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review 2017-04-28 11:43
Some good ideas but all in all a jumbled mess
Addicted - Charlotte Featherstone

 

I will not ramble as much as in my last review but I will point out that I am having the shit$iest luck in picking up good books lately. This one was no different.

 

I will just jump to what bothered me because you all know the storyline: boy and girl like each other, they almost end up together, something has to get in the way and in the end love prevails.

 

 

What I see wrong with this story:

 

1. The title. Summary of this book and the title would like us to believe that they seriously dwell into the opium addiction and that our hero Lindsay is an addict which gets in the way of him and his heroine. Well no, that is for the most part not true. He is only an addict in the last third of a book and what got between him and his heroine was really unrelated to any of this. In all honesty, opium was only used when this book needed a reason to be longer otherwise it would all end in the first few chapters.

 

 

2. Plot lines that lead nowhere. We have several of those but I will mention three which are probably the ones that really struck a chord with me. First we have Lindsay's character in the first few chapters being described as this great benefactor who aides little people who weren't fortunate enough of being born into a title or wealth. That is mentioned once or twice and it seemed like this will lead somewhere, that it will give him depth, something interesting about him, especially when we see his thoughts such as:

 

"We’re born rich, the untitled man is not. He is the one who needs the chances in life."

 

But that is all we get. It is never corroborated with any evidence nor is it ever mentioned again. It really felt like the author wanted our hero to appear good and giving but later on just dropped that entirely. 

 

Then we have Anais' best friend Rebecca who ends up betraying her and coming between her and Lindsay and after she does come between them she is only mentioned once. One would think that such a villain would at least meet its rightful end and that we will get the satisfaction of seeing her punished or something but she all but vanishes and not even Anais' family ever wonders what happened to her best friend.

 

And lastly I will mention Anais' parents. They are both bad people, one right from the start and one is revealed as one later on. But both have their own bad traits and especially her father, the hypocrite, who harbours a secret which Anais learns of and does nothing with it, she does not confront him, she doesn't tell anyone, it is never spoken of again, not even if her mother learned of it and if they overcame it... nothing.

 

 

3. Characters. All characters are literally one trait. That's all there is to them. Or one quirk, as you wish. Lindsay, our hero, is an opium addict, Anais likes riding horses, Broughton is a stuck-up guy, Anais' mom is a money grabber, Anais' father adulterer, Lindsay's father is an alcoholic, Lindsay's mom is a saint for putting up with an alcoholic etc. Not one of them had something else, something more interesting about them, each conversation when they spoke of each other was about the same thing about a person over and over again.

 

 

4. Inconsistency. Something that confused me, and I am sure that I am not the only one. Lindsay says in the first half of the book that while in opium dens he had sex in his high state with whomever's body was on him, that it was normal for those places to have orgies and such and he even said:

 

"He used the opium so that he could dream of her, so that he could see her when he was fucking other women. There was no guilt that way."

 

But later on he keeps saying that unlike others in opium dens, he just can't have sex with anyone because opium rules him and he can only get up for one woman who stirs his blood and that is Anais. It kept bouncing from one statement to the other each time there was talk about opium dens. It's just...very confusing.

 

 

Now I will mention what I hated most about this book and why I almost dropped reading it, I read the last third of the book like I was chewing nails, very slowly and painfully but since it is a spoiler of sorts even though you see it coming a mile away when you read the book, I will put it under a spoiler tag.

 

I will explain what got between Lindsay and Anais. I did mention it was Anais' best friend Rebecca but I didn't mention how it happened.

On a masquerade ball Lindsay was supposed to meet with Anais at midnight and he knew which costume she will wear. Little before midnight as Lindsay was waiting for the meeting, one servant fed him some weird dessert which contained hashish which he never tried before and it messed with his mind. That servant was Rebecca and she donned Anais' costume which she stole from her and tricked him into believing she was Anais and Anais caught them making out in the hallway. And she fled. She didn't want to speak with him and made him believe she left for Paris and he followed her there when she actually stayed in his friend Broughton's cottage on his estate. 

(spoiler show)

 

And now we come to the thing I hate most about this book.

Before the masquerade ball Anais slept with Lindsay and of course that left her pregnant and she had the child in the cottage where Broughton let her stay and she GAVE THE BABY AWAY and no, they don't get the baby back later no, they make peace with that, that their own flesh and blood is now someone else's daughter. HOW THE F*CK COULD YOU DO THAT??? There is nothing making you do that. First she says that she gave the baby away because what would that do to her status in society? Oh what a b*tch. Then she said she had no other choice because Lindsay wasn't there and yet she was the one sending him on a wild-goose chase when she led him to believe she left for Paris. Then she says she couldn't keep her because she couldn't give the baby milk because she got sick after giving birth. Oh please, plenty of women in that time couldn't produce milk so they hired local women who had babies too to help out. Nothing she says makes any sense and most of all, what does that make you as a woman, a person.... you could have kept your child but you CHOSE not to because it was EASIER for you. After this transpired I started to hate her and I actually rooted for Lindsay to find someone more worthy but of course we can't have that because it would make too much sense.

(spoiler show)

 

 

All in all.

 

Conclusion is that first half of the book was rather boring for me, the second half I was grinding my teeth the entire time. There were some inconsistencies and characters are one-quirk characters. But the author does know how to write well and her usage of language is something that speaks to me so I will not give up on her books, I will just stay far away from this one.

 

 

“When  you  pout,  angel,  every  man  looks  at  you,  wishing  he  could  kiss  away  the  sadness  from  those lovely lips.”

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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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