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Search tags: Sandra-Brown
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review 2018-10-09 16:04
"Hero" was a d-bag
In a Class by Itself (Loveswept, #66) - Sandra Brown

I've been posting my reviews online for about 10yrs now, I know I've liked books that could have some problematic characters, actions, and storylines (This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, comes to mind) but as I get older and in our current climate, I'm really having to challenge and make decisions on what I'll go along with for the sake of the story. 

 

Suddenly he bellowed and vaulted out of the tub. Reaching down, he closed his fist around her mane of hair and hauled her up with him. Furious, dripping water and rage in equal proportions, he shoved his angry face toward hers. His voice was surprisingly mild. She would have preferred shouting.

 

I wish I could say that this would have stopped me in my tracks at 25yrs old as it did at 35yrs old, but I'm not sure. All I know is that currently, it made me immediately put the book down. This is the "hero" acting towards the heroine.

 

They were high school sweethearts who ran away to get married but her parents forced them to get an annulment because they thought the hero was too poor and other-side of the tracks. They meet back up at their 10yr high school reunion where the hero not quite so teasingly demands a wedding night. They are being hot and heavy when the heroine tries to put the breaks on and she then tells him why she stayed after the reunion broke up at his house, the charity she helps wants to buy some land the hero owns. He gets angry because he thinks she was using her body to get a good deal on the land. He then basically holds her hostage claiming he'll sell her the land if she lives at this house as his concubine. 

 

It's a hurt revenge angle that was seen quite often in '80s romance, along with the endless descriptions of fashion (the heroine has an eel skin purse and matching heels!). After this scene, there really was no hope for me to ever connect to the hero, he physically assaulted the heroine in my eyes. I skim read the rest of the book (I rate books whether I read fully, skim, or dnf, it is the way I keep track of books so don't @ me) and wasn't all into the heroine still wanting the hero to love her. 

 

Everyone has their own opinions but please, let's all agree that this was assault/abuse and call it as so.

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review 2018-09-19 16:10
Love Is Murder - Sandra Brown

The best way to think of this is a pricy collection of publisher's samples. You know - those things they normally give you for free in hopes you'll buy the actual book?

 

Some of the stories were surely standalone, but a lot of them weren't. There's a B.A.D. entry, and a Belador entry, for example. And a lot of them weren't my cuppa. A few fell into the category of "what the hell did I just read?". All of them were about the length of the average term paper too, so even if you did enjoy it, it was just long enough to well, make you want to buy the book (which may or may not exist)

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text 2018-09-01 04:55
Standoff - Sandra Brown

Standoff

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review 2018-04-06 17:45
Someone Is Trying To Kill Me. I Think It's The Man I Love.
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Mary Stewart

I know, I know, that post title could apply to basically every single gothic romance ever. In fact, as Linda Hilton knows, as I actually cribbed the title from an essay she discusses in this post (which is well worth reading, so you should read it!).

 

Nine Coaches Waiting centers around Linda Martin, a young French woman who is hired as the English speaking governess for Count Philippe Valmy, the nine year old heir to the Valmy estate and fortune. There are a couple of "accidents" where Philippe is nearly killed, at which point Linda begins to wonder if they were really "accidents" at all, or if someone really is trying to get rid of the young count.

 

As always, Mary Stewart's descriptions are truly lovely and evocative. Linda meets Raoul Valmy, Philippe's much older cousin, who is dashing and handsome and oh so mysterious. He doesn't live at Chateau Valmy, rather he lives at one of the lesser Valmy family properties near by. As the conspiracy unfolds, Linda falls head over heels in love with the enigmatic Raoul, which she realizes after possibly the most epic first date ever set down in fiction.

 

I am not going to describe that evening in detail though, as it happens, it was desperately important. It was then, simply, one of those wonderful evenings … We stopped in Thonon beside a stall where jonquils and wallflowers blazed under the gas-jets, and he bought me freesias which smelt like the Fortunate Isles and those red anemones that were once called the lilies of the field. Then we drove along in a clear night with stars as warm and a waxing moon staring pale behind the poplars. By the time we reached Geneva – a city of fabulous glitter and strung lights whose reflections swayed and bobbed in the dark waters of the Lake – my spirits were rocketing sky-high; shock, loneliness, the breath of danger all forgotten.

 

OMG, can Mary Stewart turn a phrase or what? 

 

Linda realizes the truth about the so-called accidents and takes flight from the Chateau with young Philippe, and what follows is several chapters of suspense where the two of them are being chased, hiding, escaping and trying to make their way to safety, without really knowing who is behind the attempts to murder Philippe. As was true of This Rough Magic, Stewart has a definite talent for ratcheting up the reader's anxiety. As is de riguer with romantic suspense, there is a happy ending.

 

This is my fifth Mary Stewart, each one more delicious than the last. At some point, I assume, I will have to hit a clunker. 

 

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review 2018-02-22 08:21
"Sting" by Sandra Brown - DNF - abandoned at 33% - too beige and magnolia for me.
Sting - Sandra Brown

I’m abandoning this at the 33% mark. It's not awful. It's just not good.  It's as inoffensive as a beige and magnolia room and about as stimulating. I'd rather spend my time on something that excites my imagination.

 

I made it through the first third of the book because I liked the idea of a thriller with a slow start that drops me in the middle of a complex but unexplained situation. There's a clever idea at the core of this book and I'm sure there'll be a surprise or two along the way but as I read on, I found I just didn't care.

 

My interest collapsed under the weight of the pedestrians execution. The writing is competent but uninspired. The descriptive language is lazy to the point of sloppiness. The characters are mono-dimensional and unconvincing.

 

The only tension comes from the relationship between the assassin and the woman he has abducted. I’m fairly certain this is the pivot of the plot but the implied will-they-fall-for-each-other? dynamic is clumsily handled and fundamentally toxic. I struggle to believe that a woman who has just witnessed a man shoot his partner in the head from behind, been splattered by the resulting blood and brains, abducted, restrained and repeatedly threatened with death, is going to fall asleep fascinated by the way her assailant touched her bra strap. If you’re going to head in that transgressive direction you need to do it with flair and aggression. When it's delivered with this bland prose, it becomes exploitative.

 

This is my first book by Sandra Brown. I have another in my TBR pile. I can see that she is extraordinarily prolific. Perhaps that is why "Sting" reads like a production line effort: a clever idea competently delivered through multiple points of view but with nothing original to make reading it worthwhile. This is good TV fodder but it's not something I'm willing to spend hours on.

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