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review 2017-06-15 04:42
Princess Princess Ever After (graphic novel) by Katie O'Neill
Princess Princess Ever After - Katie O'Neill

When Princess Amira stops to save Princess Sadie from the tall tower she’s been imprisoned in, Sadie almost turns her away. So many others have tried to save her, but all have failed. However, Amira is enthusiastic, determined, and in possession of both a grappling hook and an incredibly strong cookie-loving unicorn.

That’s just the beginning of Amira and Sadie’s adventures. Along the way, they make some new friends, Amira learns more about being a hero, and Sadie finds the courage to face her sister and rule her kingdom.

I bought this because I heard it was a sweet f/f graphic novel. It was super cute, although a bit too short for my tastes. I wanted more pages devoted to Amira and Sadie getting to know each other - Sadie’s “I trust you” happened very early on and was a bit jarring. When the villain appeared and disappeared in the space of about a page, I started worrying that the pacing of this graphic novel just wasn’t going to work for me.

Thankfully, the story smoothed out after that. I really enjoyed Amira and Sadie’s encounters with the prince and the ogre, as well as the flashbacks to Amira and Sadie’s pasts. Amira and Sadie were cute together (complete with blushing, rose petals, and background roses!).

One thing I hadn’t realized until I started working on this review was that Princess Princess Ever After was originally published as a webcomic called Princess Princess, which is still available on Katie O’Neill’s website. I’ve clicked through it and there are some artwork changes between it and Princess Princess Ever After, some of which I liked and some of which I didn’t.

One thing I liked was that Sadie’s sister’s magic was changed from purple to black - it looks creepier in the print version. One thing I didn’t like was that the print version’s colors were slightly less bright than in the original web comic. Not only is this the sort of story that’s practically made for bright colors, some of the panels just weren’t as clear in the print version. Considering that this graphic novel had several black characters, a bit more attention should have been paid to whether they’d still show up okay in panels with darker backgrounds. The panels featuring Prince Taji were really dark - his skin color seemed to almost be the same shade as the wall behind him, resulting in him blending into the background too much. In the webcomic he was perfectly visible, and I could see that he actually had some shading.

The print version includes a 3-page epilogue that isn’t present in the original webcomic. I’m really glad that O’Neill added it. It doesn’t just serve as extra content for folks who’ve read the webcomic, it also makes it clear that, yes, Amira and Sadie are not only a couple, they also get a nice little happily ever after just like any other fairy tale couple.

This was a fluffy and sweet graphic novel about two different princesses becoming more capable in their own ways and falling in love in the process. I wish it were maybe twice as long and that the print version’s colors were a little brighter, but overall this was a good read.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-05-14 17:22
Review: Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau
Deep Deception - Cathy Pegau

A f/f sci-fi romance with a government mining agent and a not quite-criminial, not quite a law abider who wants to turn into a government informant so she can get her in-laws off her back and away from her kids. A seriously fun ride with an ending that was sensible and satisfying.

 

Nat is an agent who has been put on suspension following a bust that went bad and then turned into someone framing her for bribery. So she has two weeks of nothing to do but hope her union rep can figure out WTF is going on in the agency. Meanwhile, Gennie is desperate to get information gleaned from her dead husband's computer to the right agent so her in-laws will be investigated/too worried about the family business PR. Getting rid of her in-laws attention will allow her enough time and breathing space to get herself and her twins off planet and into a new life somewhere in the universe. Nat is her way in.

 

Nat and Gennie worked well together as investigators/sleuths as well as lovers. With some help from characters from the other books in the series, they not only uncover dirty business but also dirty government agents with some added twists such as migrant workers and natural resource preservation. The world building was detailed enough to get a real sense of another planet and how it works. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series (this was book 3 in a trilogy); luckily, each book can be read as a stand-alone.

***********************************************************************************************

Read for Booklikes-opoly (fifth turn, part 1)

Pages: 208 Bank: $3.00

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text 2017-04-27 22:49
Dewey Readathon Reading List - Spring 2017
The New Neighbor: A Novel - Leah Stewart
A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance Book 3) - Margaret Brownley
Deep Deception - Cathy Pegau
Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

My TBR for the read-a-thon is very eclectic.

 

1. The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart (Pop Sugar challenge - book with eccentric character) (Library Love challenge)

           A story about a nosy elderly lady who investigates her new neighbor and tries to uncover the neighbor's secrets. Literary fiction that I really hope doesn't suck due to having a mystery plotline.

 

2. Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau (Booklikes-opoly)

           F/F romance set in space. New-to-me author, although I follow her on Twitter because she makes life in Alaska look like fun.

 

3. Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins (Booklikes-opoly)

          New-to-me author, and I wanted to tackle one of her latest books to see if I like her writing style before diving into her backlist.

 

4. A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek #3) by Margaret Brownley

        Not in a hurry to read this book. The beginning of the book was silly, with too much damsel in distress action that made me roll my eyes. A good laundry day type of book.

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text 2017-01-29 18:02
Romance Bingo 2017 Mid-Term Progress
The Lady's Scandalous Night - Jeannie Lin
Sarah Sunshine - Merry Farmer
Sweetheart in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
My Writing Professor: A Lesbian Romance - Nicolette Dane
Lowcountry Bordello - Susan M. Boyer

Romance Bingo 2017 Progress:

One lonely bingo (top row).

 

1. Insta-love - The Lady's Scandalous Night by Jeannie Lin

2. TSTL - Sarah Sunshine (Montana Romances #2.5) by Merry Farmer

3. Headless Woman - Sweetheart in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

4. Love is Murder - Lowcountry Bordello (Liz Talbot #4) by Susan M. Boyer

5. New Adult - My Writing Professor by Nicolette Dane

6. Young Adult - Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

7. Regency Romance - The Sport of Baronets by Theresa Romain

8. Eyeshadow/Bosom

9. Virgin

10. Gothic Romance

11. Blown Away - Switched by HelenKay Dimon

12. Kilt

13. Free

14. Rogue

15. Historical - An Illicit Temptation by Jeannie Lin

16. Secret Billionaire

17. Twins - Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1) by Francine Pascal and Kate William

18. Fairy Tale Retelling

19. Wedding Bells - My Friend the Bride by Nicolette Dane

20. Second Chances - Long Gone Girl by Amy Rose Bennett

21. Key

22. Pirates

23. Next Door

24. Interracial - Heir to a Desert Legacy by Maisey Yates

25. Urban Fantasy - A Bit of Bite by Cynthia Eden

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review 2017-01-26 16:36
Review: My Writing Professor and My Friend the Bride by Nicolette Dane
My Friend The Bride: A Lesbian Romance - Nicolette Dane
My Writing Professor: A Lesbian Romance - Nicolette Dane

Romance Bingo square - Wedding Bells

Romance Bingo square - New Adult

 

I decided to make a two-in-one review posts as these books were only 50 pages each.

 

My Writing Professor - 1 star

This felt like a teaser excerpt for a longer novel, but unfortunately, it is a stand alone novella. There are major gaps in the story, such as the narrator's (yep, first person POV) entire back story/characterization. The only thing the reader knows about the narrator is that is in her early twenties, is in a MFA for writing program in Chicago, has no job/has no need for a job, and is a student of the title character. The writing professor character has a little more back story, but nothing deep enough to connect the reader to the character. There is a lot of sex and a lot of mental analyzing what all this sex means to their relationship. In the end, the student follows the professor to New York City (even though the student mentions how rural life is more her preferred environment) and leaves the writing program and Chicago without a thought as what she will do in NYC, other than have sex with her girlfriend. Honestly, there was no deep feelings or thinking by anyone in this story and no point in reading this.  

 

My Friend the Bride - 1 star

Again, first person narrator without much characterization to separate herself from a mannequin. The bride is the narrator's secret ex-lover and present day best friend. Narrator is the maid of honor, and thus in charge of helping bride plan her big day while fantasizing about being lovers again. The opportunity to bump uglies one more time during a weekend bachelorette party. The bride comes from a religiously conservative political family and is marrying a guy from another equally religious, conservative, political family. I really felt that the groom got a raw deal in this story. The narrator does everything to convince the bride to call off the wedding, come out of the closet, and get into a serious relationship with her. The bride wants her cake (big, expensive wedding and honeymoon bought and paid for by her family) and eat it too (secret intimate relationship with narrator) - so the basis of this relationship at the end of the story is that the bride is cheating on her new husband. The narrator seems to be content with being a side dish and complicit in her girlfriend's cheating. There is a lot of sex and no relationship building, so there is no reason for the reader to root for the girlfriends' relationship over the bride's and groom's relationship

 

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