logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: historical-but-not-too-much
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-15 02:35
My Magical Palace - DNF @ 30%
My Magical Palace - Mugdha Sadhwani,Samaresh,Kunal Mukherjee

This wasn't badly written. It just wasn't holding my attention. 

 

The storytelling device used just didn't work for me, for starters. The bulk of this book is Rahul telling his partner about growing up in India and how homophobic and traditional his family and everyone else around him was. The thing is I would have expected this conversation to have already happened since the characters had already been together for awhile at the start of the book. The trigger event for Rahul finally telling his story was ... overly dramatic, or at least it felt that way since we don't know this couple, and it was the first time this situation - Rahul's parents wanting him to meet a daughter of a friend to a possible arranged marriage - has come up, I thought Rahul's partner kind of flew off the handle. Especially since it's hardly like India has the monopoly on treating gays terribly, especially for the time period the flashback story is based in, which is the early 1970s.

 

As for the flashback story - can it be a flashback when it's the bulk of the story? - was very rambling and while it was nice to read about different customs and such, I just finally wanted Rahul to get to the point already. The writing is also very simple, which wasn't helping it any. It just wasn't hooking me in, to the point that I could put it down for several days and not think of it once. I was already skimming by around 25%, and I finally just skipped all the way to end to find out what the moral of the story was, and it was ... be true to yourself! Awwww!

 

There are good bones here, but it needs editing to tighten it up, and something to make me care about the present day stuff.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-14 05:00
I Always Loved You
I Always Loved You - Robin Oliveira

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Upfront, it's pure fiction; other than the artists' names, their work, and the broad strokes of accomplishment, it's made up out of whole cloth. 

 

This is the part I had issues with, I guess.  I don't know enough about Degas, Cassatt, Morisot and Manet, with the result that I feel like this book has unfairly coloured my impressions of them as people.  I'm going to forever be guarding against mixing up this story with the reality of 4 of the most talented impressionist painters who've yet lived.

 

But if you're able to keep fact and fiction seperate, this is a heartfelt, well-written story about people who might have taken the wrong turn at the fork in the road of life.  It's slow-paced, but always interesting; I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a fast read.  The end also has a high probability of making readers misty eyed of not weeping outright.  Oliveira is very talented at creating a sympathetic anti-hero; one that you want to hug as much as you want to smack.

 

At some point though, I'm going to have to follow this up with more information about these artists and their real lives so I don't every accidentally try to pass off as fact the imaginations of Oliveira's mind.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-14 03:30
Review: A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley
A Duchess in the Dark - Kate McKinley

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Daphne Hayward is determined to marry a man her brother-in-law doesn’t approve of, so she sets out to secure her future by sliding into bed with the man she wants to wed. Only she unknowingly winds up in the bed of Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore. Their night together is phenomenal, but when each discovers who their mysterious bed partner is, they’re in for one heck of a surprise. Though she’s attracted to Ashton, Daphne has no interest in wedding a man every woman swoons over. Only Ashton isn’t about to give Daphne up so easily…

A case of mixed-up bedrooms can either lead to ruin or utter happiness in A Duchess in the Dark. Kate McKinley’s first By Invitation Only book is fast-paced, fun, and sexy, making for a perfect afternoon escape from reality. While Daphne and Ashton’s romance is definitely spicy, it’s also incredibly sweet and that’s what makes the book stand out for me. Ashton’s good looks are the least important part of his character. He’s kind, caring, protective, and non-judgmental, which makes him a really appealing hero. I was rooting for him to win Daphne over because they clearly fit. A Duchess in the Dark is a fairly short novella, so it’s a bit of a whirlwind love story, but that was fine by me. The dialogue was sprightly, the characters likeable, and the romance an excellent mix of sensual and sweet. I was charmed by Daphne and Ashton’s story and I look forward to reading the rest of the By Invitation Only series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/08/review-duchess-in-dark-by-kate-mckinley.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-13 21:12
From where do all those 5* ratings come from I will never understand
A Scoundrel by Moonlight - Anna Campbell

"Dear God, wait until she saw his cock. If his chest made her nervous, she’d run screaming once she caught sight of it. He wasn’t a monster. He knew he was in proportion. But his proportions were notably generous. He’d managed previous encounters without injuring his partners, but Eleanor was a virgin. Perhaps he should ask her to close her eyes when he removed his breeches."

 

 

What a load of bollocks. 

 

Yeah, I've said it. This is hands down the worst book of this series and it just had to come at the very end so it left such a vile taste in my mouth. All those people leaving 5* reviews have clearly: 1. never read a good book, 2. have been hit in the head, 3. are taking some kind of drugs, 4. have amnesia of everything that is good and right about this world. 5. have never encountered the word love or romance in their lives, 6. are personally associated with the author and/or were given books in exchange for better reviews or for some reason 7. like everything that is wrong about historical romance genre.

 

Right, so I got that out of my system, wonderful. First of all, the title doesn't suit this book at all. Who exactly is this scoundrel in the title... the righteous honourable selfless Lord Leath or very prim and proper Miss Trim... they are both so very scoundrelish that I simply cannot decide. Secondly, dear author, if you had no idea what to do next, you didn't have to force this quick cash grab just to have something published. Because this is exactly what I have said, a quick cash grab, adding one more character to the Sons of Sin series (that only had bastards of the ton originally which is why it is called The Sons of Sin... explain to me how exactly is Lord Leath, a legitimate child of a famous honourable praised influential family a son of sin exactly??? ).

 

I won't dawdle on this too much, it's clear that my opinion is in the minority here but it just irks me so to have my time wasted intentionally. I read this book only because I have read the previous ones, I like the sons of sin idea, but how the hell does Leath fit into this at all??? I am so tired and exhausted after dragging this read throughout this week.

 

This book is so dry, there is not one original thought in it, there is nothing that would make me find it at least a bit redeemable, even the godforsaken sex scenes were so dry I am surprised they didn't turn into dust and got blown away with the wind. This just follows the same formula, get two people who are not society's ideal couple into a perilous situation and they will eventually get together, and I mean eventually, like after a thousand years it seemed, if I would have to read one more line of inner thoughts about how I love him so much but I would just be a burden to him and would tarnish his reputation I would stab my eyes with a fork. Hopefully a very dull fork. Pain would be such a relief at that point.

 

Everything in this book is wrong, it is so CONTRIVED it honestly leaves me lost for words at times. If this just so conveniently didn't happen in this convenient accidental place because of that totally convenient not at all contrived reason with the help of that convenience and simply pissing on reader's intelligence this oh so convenient love might not turn out to be so convenient after all.

 

First half of the book Eleanor Trim so wants to marry Lord Leath but he can just have her as his mistress. The second part of the book Lord Leath begs Eleanor Trim to marry him but she keeps on refusing saying it is for his own good. Honestly... *sigh. And their so well thought out reasons and feelings shift in less than a second. Without any explanation. Just ah, yes, for two hundred fucking pages I have been saying no to marrying you because I am a poor nobody and I would ruin your career and your mother would hate you and you would no longer have a place in society but now that I was in one stupid perilous situation I totally want to marry you and all the reasons against it just simply vanish. Why would we mention such silly things as me ending your political career or me hurting the health of your frail mother even more or me making you a laughingstock of the ton... what reasons? This is fiction, people, reasons have no place in historical romance genres you know. Yeah, I am being sarcastic and after everything this book has put me through I think I have a right to be.

 

Did I mention that the awkward dry scene of him taking her virginity lasts for 21 pages? I didn't? Oh, well, let me correct that. So yes, their first sex scene together, without the flirtation before that mind you, takes 21 pages of the book, and I will add to that that immediately after this sex scene finishes, another one starts as soon as they wake up and it lasts for another 6 pages. 27 pages of the awkward humping. Lord give me strength, and no, I do not mean Lord Leath in this instance.

 

The worst thing is that the one thing that keeps them together, this misunderstanding without which they would never have stayed together, is the most contrived thing in the history of contrived things. Lord Neville's henchman, Greengrass, fellow from one of the previous books, has kept the diary of Lord Neville's detailed deflowering and consequent sex encounters with many women across England. He goes through the list and keeps on having sex with those same women and he also blackmails them into giving him money. Eleanor initially thought Leath was the one who did all those deflowerings because apparently Neville used his nephew's name in his evil wrongdoings and it is never explained why really. He was his family, if anyone found out his name would be tainted too, it doesn't matter that he might have thought Leath was acting all too good and proper. Makes no freaking sense. And now this Greengrass wants Leath to pay up for not making the diary public. And they arrange to meet at some tavern or whatever and Leath has all of the 'bastards' with him when they thoroughly inspect the place one day in advance and make note of all the exists and surroundings. And what do you think happens? CONTRIVANCE, that's what. They missed to notice a third exit and a whole freaking back alley where it leads to, not to mention the escape and tunnels from the cellar... where were they looking? Alternate universe??? And they clearly say this:

 

"...sidling to bring the end of the alley into view. It was ominously empty. How the hell had they missed this exit? Last night, he and the others had thoroughly checked the inn. He’d have laid money that they’d counted every door and window." - p.244 look it up if you don't believe me. Most intelligent, cunning, brave, influential men of the Society and they missed an entire back ally of the establishment. I have to say that is an achievement in itself truly.

 

 

I will stop now. My head hurts so much from all this nonsense. My suggestion? Read the other books in the series (my favourite is about the Hillbrooks), pretend this one doesn't exist. If anyone happens to wonder why I still haven't left reviews of the other books in the series, the reason is that I wanted to read all of the books before leaving reviews and since I ended with this one and this one made me so angry I wanted to start with this one whereas reviews are concerned and put it out of mind as quickly as possible.

 

And if you wonder why after all that I ranted about I am still giving this book 2*? The answer to that is simple and will always remain the same. Because it is still better than Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-13 20:39
The Girl in the Tower - Katherine Arden
The Girl in the Tower - Katherine Arden

I don't pre-order a lot of books but for The Girl in the Tower, I was prepared to make an exception - I'd first read (and very much enjoyed) the previous book in the trilogy, The Bear and the Nightingale, last November and was keen to see if the author could manage to follow up such a great debut. I'm pleased to say that this book is, in my opinion, as good as its predecessor and it sets up the final volume of the series well. Fortunately that's due out in January next year and I hope the publishers keep to that timetable, as I'm keen to see how everything works out!

 

The Girl in the Tower follows pretty much immediately on from the events in the previous book, with Vasya taking her horse and heading off to travel the world after the untimely death of her father. The priest Konstantin, who has to carry a significant amount of blame for helping set in motion matters in relation to Vasya, has gone back to Moscow telling tales of witches. Vasya's older sister is there, a virtual prisoner as she awaits the birth of her third child in the claustrophobic terem, and Olga is horrified to hear what has happened in her much-missed home. 

 

Just as their brother Sasha is advocating for military action to protect the local villagers from bandits who are torching their homes and stealing some of their girl children, Vasya turns up with three of those children in tow. She has, of course, rescued them from the bandits and, dressed as a boy, puts Sasha in the position of having to lie to protect her reputation - after all, what virtuous woman would wear breeches and ride about the countryside unchaperoned? 

 

Eventually, however, everything unravels and the truth comes out. Not just the truth about Vasya being a girl but also what connects her to the Winter King and also some tantalising hints about Vasya's own heritage, as the main antagonist in The Girl in the Tower proves to have a link to Vasya's mother. Once again, it's a richly-described world inhabited by the creatures of Russian mythology and, for me at least, a real page-turner. It's going to be very interesting to see how the final book in the trilogy, The Winter of the Witch, turns out and I'm hoping for a positive ending for more than one character I've come to know along the way...

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?