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review 2013-11-30 23:09
Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold, Book 2) - Susan Mallery

I am going to try to briefly review this but I am not sure I can without throwing things or drinking heavily or both.  It is not badly written. Ms. Mallery puts words together well. Thus the 2.5 stars.  It is simply enraging, at least to me. Perhaps the cat on my lap will help keep the violence to a minimum.

 

There are spoilers and strong language behind the pagebreak. And some capslocks of rage.  But before I go there I must warn all prospective readers: 1. Secret baby, and 2. Deadbeat dad.  

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review 2013-11-21 20:07
Review: Surviving Raine by Shay Savage
Surviving Raine - Shay Savage

This wasn't a YA/NA romance, but it borrows heavily from that genre.

Bastian was yet another asshole hero, much like Travis from Beautiful Disaster, who drinks too much, smokes too much, curses too much, fights too much, feels he doesn't deserve to be loved, and alternates treating his heroine like a piece of shit or a priceless golden statuesque goddess.

Raine was yet another doormat, doe-eyed, virginal innocent, giggly heroine with a speech impediment, (this one couldn't talk without inserting an "...uhm..." every few sentences), who believes in rainbows and unicorns, that love will conquer all, and that heroes like Bastian are just 'being silly' when they repeatedly treat them with abusive language and actions.  


The relationship is essentially them fighting, fucking, fighting, fucking, fighting, then more fucking and more fighting. Toss in a few "I love you's" and a boatload of the heroine telling the hero his is worthy of love, and you have just summed it all up.

The shipwreck and survival aspects were my favorite part of this story, and it is why I bothered to finish the book. Despite not liking or believing in these two, I enjoyed seeing how they worked to survive, and I did want to know if or how they were rescued.

I know this book is really popular, and I understand that. I think this book is well suited for readers who like their romance characters similar to ones found in Beautiful Disaster and Fifty Shades, which I do not. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this one. 

 

 

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review 2013-10-08 15:42
Can I just kill him and save you the misery? Oh right. You're in LOVE with Mr Asshole.
Odds Against - MARGARET PARGETER

 

Oh. Dear. GOD. Oh God oh God oh God.

 

This hero was even worse than the one in 'The Child of Judas'. He actually SLAPS THE HEROINE. And not one, TWICE. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we start off with our sweetheart heroine, Gail, swooping in to save Carl's ass. She drives through a STORM for him for God's sake. That's how much she loves him. Now, I'm all for smitten heroine (my most favourite trope), and I loved that she was doing that. I also loved how she wasn't a doormat and stood her ground, gave him his due. Whenever he yelled at her/insulted her, she didn't keep quiet. She was fiery, with just the right amount of sweetness. It was at the end that I hated her.

 

 

But let's not get into that now. For now I'll concentrate on my hatred for HIM.

 

 

So, as I was saying, our hero here is sulking. All because the woman he loved left him and married someone else BECAUSE HE BROKE HIS LEG. I'd think that says enough about OW, right? But NOO. Our dense hero sticks like an ant to chewing gum to his 'love' for OW. Aye, I know, that's another of my favourite tropes. But see, what made me really angry was how he treated the heroine. He kept rubbing the heroine's plain face into her every chance he got, insulted her and kept bringing up OW all the time. OH GOD. He was such an ASS. And not in the good, I-love-hating-him way. In a if-you-choose-him-you're-signing-up-for-a-life-of-psychologist-consults-and-hospital-visits. I saw no redeeming qualities in him. Even after they get married and Gail changes her appearance to please him, puts on a bit of make-up and everything, he doesn't notice ANYTHING. And then when Carl's cousin comes over and shows interest in Gail, Carl gets all possessive and back-off-beeyotch. You don't love/value her, asshole, but are married to her so he can't have her either? (Don't get me wrong, I hate adultery and the lot. And Gail had no interest in the cousin whatsoever. But Carl's possessiveness really bothered me because HE FUCKING DOESN'T CARE ABOUT GALE AT ALL.)

 

 

 

Now we'll get to the part which maddened me THE MOST. He crossed THE LINE after this. He discovers that Gail hides OW's divorce from him and gets angry with her. OF COURSE she's going to hide it from you, you idiot!!! I CAN'T THINK OF A SINGLE REASON WHY SHE SHOULD TELL YOU.

 

 

And then HE SLAPS HER. Oh God. He actually hits her so hard that she is flung across the room.

 

 

And she just takes it, thinking she deserves it. And then he packs up and LEAVES HIS PREGNANT WIFE FOR THE OW. By this time I was just like 

 

 

 

 

So he up and leaves her, and she's pregnant and alone. And of course, because it's Harlequin land, she must have all happiness snatched away from her, she has an accident and miscarries. And STILL, STILL, EVEN AFTER ALL THE THINGS THE ASSHOLE DOES, she loves him.

 

 

 

 

But wait, that's not it. She even DEFENDS him to her sister, and says that she (the sister) mustn't say bad things about him because she loves him. When Asshole comes back, begs for forgiveness, says that nothing happened between him and OW - he came back because he realises he loves her, he's been at his house the entire time and blah blah blah, she forgives him and they live unhappily ever after. And I wouldn't have cared if his grovel was the king of all grovels (which it definitely wasn't - Diana Palmer does them best), he was past all redemption. 

 

 

 

 

As for the author's writing, it didn't really light a match with me. I found it too flat and unemotional, but the flow and dialogues were superb. It was the descriptions (or lack of them) and story-telling I didn't like. I'm not sure whether or not I'll pick up more of this author's books, but most probably not.

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review 2013-10-08 06:00
The King of all Trainwrecks
The Child of Judas - Violet Winspear

Oh. My. God. I never thought that a day would come where I'd find myself bitching about the hero instead of the heroine. I never thought it was possible. I mean ME, the HEROINE hater, HATING A HERO.

 

 

But there you go. I fuckin' HATED this guy. Hated him in a I'ma-draw-and-quarter-him-chop-his-d-into-tiny-little-pieces-and-feed-em-to-the-eagles-and-his-balls-to-the-ducks. I don't think I've ever read a hero more of an asshole than this one, other then Carl in 'The Odds Against'. NOW THAT ONE TOOK THE CAKE HE EVEN SLAPPED THE HEROINE TWICE!!! 

 

 

Okay, here goes the review. Brace yo'selves, y'all.

 

OH MY GOD. OH DEAR GOD. OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK. I CANNOT BELIEVE THE CRUELTY OF THIS HERO!!!! OH DEAR GOD. I HAD TO TAKE THREE BREAKS TO CALM MYSELF DOWN, AND THAT WAS ONLY DURING THE FIRST FIFTY PAGES.

 

 

The book started off with hero insulting, verbally abusing and taunting the heroine at every turn, blaming her, trying to put her down and just basically acting so damned cruelly. I was repulsed my him right from the start, and I LIKE cruel, asshole heroes! So we're well into about 70 pages AND HE'S STILL INSULTING HER AND THREATENING TO KILL, BEAT AND RAPE HER AND EVERY AWFUL THING IMAGINABLE.

 

 

About 40% of the book. All. About. The hero mocking and degrading the heroine. The first half of the book, practically. What infuriated me even more was that the stupid heroine JUST SAT THERE AND TOOK IT ALL, BELIEVING THAT SHE DESERVED IT. Another non-Aayesha thing. I love the quiet heroines who don't throw temper tantrums. I LOVE THEM. But this one, OH GOD. OH GOD THIS ONE. She defines the phrase 'too stupid to live'. She had so little self-confidence that she believed that she deserved all that he was throwing at her. In a way I kind of feel sorry for her. BUT NOT ENOUGH TO ABATE MY HATRED FOR HER STUPIDITY.

 

Back to hero. As I said (*cough cough* many times, I believe), the hero was just plain awful. I can't imagine these two ever living happily ever after together if the hero is this abusive every time something doesn't go his way. And for God's sake, HE DIDN'T EVEN LOVE THE OW!!! He just wanted to have sex with her!!! When that was taken away from him and he turns that abusive, I seriously don't want to imagine the poor girl's future with him.

 

 

And as if that wasn't enough, Winspear had to go and make him all abusive. He actually shoves the heroine into the balcony railing so hard that she bruises. Oh right, and there was also the beginning where he was pulling the heroine's hair like all hell had broken lose. And bruising her arms. Same old, same old.

 

 

When they were in the villa or wherever that place was, he kept going off to work, leaving her to herself. And telling her that after she'd give him a son, she was supposed to give up her baby to him and divorce him was DESPICABLE.

 

 

How can someone even love a man like that is beyond me. 

There are a countless other details that maddened me, but I won't go into them now for the sake of my sanity.

 

Now I'll come to the heroine. Dumbest chick I've ever read, with the sole exception of Gail (once again from 'Against the Odds'). I don't even know what she saw in him. She must have had some serious issues, putting up with all that. ESPECIALLY the Greek macho-ism shit.

But I do give her credit for bearing all that abuse, and not cheating on him while she had the chance. Even though I think she'd have been much better off with the brother, I still didn't want her to be with anyone else but said asshole hero, because I am, in the end, a hopeless romantic at heart. But meh, they deserved each other.

 

 

 

Now for the Greek-male-dominance thing. Seriously, that was over the top. I mean, I know that it's scientifically proven that males are the better species in body and intelligence than females, but all that shit about females staying at home looking after their husbands and bearing them 'sons' (note: NOT daughters)?

 

 

This book wasn't just a trainwreck, it was the King of all trainwrecks. With a capital K.

 

 

 

Now I'll come onto the writing. I must say, I was too caught up raging over the asshole-ness of the hero to notice the writing. The impression that I got was that Winspear can pull off the story very well. The dialogue was great, the flow was good. It was just the PLOT that sucked. But I'm not completely put off by her, though. I might decide to read her again in the future. Here's to hoping that the next book I read by her won't be this awful.

 

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review 2013-10-07 17:32
I HATE STUPID, BITCHY HEROINES WHO LOVE GUYS OTHER THAN THE HEROES
Ward of Lucifer - Mary Burchell

1 star, I'm giving grace because of the wonderful hero.

 

This time it was the heroine that ruined an otherwise perfectly good book for me. (Makes me happy, seeing that I'm getting back on track.) So, like in so many good books, this one had a very unlikable heroine. No, she wasn't bitchy or immature or anything - I quite like her sensibility and her maturity, it was the OTHER MAN that was the root of all of it. She disobeyed her guardian, waved away his advice, and still continued her friendship with Cantlin (OM). If I had a guardian, who had been nothing but honest with me, advising me to stay away from a certain young gentleman with a reputation, I would STAY AWAY. And, as she claims she was, if I was in love with my ward, I would certainly not go out with other guys. It was such a pity, because the heroine was quiet, but not a doormat. She knew how to stand up for herself. And she was sweet and innocent too. BUT THE OM TROPE RUINS IT ALL FOR ME

 

 

 

 

But TBH, that was the only thing I disliked about her. Still, that one thing made me decide to give this book a 0 star. The 1 star's for the hero.

 

Anyways, moving on. The hero was really swoon-worthy. I've always loved the guardian-ward trope, and the Lucifer-like guardian-ward trope even more. Sweet, sweet 'These Old Shades'. I'm always comparing books with this trope to Georgette Heyer's. And they never come close to that one. So, about this hero. There weren't many redeeming qualities about him, but then again I'm always on the guy's side.. But what I loved was the air of mystery that clung around him, his mind (I have a thing for intelligent heroes) and his deportment, his manners, the way he spoke. *sigh* He really was like Lucifer. 

 

 

 

 

The plot wasn't all that interesting, nothing much really went on. But Burchell is a wonderful writer, her books are always so deep unlike your regular Harley. They actually talk about things that matter, going into the core of a subject and philosophising. Thank you Leona, for convincing me to give her another try. I'm loving her ;)

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