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text 2017-12-25 16:00
Even More Festive Tasks and Books
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly
I Know I Am, But What Are You? - Samantha Bee
Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
[(Butterfly Swords)] [By (author) Jeannie Lin] published on (October, 2010) - Jeannie Lin
A Rose for Major Flint (Brides of Waterloo) - Louise Allen
Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb
Emma And The Outlaw - Linda Lael Miller

Square 15 - Newtonmas

Book: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly (5 stars - HIGHLY RECOMMEND)

 

Task: I am appreciating the alchemy that Arizona Diet Green Tea, apple liqueur from a local vineyard, and Jack Daniels' Honey whiskey has on my spirit while I peruse my dashboard while the holiday dinner is prepped and cooking. No reason for the diet version of the tea other than I like it a little more than the original formula. Next glass I am going to substitute mead for the whiskey.

 

 

Square 12 - Festivus

Book: I Know What I Am, But What Are You? by Samatha Bee (3 stars)

Task: Perform the Airing of Grievances

 

The books chosen for this task all have something in common - hype for the series or author that elevated my expectations, and that in reading these books my expectations were not only met, but plummeted to their death in the most gruesome way. And yet I read these books all the way to the end in desperate hope that they would end better than the 90% of the story. I was wrong to hope.

 

1. Dime Store Magic by Kelly Armstrong

     Weak-ass witches, dumbass villains, and a plot centered on a 13 year old girl's first menses. I should have taken the DNF and just not read for that Halloween bingo square. I don't understand how this author is so popular in the paranormal romance sub-genre - the writing was as weak as the witches.

 

2. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

     Aka A Walking Tour of Tang Dynasty China. Horrible first book except that readers get a small taste of the MCs in the second book (which was great! seriously, skip the first book and just start with the second). The only thing the dumbass heroine knew how to do well was runaway. So. Much. Walking.

 

3. A Rose for Major Flint by Louise Allen

    The first two books, written by other authors, were wonderful so I got my hopes up that the final book in the trilogy would send the series out on a high note. It failed miserably. This was basically a Harlequin Presents dressed up in early 19th century clothing. I was very much looking forward to Major Flint's story, but by the end I wished I didn't bother starting the book. I was so bored for most of this book that I would put it down to do household chores. A shallow, self-absorbed, manipulative brat of a heroine that is a dime a dozen in Regency romance. But it's too late as she and Adam have intimate relations and now Adam feels he has to marry the twit. Adam should have left her on the battlefield, honestly. 

 

4. Echoes in Death by JD Robb

    It's at this point in the series (book #44) that I am ready for the series to be done. Just give Eve her captain bars and let her ride the desk until retirement. The ghost writing is so strong in this novel and nobody wants three books worth of damn house renovations. The side characters were out of character (*side-eyes Peabody*). I am also tired of the crimes in the series - seems like the plot lines are ripped from Law & Order: SVU, just raping and brutalizing women and children. Of course the killer is a serial rapist and murder with Mommy issues (well, technically, Auntie issues). 

 

5. Emma and the Outlaw by Linda Lael Miller

    Old skool romance that is just too crazy to make it a "so bad it's good". Originally published in 1991, I read a 2014 reprint that wasn't updated at all. Once the sex starts between Steven and Emma it doesn't stop. EVERY CHAPTER after Steven takes Emma's v-card in a field of daisies has at least one sex scene. Steven really likes Emma's breasts;  so much nipple sucking and licking. Seriously after a while, the sex scenes were just repetitive nonsense. And there is endless threats of rape and one attempted rape of the heroine. But it is the not so subtle racism in this book that made me want to throw my NOOK at the wall. Memo to publishers/authors: before reprinting old romances, revise/update/edit the fuck out some shit that you got away with earlier, for modern readers are going to red flag that shit. Between the racism and the constant verbal rape threats/real sexual assaults by Macon and Fulton on Emma, I started to become sick and couldn't wait for the book to end (I was curious about the killer's identity).

 

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review 2017-09-12 16:30
Marrying His Cinderella Countess - Louise Allen

Ellie Lytton is content with her role as her stepbrother's housekeeper until one day the Earl of Hainford arrives to tell her that her stepbrother is dead by accident. She believes him responsible for her plight and insists that he should accompany her to her new home, little realising that the trip will change them both.

 

Ellie is a writer and throughout she is writing an adult romance and I found it so funny to read alongside the main story.  Louise Allen writes a fun story that kept me invested in both characters and liking them as people.

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review 2017-04-18 01:40
Surrender to the Marquess by Louise Allen
Surrender to the Marquess (The Herriard Family) - Louise Allen

 It's always a treat to pick up a Louise Allen book, she weaves some of the best regency history in all her books with engaging characters and places. This book happily surprised me when I found out it was the third book in the Herriard line along with Forbidden Jewel of India & Tarnished Amongst the Ton, this time picking up with Lady Sara Herriard.

 Sara has put everything behind her to start anew in a seaside town, healing after the sudden death of her husband. Her quiet world is turned up side down when she runs into Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock and his sister hiding their identity for some reason. Between Lucian and Sara's word sparing, Sara finds out more of why the Marquess is hiding and also trying to fight the draw Lucian has on her.

Lucian thought a quiet seaside town would be perfect after his sister's terrible elopement. He find himself at odds with Lady Sara who brings out his sister out of her sadness and brings out of his temper. The more he finds himself thrown together with Sara the more he fights his desire for her and the more he learns he just can't fight his feelings.

 Much like the rest of her family, Sara is someone who is fighting the period of time she was born in. She doesn't come across as modern like we are now, but had beliefs and common sense that was looked down on women in that time. I loved Sara she was strong and had alot to put up with the men in her life and the code of honor she didn't agree with. The back and forth between her and Lucian that was the best part IMHO in the book as it showed the trust and the ideas of "honor". Between the two I think Sara changed the less, only grew stronger as a person and was willing to love again and risk her heart on someone that was different in views with Lucian.

 Lucian on the other hand, could be a hardheaded with his life, family and his views. He changed the most, when he put himself in Sara's shoes and looked at her from her views. This toward the end gave way to a bit of a misunderstanding that dropped my rating along with another incident. I felt after the road Lucian took with Sara he would understand her more, but it was a big step back in my view. Do I think with Sara by his side he keep going forward. Yes. Still a bit of a downer. Yup. Along with the misunderstanding I truly didn't care for the sister and her beau who always tend to get into trouble that felt like it was just there to move the story along and cause headaches for everyone.

 In the end this was the beauty of the story, no matter the trouble that comes one's way. If a couple finds common ground, understanding and love, they can work through alot together. Another wonderful keeper from Louise Allen!

 

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review 2017-03-20 17:02
Once Upon a Regency Christmas: On a Winter's EveMarriage Made at ChristmasCinderella's Perfect Christmas (Penniless Lords) - Louise Allen,Sophia James,Annie Burrows

The Once upon idea kinda falls flat but the stories aren't bad.

 

The first story "On a Winter's Eve" by Louise Allen is a story of a showbound Christmas with an escaped turkey. Features a clever woman who made money despite her spendthrift husband, and pretending to be poor to try to avoid a marriage for her cash not her self, which almost backfires.

 

Marriage Made at Christmas by Sophia James is all about a mistaken identity and assumption, with a side order of tortured childhood past.  Could possibly have been better as a full book, well spiced with crazy though.

 

Cinderella's Perfect Christmas by Annie Burrows, not sure if he was poor or beset upon.  Man intrudes on Cinderella/ Alice Waverly who is enjoying time off from dealing with her demanding family to have a well-earned rest with two of the servants when Captain Jack Grayling hammers on the door with two children.  There felt like a lot of things were unresolved by the end.

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text 2016-11-01 09:48
November's Extended Reading List
Hearts in Flight - Patty Smith Hall
Hearts in Hiding - Patty Smith Smith Hall
Hearts Rekindled - Patty Smith Hall
A Rose for Major Flint (Brides of Waterloo) - Louise Allen
A Mistress for Major Bartlett - Annie Burrows
A Lady for Lord Randall - Sarah Mallory
Big Girls Don't Cry (Dundee, Idaho Series) - Brenda Novak
Whispered Promises: The Art of Deception / Storm Warning - Nora Roberts
Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan
The Bootlegger's Daughter (Daughters of the Roaring Twenties) - Lauri Robinson

I decided to do another massive Harlequin binge and extend it to December 20th. This way I have more time dedicated to the binge and I won't burn out on holiday reads before the holidays start. I probably won't get to any more non-fiction books for the rest of the year.

 

I have a lot on my master list (spreadsheets FTW) but these are the ten I definitely want to read and get off my NOOK:

 

1. Hearts in Flight by Patty Smith Hall

2. Hearts in Hiding by Patty Smith Hall

3. Hearts Rekindled by Patty Smith Hall

4. A Rose for Major Flint by Louise Allen

5. A Mistress for Major Bartlett by Annie Burrows

6. A Lady for Lord Randall by Sarah Mallory

7. Big Girls Don't Cry by Brenda Novak (currently reading and it is serious WTF crazy sauce)

8. Whispered Promises by Nora Roberts

9. Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan

10. The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson

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