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review 2017-04-21 13:37
F*ck no, no no no no and no !
Dark Fires - Brenda Joyce


This is a book made of plot holes, too many freaking conveniences, jumping to scenes unrelated to the ones we're currently in the middle of, jumping to a few years later, having 5 separate endings and characters who are made of one generic trait and show no other depth.

 


Dealing with some personal family issues I was sadly away from books and reading for the last few months and now that I have returned to one of my two favourite things in the world - reading (and anime) I thought to start with a good uplifting historical romance since this could be called my guilty pleasure genre. I even picked a book from an author revered as the 'queen of the historical romance genre' and the summary of it was quite intriguing.

 

All my hopes died a very slow death as I was reading this.

 

I am not being nitpicky here, don't get me wrong. The entire book is one big mess with only a vague idea of what the characters should really be like but no effort was put into actually making them so. This book is way too long for its content. The majority of it is just characters pondering and doing the exact opposite of what they're thinking and feeling. Why? Because there is no other story which would propel the story along so we resort to characters acting like the stupidest people who ever lived just for convenience's sake.

 

 

Let me summarise the story:

 

A 17 year old girl resembling a 12 year old is put in care of a 33 year old man who is suspected of murdering his wife whose body was burned beyond recognition (see where I am heading?) but there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of anything. In two days she arrives at his estate, they are both head over heels in love with another. Within a few days they leave for London where he sleeps with her completely unaware of his actions because he was apparently asleep and thinking he dreamt it (dear author, don't think your readers are that stupid). Then he says I need to marry you now because I deflowered you and he doesn't add to that because I also really want to so she thinks it's just about obligation and leaves him to join some theatre and he doesn't follow her. Cut to 2 years later. She performs in the theatre, has a 2 year old baby girl (yes, really really) and he suddenly comes back just because. And he pursues her, finds out about his kid, marries her but plot twist, his first wife comes back from the dead, then the second wife takes her baby and leaves him AGAIN without even talking things through and leaves for America with his best friend but this time he follows her and gets her back and she's also pregnant again. Then they leave for Texas where he needs to set some things straight with his family. Then she has a baby and they go back to England. The f*cking end.

 


My thoughts. Again.

 

These plot contrivances are so annoying, so unbelievable, so poorly written that I cringed every time I turned the page. I cannot believe how bad this reading was and I have read dozens and dozens of historical romance novels.

 

I have so many issues with it that I can't even list them all so I'll just mention a few.

 

1. Characters. Generic characters, very bland, poorly written. The author didn't succeed in establishing them as believable because she did noting with them so the readers could pick up and tell from their actions how our heroes should be like. It was told to us. For instance, everyone calls Nicholas a savage but he does nothing that would suggest others seeing him as one (I do not count him walking in his dirty boots in his own house). Also, they are very contradictory, Jane keeps saying about herself how she is very sturdy and not a crybaby and such and every single time she talks to Nicholas she cries. It's mindblowing really.

 

2. Characters being as$holes. First we have Nicholas who should be this dark Texan turned English man suspected of killing his wife and being very crude and manly and whatnot but he is actually such a sweeheart at heart, yeah right. In reality he had a great life with his family (except for that one secret they kept from him but you'll see that's also poorly written) and he was brought up well yet he intentionally gallops with his horse every single day through his well kept lawn just so his gardeners would have to set up all the grass back and clean it all day long. He walks with his dirty boots throughout the house just so his servants would have to clean after him. He f*cks his maid which almost seemed like rape because she is scared s*itless of him.
Then there is Jane. I will just say that every time anything remotely difficult happens she runs away because that is apparently the only thing in the world she knows how to do. And she doesn't even tell him he has a child. And when she's pregnant the second time and runs off to America she was thinking of not telling him, yet again!

 

3. All the unnecessary as$holish sex. Nicholas is sleeping with everything that moves apparently. But heyyyyy, he is such a sweetheart at heart you know. As soon as his character is introduced he is pissed so he practically rapes his maid then when Jane arrives he keeps on banging his mistress even though he really did fall for Jane I mean it's so clear in his actions non. Then when he marries Jane he STILL KEEPS SHAGGING HIS MISTRESS ! We also learn that he slept around when with the wife number 1. I mean, come on. And I am supposed to be smitten with him and root for his relationship with Jane to work? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

 

4. One plot hole that still keeps bothering me. When Nicholas takes Jane to London and they arrive she clearly points out that she should have taken the (raped)maid with her because she's taking a liking to her and she could use the company in London. Then when we cut to 2 years later and Jane recollects how she ran away from Nicholas she clearly says that she only had to ask that maid once to run away with her that night and she did. How the hell did that happen? Did you take out your cell and called her up and had her teleport to London from Dragmore? Or did she magically appeared there right before you decided to run away just in case you might do that and she could go with you.

 

5. Lindley. Jonathon Lindley is Nicholas' best and only friend (oh I wonder why) and when Jane arrives at Nicholas' estate he arrives there like 2 days later (she was only there for a week or so before going to London being there for 3 days then running off and voila 2 years later). Lindley will sleep with anything with a skirt so he makes a pass on Jane, Jane accepts the play to make Nicholas jealous and kisses Lindley. Then Nicholas punches him and Lindley is out of the picture until they meet him in London and greet him and his current partner at the theatre. So Lindley only sees Jane (and vice versa) two times. But 2 years later Lindley suddenly decided he is in love with Jane and seeing they were always "such good friends" Jane keeps accepting his advances. What is wrong with you, dear author??? She met him twice and didn't hear anything about him for two years and now they are suddenly best friends. It's the same at the end when she is in America. She is there for a few weeks and after seeing Grace (Nicholas' brother Rathe's wife) she is her best friend and confidant. I will shoot myself. There is absolutely nothing established between them other than one sentence, 'we became best friends'. Where, how the hell in such a short period of time??? Argh!

 


Conclusion.

 

I have many more issues with this book but I'll stop my rant here. I only gave it 1.5* because I gave Twilight one and everything is better than Twilight so that is the only small compliment I can give this book. Don't read it, don't waste your time.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-11 08:22
Ring: Diverse authors can be spooky fun
Ring - Koji Suzuki,Glynne Walley

The following review will have spoilers, because while a lot of terrible things happen in the beginning of the book, some terrible things happen later in the book which need to be mentioned. The following review has triggers for rape, domestic abuse, suicide, and victim blaming. Here we go.

The only thing that really kept me reading this terrible book was the hope that Asakawa and his friend Ryuji would meet a horrible, painful death. Asakawa and Ryuji are just straight up horrible people and I really can't think of anything positive to say about either of them. Our first introduction to Ryuji comes with a discussion of how many women he's raped. Ryuji practically brags about it to Asakawa. Cementing his status as third most terrible person in this book, Asakawa goes on to say that Ryuji disgusts him, but he still hangs out with him, because there's just something about him. Asakawa proceeds to bring the confessed rapist into his house with his wife and young daughter after his wife has begged him never to bring Ryuji home, which is a totally reasonable request. It gets worse.

 

Asakawa, fully believing that after watching the tape he will die, attempts to off everybody he has a passing acquaintance with. He first shows the tape to Ryuji, which can be somewhat forgiven because Ryuji insisted on watching it. But Asakawa then goes on to offer to show it to his boss and a colleague. It gets worse.

 

I guess at this point the author didn't think there were enough reasons to hate his characters, so he added another one. Our budding serial killer leaves the tape laying around his house, unmarked and his wife and young daughter watch it. No warning about the tape, no note, just leaves it laying out. His response, he calls his wife an idiot
several times and thinks about hitting her for endangering their daughter, never mind that he was the one that left the tape out. It gets worse.

 

Asakawa and Ryuji discover that the tape was created by a woman named Sadako who was killed by Dr. Nagao. Dr. Nagao raped her, killer her, and then dumped her body in a well. Dr. Nagao tells Ryuji and Asakawa that some force compelled him to rape Sadako and then kill her. Way to shift the blame to somebody else. It gets worse.

 

It's revealed that Sadako was intersex and that she was a virgin. Asakawa goes on to misgender her several times (I hate these characters). Asakawa and Ryuji then proceed to theorize that Sadako was unable to have sex with anybody (really hate them) and so fed up with life, she forced Dr. Nagao to rape her so she wouldn't die a virgin and then kill her (these people are the worst). Asakawa then comes to the conclusion that maybe, note the maybe because he's still unsure, she didn't force Dr. Nagao to rape her, but she definitely forced him to kill her. I can't really say it gets worse from here because I think we've reached the peak of this books awfulness, but it certainly doesn't get better.

 

It's revealed in the end that Ryuji has never actually raped anybody and he just told Asakawa that to impress him (I can't even). Moving on, our horrible excuse for a human being, I refuse to use hero to describe this guy, rides off into the sunset to save his family, by showing the tape to his wife's parents.

 

As far as plot goes, I was too focused on the casual attitude to rape, spousal abuse, victim blaming, misgendering, suicide and Asakawa's horror that anybody should die a virgin to focus on it. Did I mention how much I hated Asakawa?

 

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review 2016-09-06 00:00
Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice!
Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice! - Glenn Livingston Interesting book. I found it more funny than helpful. I do have to say the ideas/mind tricks presented in the book make sense and could very well work. I have not tried them so I an unable to comment on the effectiveness. I can say I had many laughs while reading it.
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review 2016-04-22 19:04
Nine, Ten...Never Sleep Again, Rebekka Franck #5 by Willow Rose
Nine, Ten ... Never sleep again - Willow Rose

Nine, Ten...Never Sleep Again, Rebekka Franck #5 by Willow Rose is about a brutally angry Henrik Fenger who was the victim of an appalling crime.  I gave this mystery, horror story five stars.

 

The vacation Rebekka & her ex-husband Peter & their daughter Julie took did not work out according to plan.  The surprises just kept coming & held my attention start to finish.

 

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Never-sleep-again-Rebekka-Franck-ebook/dp/B00FYVZFIC

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-26 20:55
DNF @ 27%
Death in Profile - Guy Fraser-Sampson

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

    I honestly tried to finish this book, but the farther I read, the higher I could feel my blood pressure shooting. I generally expect detectives in a mystery novel, unless it's meant to be a comedy, to be somewhat intelligent. They don't have to be Sherlock level brilliant, but at the bare minimum they should be able to competently conduct an investigation. The detectives failed to meet this bare minimum for the first 27% of the book. While investigating a serial killer who rapes his victims, they should not be asking questions like, 'why would he wear a condom'. And while the suggestion that he might not want to catch an STD is an acceptable answer to this question, it should in no way be the first thought that pops into the investigating detectives heads. Seriously, they are stumped by this. Here's a hint, it's two words, twenty letters long and the three letter abbreviation begins with D and ends in A.

 

     I was already shaking my head over the stupidity of the investigating officers when one of the detectives, Karen, suggests to her superior they use her boyfriend to profile the serial killer. Ignoring the potential conflict of interest of using her boyfriend in an ongoing investigation, her superior asks Karen to tell him a little about her boyfriend, so he can put in an official request. Karen, responds as follows:

 

"He's a very intelligent man ... perhaps the most intelligent person I've ever met."

 

This means absolutely nothing after seeing the geniuses she works with.

 

"He was one of my tutors when I did my criminology diploma, actually. We started going out not long after we met, about six months into the course ... We had to keep it quiet until I left."

 

So there are two issues at play here. One, that information in no way shows that her boyfriend is in anyway qualified to profile a criminal. Two, her boyfriend has no sense of boundaries; he dated a girl he was tutoring. Her superior, instead of pointing out that none of this qualifies him to actually do any profiling, goes along as if this is all useful information. Eventually they do get to his actual qualifications, but her superior seems more concerned with how they met and is convinced that this totally useless information is just what he needs to get his superiors to bring him on board.

 

     The detectives further cement their incompetence by ruling out the latest victims husband because they're "looking for a serial killer, not a domestic dispute that's got out of hand." Apparently married people can't be serial killers or use a serial killer to cover up the murder of their wife? They then proceed to let the taxi driver, who was the last known person to see the victim alive, go after "they were able to agree on a location somewhere on Wood Green High Street at some time around midnight." It's always a good idea to lead witnesses in answering questions, it gives the defense attorney something to use for the mistrial. It's only after the taxi driver has left the building, that they realize he is a possible suspect. Of course, they waited just long enough for the taxi driver to steam clean his cab so, "If it's no good to you. I can get back in it and start earning some money..." I gave up at this point. I think everybody in this story is suffering some form of brain damage. I gave this book one star.

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