique. While the author chose to inhabit her story with dragons of all kind, which was very cool, I felt like the style of storytelling, the number of subplots, and the set up of the group that Venom fights with is way too similar to the Brotherhood. There are characters that you can identify as certain BDB characters. Also, I feel that there is a lot of similarity to the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian. Another issue I have with the story is the dropped plotlines. At the beginning of the book Evelyn is in trouble with some Russian gangsters. It's like that all goes away. I was really confused about that. And some of the point of views I could deal without. I don't mind if we see the villain's POV somewhat, but not if they're not that interesting. I would rather have a scene where Venom kicks the crap out of the Russian gangster. The plot resolution suffered and failed to impress me. It was very anticlimactic. When the book ended, I was like, that's it? Yeah, I was pretty disappointed with this. I'm interested in the one character who reminds me of John Matthew before his transition, I think his name in Osgood. I'd definitely read his book. Overall thoughts: The dragon aspect, good. Romance: pretty good. Sort of an instaluv vibe, but I can live with that. Characters: Mostly forgettable. Plotting: poor. Too many storylines. Narration: I give the narrator some points for enthusiasm and style, but his Scottish accent was ferociously bad. Some of his European accents sounded like a campy version of Vlad Tepes aka Dracula. But I liked him despite that. He was having fun and that made me have fun. Overall rating: 2.5/5.0 stars.

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review 2018-01-11 17:52
Review: "The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue" by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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review 2018-01-06 21:32
Feral (Shelter #1)
Feral - Kate Sherwood

This was a nice read, and certainly a different kind of romance. But it never really got better than nice. I'm still looking forward to the rest of the series though. 

 

Noah's a veterinarian student, volunteering at a vet clinic. Shane's homeless and goes to the clinic to seek help for his puppy when the puppy gets sick. Shane doesn't trust the system or the cops, and Noah, despite a spot of trouble in his past, has lived a sheltered life. As they become friends, working together on an outreach project, they challenge each others' world views and come to new understandings. 

 

I think this would've worked better if it had covered more time. They both changed too much too quickly. The story takes place in just under week. I do like that they don't fall in love in that length of time, though they do care for each other. Shane's possibly on the ace spectrum, so there's no sex for those of you who are looking for that. 

 

Dodger the puppy was adorable. I would've liked to see a bit more of Noah's family situation since that was mentioned in the beginning and we saw them in the first chapter, but that didn't really happen. We do get a bit of mystery to solve, and it's good to see Shane's protective side come to the fore time and again. I especially liked that Shane's situation isn't magically solved because he met some good Samaritans. 

 

So again, a nice solid start to the series, and I'm interested to see who else we get to meet along the way.

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review 2017-12-24 20:11
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

This is a strange one, so I'm going to split it up.

 

Things I liked:

 

Monty's struggles of self-acceptance. He's an arrogant aristocrat, a drunkard and a rake on the surface, but there's a lot more going on and as we learn more about him, it's clear how he got to be so messed up. But he's got his best friend Percy and his sister Felicity, who are more aware of the world around them and help him see what he's always been so blind to. I did like seeing him grow up and learn new things about himself, and that it doesn't happen all at once in a giant ah-ha moment but a little at a time as the story progresses. 

 

Percy was also great. I like that the author acknowledges people of color existed, and as more than just slaves. He was born in a high-class family, but being interracial and a bastard doesn't give him much standing. He's treated as second-class, and while Monty might not treat him that way or understand why anyone else would, Percy is aware of his position in society and how tenuous it is. And that's even before the reveal

that he has epilepsy and his family wants to put him in an asylum because they're tired of dealing with his fits.

(spoiler show)

 

Felicity, Monty's sister, knows her own mind and isn't afraid to use it. She wants to study but is limited by her sex. She also helps hold a mirror up to Monty's face, but she's not there just for the benefit of the male characters. She has her own agency and makes her own decisions. 

 

As a road trip gone askew, this is a great book and not nearly as silly or whimsical as I thought it was going to be. And I like that it didn't always follow the tropes to a T, so that it kept you guessing in some places.

 

The things I didn't like:

 

As a historical book, this is somewhat lacking. There's nowhere near the level of details that I expect from a historical. Nothing is really described, like the author is expecting the reader to already know what all these places looked like back then and so doesn't have to bother setting the scene. Except for the lack of pay phones, the author could've easily placed this story in the 1960s or 1970s and not have had to change anything except some character names. The rather modernistic manners of the characters would have made a lot more sense and rang truer than they do placed in 1720-something.

 

The language is definitely too modern. Look, y'all, "abso-bloody-lutely" is annoying AF coming out of mouths from today's youth. It has no place coming out of these characters' mouths. They had their own slang in the 1700s. Use it! There were a few other modernisms like that too, and it just pulled me out of the book every single time. This is basically a historical for people who don't want to read historicals. 

 

There were a few continuity errors too. At one point, Monty has to stop to put his boot back on. I went back several pages to see where the hell he took off his boot - he didn't. At another point, Felicity is hurt rather severely and it's several scenes before she's able to properly tend to her wound. In between, there's an encounter with some rather important people who I would expect to be far more observant than they are. There's no mention at all that Felicity is attempting to hide her wound, yet it's not mentioned and neither does it seem to even bother her. What the hell happened to Lockwood?

 

Then there's Monty's dad and everyone else practically having no concern whatever that Monty's got a liking for boys. Sure, the author does bother to point out a couple of times that sodomy was a big no-no and even bothers to mention some of the punishments that could befall someone because of it. But then everyone just acts like it's no big deal. Extremely distasteful, sure, but nothing you wouldn't bring up in casual conversation during a ball. It felt like the story and the characters were making far too light of something that could get you killed. The fact this is YA doesn't justify that, and this is far too much a trend in many an M/M historical. I was disappointed to see it happen here too.

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review 2017-12-15 01:48
Undone By Deceit
Undone by Deceit - Falon Gold

Title:  Undone by Deceit

Author:  Falon Gold

Publisher:  Imperial Publishing House

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"Undone by Deceit" by Falon Gold

 

My Thoughts...


This was quite a lovey story involving Mahogany. Majesty and Chance along with some other very interesting characters that will keep you turning the pages from the beginning to the end to see what was coming next.  You will find a lots of hilarious moments that will have you laughing out loud. It is so interesting to see these two [Mahogany & Chance] go back and forth until finally they seem to get it.  Be ready for a lots of drama, secrets and family issues that will keep coming until they get the message that they love each other no matter what all the reasons that had happened.  In the end will Mahogany and Chance get their HEA?  Well to see how well this author brings it all out to the reader you will have to pick up this well written story and see how well this it was delivered. I loved the ending!  

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