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review 2017-07-09 19:07
'Wicked Seduction' by Lauren Smith
His Wicked Seduction (The League of Rogues) - Lauren Smith

'Wicked Seduction' by Lauren Smith is book Two in "The League of Rogues" series. This is the story of Horatia Sheridan and Lucien, Marquess of Rochester. I have read the previous book and feel you can make this a standalone book if you choose to do so.
Horatia has been in love with Lucien from the start...he saved her from a carriage accident. Lucien is also her brother's best friend.
Lucien is best friends with Cedric, Viscount Sheridan since they were young boys. They have a mutual enemy named Hugo Waverly who also has singled out a few other of their friends. Waverly is a awful person who is out for revenge against Lucien and his friends. So much so that they came together to start a group called, "The League of Rougues". Lucien too has feelings for Horatia but their brotherly code and his true friendship with Cedric keeps him from acting on them. In fact, Lucien has been positively mean spirited toward's Horatia to keep her and her feelings at arms length. But that all comes to a stop with Weaverly has set his sights on possibly hurting Horatia to get revenge. Now Lucien must stay in close quarters with Horatia which will make keeping his feelings from her impossible.
I love this series! Ms. Smith is one of my favorite Authors....I know I am getting a great story when I see her name!
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Cedric , Viscount Sheridan THe League of Rougues

Source: www.amazon.com/Wicked-Seduction-League-Rogues-Book-ebook/dp/B06XDVD955/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499621586&sr=8-1&keywords=wicked+seduction+by+lauren+smith
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review 2017-06-04 01:58
Rogues
Rogues -

Rogues, the short story anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, contains over twenty stories of above average quality and wonderful use of the titular quality that connects all the stories.  The twenty-one stories from several genres features significant characters as rogues no matter gender, species, and orientation from authors both well-known to general audiences and some note so.

 

Of the twenty-one stories featured in Rogues the three best not only were high quality writing and features very roguish characters, but also were able to introduce a reader into the already established universe they take place in that only enhanced the story.  The opening story “Tough Times All Over” takes place within the First Law world that Joe Abercrombie established himself writing about, “The Inn of the Seven Blessings” by Matthew Hughes takes place with in the world of Archonate, and “A Cargo of Ivories” by Garth Nix takes place within the world of Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz.  While these were the best, the stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Stanwick, and Patrick Rothfuss set within an establish world they had create were also very good.

 

The stories especially created for this anthology is a mixture of the very good, the bad, and those that were just missing something.  Daniel Abraham’s “The Meaning of Love”, David W. Ball’s “Provenance”, and Scott Lynch’s “A Year and A Day in Old Theradane” were wonderfully written stories in two separate genres that were in the top seven stories of the whole collection.  “Now Showing” by Connie Willis is unfortunately one of the worst stories of the collection which was a shame considering that she wrote about several interesting ideas, but the execution with the characters crushed the story.  Yet some of the stories while good and having roguish characters just felt like they were missing something: “Heavy Metal” was missing a fuller backstory to the main character and a better understanding of the supernatural powers at work yet once done could become a fascinating future series for Cherie Priest, and “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives” was fantastic homage to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson by Lisa Tuttle that just felt it could have been more.

 

Yet some of the biggest disappointments in this collection were from established authors and their established series.  The worst story of the collection is “A Better Way to Die” by Paul Cornell that takes place in his alternate history timeline that features the spy Johnathan Hamilton but the reader has no idea about the world if you had never read an earlier story that featured Hamilton.  And my personal disappointment was “The Rogue Prince” that George R.R. Martin wrote as an Archmaester of the Citadel as a biography of Daemon Targaryen but was more of a history of the events leading up to The Dance of the Dragons that he told in “The Princess and the Queen”.

 

The twenty-one stories that make up Rogues feature--more than not--very good short stories from across genres whether in established worlds or one-offs.  Yet like all anthologies, it is a mixed bag in quality and expectations, but often than not the reader will be satisfied after finishing these stories with time well spent in several wonderful settings following some very unscrupulous individiuals.

 

Individual Story Ratings

Tough Times All Over by Joe Abercrombie (4.5/5)

What Do You Do? by Gillian Flynn (3.5/5)

The Inn of the Seven Blessings by Matthew Hughes (5/5)

Bent Twig by Joe R. Lansdale (4/5)

Tawny Petticoats by Michael Stanwick (4/5)

Provenance by David W. Ball (4/5)

Roaring Twenties by Carrie Vaughn (3/5)

A Year and A Day in Old Theradane by Scott Lynch (4/5)

Bad Brass by Bradley Denton (2.5/5)

Heavy Metal by Cherie Priest (3/5)

The Meaning of Love by Daniel Abraham (4/5)

A Better Way to Die by Paul Cornell (1/5)

Ill Seen in Tyre by Steven Saylor (3/5)

A Cargo of Ivories by Garth Nix (4.5/5)

Diamonds from Tequila by Walter Jon Williams (3/5)

The Caravan to Nowhere by Phyllis Eisenstein (2.5/5)

The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives by Lisa Tuttle (3/5)

How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman (3.5/5)

Now Showing by Connie Willis (2/5)

The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss (4/5)

The Rogue Princes, or, A King’s Brother by George R.R. Martin (2.5/5)

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text 2017-06-02 23:37
Reading progress update: I've read 806 out of 832 pages.
Rogues -

The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother by George R.R. Martin

 

One of the major political and military individuals in the Targaryen Civil War, also known as The Dance of the Dragons, Prince Dameon Targaryen etched his name into the history of Westeros well before he fought for his wife's right to the Iron Throne.  Living almost two hundred years before the main events of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, "The Rogue Prince" details the life of a man who was grandson and brother to kings as well as father and grandfather of kings in a line that leads to present.

 

Daemon Targaryen is a man whose actions would have ramifications for centuries to come, yet in his own biography he is overshadowed by the events and happenings that would lead to The Dance of the Dragons.  Yet while most of the text focused on the background to the war Daemon would fight, events of his life that continued to shape Westeros were explored.  After failed stints on the small council, Daemon would take charge of the city watch of King's Landing and reform them to become the Gold Cloaks.  Daemon's alliance with House Velaryon in war, marriage, and politics that would have a profound effect on the later war and it's aftermath.  And Daemon's rivalry with Hand of the King Otto Hightower over his brother entire reign that gave the King no end of trouble.

 

Written as a history of events leading up to The Dance in the form of a biography by an Archmaester of the Citadel, Martin mimics many popular biographies of the present day in writing this fictional history.  Like many biographies of major players in the American Civil War in which the chain of events and movements that lead to the Civil War at times takes over the biography, Martin's "The Rogue Prince" follows the lead up to the Targaryen Civil War more than the titular subject yet in a very intriguing way that makes the reader wish Marin might one day write an actual story of one of Daemon's great adventures or misdeeds.

 

"The Rogue Prince" is both like and essentially a prequel to "The Princess and the Queen", a vivid retelling of history of events that surprisingly do connect with George R.R. Martin's main series as well.  However, instead of following the promised roguish Daemon the history is not a biography but a backdoor history text that chronicles the events over the years that lead to The Dance of the Dragons.  Thus even though an avid reader of history I enjoyed this piece, the focus away from the roguish titular character leaves something to be desired of the whole.

 

2 1/2 STARS

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text 2017-06-02 22:48
Reading progress update: I've read 770 out of 832 pages.
Rogues -

The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss

 

The story follows mysterious errand boy from the Waystone Inn, Bast, throughout an entire day as he has dealings with many children from the area surrounding the town of Newarre.  Bast offers answers to questions and problems that the children have in return for information or favors as well as trading information for information, but most of his time is helping a young boy named Rike get rid of his abusive father from his home.  Yet while the children think they are dealing with an teenager, the reader is quick to realize that Bast is something other than human and more than just a teenager.  Bast's roguishness is hard to miss and the story is very good making this a great penultimate story for the overall volume.

 

4 STARS

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text 2017-06-01 23:56
Reading progress update: I've read 710 out of 832 pages.
Rogues -

Now Showing by Connie Willis

 

Lindsay loves old movies and enjoys good movies, as did her former boyfriend Jack before he got expelled just before he graduated.  After months of not going to the Movie Drome, she's convinced by her friends to watch some movies but she only agrees if they actually watch movies.  It turns out Lindsay is a rare individual in this near-future world of 100 screen movie theaters, someone who actually wants to watch films not go to all the movie-themed restaurants and stores housed in the Drome.  When she bumps into Jack, Lindsay's evening is basically shot and she learns about a conspiracy of fraud.  But while the mysterious intrigues of the Drome are interesting to explore, Lindsay letting herself be treated like all ladies that "date" scoundrels in movies undermines everything.  For over half the story, I wanted Lindsay to sucker punch Jack but instead they had sex while Jack got some evidence of his fraud conspiracy.  My rating is more of the ideas and the detailing the near-future world than the story and characters.

 

2 STARS

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