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review 2017-10-18 05:55
Review: Wed to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies #1) by Sharon Cullen
Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

Simon and Aimee are pretty much set to spy on each other and before they knew it, they are married. I am a super fan of the marriage of convenience and forced marriage genre so I was happy that I had the chance to read this story. Sadly it was not what I expected, not in the romance sense anyway. 

The romance between Aimee and Simon was too forced. I get that they had to marry because it was an order by the queen but their relationship was only beginning to simmer when the story was over. Clearly, there was a mutual attraction at the start of their marriage and what supposedly was a fondness for each other but where was that fondness even coming from as they were strangers? Simon sounded like a real character with personal commitments and frustrations. Aimee in comparison sounded like a lost puppy looking for a new owner. 

There are lost of intrigue since the story takes place at court so there is suspense and drama. If anything that intrigue was the most engrossing aspect of the story. When one of the characters at court is murdered, Simon and Aimee had to learn to trust each other in order to survive the rebellion that takes place at the castle. All of this happens in a relative short period of time and while interesting it still lacked that WOW effect that I would have loved to find in a novel about spies. It wasn’t a terrible read but it definitely needed more, specially in the romantic department.

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
 

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review 2017-10-18 04:58
Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
With This Christmas Ring - Manda Collins

Sweet yet emotional and passionate story. Tie-in for both of the author’s Studies in Scandal and Lords of Anarchy however it can definitely be read as a stand alone. 

The last person Merry wanted to see was her former fiancé however she was willing to do everything within her power to give her dead friend’s child the family she deserved. Alex never understood the reason Merry jilted him and when she appeared at his door seeking his cousin, he knew that was the perfect opportunity to find answers and perhaps ask for a second chance at love. 

I very much liked that the story started with Merry as a take-charge, brave, and intelligent woman however as the story progressed her attitude sort of changed and she started to sound meek, or perhaps insecure, and that gave me a"what-happened-to-her?" kind of sense. It wasn’t too bad but it still took away from the overall enjoyment of the story. 
Her chemistry with Alex was nonetheless well-balanced. He was sweet, honorable, and passionate. He was a man of his word who respected family and friends immensely, particularly his grandmother given that she was the one who had taken care of him since he was a child. He never pushed Merry to do anything she didn’t want and allowed her time to think and answer all of his questions. I think both their characters were well rounded in the sense that we get to understand what got them to be where they are and how much they deserved their HEA. 
I’m not so sure what to think about the villains, though. One of the arcs sounded inconclusive and even implausible and the other one, well, I’m still wondering about that one. Still, the main romantic arc was what made this story worth my time and I do recommend it to anyone looking for a Christmas romantic story. 

** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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text 2017-10-15 19:26
Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 200 pages.
Hot Steamy Glasses (Yaoi) - Tatsumi Kaiya

Well, that was disappointing. It gets points for having a few entertaining characters, and I liked that the best characters in the volume, Shogo (Fumi's brother) and Reiko (the secretary), ended up together, even though their relationship made no sense. Then again, very little in this made sense.

 

I don't think "not rape-y" is too much to ask, and yet even this volume couldn't quite manage it.

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text 2017-10-15 16:12
Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 200 pages.
Hot Steamy Glasses (Yaoi) - Tatsumi Kaiya

Oh geez, I think Takeo and Fumi really are going to end up together. I was hoping Takeo would end up with Fumi's younger brother, who's nice and thinks Takeo is fine the way he is (aside from his inadvisable crush on Fumi).

 

Anyway, best convo yet, even though I'm a bit irked at the situation that led to it. Read the panel from right to left. For context, Fumi has the flu and Takeo was taking care of him. Takeo had to go to work, so he sent a secretary from his company to take care of Fumi (because Takeo's the CEO and the secretary has nothing better to do with her time *snort*). The first bubble is the secretary and the next one is Fumi. One thousand points to the secretary for not letting Fumi step on her and for establishing clear boundaries.

 

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text 2017-10-15 15:42
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 200 pages.
Hot Steamy Glasses (Yaoi) - Tatsumi Kaiya

I'm guessing on the page number.

 

I picked this up a while back because some reviewer said it was sweet, which I hoped meant that it was also non-rapey. The artwork isn't really to my taste, but so far it has some good lines.

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure the guy Takeo ends up with is not the guy he's initially in love with, because otherwise I don't see how the word "sweet" could ever be applied to this. Fumi sucks, and Takeo shouldn't have to remake himself from the ground up to win his affection and approval.

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