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review 2013-10-26 04:29
Review: Land of Falling Stars by Keta Diablo
Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo

In sum, I think the best way to reflect on this book is to say that it really wasn't my cuppa. Originally I got this at a bargain bin at my uni back in 2010 when someone no longer wanted it, so I'm guessing from the edition I have, they ordered it from Ravenous Romance and no longer wanted it.  (Ravenous Romance no longer carries this title, so I held onto it for quite a while.  I have no idea if this book has been updated or changed since that point, so I'm going from what my copy lent as I read it.)

 

My dislike wasn't so much for thematics or even the erotic elements of the story, but more or less, this narrative was full of many problems.  The prose was repetitive - particularly when it came to the sensuous scenes between Gavin and Sophia, and apart from capitalizing on numerous period stereotypes and over the top conflicts for drama, there wasn't much holding this narrative together.

 

Sophia is a young woman who has no family (parents died some time before), and whose life had been completely destroyed by the Yankees during the Civil War.  Her home's the only thing she has left, apart from her promised marriage to Jesse as she waits for him to return South.  Sophia grew up with Gavin and Jesse, two of her childhood friends.  Gavin has always loved Sophia (even saved her life when they were kids), but Jesse was promised her hand in marriage from a young age.  Yet Gavin, a Yankee serving during the War, accidentally shoots Jesse on the battlefield, killing him.  Gavin has to return to Sophia to deliver the terrible news and Jesse's final letter and message, for Gavin to take care of her and confess that Gavin has always loved her.  (This conflict to me came across far too easily.)

 

Yet mistaking Gavin for an enemy Yankee, Sophia shoots Gavin as he's coming to deliver her the harsh news.  (She doesn't recognize him as he's staggering to greet her from a distance).  She nearly kills him and has to nurse him back to health.  The two hit it off sexually (with a myriad of love scenes), but Gavin doesn't deliver the news to Sophia straight away that Jesse's dead.  When Sophia finds Jesse's last letter in Gavin's things, she gets angry (she actually claws at him and bites his cheek, declaring her hatred for him) - things happen with respect to a vile guy who wants nothing more than to rape Sophia and kill Gavin. Sophia's manor gets burned down and Sophia hits her head on a bed post, rendering her blind.

 

So Gavin has to take her up north to a special school of the blind.  On their journey there, Sophia's threatened with rape again, and other such things happened to the point where I just read to the end and couldn't care anymore.  Especially considering Sophia uses her blindness at one point to determine whether Gavin really loves her.

 

In sum, this was just too much and I think nothing really defined the characters very well.  Couldn't really follow the over the top scenarios, contrived drama, nor the repetitive sensuous scenes.

 

My hope is that the person who has the book now enjoys it more than I did, but I can't really recommend this for those who like erotic romance or erotica with a historical fiction grounding. 

 

Overall score: 1/5 stars

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review 2013-10-24 00:00
Land of Falling Stars
Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo In sum, I think the best way to reflect on this book is to say that it really wasn't my cuppa. Originally I got this at a bargain bin at my uni back in 2010 when someone no longer wanted it, so I'm guessing from the edition I have, they ordered it from Ravenous Romance and no longer wanted it. (Ravenous Romance no longer carries this title, so I held onto it for quite a while. I have no idea if this book has been updated or changed since that point, so I'm going from what my copy lent as I read it.)

My dislike wasn't so much for thematics or even the erotic elements of the story, but more or less, this narrative was full of many problems. The prose was repetitive - particularly when it came to the sensuous scenes between Gavin and Sophia, and apart from capitalizing on numerous period stereotypes and over the top conflicts for drama, there wasn't much holding this narrative together.

Sophia is a young woman who has no family (parents died some time before), and whose life had been completely destroyed by the Yankees during the Civil War. Her home's the only thing she has left, apart from her promised marriage to Jesse as she waits for him to return South. Sophia grew up with Gavin and Jesse, two of her childhood friends. Gavin has always loved Sophia (even saved her life when they were kids), but Jesse was promised her hand in marriage from a young age. Yet Gavin, a Yankee serving during the War, accidentally shoots Jesse on the battlefield, killing him. Gavin has to return to Sophia to deliver the terrible news and Jesse's final letter and message, for Gavin to take care of her and confess that Gavin has always loved her. (This conflict to me came across far too easily.)

Yet mistaking Gavin for an enemy Yankee, Sophia shoots Gavin as he's coming to deliver her the harsh news. (She doesn't recognize him as he's staggering to greet her from a distance). She nearly kills him and has to nurse him back to health. The two hit it off sexually (with a myriad of love scenes), but Gavin doesn't deliver the news to Sophia straight away that Jesse's dead. When Sophia finds Jesse's last letter in Gavin's things, she gets angry (she actually claws at him and bites his cheek, declaring her hatred for him) - things happen with respect to a vile guy who wants nothing more than to rape Sophia and kill Gavin. Sophia's manor gets burned down and Sophia hits her head on a bed post, rendering her blind.

So Gavin has to take her up north to a special school of the blind. On their journey there, Sophia's threatened with rape again, and other such things happened to the point where I just read to the end and couldn't care anymore. Especially considering Sophia uses her blindness at one point to determine whether Gavin really loves her.

In sum, this was just too much and I think nothing really defined the characters very well. Couldn't really follow the over the top scenarios, contrived drama, nor the repetitive sensuous scenes.

My hope is that the person who has the book now enjoys it more than I did, but I can't really recommend this for those who like erotic romance or erotica with a historical fiction grounding.

Overall score: 1/5 stars
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text 2013-10-19 05:35
Yeah, so...
Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo

My edition's cover is a lot steamier than the other cover of this book (and I don't think Ravenous Romance carries it anymore), but nonetheless, I think I'm going to finish it.  I rarely put down books that I've already started, and I was four chapters into this before putting it to the side.

 

The author's name came up again today (poor BookSmugglers, they didn't deserve that reaction at all) and jogged my memory.

 

I wasn't fond of the writing at the time I picked it up, and I remember the only reason I picked it up was because I was looking for historical romance recs and one mention said this was like "Gone With the Wind" but steamier. 

 

I remember thinking "That's...setting the bar really high isn't it?"

 

Might as well try again and give it an honest review since I started it.

 

I may tackle it between reads or later on.  Not sure yet, but I've got about five books that are on my priority list for review.  I think I'd rather keep my good book streak going for as long as possible or at least be on one before jumping into this.

 

All right, back to reading "Through the Smoke" among a few other reads tonight.

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review 2011-10-13 00:00
Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo Land of Falling Stars - Keta Diablo Romancing the Dark Side Review:

A heart wrenching historical romance with enough passion to start another Civil War!

With the impending end of the Civil War, Sophia Whitfield tries to hold on to the only thing she has not yet lost, her childhood home. Sophia is all alone in the world, she's lost her parents, brother and her fiancé has yet to return from the war, leaving her with just two slaves to help her defend her family estate from the enemy. When a Union soldier invades Arbor Rose, Sophia shoots first and asks questions later. She gets the surprise of her life when she realizes she's shot her childhood friend and savior, Gavin Langdale, who is now a soldier fighting for the North and not some Yankee trespasser. Gavin has come back to Arbor Rose to deliver a message to Sophia, but seeing her again brings up past emotions he can no longer keep a secret and soon fiery passion ensues between the two. Forgetting his purpose, Gavin gives into his desires with Sophia, with the hopes of winning her heart when all is finally revealed.

This is a passionate love story that begins when the main characters are young and transcends into their adulthood which makes the romance that much heartwarming. Sophia is an outstanding heroine, she's independent, smart, stubborn (which can be a bit frustrating), but knows how to hold her own. My only issue with her behavior comes from a scene where she experiences something traumatic and reacts to the situation by sleeping with Gavin, her reaction seemed a bit far fetched, especially for that period in time but I won't say any more!

Gavin is the epitome of chivalry and strength. He is everything you want in a hero, he's strong, patient, compassionate, with a wicked side in the bedroom...I fell for him immediately! The difference in their personalities works flawlessly and images of the classic Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Bultler came to mind while reading. Gavin and Sophia have a tumultuous relationship that keeps you on edge and bewitched from beginning to end.

I love a good historical romance, especially when it's infused with hot and sultry passion and Land of Falling Stars won me over. It's a beautifully written love story that captures not only the essence of the time but the internal struggle of the characters vividly enough for the reader to experience every emotion while reading. Adventure, unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance make this a tantalizing read that will have your heart skipping out of pure excitement! Praise to Ms. Diablo for sharing this historical masterpiece with her readers!

{eBook courtesy of Bookish Snob Promotions for review.}
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