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text 2019-10-27 22:43
Try to Keep Up . . .
A Night Like This - Julia Quinn
Married By Morning - Lisa Kleypas
Rules of Surrender - Christina Dodd
The Dream Hunter - Laura Kinsale

Okay, we all understand that genre fiction is so pleasurable because writers take a relatively set structure and group of accepted conventions and make new stories out of them again and again. Here's a chain of books that have some very specific details in common:



1. Julia Quinn's "A Night Like This" is a book that uses the "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" plot. The female hero's "governess name" is Anne Wynter. 


2. Lisa Kleypas' "Married by Morning" is also a "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" book.


3. Christina Dodd's "Rules of Surrender" is part of the author's "governess" series. Its plot is focused on "taming the wild male hero," rather than female hero in jeopardy, but the hero's name is . . . Lord Wynter.  This Lord Wynter ran off to the Middle East and lived among the people there for a long while then comes back to England to wreak havoc on everyone's ideas of "convention." 


4. Laura Kinsale's book "The Dream Hunter," (the best one on this list) also features a hero who lived in a Middle-eastern culture, specifically among the Bedouin, then comes back to England and faces his "adjustment." His name: Lord Winter. 


So there you go. Random details among the genre, lined up in a neat little row. 



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review 2019-10-18 21:06
3.7 Out Of 5 STARS for The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman




Prequel to Practical Magic
Spanning the 50s, 60s, 70s...and more
A Long Line of Witches
Family Curse
Romance & Love

With Audio Performed by Marin Ireland






Full Disclosure:  I've never watched Practical Magic, not that I can remember, anyway...and I've never read the book either.  So, I can't really tell you if this is a good place to start with the series or not.  I  can tell you that I was never at a loss for what was going on in the story...and this takes you right up to when the characters, Gillian and Sally from the movie/book come to live with their Aunts Franny and Jet at a young age.  Although, maybe the fact that I've never read Practical Magic is the reason why I didn't love this, like so many others have.  

Don't get me wrong...it's not at all bad, the story has merit and I even found some of the witchiness appealing here and there...even though witch stories aren't really my thing.    Not enough, that I want to read Practical Magic or anything...but maybe, I wouldn't mind watching the movie.  I did especially love the characters of Franny, Jet, and Vincent. They made the story, for sure.  I think if witch stories are your thing, then you will love this and the Audio is even decently done by Marin Ireland.


Plot 3.8/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 4.5/5
The Feels 3/5
Pacing 3.8/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.5/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 4.7/5  Cliffhanger⇢ Not really.
Book Cover It's okay...I guess.
Setting NY, NY, & Massachusetts
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 10 hours, 58 minutes

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review 2019-09-19 17:15
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

This prequel to Practical Magic was released two Halloween Bingos ago, and I had planned to read it then, but didn't want to spend the $12.99 to buy it for my kindle, and the library list was dozens of holds long so I back-burnered it.


While I was casting about for something to read for the Spellbound square, I remembered that I had wanted to read this, so I looked on library2go and lo and behold, it was available without a wait. Downloaded at 5:00, finished at 8:30.


I really enjoyed it, and returning to the world of the Owens clan was delightful. It's been years since I read Practical Magic, or anything by Alice Hoffman, and I was reminded by The Rules for Magic how much I enjoy her story-telling and her use of magical elements.


This book will fill many squares as well, and I decided to use it for Relics and Curiosities instead of Spellbound, since it is generally easier to fill broader squares versus narrower ones. There is a grimoire that plays a prominent part of the book, which fits with the category. In addition, there is a Black Cat named Wren, for anyone looking to fill that square. There are also some events that occur on Halloween, so it would satisfy that one, and, off the top of my head, it would also fit Full Moon, Sleepy Hollow, Fear the Drowning Deep, and Magical Realism.

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review 2019-09-08 01:33
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

I really want to read this for the witches square in Halloween Bingo, but it doesn't drop until October 10. I'm going to have to pick a backup, maybe, although that is still 21 days. Hmmm.I


Yay! An advance copy is coming my way! Time to start obsessively checking the mailbox.


October 26, 2017

My very pretty copy has arrived. So even though I have bags and sacks of books that I am currently reading, this one gets to break in line, because it is shiny, and I am shallow, and I've been waiting so long. It finally cooled off enough to turn the heat on. My All Hallows Read finally feels legit, and not just wishful thinking.

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review 2019-09-03 03:32
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

Oh my my... tears tears and loads more tears. So many tears that I'm dehydrated from shedding them all. There were happy tears and sad ones, expectant tears and regretful ones. There were tears for the appreciation of this works' beauty, tears of grief, tears of apprehension and tears for when the book was over. So many tears and not a single drop would I have traded for the comfort of another book.

I loved it. Yup, I loved it and I can't help but shout "I LOVED IT"!!

What, you may ask, is all the praise about? Well, The Rules of Magic is about more than just quirky witches... it showcases Love and Corage and Grief and being true to oneself. It embodies so much more than the synopsis can convey and definitely more than this mini review can impart but it is worth trying so here we go.

Do you know what?? No lie, this read captivated me from the very first page. There was never a moment where I felt the nagging responsibility of just having to get through the read. It helped that it checked off each and every box and then went over them in bold! How did those boxes fair? Well, the World Building was solid. The characters? Sublime! The writing? Subtly deep and nurturing and evocative without feeling too floofy (just roll with it like it's a thing) or full of itself. The writing was melodic yet not flowery. It stated things clearly as not to be mistaken but in a way as to not be ignored. The imagery was sharp and crisp and at times poetic and it never shied away from the pains of living and losing and feeling every inch of Life. The descriptions of herbs and other mystical bits and bobbles, needed for spells or just for enjoyment, were incredibly lush and redolent. I felt like I could smell the organic ingredients emanating from the screen and wafting all around me...is was surreal! Then there were the amazing bonds between the characters...most notably, lovably enviable were the bonds between the siblings... it was sweet and dare I say Magical.

This book is great for any occasion and any location. I read it in bed, in the car line waiting to pick my little one up from elementary school, at the dentist's office, the post office's parking lot and home all over the house. I ignored chores, hobbies and loved ones. It was a lifeline to a world I never wanted to leave... ever!!

The Rundown:

Like most of you, I have a scary amount of books vying for my Next Read that it feels both daunting and exciting at the same time BUT all I feel right this very second is a desire to lay in bed, cradle my ereader, and daydream. Already there's an empty spot where this book once resided because it was such a huge part of my world for a brief moment in time. To be honest, I feel a little adrift having to move on but the fact that it will share shelf space with my all time favorite reads makes the hurt sting a little less.

SO, if you are the least bit interested by the sound of this book YOU MUST READ IT!!! You will not be sorry... just get ready to be punched in the Feels... repeatedly... and enjoy it!

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