logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Romance-Historical
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
text 2020-11-19 15:43
Promo Spotlight and Giveaway: Twelfth Knight's Bride by E. Elizabeth Watson

[Because facebook has very unfairly blocked my blog, Punya Reviews..., from being promoted on their platform, I'm using my booklikes profile as a "gateway" of sorts so I have a link to promote. I've been trying to reach them by leaving them messages through the Facebook blocks option, however not sure I'll ever be able to have this block lifted as I have no means to reach them directly. More on what happened can be found here.]

 

LINK to my promo post for Twelfth Knight's Bride on Punya Reviews...:

https://punyareviews.blogspot.com/2020/11/promo-spotlight-and-giveaway-twelfth.html

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-08-09 17:56
Finally a genuinely good book with a solid story
Lady In Disguise (The Langley Sisters) - Wendy Vella



"...Let me sleep with you in my arms and wake you with my kisses. Only with you can I truly be the man I want to be. You fill all the places inside me that have been empty for so long and you take away the pain of who I once was and the people I hurt.”" - Lord William Ryder



Short summary:

Olivia Langley is the eldest of three sisters who have lost both of their parents in a short span of time and were left penniless and alone. Olivia shoulders most of the responsibilities now although her sisters help in everything and are equally involved in the house affairs. She has accepted the fact that she will never have a season in London and therefore will remain unwed just so all of the funds could be given to her second sister Phoebe's season and her third sister Bella's health requirements.

The funds that they don't have at the moment. So they turn to highwaymen robberies. And as luck would have it, the first person to fall as a victim to them is Olivia's first love, Lord William Ryder, a man who left 5 years ago without telling anyone and hasn't contacted anyone since then.

Atop of all of that, there is a looming threat of the sisters' being evicted from their home by their cousin, the new Lord Langley, who doesn't want to support them at all but he does have a more sinister plot in mind for all of the sisters.



“Only a strong woman could have done what you did, love, and no matter how I feel about the choices you’ve made, I cannot blame you for them. You did what you thought was necessary to keep your family safe.” - Lord William Ryder

 


Characters.

Olivia Langley is a strong heroine for her time. She stepped up to being in charge of the household, of her sisters' affairs, of preserving the fake facade in front of the rest of the town and of sacrificing her own happiness for her sisters'. She also rides in a Derby and robs people with her sister Phoebe, holding people at gunpoint and taking their money which is an offence punishable by death. But she isn't portrayed like a 'mary sue', a flawless super heroine that nothing can get to, no, she is portrayed as a multi-layered person who has her moments of weakness but does her best for her sisters' sake.



"Yet, how could you prepare yourself to see the man you loved while pointing a gun at his head?"

"...to my mind, anyone who buys me a cinnamon bun is someone worth my time.”" - Olivia Langley

 


Lord William Ryder is a man who was born with a title and into huge wealth. He, as the second son, did not bear the weight of responsibility from an early age as his brother did so he grew up spoiled. William was one of those men who knew they had money for life and little responsibility and so they went around living in debauchery and only cared about their bad company and their appearances. He was arrogant and irresponsible. That is why his brother could not stand him and they continuously clashed. In a moment of clarity, William saw that his life will not improve with the current circumstances so he left. He left without one word. He left to build his own life and himself in his own way and on his own terms. And for that I have huge respect for this character. And yes, not even sending one letter later was not good but I can understand it. He wanted to achieve something on his own before he comes back to this life he left behind.



"“I couldn’t possibly leave without going into the church; after all, I could walk out a better man.” “To the best of my knowledge, my lord, the last miracle performed here was two hundred years ago,” Olivia muttered." - William and Olivia

"I do not tolerate men who threaten women, especially not a woman whom I count as my friend.” - Lord William Ryder


 


Writing.

Writing is extremely smart if I can put it like that. The author is very skilled with her words. There is subtle foreshadowing presented, an interesting story, multi-layered characters that we immediately connect with, plenty of witty humour, nicely presented era, slow building emotions and tension... almost everything I deem perfect in a book like this one.



“There are plenty who will say they are your friend but only a few who actually mean it.” - Lord William Ryder

 


What didn't work for me.

I would have to go into spoiler territory to fully explain but I won't do that. I'll just keep it simple. Sisters have lost their parents and were left with no money. The youngest sister needs medical remedies. They need money to keep appearances so they will have at least some prospect of marriage, or at least one of them. All of that is pressuring them into desperate actions to get the money. And here is where it doesn't fully work for me.

So, the sisters would rather risk highway robbery and being sentenced to death if found out or even risking death at the robbery itself rather than ask for help. Especially from the Duke. I understand one has pride. And ego. And doesn't want to spoil the good name of their family. But you cannot tell me you'd rather risk death and hold people at gunpoint (people who could be struggling for money themselves) rather than explain the situation to the Duke whose family has always had connections with their family and all of them grew up together and they knew the Duke's character. And since this is a very big part of the story, it always ate at me because I could not understand it.

The author could have made it more difficult for them to ask the Duke for help, like for instance their late father offending him or them already owing money to him or a refusal of some sort in his youth from one of the sisters... anything that would explain it better.

 


All in all.

Wonderful read in almost all aspects. It is truly a page turner. You want desperately to see what happens next and what other things will surface and make everything extra complicated.

Absolutely recommended.

 


"...“You love me, Olivia Langley, otherwise last night would never have happened.” “No, you are mistaken, my lord, I—I love no one.” “Your eyes say the opposite to your lips, my love. When I return to Willow Hall tomorrow we will talk, Livvy, and you will tell me what troubles you. And while you lay in your cold bed tonight remember one thing. You are mine now and I will never let you go.”" - Lord William Ryder

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-07-21 20:25
Mediocre regency novel
The Devil's Gift - Laura Landon

This book is intended for some people but I do not think I am one of them. I love regency historical romances so that is not the issue. The issue is in the worldbuilding and plenty of plot holes and loose ends that just leave me feeling slightly disappointed. If you can look past those issues then there is a good enough story there to at least finish the book.

I am not going to dwell too much upon this book because it didn't make me happy and it didn't make me angry, it was that middle mediocre feeling with which you know you are not going to remember this book for long and you really won't have any feelings about it few days later when it just evaporates from your mind.


The beginning is promising, there is a mystery there with the lady training some street girls to give them a chance at a better life, there is an assassination which then leads to a private investigation by the dead person's brother, there is an intrigue surrounding the household of the main female character and there is definitely enough to build the story upon. Those are all great points but from there onwards it somehow drags in certain places like the main male character's silly training in household chores and then it goes too fast skipping important details that we then just have to imagine have been explained like how her father was discovered because there was never an indication that that might happen, it happened just to propel the plot forwards and not because logic and reason were behind the event.

The writing is capable, the story is at least interesting enough for me to read to the end, the characters are just fine, nothing great but also nothing too bad. Everything feels like that honestly, everything is just fine enough to be read through but nothing stands out to make it memorable or entertaining enough to recommend to someone.

I have many issues with the plot and the missing pieces and the overall conspiracy is just too silly to be believable, also if the main villain was that easily triggered as we see in the end then there is no way he could have masterminded that ridiculous conspiracy. The characters also not fully developed. Main female lead starts off as different than other ladies because she cares about the common folk and helps the girls out but then that just disappears when it served the plot of getting the main male lead into the household in that way. There is no mention of the girls after that, it doesn't serve anything, it doesn't come back later... it's just there to give entrance to the main male lead. Speaking of him, it is also unreasonable that he as the new earl wouldn't have more people to help him with his investigation, that he would have that much time to spend playing house with the lady whilst all of his obligations are on hold and that no other woman would be interested in him and come to play as a misunderstanding or an obstacle at some point. Things seem to happen to serve the plot and are totally forgotten.

All of what I have mentioned just left me feeling meh, like shrugging my shoulders and saying ah, it was okayish enough to not consider it a waste of time. Which is not a compliment but also not the worst thing ever.

If you have the time and you just want to read a simple regency romance story then this can kill some time, but don't think too hard about the plot and the conspiracy and the female lead's father and his circumstances because the story will immediately crumble and you won't be able to immerse yourself into this world anymore.

It's good if you just don't think about it.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-07-13 21:04
The elements are there but nothing connects them in any reasonable sense
Her Highland Devil - Barbara Bard

 

I like Barbara Bard, I really do but this book is as dry as the Sahara desert, definitely one of her worst that I have read.


There is nothing to connect to and no characters to really care about, motives make no sense and people change just because the plot needs them to, without any growth or logic behind it.

 

(*examples given below might be SPOILERS*)


The storyline. If I just write it in a few short points, nothing looks amiss but then you read the book and you see nothing actually connects the plot threads and there is no logic behind things happening and everything happens just to connect one point to another disregarding any common sense known to humans.
Example: So this kidnapped woman who was taken deep into Scotland allegedly writes home to telltale about the weakness in the defence of this estate and her father receives the letter and rides of to see the king to get support and gets back home with it and manages to go rescue his daughter in the span of three days and he somehow manages this great feat and since the highlanders were surprised and unprepared they weren't really defending and instead of the English (remember, the King's troops are also there) invading and fully defeating them after their Laird has been beaten to a bloody pulp in front of everyone (and they don't kill him for some reason), no, they just get this insignificant woman and leave. Ah, yes, makes sense (notice the irony).

 

 

The characters. What a bunch of dry stale cookie cutter characters. They are not believable, they are not like real humans, we do not connect to them, they are just cardboard printouts to stand there as the so called plot happens around them. I have no idea how this good author have managed to spit out such bland idiotic pieces of s... *coughs... let's be civil here. How she managed to produce these, these ehm... characters in name only. There is nothing about them that makes them believable, it's horrible. They are awful people and only act a certain way when the plot needs them to.
Example 1: Gabby, the main female character, is supposed to be some kind of a progressive thinker in the area where she lives but then people tell her that Highlanders drink blood and eat human flesh and she believes it fully without a second thought. Or she is supposed to be a strong woman who was kidnapped and forced into marriage but then resists and all we see how upset she is that the husband doesn't immediately boink her right there and then.
Example 2: Callum, the main male character, is supposed to be this scarred wounded Highlander whose love died some years back and his world crushed then and he was left a shell of a man and then we see he immediately boinked the dead woman's best friend and kept on boinking her until this English woman disrupted his life somewhat. Such an upstanding good man that is. Totally don't want him to die a horrible death, nope, totally not.
Example 3: Callum's father needs his son to marry so he will secure his future Laird position and it has to be done immediately for some inexplicable reason and so instead of him trying to find him a Highlander woman and takes a bit more time, he just raids an English estate and kidnaps a woman there and thinks that is a good idea. How is that logical to begin with? When bunch of things just make no sense to begin with, how am I supposed to care about any of it?

 

 

Characters continuously do a 180 turn whenever the plot calls for it and it's painfully aggravating.
Example 1: Gabby's fiance whom she was supposed to marry (forcefully as well) was her childhood friend whom she saw as a brother. He wanted her and pushed himself on her much worse than the Highlander later on. He did not want to listen to one word she said, no objection or complaint. When Gabby is kidnapped and taken he told her she must be glad she is being kidnapped to get her adventure and laughs evilly. When she is mistakenly brought back, he pushes himself on her again and basically forces her to marry him, again. And then on the wedding day when she is already there somewhat willing, he does a 180 and just says that there are people outside who will escort her back to Scotland. What the actual f*ck? He did not develop as a character in the meantime and nothing happened to him to change his awful almost-rapey behaviour from before. He just becomes a saint so she can be delivered back to her husband.
Example 2: Callum does not give two s$its about Gabby when she is married to him, he even goes to be with his mistress (the dead fiancees best friend if you remember), and tells to Gabby that it is normal for men to have mistresses and he can do as he pleases, then he suddenly loves her a chapter later. Ah yes... love at a hundredth sight that must be.

 

 

I could go on and on like this for the whole night. Characters do things just because the plot needs them to. There is nothing to them, they are hollow, empty, non-existent.

There are so many plot points that lead to nothing and waste time that keep coming back to me as I write that I still don't understand how is this possible coming from the great Barbara Bard. Absolutely dumbfounding.

 

Skip if you can, if you must read it then be prepared to be extremely annoyed. I am not giving it a 1* because it is still written better than some other things I have read, looking more from a technical standpoint but there are really no good points I could now think of and point out. I am just so disappointed and... well... unhappy.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-04 19:16
A LITTLE LIGHT MISCHIEF by Cat Sebastian
A Little Light Mischief: A Turner Novella - Cat Sebastian
  Molly works as a lady's maid in the same household where Alice is the companion to the mistress of the house. Alice tries to help Molly because she is not used to having idle time but since she was thrown out of her father's household she has a whole lot of time on her hands as a companion. When they go with their mistress to a house party in the country, there Alice discovers the man who caused her ruin will be. Molly convinces her to exact a bit of revenge on the man.

I liked Molly and Alice. They are different in temperament but have known what it is to work hard. They also discover their true selves in the company of each other and plan a future together. The men in this book are not admirable and I can understand why Molly and Alice plan their mischief. I especially liked how emboldened Alice became when Molly spoke of her plan which did not go as planned but caused Alice to improvise. The courage she gained then carried over to her father's comeuppance. I cheered Alice on. It was wonderful.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?